December 6, 2004

A CA Thing

I read the beginning of this article:

INDIAN HEAD, Md. More than a dozen expensive homes under construction were burned down early Monday in a suburban Washington (search) housing development that had been criticized by environmentalists because it is next to a nature preserve, officials said.

So I'm thinking houses that cost in the multiple millions. Then I get to this part:

Faron Taylor, a deputy state fire marshal, said investigators believe fires were set in at least four of the homes, which were priced at $400,000 to $500,000. Taylor refused to say what led investigators to conclude it was arson.

$400k? Heck that's less than a median priced home here! I guess it must be a CA thing to have such a skewed idea of what an expensive home is.

Posted by Ithildin at December 6, 2004 5:25 PM | PROCURE FINE OLD WORLD ABSINTHE

The 400K was the cost of the home by itself. The cost of the lot is separate and it is difficult to burn down a lot/parcel out East. The value of the CA lot alone can inflate a $150K house into a $700K house.

These are probably 4000 to 5000 square foot homes with great rooms large enough to hold all of the rooms in a typical apartment.

Posted by: The Thomas at December 6, 2004 6:09 PM

Yah I know you have recent intimate experience with home prices what with the upheaval in October and November.

It always amazes me when we do the "Parade of Homes" tour in the late spring. (We are casing the condos so that we know how much to get rid of if the children ever move out, but we also look at the homes.)

How can builders sell any of these monsters?

I know that having water frontage ups the price of the lot, but a lake formed from a remodelled gravel pit? Please.

And who needs a 24x24 foot great room to entertain or a 15x20 foot home theatre with built-in stadium seating? Isn't one 12x12 foot hot tub enough?

I think the cutest way that builders raise the price it to have all of the counters granite, even in the utility room, when corian would do.

Posted by: The Thomas at December 6, 2004 6:29 PM

Well, uh, not exactly.

You see here in California - Central California - you can get a really nice house for under $200k, and four years ago it was less than $150k.

I'm just saying you don't have to go to Utah in order to find an affordable cost of living.

Posted by: Peter Sean Bradley at December 7, 2004 9:51 AM

Yes, I realize that, but I wouldn't be thinking 400k was a cheap house if I lived in Kansas. I didn't think I had to list the actual counties in CA where 400k is cheap.

I give up.

Posted by: Ith at December 7, 2004 10:24 AM

Oh, and as for UT, I'm counting the days till I get out this state.

Posted by: Ith at December 7, 2004 10:25 AM

Yeah, I think that's a California thing. $400,000 is a realllllly nice house in most areas of the country. In La-La land and the Bay area, not nearly so much. Unfortunately for us, Phoenix is starting to become more like LA every day.

I bought my 1,000 SF condo 7 years ago for $63,000 (I wanted the specific unit I got and they were selling pretty fast, so I gave them list price a the time) - my neighbor with the same floor plan just listed hers for $95,000. It's getting hard to find a decent house in a decent neighborhood for under $200k unless you're willing to commute 30 miles in to work.

I'm told a lot of it is the influx of all you California folk who are moving here. ;)

Posted by: songstress7 at December 7, 2004 11:06 AM

But, but, but..

Fresno is three hours from the ocean! And Yosemite and San Francisco and any other place you want to be except Fresno.

And it's so much closer than Utah.

Also I couldn't even imagine paying $400,000 for a house. If I did, that toilet better be solid gold.

Posted by: Peter Sean Bradley at December 7, 2004 3:17 PM

Sorry, I've never liked central CA. If I were to stay in state, it would be up north near the Oregon border, or near Lassen. Anyway, moot point now since we now have a house in the St. George area. It's just a matter of timing my escape.

Posted by: Ith at December 7, 2004 3:28 PM

Well, sure if you get a choice in the matter, that's definitely the way to go.

Honestly, I don't think anyone in Fresno ever got that choice. We're like the French Foreign Legion of California.

Vaya con dios.

Posted by: Peter Sean Bradley at December 7, 2004 4:13 PM

LOL! I now have a vision of you all running around in those funny hats.

Posted by: Ith at December 7, 2004 4:19 PM