Comment of the Day: When I Hear the Word ‘Culture,’ I Reach for My Wallet

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHEN I HEAR THE WORD ‘CULTURE,’ I REACH FOR MY WALLET “i just wish i could base all my purchases off rigorous aesthetic and historical trends rather than the underlying economics and my base financial well-being. everyone has their personal priorities and should have the right to cater to those priorities as they see fit. as for me, i fully intend on buying the cheapest and most efficient/utilitarian townhome to fit mine and my families needs, which is of course guaranteed to be ugly and of shoddy construction. if i choose to defer proper maintenance on it for 40yrs in exchange for a well-funded roth IRA and 401k, is that really so morally reprehensible (especially after what the boomers are doing to this countries finances)? on the positive side, in 40yrs time a much better and more efficient home will be built making all those aesthetically pleasing and expensive townhomes of current years look out of place, again.” [joel, commenting on Daily Demolition Report: Apartment Hunters]

24 Comment

  • couldnt agree more, each entitled to his own and just because someone doesnt share priorities or taste this does not imply they are in error. However, shoddy build can lead to unplanned money pits and poor return when you want get rid of a place. Therefore you can still lose. Lots of peoples 401k plummeted this past decade as did home values. Some knowledge, some prioritizing, some blind ass luck.

    Best success I’ve seen is those who buy cheapest house in a bling neighborhood. Live humbly, leisure frequent, maybe do a little renting later, then sell the land to guy who wants to tear it down for his monstrosity. Relax with your new found cash. Kind of like buying a brand new car…why do it? Let the other guy have the 2-week splendor of bragging of the brand-new car he just bought. I’ll take the car with 6k miles for 8k less and the same warranty.

  • thanks, though i can see i was bored and baiing at the end of my post.

    the point i was trying to get at however, was that there’s never any shortage of comments on here about how people feel about the aesthetic landscape of their neighborhood or their drive from home to the workplace. this is more often selfish rather than considerate as even an ugly home directly next door in the inner city won’t have a big impact on your homes underlying value. that ugly beast of a house just may be some old ladies treasured preserve. what’s more, a healthy dose of crap mixed in with the good stuff allows for a diversity and character rarely seen in the ‘burbs and i for one always considered that one of the major benefits of being in the inner city.

    let’s just focus more on the infrastructure and bonds that actually form a community rather than judging folks based on what they buy or live in.

  • Joel, The Swamplot-ers are a strange bunch. It’s not enough for them to warn you that you are about to step in a pile sh%t. They also have to rub your nose in it to make a point. They are a snobby type to say the least. Ironically, a good portion of them are under-employed, 20-something hipster doofuses.

  • “especially after what the boomers are doing to this countries finances”

    How about not judging people based on when they were born Einstein? Hell, how about not judging people?

  • Ditto crosscreek on the “baby-boomer” slam. All this baby boomer has ever done was work and try to survive. I’m not sure what he’s talking about.

    Anyway, that was the plan wasn’t it? The young couple buys the townhome in Montrose, they live the good urban life. When the kids start coming they move off to West U or The Woodlands and re-sell the townhome. The second tier of buyers come in who are willing to live in the not very well built, yet in the right location townhome. It just did not work out that way due to the economy and the shoddy building of some of the somes.

    I’m surprised they are not all frat houses, but that day may come. Or drug dealers or houses of ill repute. Who can buy these things?

  • Or one’s tastes/priorities change. I will love Montrose until my last breath, but when I had fantasies about buying the place I grew up in, I didn’t foster dogs. My guests plus my own like a lot of yard to run around in, and when I drive through the old ‘hood, I get claustrophobic over how close the homes are to one another and how small the yard space is. I will never live in a condo or townhouse for the same reason, although in an earlier life, I couls see myself living in the Rice or the Warwick.

  • I didn’t sense that the baby boomer slam was especially personal. Its just that there are so ridiculously many of them! On the one hand, they’re working harder and longer than they were ever expected to. And that puts a downward pressure on the earnings power and career advancement potentials of Gen X-ers. Thankfully, that trend has had a dampening effect on entitlement spending, however that leading edge of boomer retirees (many of them forced by the economy) has already sent workforce participation plummeting. There are now fewer employed persons per capita than at any point in American history…and it only gets worse from here. Couple that trend with the entitlement spending that is to come and it becomes immediately apparent that Gen X and the Millenial Generation will be carrying a huge deadweight. The only other solution would be to allow more immigration, but that is ALSO unpopular, particularly among the older generations.

    The problem is multi-generational. The boomers’ grandparents created legacy entitlement programs. The boomers’ parents became more urbanized and healthy without immediately cutting back on the number of children per couple. The boomers themselves then cut back on the number of children per couple. What has resulted, through no one person’s fault, is an unsustainable population pyramid and inter-generational inequities. The boomers did get the long end of the stick, IMO, but that doesn’t mean that they’re personally to blame.

    Myself (mid-twenties), I think that I have a miserable couple of decades to look forward to. Our only hope for economic competitiveness as a nation (short of impossible policy changes) is an inexplicably fast die-off of the elderly. Either that, or I could emigrate.

  • Pot meet kettle, both are black. Baby boomers are an easy target, once hippies with some semblance of ideals, now the epicenter of greed and what is wrong with this country as a whole. They don’t even seem to realize they’re not entitled to a damn thing, they should like everyone else have to work for it. You don’t need me, and or Gen-X to show you that your principles change on a dime (maybe less) and the whole wishy washy crap that prevails in society today in large part is thanks to you and or the awful Conservative politics of outsourcing all heavy industry, durable goods, manufacturing to counties even worse off so you can bolster your stock prices. America used to be a great country, you’ve got the reigns now and near as I can tell as a whole the baby boomers are failure incarnate.

  • as much as i prefer the old homes in montrose (like my own), i think it’s pretty crazy to suggest that these townhomes will soon be frat houses, drug lairs, and houses of ill-repute. i suppose anything is possible, but that is pretty unlikely, to put it lightly.

  • I also “think that I have a miserable couple of decades to look forward to. Our only hope for economic competitiveness as a nation (short of impossible policy changes) is an inexplicably fast die-off of the elderly. Either that, or I could emigrate.” (per TheNiche – who I had pegged for being in his 50s or 60s! haha)
    And I was born in 1960 ! Shall we all go to Iceland? To Brazil?
    I will be working until I keel over (and then I’ll roll myself over to Ben Taub’s ER entrance.)
    My parents and their generation are living long and healthy and consuming all their resources.
    We’re all in this New Normal together.

  • Could agree with you more Joel, I think I was trying to say something in that light but failed. To each his own why do you care what my house looks like right??

    Too bad it got off target on the baby boomers..will you (other people) hating on baby boomers at least acknowledge that current generations consume more, save less, and dig their own graves. How many 30 years olds out their living at home and drive luxury cars? Sometimes you have to move back in with the parents, and I actually hope it fosters better family lives such as in many other countries; but lets be honest. Many (not all before someone gets personally offended) people will have 400 cell phones, 50k cars, 200 blue jeans (really?), and a designer t-shirt for $65. They are styling alright, but have no future savings and leech off friends and family when the timing gets desperate. They worked 41 hours this week, they’re entitled to another vacation this year!

  • Drew easy to draw that conclusion if you base everything you see on either Washington Avenue or what dregs you see at the Galleria. Some of have gotten very good educations, gainful employment, have good savings, have rescued 1930’s homes, and have a clear plan for both retirement and our children’s educations. Think about that the next time you get behind the wheel of your car that probably runs you $500-600 a month, that you just had to have, or that unwieldy mortgage you pay for a stucco monstrosity..

  • COREY!!!

    Please! “as a whole the baby boomers are failure incarnate.

    Are you nuts? As one boomer who has worked and slaved my whole life (first job at 15) I think you are out of line. I have owned an older home in Montrose for over 22 years and save my money and never driven a fancy car.

    So what are you talking about?

    P.S. You need to clean up some of your properties.

  • Cory,
    With all due respect, did you read the comment?

    “Many (not all before someone gets personally offended)”

    Many does NOT mean the same as MOST or MAJORITY it implies a great number of, but not necessarily a minority.

    Its sad that I have to say this, but I actually am educated with a doctorate, have 401 with savings, and I do live in an older home that I am rebuilding with my own time and hands on my off days. I actually drive a Toyota Camry though. Don’t know why you felt the need to attack or assume what I personally drive. Its paid off though. So I do think about that every time I get in. Darned if I could say that about student loans.

    Your totally right though, its my generation, and even close friends who I see falling into the trap of consumerism. Yes some of them live in Washington and Galleria, but I hate to denigrate entire areas based on a few.

    Entire topic now completely off topic, but I claim some responsibility here :)

    Have a happy day sir!

  • Forgot to add that I have vinyl siding!

    (I do think it is pertinent in this case).

    I hear good things about hardiebacker? One day maybe.

  • It’s Cody that may need to clean up his properties I’m Corey, I own a single home in Alden place (ie. North Montrose) not apartment complexes (heh). Though I do consider Cody a notable acquaintance, and a good property manager, he helps a ton of people especially those in need. And I’ll be the first to admit when I’m wrong, a lot of people have far more money than sense, you won’t see me in my senior years driving a $100K+ vehicle, when any old car that runs and is reasonably reliable will do, shoot I had my first car Nissan 240sx for 17 years. I could care less what other people think that I don’t have an Iphone, or this weeks faddy jeans, or that ubiquitous luxury car. My parent’s imparted some real logic in my head ages ago, just because you can do something doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do, and of course none of us are the epicenter of the universe, which is why I regularly rail against the whole notion of conspicuous consumption. So with that said, please accept my humble apologies for drawing incorrect conclusions, and or calling you out on them.

  • Agreed student loans were about the death of me too, which is why I now carry zero debt, period.

  • Well Cody…Cory, whomever is talking right here, you make very reasonable and respectful comments. I apologize for any insults or off-topic rants as well.

    Hope you have a great day

    My first Maxima went for 15 years, don’t know but my wife made me switch to Toyota. I dont think its going to make it that far….but I can never say that to her I presume.

  • That’s what I own myself, though not 15 years old. :)

  • De-lurking here.
    I’m just glad everyone seems to think my stucco 4 story townhouse in the heights is so expensive. I house hunted for the entire year I lived in my falling apart, permanently-grimy-no-matter-what old montrose duplex. I assumed we would have to get a fixer upper to stay close by and boy was I wrong. The house we bought, with 30k in repairs, was still less expensive than any fixer upper with good bones that I could find. And then factor in square footage, a real foundation, and new toilets and it was a no brainer. It’s all about stretching my dollar and going with the most financially responsible option for myself. I may not be in a desirable “fancy” historical house, but I’m in my early 20’s with minimal debt, savings and an IRA… So I think I’m doing pretty OK.

  • Miss_msry, I’m not sure how I got thrown in this :) but if you can send me a note about what properties of mine you might be talking about, I’d love to hear any suggestions you may have. I’m generally working with my team on fixing up my places all day every day but I’m always open to hear about what else I can do. Having finally finished a bunch of unit upgrades, right now we are repainting two properties and replacing all plumbing in another.
    Email is Codymail at gmail.
    Cory, sorry to ask this but have we met?

  • From Cody:
    Miss_msry, I’m not sure how I got thrown in this :) but if you can send me a note about what properties of mine you might be talking about….

    Cody the possibilities are endless. I suspect it may be any properties you may own in “Takara So Land” or even those wonderful properties once known simply as Skylane. I was tempted to apply for the manager position when you bought the two Skylanes also known as West Alabama Crack House 1 and 2 but since I had lived at one and knew most of the tenants at both I figured I wouldn’t have been employed too long when you found out I threw everyone out. Although I do miss the closet. Saved me $79 a month on a mini-warehouse.

  • Matt, I wish the possibilities were endless, as that would imply that so are the number of properties owned :)
    You named off a few of our places, but that doesn’t answer my question about what properties she might have been talking about or more to the point, what she would like to see done.
    I don’t want to retype everything I’ve done to these places but it’s something I do every day. I live only feet away from former WA crackhead house 1 and 2, which was one of the reasons I bought them (to make them a ‘former’). Ever wonder what happened to the groups of people that used to hang out on those corners? Neither do I, I’m just glad they’re gone.
    One of the problems is when you buy some of the worst places (in otherwise great neighborhoods), they already have a bad rap and a bulls-eye. So if you bring them from a 2 to a 7, people will ask why they’re not yet a 9. Maybe I’ll make a blog about these properties and their before/after so at least people can see progress and a positive trajectory.
    Perfect? No way. Better? For sure.

  • I know several of your tenants, and you being an acquaintance only from here.