Monday, May 07, 2012

The homes of the future: Amazing pictures of sleek and stylish houses show next generation of American living | Mail Online

The homes of the future: Amazing pictures of sleek and stylish houses show next generation of American living | Mail Online
Isn't it interesting that whenever people talk about homes of the future or dream homes, the place is always unique and often designed to reflect the owner's interests or personality?  That is, when the owner is rich. When the owner is a working schmoe like most of us, s/he gets a place that is a testament to rigid uniformity.  Not only does look like everything else in the neighborhood--it comes with a set of rules that make it impossible for the owner to make any significant changes in the house's appearance, size, or function.  I guess individualized homes are a perquisite of the rich and famous. The rest of us are governed by the banking and investment system that requires fungible housing units, so they can be securitized and valued and maintained as little pieces of security for mortgage backed securities.


The Right To Own Your Home said...

On May 07, 2011, you told Shu Bartholomew that

This idea that many people have that sameness, that uniformity, in a community is good for property values.
Because I don't think that's true. If you go up the economic ladder, to communities that are really worth
a lot more money, where wealthier people live, at more expensive homeowner association developments, the homes
are built differently. They're not the same. They're not the same.

. . .
If you look at the places rich people live, they never have a house the same as their neighbors.

When did people start thinking that if you're moving up into the middle class, you want a house exactly
like your neighbors?

I think it's just nonsense. It's a way of saving money on design and construction costs. That's all it is.
And the idea that it has to stay like this for ever is just nuts.

. . .
You can understand why developers, during the build out phase, and when they're controlling the association,
you can understand for marketing reasons, why they don't want people making big changes in anything. Because
they're trying to sell these houses, and they don't want anything to look different and odd and weird. I get that.

But for the owners to continue to oppress each other after they take over the association is really really
unfortunate and crazy.

[ at 34 min. 45 sec. into the program ]

I am currently staying at a friend's house, in a neighborhood of $1,000,000+ homes *, and what you said is true. Not only are the homes here built different and customized by the owners, but I see things that would never be allowed in an H.O.A.

Convincing the middle-class that being oppressed by, and making your house collateral to, an H.O.A. corporation is a status symbol has to be one of the greatest marketing scams of the past 30 years.

* This is in a city where the median house sells for $550,000, compared to $225,000 nationwide.

The Right To Own Your Home said...

On May 14, 2011, the New York Times reported that

For decades, Saddam Hussein’s government ruled over aesthetics in Iraq’s capital with the same grip it exercised over its people.
A committee of artists, architects and designers approved the color of buildings as well as the placement of shrubs. With many beige
brick buildings, and color used sparingly — most often on mosques — the city’s appearance was uniform and restrained.

But the committee, like Mr. Hussein’s government, fell apart after the United States invasion in 2003. Some years later, when Iraqis
started rebuilding as the violence declined, there was no central arbiter. Bright colors started appearing, and places like the
Trade Ministry were done up in pink, orange and yellow.

[ "As Baghdad Erupts in Riot of Color, Calls to Tone It Down" ]

This prompted conservatives to observe that "When all the New York Times can complain about is the color of buildings in Baghdad, can we officially say that the war was a success? Oh the horrors of tackiness! If only we had left Saddam in power!"

But for some odd reason, conservatives are opposed to liberating the 60 million Americans -- twice the population of Iraq -- from the H.O.A.s that hate us for our freedom.