Author Topic: Relatives who just don't get it  (Read 1387218 times)

craiglepaige

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4550 on: May 11, 2018, 06:46:37 PM »
My brother spent $1600 on a used set of "mudder" rims/tires for his Jeep Wrangler. We all live in the city. He has never been "mudding".
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MrsWhipple

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4551 on: May 13, 2018, 08:06:39 PM »
Visiting with the inlaws this weekend:
"I'm definitely going to get a new oven. Just need to refinance the house."
Later...
"And I'm going to get a new dishwasher, too. You can't live with this!" <gestures to the dishwasher that rattles slightly when you put the bottom tray in.>
I just smiled and nodded. We don't have a dishwasher at our house, and our oven is half the size of theirs.

Then they are talking about throwing a graduation party for their high schooler:
"We wanted to go all out. Rent a hall, get it catered, rent a bounce house maybe. Then we decided against it, she wants to go to the grand canyon instead."
Me, relieved: "That's a great idea!"
"Yeah, and with all the money we would save from renting out a hall, we can pay for them to do a helicopter trip there!"
Me: :facepalm:

I love my inlaws, but holy crap they have a spending problem. I'd say that their pockets all have holes in them, but I don't think the dollar bills even make it into the pocket in the first place.

Scarletdragon

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4552 on: May 13, 2018, 11:08:36 PM »
My step-daughter just got a divorce. They sold their house and each of them bought their own house.

Step-daughter bought a fixer upper. She took her father thru the house and showed him everything it needs; he comes home and wants to help her out financially. We finally agree to give her $3000 for a house-warming gift (I know, face punch)!

She decides to buy a new AC/furnace. She is quoted $5500, she says yes, they come and install everything and it is $7500. WTF

She comes over today, for Mother's Day, and she pulls into the driveway in a brand new 2018 Toyota 4 Runner, financed for SEVEN YEARS.

Her ex-husband went on vacation and so she thinks it is only fair that she goes on vacation, so spur of the moment, she books a trip to LA, for a week, over Memorial Day.

I asked her about her finances and she said they were able to pay off all but TWO of their credit cards when they sold their house.

She has been divorced One Week. We found out most of this today.

My MMM side has gone into cardiac arrest.


Jouer

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4553 on: May 14, 2018, 07:46:07 AM »
My step-daughter just got a divorce. They sold their house and each of them bought their own house.

Step-daughter bought a fixer upper. She took her father thru the house and showed him everything it needs; he comes home and wants to help her out financially. We finally agree to give her $3000 for a house-warming gift (I know, face punch)!

She decides to buy a new AC/furnace. She is quoted $5500, she says yes, they come and install everything and it is $7500. WTF

She comes over today, for Mother's Day, and she pulls into the driveway in a brand new 2018 Toyota 4 Runner, financed for SEVEN YEARS.

Her ex-husband went on vacation and so she thinks it is only fair that she goes on vacation, so spur of the moment, she books a trip to LA, for a week, over Memorial Day.

I asked her about her finances and she said they were able to pay off all but TWO of their credit cards when they sold their house.

She has been divorced One Week. We found out most of this today.

My MMM side has gone into cardiac arrest.

I tend to eat my feelings. Looks like your step-daughter spends hers. We both need to cut that shit out pronto.
 

craiglepaige

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4554 on: May 14, 2018, 09:45:22 AM »
My step-daughter just got a divorce. They sold their house and each of them bought their own house.

Step-daughter bought a fixer upper. She took her father thru the house and showed him everything it needs; he comes home and wants to help her out financially. We finally agree to give her $3000 for a house-warming gift (I know, face punch)!

She decides to buy a new AC/furnace. She is quoted $5500, she says yes, they come and install everything and it is $7500. WTF

She comes over today, for Mother's Day, and she pulls into the driveway in a brand new 2018 Toyota 4 Runner, financed for SEVEN YEARS.

Her ex-husband went on vacation and so she thinks it is only fair that she goes on vacation, so spur of the moment, she books a trip to LA, for a week, over Memorial Day.

I asked her about her finances and she said they were able to pay off all but TWO of their credit cards when they sold their house.

She has been divorced One Week. We found out most of this today.

My MMM side has gone into cardiac arrest.


Wow :(

I would start cleaning/organizing a spare room for her. I would imagine she'll be moving in soon ;)
-The conqueror will always become a slave to his conquest.

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Slee_stack

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4555 on: May 14, 2018, 01:32:31 PM »
My step-daughter just got a divorce. They sold their house and each of them bought their own house.

Step-daughter bought a fixer upper. She took her father thru the house and showed him everything it needs; he comes home and wants to help her out financially. We finally agree to give her $3000 for a house-warming gift (I know, face punch)!

She decides to buy a new AC/furnace. She is quoted $5500, she says yes, they come and install everything and it is $7500. WTF

She comes over today, for Mother's Day, and she pulls into the driveway in a brand new 2018 Toyota 4 Runner, financed for SEVEN YEARS.

Her ex-husband went on vacation and so she thinks it is only fair that she goes on vacation, so spur of the moment, she books a trip to LA, for a week, over Memorial Day.

I asked her about her finances and she said they were able to pay off all but TWO of their credit cards when they sold their house.

She has been divorced One Week. We found out most of this today.

My MMM side has gone into cardiac arrest.
Classic race to the bottom scenario. I guess she's 'winning'.

DutchGirl

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4556 on: May 15, 2018, 01:54:16 PM »
First of all - I'm totally for renting a house in some scenarios. Like when you're young, and you may want to stay flexible because you might meet the man/woman/whatever(s) of your dreams and may want to move in together, or when you know that your education or career might take you elsewhere, sometime soon and thus you don't want to be tied to one place. Or when you just don't have the financial cushion yet that a homeowner should have to deal with emergencies...

That said, MIL and FIL have rented their house (the same house) for 50 years now and are still renting it. We bought a house last October (40% down, low mortgage interest rate) and told them about some of the hassle of having people over to fix stuff for us (yes yes, very un-Mustachean...).

MIL: I'm so glad that we're renting! It's so expensive to buy! And all the hassle!

Quick back of the envelope calculations: 50 years times 12 months times 500 euros rent (estimate, in 2018-euros, of their subsidized rent) is 300k that they have spent on their house that has a current value of probably 200k or so, and still is 0% theirs...

ixtap

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4557 on: May 15, 2018, 02:01:28 PM »
First of all - I'm totally for renting a house in some scenarios. Like when you're young, and you may want to stay flexible because you might meet the man/woman/whatever(s) of your dreams and may want to move in together, or when you know that your education or career might take you elsewhere, sometime soon and thus you don't want to be tied to one place. Or when you just don't have the financial cushion yet that a homeowner should have to deal with emergencies...

That said, MIL and FIL have rented their house (the same house) for 50 years now and are still renting it. We bought a house last October (40% down, low mortgage interest rate) and told them about some of the hassle of having people over to fix stuff for us (yes yes, very un-Mustachean...).

MIL: I'm so glad that we're renting! It's so expensive to buy! And all the hassle!

Quick back of the envelope calculations: 50 years times 12 months times 500 euros rent (estimate, in 2018-euros, of their subsidized rent) is 300k that they have spent on their house that has a current value of probably 200k or so, and still is 0% theirs...

You don't think they would have spent $6k a year on upkeep and taxes if they had owned it?

MgoSam

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4558 on: May 15, 2018, 02:10:16 PM »
First of all - I'm totally for renting a house in some scenarios. Like when you're young, and you may want to stay flexible because you might meet the man/woman/whatever(s) of your dreams and may want to move in together, or when you know that your education or career might take you elsewhere, sometime soon and thus you don't want to be tied to one place. Or when you just don't have the financial cushion yet that a homeowner should have to deal with emergencies...

That said, MIL and FIL have rented their house (the same house) for 50 years now and are still renting it. We bought a house last October (40% down, low mortgage interest rate) and told them about some of the hassle of having people over to fix stuff for us (yes yes, very un-Mustachean...).

MIL: I'm so glad that we're renting! It's so expensive to buy! And all the hassle!

Quick back of the envelope calculations: 50 years times 12 months times 500 euros rent (estimate, in 2018-euros, of their subsidized rent) is 300k that they have spent on their house that has a current value of probably 200k or so, and still is 0% theirs...

You don't think they would have spent $6k a year on upkeep and taxes if they had owned it?

$500 euro a month for a house is a fantastic deal. I don't know if taxes and upkeep and other things are automatically included but if it is then if I can get a similar offer here in the States I'll sell my house and rent.

DutchGirl

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4559 on: May 15, 2018, 02:19:12 PM »

You don't think they would have spent $6k a year on upkeep and taxes if they had owned it?

Taxes on homes, community taxes and things like sewage and garbage removal are calculated & taxed differently here in the Netherlands. So for them, that comes on top of the rent, just as it comes on top of our mortgage for us. And to be fair, their taxes would be a bit lower than ours, like 20% lower or so, due to the fact that they're not the owner of the house.  Oh, by the way, that rent would also be excluding utilities.

barbaz

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4560 on: May 16, 2018, 01:41:24 AM »
Quick back of the envelope calculations: 50 years times 12 months times 500 euros rent (estimate, in 2018-euros, of their subsidized rent) is 300k that they have spent on their house that has a current value of probably 200k or so, and still is 0% theirs...
Mortgage often costs more per month than rent. If you invest the difference (which they probably didn’t) renting can be cheaper even in the long term. Plus you have less risk and more freedom. It really depends on a lot of factors and the math is not as simple as in your calculation.

I found that for me buying would be a financial loss if it cost more than 150k€, and this doesn’t even include additional commuting cost. Good luck finding anything larger than a broom cabinet for that price.

Imma

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4561 on: May 16, 2018, 02:45:35 AM »
Quick back of the envelope calculations: 50 years times 12 months times 500 euros rent (estimate, in 2018-euros, of their subsidized rent) is 300k that they have spent on their house that has a current value of probably 200k or so, and still is 0% theirs...
Mortgage often costs more per month than rent. If you invest the difference (which they probably didn’t) renting can be cheaper even in the long term. Plus you have less risk and more freedom. It really depends on a lot of factors and the math is not as simple as in your calculation.

I found that for me buying would be a financial loss if it cost more than 150k€, and this doesn’t even include additional commuting cost. Good luck finding anything larger than a broom cabinet for that price.

I'm living quite happily in a broom closet that's currently valued at around 150k, 130 when we bought it. Terraced home, 75m2, 60 m2 garden, 3 bedrooms, €300 mortgage, very central location in a big city in NL. We were very lucky, but these kind of gems can still be found every now and then.

If you haven't spent 20 years on a social housing waiting list it's hard to find places with a rent lower than your mortgage would be though. Studio's and one bedroom apartments in my city can easily cost €800-€1000. That's what you'd pay for a 250-300k mortgage.
We paid €800 (incl. utilities, excl. taxes) in 2011 for the top floor of a single family home and the only reason our rent didn't rise from that is because I threatened the landlord to call in the local council to check if it was safe to live in. The single best financial decision we have ever made was to move from there to our current place. We broke even within 2 years and a year from there we're €10k ahead compared to our previous home.

I recently did advise a friend to stay in her rented home: large terraced home, they've put in quite a lot of work so it's really lovely, they have a large garden, nice neighbours, one of the nicest streets in town. They pay €400 or something. Similar homes are 300k in their town. They're a single income family and if you live in social housing your rent is subsidized when your income gets lower. I don't see why they would take the risk of buying when they're in such a good place now. They're on the fence, they love their current home but their parents tell them they "should" buy. I wouldn't do it if I was her - or at the very least, save up a lot of cash and wait until the next downturn.

barbaz

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4562 on: May 16, 2018, 05:34:27 AM »
Quick back of the envelope calculations: 50 years times 12 months times 500 euros rent (estimate, in 2018-euros, of their subsidized rent) is 300k that they have spent on their house that has a current value of probably 200k or so, and still is 0% theirs...
Mortgage often costs more per month than rent. If you invest the difference (which they probably didn’t) renting can be cheaper even in the long term. Plus you have less risk and more freedom. It really depends on a lot of factors and the math is not as simple as in your calculation.

I found that for me buying would be a financial loss if it cost more than 150k€, and this doesn’t even include additional commuting cost. Good luck finding anything larger than a broom cabinet for that price.

I'm living quite happily in a broom closet that's currently valued at around 150k, 130 when we bought it. Terraced home, 75m2, 60 m2 garden, 3 bedrooms, €300 mortgage, very central location in a big city in NL. We were very lucky, but these kind of gems can still be found every now and then.
Wow, that’s a great find. I wouldn’t call it a broom closet, though, unless you’re a family of 4 or more.

Imma

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4563 on: May 16, 2018, 11:01:38 AM »
Quick back of the envelope calculations: 50 years times 12 months times 500 euros rent (estimate, in 2018-euros, of their subsidized rent) is 300k that they have spent on their house that has a current value of probably 200k or so, and still is 0% theirs...
Mortgage often costs more per month than rent. If you invest the difference (which they probably didn’t) renting can be cheaper even in the long term. Plus you have less risk and more freedom. It really depends on a lot of factors and the math is not as simple as in your calculation.

I found that for me buying would be a financial loss if it cost more than 150k€, and this doesn’t even include additional commuting cost. Good luck finding anything larger than a broom cabinet for that price.

I'm living quite happily in a broom closet that's currently valued at around 150k, 130 when we bought it. Terraced home, 75m2, 60 m2 garden, 3 bedrooms, €300 mortgage, very central location in a big city in NL. We were very lucky, but these kind of gems can still be found every now and then.
Wow, that’s a great find. I wouldn’t call it a broom closet, though, unless you’re a family of 4 or more.

No, it's perfect for 2 (and hopefully 3 in the future). Friends are upgrading to large Vinex type houses and think it's a bit strange that we stay here but we love it. The trick for us was to look into housing corporations selling off homes they can't afford to keep. Some people think they're all terrible, but if you keep your eyes open you might find a good deal in a nice location, even in big cities.

Just Joe

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4564 on: May 22, 2018, 07:47:17 AM »
What is a Vinex style house?

BDWW

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4565 on: May 22, 2018, 10:50:49 AM »
What is a Vinex style house?

Don't google it, I ended up watching a documentary on Bijlmermeer and Dutch attempts at planning  utopias... It's too easy to fall down rabbitholes on the internet.

Just Joe

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4566 on: May 22, 2018, 01:15:34 PM »
I gave Google a cursory look but knowing how that could turn into a five hour internet session I quickly moved on.

I couldn't decide if it meant what we in my area call "zero lot line" homes or if it referred to a style (rooflines, trim style, types of windows or doors).

Imma

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4567 on: May 22, 2018, 01:18:41 PM »
What is a Vinex style house?

Don't google it, I ended up watching a documentary on Bijlmermeer and Dutch attempts at planning  utopias... It's too easy to fall down rabbitholes on the internet.

:D

Vinex is the name of a law that allowed for large, centrally planned housing developments. They were supposed to be a cheap solution for the housing shortage, but these days those houses are quite expensive.

The houses are usually large, modern, light and cheap to heat and cool, but as they are centrally developed all the houses look the same. This is what it looks like in my city : http://www.lslarchitecten.nl/portfolio/grasrijk-meerhoven

Vinex living has become an aspiration as well as a cliche and is associated with the type of person you were never going to be when you grew up, until you did. A bit like the suburbs in the US.

AlanStache

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4568 on: May 22, 2018, 01:34:52 PM »
...
Vinex is the name of a law that allowed for large, centrally planned housing developments. They were supposed to be a cheap solution for the housing shortage, but these days those houses are quite expensive.

The houses are usually large, modern, light and cheap to heat and cool, but as they are centrally developed all the houses look the same. This is what it looks like in my city : http://www.lslarchitecten.nl/portfolio/grasrijk-meerhoven

Vinex living has become an aspiration as well as a cliche and is associated with the type of person you were never going to be when you grew up, until you did. A bit like the suburbs in the US.

The examples I have seen south west of Schiphol looked fairly nice; if you can get past all the homes looking very similar.  But similar looking homes is SOP in the US...   Those I saw were mostly near a town center-ish shopping area where you could walk or bike to a cafe/pub/restaurant; biking and walking paths were everywhere and using them did not feel odd like it does in most of the US.
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MgoSam

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4569 on: May 22, 2018, 01:36:45 PM »
What is a Vinex style house?

When I typed in Vinex, Vanguard International Explorer Fund Investor Shares came up.

markbike528CBX

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4570 on: May 22, 2018, 02:07:33 PM »
What is a Vinex style house?

When I typed in Vinex, Vanguard International Explorer Fund Investor Shares came up.

I spy a MPP (Mustachian People Problem).   

I love using my wife's Ipad occasionally, as the google results are essentially randomized, which can be more fun.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4571 on: May 23, 2018, 12:33:53 AM »
What is a Vinex style house?

Don't google it, I ended up watching a documentary on Bijlmermeer and Dutch attempts at planning  utopias... It's too easy to fall down rabbitholes on the internet.

:D

Vinex is the name of a law that allowed for large, centrally planned housing developments. They were supposed to be a cheap solution for the housing shortage, but these days those houses are quite expensive.

The houses are usually large, modern, light and cheap to heat and cool, but as they are centrally developed all the houses look the same. This is what it looks like in my city : http://www.lslarchitecten.nl/portfolio/grasrijk-meerhoven

Vinex living has become an aspiration as well as a cliche and is associated with the type of person you were never going to be when you grew up, until you did. A bit like the suburbs in the US.

Exactly what I associate it with. I also think of houses being built closely together with very small gardens. But I haven't lived in NL for a very long time, so my thoughts might be outdated.

Just Joe

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4572 on: May 24, 2018, 08:27:13 AM »
Yes, those are like the "zero lot line" homes we have here. Very consistent in style, very small lot, tiny driveway. It is like apartment living but looks like a house. Generally close to the city core. I have heard houses up north described as row houses.

I see the appeal but with kids, critters and projects I want a yard.

markbike528CBX

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4573 on: May 24, 2018, 08:41:14 AM »
I live a town build for the Manhatten Project and all the houses built 1943-1951 are "letter- houses", a-z so while there are relatively few styles, there is some variation.  My house style is most commonly set 45 degrees from the street.   Modifications since building has disguised many of the houses.

SansSkill

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4574 on: May 24, 2018, 08:45:39 AM »
Happened a while back but I could not convice either my brother or my grandparents that it was not an insane decision to not get insurance.

They agreed that I had enough of a buffer to replace out of pocket whatever was insured.
They agreed that insurance companies aim for profit.
They agreed that insurance companies realize this by making you pay them more than they have to pay you based on risk assement.
They agreed that insurance companies make an equal or better risk assement than us.
They did not agree that not insuring would put me ahead long term.

"But what happens if it breaks?"
"I'll replace it"
"But what happens if it breaks again the week after?"
"I'll replace it again"
"But what happens if it breaks every week?"

Though not the exact wording, I had this actual converstation with my brother.

My grandfather agreed with not insuring while simultaneously he went off on a tangent somewhere during the conversation how we need to read all the fine print because insurance companies are ripping you off and will have you paying for years without paying out. I somehow could not convince him that was an argument in my favour.

Imma

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4575 on: May 24, 2018, 10:57:46 AM »
Yes, those are like the "zero lot line" homes we have here. Very consistent in style, very small lot, tiny driveway. It is like apartment living but looks like a house. Generally close to the city core. I have heard houses up north described as row houses.

I see the appeal but with kids, critters and projects I want a yard.

The NL is a tiny country, so land is extremely expensive. These are large family homes by our standards.

The lots are probably around 1400 sq. ft. and most of the space is indeed taken up by the house/driveway. The yards are tiny. The lot my 1940s house is on is 1200 sq. ft, but our yard is 400-500 sq. ft. A guy I know lives in one of the streets I posted, his home cost half a million and he nearly fainted when he saw how big our yard is compared to his.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4576 on: May 25, 2018, 01:33:57 AM »
Happened a while back but I could not convice either my brother or my grandparents that it was not an insane decision to not get insurance.

They agreed that I had enough of a buffer to replace out of pocket whatever was insured.
They agreed that insurance companies aim for profit.
They agreed that insurance companies realize this by making you pay them more than they have to pay you based on risk assement.
They agreed that insurance companies make an equal or better risk assement than us.
They did not agree that not insuring would put me ahead long term.

"But what happens if it breaks?"
"I'll replace it"
"But what happens if it breaks again the week after?"
"I'll replace it again"
"But what happens if it breaks every week?"

Though not the exact wording, I had this actual converstation with my brother.

My grandfather agreed with not insuring while simultaneously he went off on a tangent somewhere during the conversation how we need to read all the fine print because insurance companies are ripping you off and will have you paying for years without paying out. I somehow could not convince him that was an argument in my favour.

Indeed, insurance companies or manufacturers are often trying to sell you a separate insurance for things like an phone or a TV. These things are perfectly covered by your home insurance if you have one.

We also have a car that is not insurance more than the legal insurance to pay back others. It is simply not worth it. If it is totalled, we'll just get another cheap one.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4577 on: May 25, 2018, 03:58:16 AM »
Yes, everything you buy in the stores they try to sell you insurance on the item. Like a $59 printer. NO, the stupid printer will probably last two years if I am lucky and will just buy a new one when it conks out.

ketchup

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4578 on: May 25, 2018, 05:50:21 AM »
Yes, everything you buy in the stores they try to sell you insurance on the item. Like a $59 printer. NO, the stupid printer will probably last two years if I am lucky and will just buy a new one when it conks out.
Micro Center is really bad about this.  No, I don't want the $4.99 2-year protection plan on a $16.99 keyboard and mouse set.  Make sure you ask me individually about every item I'm buying though, I know that's your policy.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4579 on: May 25, 2018, 06:17:52 AM »
Yes, everything you buy in the stores they try to sell you insurance on the item. Like a $59 printer. NO, the stupid printer will probably last two years if I am lucky and will just buy a new one when it conks out.
Micro Center is really bad about this.  No, I don't want the $4.99 2-year protection plan on a $16.99 keyboard and mouse set.  Make sure you ask me individually about every item I'm buying though, I know that's your policy.

I can't even imagine trying to deal with the insurance company if my item would break. It would probably take 3 months and what do you do in the mean time? BUY another one!

Hula Hoop

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4580 on: May 26, 2018, 05:31:32 AM »
Yes, those are like the "zero lot line" homes we have here. Very consistent in style, very small lot, tiny driveway. It is like apartment living but looks like a house. Generally close to the city core. I have heard houses up north described as row houses.

I see the appeal but with kids, critters and projects I want a yard.

The NL is a tiny country, so land is extremely expensive. These are large family homes by our standards.

The lots are probably around 1400 sq. ft. and most of the space is indeed taken up by the house/driveway. The yards are tiny. The lot my 1940s house is on is 1200 sq. ft, but our yard is 400-500 sq. ft. A guy I know lives in one of the streets I posted, his home cost half a million and he nearly fainted when he saw how big our yard is compared to his.

If land is so costly, I don't understand why they don't build more apartments rather than houses on tiny lots.  Here in Italy, virtually everyone lives in an apartment - including in small towns.  This means that cities are nice and company and the countryside remains countryside for the most part.  Also, it's a lot cheaper for all involved and more environmentally friendly.

Imma

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4581 on: May 26, 2018, 06:50:49 AM »
Yes, those are like the "zero lot line" homes we have here. Very consistent in style, very small lot, tiny driveway. It is like apartment living but looks like a house. Generally close to the city core. I have heard houses up north described as row houses.

I see the appeal but with kids, critters and projects I want a yard.

The NL is a tiny country, so land is extremely expensive. These are large family homes by our standards.

The lots are probably around 1400 sq. ft. and most of the space is indeed taken up by the house/driveway. The yards are tiny. The lot my 1940s house is on is 1200 sq. ft, but our yard is 400-500 sq. ft. A guy I know lives in one of the streets I posted, his home cost half a million and he nearly fainted when he saw how big our yard is compared to his.

If land is so costly, I don't understand why they don't build more apartments rather than houses on tiny lots.  Here in Italy, virtually everyone lives in an apartment - including in small towns.  This means that cities are nice and company and the countryside remains countryside for the most part.  Also, it's a lot cheaper for all involved and more environmentally friendly.

I don't get it either. There are few family-sized apartments on the market, but they could be built and it would be a much more efficient use of limited space. People just want to live in a house they own. They don't want to rent or live in an apartment. And those people elect the government so nothing ever changes.

Hirondelle

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4582 on: May 26, 2018, 07:00:21 AM »
Yes, those are like the "zero lot line" homes we have here. Very consistent in style, very small lot, tiny driveway. It is like apartment living but looks like a house. Generally close to the city core. I have heard houses up north described as row houses.

I see the appeal but with kids, critters and projects I want a yard.

The NL is a tiny country, so land is extremely expensive. These are large family homes by our standards.

The lots are probably around 1400 sq. ft. and most of the space is indeed taken up by the house/driveway. The yards are tiny. The lot my 1940s house is on is 1200 sq. ft, but our yard is 400-500 sq. ft. A guy I know lives in one of the streets I posted, his home cost half a million and he nearly fainted when he saw how big our yard is compared to his.

If land is so costly, I don't understand why they don't build more apartments rather than houses on tiny lots.  Here in Italy, virtually everyone lives in an apartment - including in small towns.  This means that cities are nice and company and the countryside remains countryside for the most part.  Also, it's a lot cheaper for all involved and more environmentally friendly.

I don't get it either. There are few family-sized apartments on the market, but they could be built and it would be a much more efficient use of limited space. People just want to live in a house they own. They don't want to rent or live in an apartment. And those people elect the government so nothing ever changes.

There's quite a bunch of apartments too and many more are built (at least over here in the northern NL!). I do agree however that many people with families prefer to live in houses vs apartments. I don't understand why either. On the other hand, when they started mass-building apartments in the South Eastern parts of Amsterdam (Bijlmer) this wasn't a big success during many years as the buildings were ugly and and the neighbourhoods were generally full of poor people. Now it's supposed to be a lot better - but I haven't lived nor have friends in this area so no first-hand experience. Another downside of apartments is not having your own garden and just having upper/lower neighbours in general.

I don't mind all of this, but I do indeed have plenty of friends who don't get why I don't want to buy a house (like I have the money for it in the first place :p). They also all prefer newly built houses. I just nod and smile, nod and smile.

Hula Hoop

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4583 on: May 26, 2018, 07:56:50 AM »
I've been to the Netherlands and I had the impression that most people lived in row houses many with lots of narrow stairs and postage stamp sized paved backyards.  I guess I'm preaching to the choir here but I don't see how that's any better than living in an apartment like ours here in an Italian city.  Our apartment is huge by Italian standards - 150 square meters and it has 4 large rooms (living room plus three bedrooms) so it's definitely family sized.  We bought it about 3 years ago but the building was built more than 100 years ago and is standard in this part of the world.  What I like about living here is that you can drive half an hour and you're out in the country side with farms and sheep because the city is so compact.  If everyone insisted on living in a row house the city would just sprawl forever.  Also living in an apartment on all one level is so much better for old people and disabled people.  I have no idea how old people manage to live in those Dutch row houses with tons of stairs.

Anyway it sounds like maybe apartment living has a "poor person" stigma in the Netherlands especially for a family for whatever reason.  I wonder how that happened when in much of the rest of Europe apartment living is the norm (here in Italy, but also in France and Spain - not sure about other European countries).

former player

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4584 on: May 26, 2018, 08:15:04 AM »
One of the reasons for the division between house living and apartment living has been the historical need for defensibility.  Towns and cities which were more likely to come under attack needed defensible walls, which usually meant a limited built up area, which meant that as the population expanded the existing buildings had to be divided into separate dwellings, which meant apartments.  Italian cities had defensive concerns until the second half of the nineteenth century by which time apartment living would be well established.

The geography of the Netherlands made defensible walls mostly redundant, so no point huddling together behind them.  And for the opposite reason (very few invasions or infighting in the last several hundred years) there has been little tradition of apartment living in the British Isles until the late nineteenth century when the sheer size of London started it as a trend there.

History affects us all in so many ways which are usually hidden from us.
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Hula Hoop

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4585 on: May 26, 2018, 08:47:50 AM »
FP - fascinating.  Our Italian city has medieval city walls and we live within those walls.  I never really thought about the apartment thing being a product of that.  Anyway, as I said, I like the way Italian cities are so compact as a result.

Sometimes it makes me laugh though. I went to my friend's country place last weekend and it was 1.5 hours on the train from here (about an hour by car).  It was an apartment in a modern apartment complex built in the middle of rolling hills with various crops growing and cows in a field across the road and a 10 minute bike ride from the beach.  I think it's hilarious the way even Italian country cabin type places are usually apartments.  Another family friend has her country place in a medieval hill town near a lake about 45 minutes from here.  It's a two room apartment in a medieval building with a small garden.  only rich foreigners seem to go for those free standing villas in the Italian countryside.  To an Italian, that just seems lonely.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4586 on: May 26, 2018, 09:54:32 AM »
To me, there's a big difference between a massive tower block with twenty floors and a nice four-floor Parisian apartment building. One feels uncomfortably large and dominates hideously. The other is a pleasant and sensible use of square footage.

Cassie

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4587 on: May 26, 2018, 04:46:26 PM »
We prefer a home with a yard to apartments.  We like to have dinner parties and barbecues. So need some space to do that. We sit in our backyard every day. It is quieter to live in a home.  Now we have a small house by US standards at 1400 sq ft.  We have a decent size backyard and live right in town so can walk places.

Imma

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4588 on: May 27, 2018, 02:23:02 AM »
Yes, those are like the "zero lot line" homes we have here. Very consistent in style, very small lot, tiny driveway. It is like apartment living but looks like a house. Generally close to the city core. I have heard houses up north described as row houses.

I see the appeal but with kids, critters and projects I want a yard.

The NL is a tiny country, so land is extremely expensive. These are large family homes by our standards.

The lots are probably around 1400 sq. ft. and most of the space is indeed taken up by the house/driveway. The yards are tiny. The lot my 1940s house is on is 1200 sq. ft, but our yard is 400-500 sq. ft. A guy I know lives in one of the streets I posted, his home cost half a million and he nearly fainted when he saw how big our yard is compared to his.

If land is so costly, I don't understand why they don't build more apartments rather than houses on tiny lots.  Here in Italy, virtually everyone lives in an apartment - including in small towns.  This means that cities are nice and company and the countryside remains countryside for the most part.  Also, it's a lot cheaper for all involved and more environmentally friendly.

I don't get it either. There are few family-sized apartments on the market, but they could be built and it would be a much more efficient use of limited space. People just want to live in a house they own. They don't want to rent or live in an apartment. And those people elect the government so nothing ever changes.

There's quite a bunch of apartments too and many more are built (at least over here in the northern NL!). I do agree however that many people with families prefer to live in houses vs apartments. I don't understand why either. On the other hand, when they started mass-building apartments in the South Eastern parts of Amsterdam (Bijlmer) this wasn't a big success during many years as the buildings were ugly and and the neighbourhoods were generally full of poor people. Now it's supposed to be a lot better - but I haven't lived nor have friends in this area so no first-hand experience. Another downside of apartments is not having your own garden and just having upper/lower neighbours in general.

I don't mind all of this, but I do indeed have plenty of friends who don't get why I don't want to buy a house (like I have the money for it in the first place :p). They also all prefer newly built houses. I just nod and smile, nod and smile.

Plenty of small apartments over here (studio or 1 bedroom) and a few of those ugly 1960s tower blocks - although people live there with large families sometimes I don't really get the impression they are all that big. I guess the developers could have expected the negative image - if you only allow people with low incomes to live in one type of building, of course there's going to be a stigma. They are building a very modern towerblock with true family-sized apartments in my city this year, I think that's the first development of that kind in this city. It's in an expat neighbourhood, that's probably the best location for an experiment like that.

@former player I'd never thought about it that way, and I minored in cultural history! Thanks for the insight. To add to that, urbanisation was low in NL until the late 19th century (I think 30% in 1850 or something) so by the time people moved to the cities the medieval walls had collapsed and the surrounding countryside was safe to live in. Some of the moats survived until the 20th century though, my grandparents remember them. I live about 1 km outside of the medieval boundaries and this area was open field until the 40s. There are some policies now to protect the remaining green areas.

@Hula Hoop I've never been to Italy, but when I think of Italy I think of apartment buildings. Might be because of Una giornata particolare and the Neapolitan Novels. I will be visiting soon though  - my s/o is there for work now and he sends me beautiful pictures. It will probably be our next holiday destination. I live in exactly the kind of rowhouse you describe. I love having a garden, but most of my neighbours never go outside and use their gardens as a rubbish dump.

Hula Hoop

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4589 on: May 27, 2018, 07:09:07 AM »
Imma  - the city walls in most Italian cities, including ours, are massive - several meters thick - with watch towers all along them and only a few gates where you can enter the city.  They are also very ancient.  I can't imagine how they could just collapse.  Maybe Dutch cities didn't have the same kind of city walls - or were they pulled down?

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4590 on: May 27, 2018, 07:21:33 AM »
@Imma - I didn't know about moats around towns in the Netherlands (although it obviously makes sense), so I think we're even in new insights - thanks.
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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4591 on: May 27, 2018, 09:58:03 AM »
To me, there's a big difference between a massive tower block with twenty floors and a nice four-floor Parisian apartment building. One feels uncomfortably large and dominates hideously. The other is a pleasant and sensible use of square footage.
Agreed, Paris got housing right (thanks, Haussmann!) by achieving high density without the ugly patchwork of shapes and sizes found in many cities. Capping everyone at 4-6 floors ensures natural light for everyone and prevents huge buildings from sticking out.

As much as I love London's west end, it's a disaster for density and affordability.

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4592 on: May 27, 2018, 10:42:54 AM »
Imma  - the city walls in most Italian cities, including ours, are massive - several meters thick - with watch towers all along them and only a few gates where you can enter the city.  They are also very ancient.  I can't imagine how they could just collapse.  Maybe Dutch cities didn't have the same kind of city walls - or were they pulled down?

I think the medieval city would have looked a lot like those in other places in Europe, with walls, moat, gates and a castle, but it was not a very big city then, so they might not have been as strong as those in major cities. During the very long independence war the city was attacked and destroyed several times and on top of that it was destroyed by fire more than once.

After the independence war the country fell into a century of severe economic decline, so I guess at some point the population just couldn't keep up with the maintenance anymore and it gradually fell into disrepair. I have been told parts collapsed, but that's just oral history. I have no idea if that's true, but I can see it happening. There are no traces of the medieval town above the ground now.

Just Joe

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4593 on: June 11, 2018, 10:01:04 AM »
I think construction materials is part of the equation. All of the duplexes and apartments I have lived in here in the USA were less than optimal b/c they were cheaply made of wood and thus alot of noise traveled through the walls and floors. The neighbors thumping around at all hours was noticeable (walking heavily).

The Italian house I rented near Naples for several years was all concrete and we hardly ever heard the neighbors. My inlaws here in the USA have a zero lot line "house" which shares walls with the neighbors. Combination concrete slab and wooden walls. Never any noise from the neighbors.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4594 on: June 11, 2018, 11:57:14 AM »
Imma  - the city walls in most Italian cities, including ours, are massive - several meters thick - with watch towers all along them and only a few gates where you can enter the city.  They are also very ancient.  I can't imagine how they could just collapse.  Maybe Dutch cities didn't have the same kind of city walls - or were they pulled down?

I think the medieval city would have looked a lot like those in other places in Europe, with walls, moat, gates and a castle, but it was not a very big city then, so they might not have been as strong as those in major cities. During the very long independence war the city was attacked and destroyed several times and on top of that it was destroyed by fire more than once.

After the independence war the country fell into a century of severe economic decline, so I guess at some point the population just couldn't keep up with the maintenance anymore and it gradually fell into disrepair. I have been told parts collapsed, but that's just oral history. I have no idea if that's true, but I can see it happening. There are no traces of the medieval town above the ground now.

I think that in many cases cities have been modernized. The walls were replaced by more modern buildings without realizing the old stuff had a value. You can see that some towns have kept their old style, like e.g. Brugge in Belgium, because the towns became less populair to live in. I think the harbour in Brugge lost it's value. Therefore the city was never modernized completely.

In the past they also sometimes reused building materials. Some old style Norwegian wooden churches disappeared that way.

AlanStache

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4595 on: June 11, 2018, 01:20:02 PM »
...

I think that in many cases cities have been modernized. The walls were replaced by more modern buildings without realizing the old stuff had a value. You can see that some towns have kept their old style, like e.g. Brugge in Belgium, because the towns became less populair to live in. I think the harbour in Brugge lost it's value. Therefore the city was never modernized completely.

In the past they also sometimes reused building materials. Some old style Norwegian wooden churches disappeared that way.

Brugge Belgium.  Very cool looking place, well worth a few minutes exploring on google maps/street view.  Thanks.
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merula

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4596 on: June 11, 2018, 01:23:34 PM »
Brugge Belgium.  Very cool looking place, well worth a few minutes exploring on google maps/street view.  Thanks.

For more views of Brugge/Bruges, see the movie In Bruges (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0780536/). (Fair warning: it's not nearly as idyllic a movie as its setting would suggest. But it is very good.)

Catbert

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4597 on: June 15, 2018, 10:35:25 AM »
Brugge Belgium.  Very cool looking place, well worth a few minutes exploring on google maps/street view.  Thanks.

For more views of Brugge/Bruges, see the movie In Bruges (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0780536/). (Fair warning: it's not nearly as idyllic a movie as its setting would suggest. But it is very good.)

Great funny movie (if the violence of a black comedy doesn't turn you off).  Added Bruges to our someday list when we saw it 10 years ago.  Finally going next year as part of an Amsterdam trip.

iris lily

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4598 on: June 15, 2018, 06:59:26 PM »
Brugge Belgium.  Very cool looking place, well worth a few minutes exploring on google maps/street view.  Thanks.

For more views of Brugge/Bruges, see the movie In Bruges (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0780536/). (Fair warning: it's not nearly as idyllic a movie as its setting would suggest. But it is very good.)
god
I love that film! It is on my top 20 list.

financialfreedomsloth

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4599 on: June 16, 2018, 04:28:45 AM »
Brugge Belgium.  Very cool looking place, well worth a few minutes exploring on google maps/street view.  Thanks.

For more views of Brugge/Bruges, see the movie In Bruges (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0780536/). (Fair warning: it's not nearly as idyllic a movie as its setting would suggest. But it is very good.)

Great funny movie (if the violence of a black comedy doesn't turn you off).  Added Bruges to our someday list when we saw it 10 years ago.  Finally going next year as part of an Amsterdam trip.

Add ghent to the list too. Where Brugge can give off an 'open museum' type off feeling Ghent has old and new parts and is much more a living, breathing city (source: lived there for 20 years).
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