February 11, 2005

Location, Location, Location

Would you want to live in a house built on the very spot where a homeless person was incinerated when the lean-to he camped in caught fire? Would the site be appealing if the view out your elegant picture window was a gas station and a 7-11? How about if your neighbor's house, an exact replica of your own, was situated so close you could spit into their window without really trying? What if there was a major highway not a half block away and your stumpy 10 foot long driveway dumped out onto a heavily trafficked street? Would it be considered a bonus if the price tag was in "the low $650,000's"?

I mentioned your neighbors, 7 and 11, didn't I?
The winter view of the trailer park across the highway?
Any of that sound good?

Real estate is at a premium here in the DC Metro area. Housing costs, as in many suburban extensions of urban areas, have skyrocketed over the years. The infamous real estate "bubble." And they keep building. Because they keep coming. People, that is. More and more people. People who need places to rest their heads. Places to raise their children. Places to fry their eggs, put up their holiday decorations, and shuffle around in their slippers.

Infill housing is pretty much the only option left to developers around here. There is not much undeveloped space left. Just tiny parcels in awkward locations. Developers clear away all the trees and foliage to build McMansion monstrosities on postage-stamp sized lots, cramming as many as possible on whatever land is available. The desirability of housing in the chosen location never seems to factor into the decision to build there. They slap an incredible price tag on the homes and people with more dollars than sense buy them.

Every time I drive by that one particular construction site across from the 7-11, I'm flabbergasted. Incredulous. Yet people will buy those houses. And live there. They may even be happy.

Meanwhile in Kansas, they are giving away land to entice people to move there.

Go figure.

8 comments:

Nickie said...

As tempting as the free land offer is, trust me, you don't want to live in those places in Kansas. There are many reasons why (trust me on this,) but the big one is "tornado." Yes, those big twisty things. Terribly annoying. There's nothing like driving down the turnpike and watching twisters drop from the frelling sky.

And yes, to answer a question left on my own blog, there are indeed lesbians in Kansas. Unfortunately, once you get outside the KC Metro, they all look suspiciously like men with mullets.

chapin said...

As nickie said...free land is good but those towns are not very exciting places to live. As we say here in Kansas...it's not the end of the earth but you can see it from there. I live in the "other" metro area of Kansas and can verify that we have lesbians here.
I've lived here most of my life and I'm one of those people that tracks down funnel clouds. I don't like the fact that people get killed but with the advanced warning systems it has gotten better.

Eyes said...

I know what you mean about where people live. It is INSANE! We moved away from all the hubbala and chose a quiet and peaceful location. I can't even see the road from my house :) I love it and think those people are NUTS! Especially those who have $600,000 and choose an interstate as a front yard when they don't have too. Go figure!

Freeland in Kansas? That's funny!

I Am The Walrus said...

The housing insanity has even hit Duluth MN...condos at $400,000 and homes at $750,000 when over 30% of our population lives in poverty...who the hell buys these things?

Mel said...

The housing market seems to be nutty everywhere . . . but then again, no offense, but I would probably go stark raving mad living in some dusty little Kansan town!

Sandra Scoppettone said...

Ah, yes McMansions. I live on the North Fork of Long Island. The South Fork is where the Hamptons are if that helps anyone pinpoint where I live. Not on the chic Fork. Nevertheless, the prices have gone through the roof. I made it just in time when I bought in '97. My own place has tripled in value, but I'm not leaving anytime soon. Where would I go? Kansas?

At any rate the things that are being built here are monstrosities on tiny plots of land that have nothing to do with this area. We are on the water here and the houses belong in ... actually, I don't think they belong anywhere.

Pisces75 said...

Being that I just spent the better part of a year looking to buy a house, I can say I am thankful I didn't have to pay that type of price for that type of location/house.
Makes living in Indiana not so bad. Fairly reasonable real estate rates.

weese said...

I'm in Connecticut...Fairfield county no less. Needless to say its a bit pricey.
My question... who is buying them. Yes, I realize some folks are rich - but how can there be that many of them if you all say its happening all over the country.