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View Diary: Dear New Orleans, Here is how to recover from destruction. Love, San Francsico (59 comments)

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  •  McMansions... (0+ / 0-)

    require a lot of land to sit under them also, remember and around them. Do you see many of those without huge sprawling yards, cul-de-sacs and so on? Probably not.

    Two, sprawl happens because we subsidize sprawl through our building massive highways at the expense of the inner city. The wealth from the inner-city is drained to the outerlieing area without ever taxing the sudden windfall gain that the govenrment bestowed on those near the highway. See the Denny Hastert scandel for an example or go to my blog to read up on it if you haven't seen it.

    Three, speculators within the city buy up land and withhold it from use preventing any development. They are awaiting a similar windfall, like a large stadium to be built or something else.

    Fourth, I'm not sure I understand you example in the above, it seems as though you are contradicting yourself to me, but maybe I am not reading it as you intended.

    •  Yes, bunches (0+ / 0-)

      Do you see many of those without huge sprawling yards

      I hope to cover all four of your points here.

      Speculative developers have taken to buying up homes in older, but still well-maintained, neighborhoods. They then tear down the previous structure and build a McMansion on the property. Yes, it uses up much of the land under it, so there is no sprawling yard. Some have almost no "yard" at all; although there is often a bit of "front" left in order to pave a circle driveway. They loom over the yards of their neighbors, cause run-off onto neighbor property, and other unpleasant effects. My example above is of two properties immediately across the street from one another. Originally pretty much identical in lot size and original home structure. One remains the same single story dwelling around 1500 sq.ft. The new McMansion is two story and totals 3470 sq.ft. It has an "interesting" effect on the character of the neighborhood when you have a mix like this.

      Practice absurdus interruptus - Support ePluribus Media.

      by Catte Nappe on Mon Jun 26, 2006 at 11:30:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  question (0+ / 0-)

        because I don't know and don't want to presume anything...

        Do you consider:

        It has an "interesting" effect on the character of the neighborhood when you have a mix like this.

        a good thing or a bad thing for the neighborhood?

        You know the this place, not me after all ;)

        •  A matter of persepctive I suppose (0+ / 0-)

          "Interesting" was placed in quotes, because from my perspective (living in one of those smaller single story homes) I am not excited to see the McMansions going up in the area. Not a good thing for my neighborhood - ambience, character, home value, water run-oof effects, etc.

          On the other hand, I suppose if I had dreams of owning a 500-600K McMansion with no yard, near downtown, I would be watching the area with a different level of interest in hopes that many of more McMansions would come into being so I could have one of my very own.

          Practice absurdus interruptus - Support ePluribus Media.

          by Catte Nappe on Mon Jun 26, 2006 at 11:41:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think you just hit the nail... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            stillman

            ... on the head.

            As time goes by, in your neighborhood for whatever reason. Maybe a new road went in, maybe your area has become "trendy", maybe it has become known as being a safe area to live, etc. more and more speculators will look with eyes of wolf on the hunt towards the property going for sale. Some of those homes will get knocked down and cookie cutter homes will go up in their place. The point that you can observe this right now is critical and frankly, most people don't actually see it happening until they can no longer afford their homes.

            Now, maybe this one home is just a fluke and, frankly, we are never going to stop they guy down the road from painting his house hotpink if he wants to (i actually had a neighbor who did that as revenge towards another neighbor. heh) Anyway.

            the way the system is set up now, it actually favors those who have a lot of money regardless who values the lot the most.

            here is an example, very easy to follow.

            Lets say there are two people, rich and Jamie. Jamie is poor, rich is rolling in it. Jamie really values this particular lot and needs a loan. Rich also values this lot, but not as much as jamie, and he also needs a loan.

            Rich believes he can get an income of 300 dollars from this lot. Jamie is poor but is really productive and believes he can get an income of 600 dollars because he has a great business idea. Who will the land go to? Let's see.

            Rich:

            Rent(R) = 300
            Interest (i) = .05

            Value (V) = 6000

            Jamie

            Rent(R) = 600
            Interest (i) = .20

            Value (V) = 3000

            jamie looses, the speculator gets the land. Too bad, so sad. No jobs created.

            But, lets see what happens when we tax land.

            If we tax the rental value of land, then the rental value is R- T and so V = R-T / i

            Lets start with a tax of 100 dollars on the rent.

            Rich

            Rent(R) = 300 -100 = 200
            Interest (i) = .05

            Value (V) = 4000

            jamie

            Rent(R) = 600 – 100 = 500
            Interest (i) = .20

            Value (V) = 2500

            Now with a 200 dollar tax

            rich

            Rent(R) = 300 -200 = 100
            Interest (i) = .05

            Value (V) = 2000

            jamie

            Rent(R) = 600 – 200 = 400
            Interest (i) = .20

            Value (V) = 2000

            So, any tax > then 200 in this scenario will cause the land to go to the most productive user of the land. Interesting, no? Now, in real life there are many bidders. Sometimes the most productive person is the wealthiest person. Sometimes, however, the most productive person is least well off and sometimes it's the family in the little neighborhood who doesn't like salt run off.

            •  Not a fluke (0+ / 0-)

              It is not just one home. I just did a typical pairing for an example. Depending on the street or general neighborhood it is somewhere between 5%-40% of homes.

              As to the most "productive", that has to be our version of Rich. Whether or not good ole Rich makes a profit on building and selling his McMansion (we presume he does, or he wouldn't keep buying/demolishing/building), the city and county are quite happy to have the taxes jump from 7K to 15K.

              Practice absurdus interruptus - Support ePluribus Media.

              by Catte Nappe on Mon Jun 26, 2006 at 12:21:26 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not rich (0+ / 0-)

                As to the most "productive", that has to be our version of Rich.

                Take a look at those houses again, and tell me, after adding up all those costs, do you think they are more "productive" then anyone else? By what you have told me, I sincerely doubt it. Frankly, they sound fairly waistful to me.

                the city and county are quite happy to have the taxes jump from 7K to 15K.

                ahh, and here you have found another truth.

                if only land was taxed and not buildings, would the city and county have an incentive to propel this sort of sprawl? You can complain all you won't vote for them now, but they don't care, because others will move in who will vote for them.

                The fact is, a land tax would keep out those speculators and would keep it in the hands of people who deserve it.

    •  McMansions don't necessarily require large lots (0+ / 0-)

      Where I live, an hour from NYC, I've seen older homes on 2-acre lots torn down and replaced with, in one case 4 large boxy colonials, facing each other in pairs, and, in the other case, 12 new homes tucked onto a cul de sac, the last of which is on the market for $1.2 million.  If I recall correctly, the old house on 2 or so acres sold for about $600, and the site required a lot of blasting.  The resulting houses are rather attractive, and most have sold quickly, though I couldn't imagine paying that much for them.  

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