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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: spartana on April 27, 2019, 09:04:22 AM

Title: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: spartana on April 27, 2019, 09:04:22 AM
I asked this in another housing topic but didn't want to hijack that thread so starting a new one.

My former next door neighbor (8000 sf lot and 1000 sf 3/2 single story 1950s house) said the house next door was bulldozed and the owners plan to build 2 houses on the property. One a 2 story 4000 sf 7 bedroom/7 bathroom house plus 3 or 4 car garage, and an 800sf 2 bedroom/2 bathroom single story house. These will pretty much be lot line to lot line - I think the set back is around 4 feet from her property line - and likely tower over my neighbors house and yard.

So she is rightly freaked out and wants to sell but unsure if she should wait until the fancy behemoth is built or GTFO now. Which way would increase selling price - a vacant lot with a big build going on or a finished mcmansion with probably a million people (and their cars) living there? She also would sell it as a teardown because no one touches the small houses there even if highly upgraded and modernized.  All the permits are approved and the build and it is going forward asap. That is a common type of built in SoCal when people buy up the small old houses. TIA.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: maizeman on April 27, 2019, 09:14:30 AM
I have zero quantitative data to back this up, but I think waiting until the new house is up might make more sense.

People in general (and home buyers in particular) tend to overweight uncertainty and risk in assigning value. If people tour her house while construction is getting started next door, my guess is that they will value the property based on their worst case ideas about what the new mansion may look like and do to quality of life in your friend's lot. Once it is built, it'll detract from quality of life, but by a known amount.

Would be interested to hear the views of others as well.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: honeyfill on April 27, 2019, 09:32:58 AM
One of my sisters went through the same thing in a near Chicago neighborhood about 20 years ago.  By the time she sold, 1/2 dozen homes had been bulldozed and new McMansions had been built out to the lot lines in their place. She did very well, as the price of her lot skyrocketed.
In her case, it worked out well, because after the first few houses were built , the rate in the rise of  lot prices slowed back to the average rise in the area.  In other words, the increase is priced in fully after only 3-4 homes are built.   She captured all of the excess price rise and sold out before the neighborhood character changed completely
 
In light of that, I agree with Maizeman.  Wait until the first house is built and people can see that the neighbor hood is definitively starting to turn. However do not wait until more than three or four new ones are built because your lot prices will not appreciate any more quickly after that. 
The only risk is that after the first one is built , more people do not follow suit and build more McMansions.
Your lot price could then drop.  Only you can estimate this risk, but it seems small compared to the potential increase in lot price by waiting. 
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: former player on April 27, 2019, 09:37:37 AM
It may depend on whether a buyer would be a professional developer who would be selling on (who will already have the development next door as an easy guide to the potential of your friend's lot and who won't care about the work in progress because it will be done by the time they sell on) or an amateur/personal developer (either living there or renting out) who will need to see the completed work next door in order to see what's possible as they won't have the knowledge or imagination to work it out without the concrete example in front of them.

I guess your friend needs the best real estate agent in the immediate neighbourhood to advise her.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: YttriumNitrate on April 27, 2019, 12:47:29 PM
Since the buyer of the house would almost certainly be a developer, I doubt they care either way so the price would probably about the same.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Telecaster on April 27, 2019, 03:54:04 PM
I sold my small 1950s 1000 sf house on an 8000 sf lot last year. It has sat empty since then but yesterday my former next door neighbor (small lot and house like mine) sent me some photos showing it was bulldozed and the owners plan to build 2 houses on the property. One a 2 story 4000 sf 7 bedroom/7 bathroom house plus 3 or 4 car garage, and an 800sf 2 bedroom/2 bathroom single story house. These will pretty much be lot line to lot line - I think the set back is around 4 feet from her property line - and likely tower over my neighbors house and yard.

So she is rightly freaked out and wants to sell but unsure if she should wait until the fancy behemoth is built or GTFO now. Which way would increase selling price - a vacant lot with a big build going on or a finished mcmansion with probably a million people (and their cars) living there? She also would sell it as a teardown because no one touches the small houses there even if highly upgraded and modernized.  All the permits are approved and the build and it is going forward asap. That is a common type of built in SoCal when people buy up the small old houses. TIA.

That type of thing is happening to my neighborhood in Seattle too.  My neighborhood is mostly post WWII, small houses.   Four houses on my street (in one block) have been scraped and rebuilt as luxury homes.   That says to me the value of my house is almost entirely in the land.  And that's probably true for your friend as well.  Since the value is in the land, it probably doesn't matter too much when she sells.  But as a SWAG, it might be better to wait until after they build and sell the McMansions, because that's proof of concept that the tear down model is viable in your neighborhood.   

...which leaves me a little torn.   If my house's value is mostly in the land, I could scrap it myself, rebuild with a McMansion, and then sell it.   Because I bought before the huge run-up in real estate, my cost basis would be much lower than the new McMansion down the street.  Like $550K lower.   If those guys are making money, I could make even more.   But I've put considerable sweat equity into my house and yard and I've become attached.  I realize it is foolish to become attached to inanimate objects, yet here I am. 

Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Saving in Austin on April 27, 2019, 04:21:44 PM
This happened to my house in Austin. Right next door a 4 bedroom house took the place of a 2 bedroom cottage. The whole neighborhood has gone up in price before, during and after construction. If they want to avoid listening to the construction they could sell now. But I think that potential buyers might not want to listen to the construction either. A fancier house next door and two more on the street right above us have only increased the value of the surrounding homes.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: spartana on April 27, 2019, 06:34:59 PM
Thanks for the replies. No view will be obstructed just another culdasac street of a couple of small houses. The builder appears to be a construction company hired to build for the private owner (who lives elsewhere) but unsure if he will be moving into the house or plans to sell it. She never met the owner and the property has been vacant since it sold. There are a few other houses in the hood and near by hoods that have been razed and mcmansionizeso not uncommon there but it does appear to be a fast growing trend. She's going to see if the city planning dept will let her look at the plans on Monday to see how things are configured but no matter how how it's configured, 2 houses around 5000 sf total 9 bedrooms/9 baths 2 of everything else) plus parking and 3 or 4 garages on an 8000 sf lot will be a monster.  I think she just wants to vacate asap but who knows how thing go
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: ysette9 on April 27, 2019, 09:37:11 PM
Iíve been watching similar things happen in my neighborhood where the land value is crazy. Cute 1950s bungalow make way for 4000 ft^2 luxury monstrosities selling for $2-3M. Iíve wondered the same thing: if i razed my little house and built some massive something to flip, I could probably walk away  with $500k+. But I like my house and have zero interest in going to all of that trouble or putting so many financial eggs in one basket.

It makes for a bit of a weird neighborhood being that it is a mix of somewhat unkept old little house, nicely remodeled old little house, giant new houses, 1990s soul-less ranch crap, and everything in between. I like how eclectic it is, but the trend is clear as this is one of the few pockets of relative affordability left in my area.

I suppose for us in this position we just wait to see how things go and be grateful that it doesnít seem to be negatively impacting our equity?
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Cassie on April 27, 2019, 10:43:22 PM
It seems crazy that people donít want a yard but all house.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Linea_Norway on April 28, 2019, 12:20:52 AM
It seems crazy that people donít want a yard but all house.

A bit down the hill of my house, a developing company built 3 similar high end houses, in very modern style. The look great from within, but have no yard at all. It is just the house. Now, several years later, only one house has been sold, even though they have tried to sell for a reduced price.. I guess people want a yard after all.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: jpdx on April 28, 2019, 12:56:54 AM
7 bathrooms? What the hell is wrong with people?
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: former player on April 28, 2019, 01:55:46 AM
7 bathrooms? What the hell is wrong with people?
I've seen that near me.  The master bedroom has his and hers bathrooms, all the other bedrooms need their own en suite, there is a "spare" bathroom on the upper floor just because, and on the ground floor there is a cloakroom for guests and another one off the utility (presumably for whatever servant is cooking in the kitchen).  The house is then empty for most of the year.  Madness.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Hula Hoop on April 28, 2019, 02:37:01 AM
That is completely insane.  I live in apartment and therefore have no yard.  I can't imagine choosing to live in a house with no yard.  Why not just live in an apartment?
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: BicycleB on April 28, 2019, 05:04:06 AM
Sounds like a situation where different people will have different values in mind, both in the financial and the emotional sense. Ideas:

-Like @former player said, get professional advice. Maybe find someone with specific expertise in "teardowns"?
-Research / network through real estate groups or forums to find people who do these flips (to find the person above)
-I've heard a rule of thumb that building is profitable when the structure is worth 4x the lot value. Maybe use that to:
--determine whether the neigbhor's plan appears economically viable
--figure out the value of the lot based on similar construction
--don't sell unless you get the higher of appraised land value or value according the 4x rule

Will defer to more knowledgeable posters as they continue to comment.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: spartana on April 28, 2019, 08:26:10 AM
7 bathrooms? What the hell is wrong with people?
I've seen that near me.  The master bedroom has his and hers bathrooms, all the other bedrooms need their own en suite, there is a "spare" bathroom on the upper floor just because, and on the ground floor there is a cloakroom for guests and another one off the utility (presumably for whatever servant is cooking in the kitchen).  The house is then empty for most of the year.  Madness.
I guess I should have clarified that this is in a very large Asian-American/Vietnamese immigrant community and it's extremely common to have large groups of people living together in one or 2 ginormous houses on one small lot. Also AirBNBs are common even if technically illegal. Foreign student housing and laborours who come there to work in the shops and restaurants are all common. Heck even large housing is built for small Buddhist Monasteries are common (at least the monks don't...usually...have cars ;-)). So not only will there be a huge building, it will likely have many people living there. Legally they can have 18 people living in 9 bedrooms (and each with its own bath) but illegally it could have many more. So I think ALL the bathrooms will get used ;-). It sounds like the owner and his family will be living in the ADU and so they will probably rent out the main house to 7 or more people - as a big group or individually. Lots of traffic and parking issues as most of the other houses have numerous extended family living there or rent rooms in their homes.


She's still working and has a disabled kid so just up and moving would be hard. Plus I think she planned to stay awhile longer. If it was me as a single childless FIREd person I'd get rid of everything, go rent a place somewhere for 6 months and put it up for sale asap so I wouldn't have to deal with the construction mess all summer. Even if it meant I lost some money. But not that easy for her plus she bought years ago and has an affordable mortgage and prop taxes.

Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: spartana on April 28, 2019, 08:34:40 AM
Sounds like a situation where different people will have different values in mind, both in the financial and the emotional sense. Ideas:

-Like @former player said, get professional advice. Maybe find someone with specific expertise in "teardowns"?
-Research / network through real estate groups or forums to find people who do these flips (to find the person above)
-I've heard a rule of thumb that building is profitable when the structure is worth 4x the lot value. Maybe use that to:
--determine whether the neigbhor's plan appears economically viable
--figure out the value of the lot based on similar construction
--don't sell unless you get the higher of appraised land value or value according the 4x rule

Will defer to more knowledgeable posters as they continue to comment.
Thanks. I think she is still in shock about this having just found out on Friday when the giant bulldozer started knocking down the house (I guess city planners don't need to let people who own adjacent homes with shared lot lines know that something like that will be built). She will have to wait to deal with until she can talk to the planning dept on Monday but from past experience seeing happening around the hood, I know there is no way she can stop it.

 But I agree talking to a professional and perhaps other builders and also a realtor about it would be the first step even if she decides to stay put and not sell. As I mentioned above she doesn't want to sell at all right now but she's not sure she could live within a few feet of a giant house or 2 that will likely be populated by a large number of tenants. It doesn't sound like a flip but more an owner expansion for both owner family living plus shared rental space.

ETA the other neighbors are Vietnamese (she is Caucasian) and also do similar rentals with their own house. All all single story and have been expanded to cover most of the lot (and are very nice looking and do have nice grassy front yards as per city code requirements) to accomadate extended family and rental units. So they may not be much help or sympathetic to her.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: former player on April 28, 2019, 08:47:25 AM
7 bathrooms? What the hell is wrong with people?
I've seen that near me.  The master bedroom has his and hers bathrooms, all the other bedrooms need their own en suite, there is a "spare" bathroom on the upper floor just because, and on the ground floor there is a cloakroom for guests and another one off the utility (presumably for whatever servant is cooking in the kitchen).  The house is then empty for most of the year.  Madness.
I guess I should have clarified that this is in a very large Asian-American/Vietnamese immigrant community and it's extremely common to have large groups of people living together in one or 2 ginormous houses on one small lot. Also AirBNBs are common even if technically illegal. Foreign student housing and laborours who come there to work in the shops and restaurants are all common. Heck even large housing is built for small Buddhist Monasteries are common (at least the monks don't...usually...have cars ;-)). So not only will there be a huge building, it will likely have many people living there. Legally they can have 18 people living in 9 bedrooms (and each with its own bath) but illegally it could have many more. So I think ALL the bathrooms will get used ;-). It sounds like the owner and his family will be living in the ADU and so they will probably rent out the main house to 7 or more people - as a big group or individually. Lots of traffic and parking issues as most of the other houses have numerous extended family living there or rent rooms in their homes.

Ah.  Here in the UK that would be called a "house in multiple occupation" which would need to be licensed by the local authority and meet certain safety and amenity standards, and there would probably be a limit on how many were allowed in any one neighbourhood.  And something that size probably wouldn't get planning permission in a residential neighbourhood in the first place because it would be overdevelopment.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: spartana on April 28, 2019, 09:03:05 AM
Since the buyer of the house would almost certainly be a developer, I doubt they care either way so the price would probably about the same.
I think this is probably true. Maybe not a developer but an owner/investor who would raze her place and rebuilt big. So I think in any case she could probably expect to get what I sold my place for at the minimum.. She really doesn't want to move but selling asap might be the best option financially and emotionally. She probably would have to rent as this is in a HCOL area of Calif and doubtful she could afford to buy a place again with the remaining equity and her slowish income. The house is very affordable but who the hell can live next to such a giant 2 house structure? The city won't even allow a fence that is higher than 6 feet and the ADU can be up to 15 feet high and the main house probably double or triple that with a peaked roof. Plus balconies can be even with the lot line. Madness!
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Cassie on April 28, 2019, 10:17:25 AM
In her financial situation I would probably stay.  I spend more time in my house than outside but would be annoying if she is outside more than in.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: lhamo on April 28, 2019, 10:51:31 AM
Any chance there might be organizations that could help her find subsidized housing, given her low income and the disabled child? Maybe you could help her navigate that process, at least to see if there are options.  There might be waiting lists, but if she gets on them now that is a bit of light at the end of the tunnel.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: nessness on April 28, 2019, 06:36:17 PM
I decided not to buy a house that I otherwise loved because the owners were selling half the lot separately (they were on a 1-acre lot and split it into house+1/2 acre lot and a vacant 1/2 acre lot). There was just too much uncertainty not knowing what the other owner would build, and I didn't want to live next to a construction site for months. So given that, I would think she'd have an easier time selling once the construction is done.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Villanelle on April 28, 2019, 07:11:28 PM
She might see if she can get in contact with the new owners next door and see if they'd like to buy her home to add on to their compound.  What's the harm in asking?  And if she arranges the sale herself, she save the real estate fees. 
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: dougules on April 29, 2019, 11:42:27 AM
Why is she so freaked out about the new houses? 

Does she actually not want to live next to the new houses, or is she just worried about the future of the neighborhood?  I think worry about the future of the neighborhood is unwarranted because it sounds like if anything it's going to get fancier. 

If she's worried about living next to the new houses, maybe she should hold out and see if her fears are really founded.  It probably won't be as big a change as she's worried about when the construction dust settles. 

FWIW, keeping tiny little houses on big lots is what's behind the housing crisis in California.  The developer is doubling the supply of housing units on that lot to counter what's clearly a really high demand. 

It seems crazy that people donít want a yard but all house.

I'd like to just enough yard for a vegetable garden and a tree.  A lot of yard is just a pain here in the jungle, and it's just more sprawl.  Unfortunately people seem to have decided that they need to government mandate yard size to the detriment of the environment, housing affordability, and those of us who don't feel that God ordained yard work as a virtue. 
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Cassie on April 29, 2019, 12:13:56 PM
No one is mandating yard size.  But having no yard I find odd. We have 2 patios because one has table and chairs to eat and the one at the back of the yard has a fire pit. We like to entertain in the summer and can invite more people than fit in our small home.  We also have a small garden and a shed to hold stuff. We sit outside everyday in good weather.  Our yard is not huge.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: BicycleB on April 29, 2019, 12:27:20 PM
No one is mandating yard size. 

With all due respect, city zoning codes often mandate things like "percentage of impervious cover", which have the effect of requiring that portions of each normal residential lot are basically yard.

In most areas of my city, it's illegal to just build all house.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: dougules on April 29, 2019, 02:21:45 PM
No one is mandating yard size.  But having no yard I find odd. We have 2 patios because one has table and chairs to eat and the one at the back of the yard has a fire pit. We like to entertain in the summer and can invite more people than fit in our small home.  We also have a small garden and a shed to hold stuff. We sit outside everyday in good weather.  Our yard is not huge.

We perceive it as odd because yard size has been part of zoning for more than half a century now.  We're accostumed to seeing only big yards because anything else is illegal in so many places.  There are a lot of older urban areas where independent houses with very small yards are common.  DH is from PA where there are a lot of row houses.  New Orleans has shotgun houses that have just enough space on either side for some airflow given the hot climate.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Cassie on April 29, 2019, 02:57:58 PM
Housing here is becoming scarce and expensive.  In some of the older neighborhoods they are building new homes with just a tiny strip of yard around the entire house. 
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: robartsd on April 29, 2019, 03:57:41 PM
Thanks. I think she is still in shock about this having just found out on Friday when the giant bulldozer started knocking down the house (I guess city planners don't need to let people who own adjacent homes with shared lot lines know that something like that will be built).
I don't think notification of neighbors is usually required unless applying for a zoning change or a variance.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: spartana on April 29, 2019, 04:30:15 PM
Any chance there might be organizations that could help her find subsidized housing, given her low income and the disabled child? Maybe you could help her navigate that process, at least to see if there are options.  There might be waiting lists, but if she gets on them now that is a bit of light at the end of the tunnel.
I don't know much about subsidized housing or lower income housing but she would probably make to much to qualify anyways. I think she'd have a hard time qualifying for a mortgage around her area even with using all the proceeds from a sale of her place. So renting would likely be the only option. At least that's what I would do. My only recommendation to her would be to wait a bit before deciding (don't freak out and d do something irreversible), talk to some people about potentially selling and look around to see what's available in case she does decide to sell asap.

To answer @dougules question about why she's afraid of a new house being built - its not because its a new house, its because its a 2 story 7 bedroom and 7 bathroom house plus a second 2 bedroom 2 bath house. It will be 4 feet from her property line and 8 feet from her house and literally loom over her house and yard. Plus the potential 18 plus people who could legally live there (common in that area) or an AirBNB. The house is the last house on a culdasac with very limited parking and she's afraid it will be constant people, cars, noise, and traffic in and out all day everyday. So it's mainly the potential intrusiveness of having so many people in a small area just a few feet from you, combined with a story story house practically on top of a little house not that's it new or even large.

Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Abe on April 29, 2019, 09:15:00 PM
I think she'd get a better price with a finished house next door (at least the exterior) rather than a construction site. Hopefully the noise won't be too annoying.

Regarding house/yard ratios:
I'm moving to a similar neighborhood (probably close to the same city you're talking about) and noticed the yards are pretty small. At least there's a big park next to the neighborhood to compensate. While it is more efficient and ecologically sound to have higher-density housing, it is a bit annoying to have such close neighbors. Oh well.

Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: spartana on April 30, 2019, 12:06:29 PM
I think she'd get a better price with a finished house next door (at least the exterior) rather than a construction site. Hopefully the noise won't be too annoying.

Regarding house/yard ratios:
I'm moving to a similar neighborhood (probably close to the same city you're talking about) and noticed the yards are pretty small. At least there's a big park next to the neighborhood to compensate. While it is more efficient and ecologically sound to have higher-density housing, it is a bit annoying to have such close neighbors. Oh well.
Welcome to the hood! I don't live there any longer but have a shared crash pad rental I stay at near by between travels. I also lived right by a park so maybe it'll be the same one. I know of a quaint little 9 bedroom 9 bath property you could buy soon ;-).

She emailed the city planner and basicly the main house and the back side part of the ADU will be built very close (4 feet) from her property line. Plus a 3 car garage and a 3 car driveway and a spot for the ADU house to park. Sounds like it will totally cover the lot and be lot line to lot line (with 4 foot Set back) in all directions with some patios in between the 2 houses. A neighbor said the owner and his family will be living in the ADU and they will rent rooms in the 7 bedroom main house. I feel bad for her and the other adjacent neighbors who have smaller single story houses - although most have been nicely remodeled and have single story expansions that are used as rentals and which are very unintrusive.

So I'm not sure if waiting for the houses to be built and finished before selling is a good idea or bad idea. Maybe just wait until it's done and hope it's not as intrusive and obnoxious as it sounds and decide then. I do agree though that she could get more for selling after it's built if it's nice (very likely) or unless the housing market collapses. That would also allow her to see what's built and if it will actually impact here as much as she thinks it will. So unless the size and proportion of one big house plus smaller house filling a lot, and with numerous people living there, would be less appealing for potential buyers shed probably come out the same or maybe even ahead. I don't know. If this was in a development of similar houses I'd say its a plus, but not sure if that's the case in a tract of small houses. Its kind of like the Edward Scissorhands hood but Edwards castle would be next door to the small houses and squeezed in on a small lot instead of up the hill.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Goldielocks on April 30, 2019, 12:15:48 PM
Any chance there might be organizations that could help her find subsidized housing, given her low income and the disabled child? Maybe you could help her navigate that process, at least to see if there are options.  There might be waiting lists, but if she gets on them now that is a bit of light at the end of the tunnel.
I don't know much about subsidized housing or lower income housing but she would probably make to much to qualify anyways. I think she'd have a hard time qualifying for a mortgage around her area even with using all the proceeds from a sale of her place. So renting would likely be the only option. At least that's what I would do. My only recommendation to her would be to wait a bit before deciding (don't freak out and d do something irreversible), talk to some people about potentially selling and look around to see what's available in case she does decide to sell asap.

To answer @dougules question about why she's afraid of a new house being built - its not because its a new house, its because its a 2 story 7 bedroom and 7 bathroom house plus a second 2 bedroom 2 bath house. It will be 4 feet from her property line and 8 feet from her house and literally loom over her house and yard. Plus the potential 18 plus people who could legally live there (common in that area) or an AirBNB. The house is the last house on a culdasac with very limited parking and she's afraid it will be constant people, cars, noise, and traffic in and out all day everyday. So it's mainly the potential intrusiveness of having so many people in a small area just a few feet from you, combined with a story story house practically on top of a little house not that's it new or even large.

Yep.  The two biggest issues are
-- huge house shading / removing privacy and enjoyment of your own back yard...  removal of old beautiful trees that benefit you and
--the parking problem

The parking issue can often be dealt with through calling city bylaw officers to ticket offending vehicles.  I resolve it by asking people to leave the required distance from my driveway free when they park.   Nice notes with my name on them.  Neighbors are complying, so all is good so far.   

The third problem is noise / impact potential.. but honestly, my single neighbor with the loud drunk partieis until 3am on a small SFH on a large lot (hence outdoor parties).. and the one who repairs motorcycles in their yard (loud!)  is a much larger issue than the multi-family homes around me.

The fourth problem is real -- 4 ft from lot lines.  If there is any concern about new construction impacting her foundations, then she may want a preliminary geotech report on the baseline before construction starts.  She could ask her insurance company the best way to protect her home if the construction causes damage.   This is more common if there are retaining walls / differing elevations between the properties.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: mm1970 on April 30, 2019, 01:03:32 PM
It seems crazy that people donít want a yard but all house.
Yards need maintenance.

In California, the world is your yard.  The beach, the parks, the bike paths.
Either that or you are working 60 hrs a week to pay for the house, so you don't get to go outside anyway.

To the OP: I'd probably wait.  It seems like gentrification brings up house values, in general.  At least here on the Central Coast anyway.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: dougules on April 30, 2019, 03:08:58 PM
To answer @dougules question about why she's afraid of a new house being built - its not because its a new house, its because its a 2 story 7 bedroom and 7 bathroom house plus a second 2 bedroom 2 bath house. It will be 4 feet from her property line and 8 feet from her house and literally loom over her house and yard. Plus the potential 18 plus people who could legally live there (common in that area) or an AirBNB. The house is the last house on a culdasac with very limited parking and she's afraid it will be constant people, cars, noise, and traffic in and out all day everyday. So it's mainly the potential intrusiveness of having so many people in a small area just a few feet from you, combined with a story story house practically on top of a little house not that's it new or even large.

The construction will probably be a PITA, but there's a good chance it won't be as bad as she's fearing when it's done.  It sounds like she's panicking.  If it were me I'd stick it out to see if it really is as bad as it seems at first blush.  There's also the fact that if she does decide to leave she'll probably get more for it when it's not next to a construction site, unless she sells to a developer as a tear-down. 
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Another Reader on April 30, 2019, 03:58:07 PM
I think her real issue is whether she wants to own or rent.  The selling expenses and the house being one of the lowest priced properties in the area likely preclude buying another home in the area.  She can move someplace less expensive or she can rent locally if she wants to stay. Rents go up over time, and she could be forced to move when that happens.  Her best choice might be to tolerate the new neighbors and stay if owning her home and staying in the area are important to her. 

If/when she does move, she may be able to take her property tax basis with her under Prop 60/90 if she is over 55.  That might help make another purchase feasible.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: spartana on May 01, 2019, 08:47:48 AM
^I think she would ideally like to own her place forever but not sure if she'd want to own elsewhere in the area or rent. I think she just doesn't want to be next to a giant house with lots of people and parking issues for years. I don't even think the on going construction would  bother her (quiet and people-less at night and she works during the day) but she is concerned about the end product. Especially after seeing some of the other giant house builds next to small houses around the area. But the general consensus here seems to be wait and see and I agree.

I also think part of it is just NIMBY-ism. You move into a suburban, lightly populated tract of SFHs years ago and it is basically turning into multi-family apt units (with no parking) even though its zoned for SFHs.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: mm1970 on May 01, 2019, 11:01:37 AM
^I think she would ideally like to own her place forever but not sure if she'd want to own elsewhere in the area or rent. I think she just doesn't want to be next to a giant house with lots of people and parking issues for years. I don't even think the on going construction would  bother her (quiet and people-less at night and she works during the day) but she is concerned about the end product. Especially after seeing some of the other giant house builds next to small houses around the area. But the general consensus here seems to be wait and see and I agree.

I also think part of it is just NIMBY-ism. You move into a suburban, lightly populated tract of SFHs years ago and it is basically turning into multi-family apt units (with no parking) even though its zoned for SFHs.
I am sympathetic to this view.

I like my house and neighborhood.  Then the CA governor signed the ADU law and it pissed me off.  Now the next-door neighbors and a bunch of other people in the hood are converting garages and adding apartments, with no new parking.  Now, it's no real sweat to me - we have 2 cars and 2 off street spots.  But there's no parking if people come visit, and everyone on the planet has a big fucking SUV so we can't see to pull out of our driveway (we've had two cars T-boned, one of them totaled).

I have to admit though, our city ALSO instituted an AUD program - average unit density, allowing for higher density than typical in the city center with less parking - to help make housing more affordable.  It's been an utter, dismal failure.  The first apartments built under that program are luxury apartments that rent for $3000-5000 a month ($3000 for a 1 bedroom).  They are half empty, in a town with 1% vacancy.

OTOH, our city REQUIRES that any ADU be owner-occupied.  That seems to be a good thing.  If you live on the property, you seem to care more about who rents your place and how well it's kept up and how many cars are on the street.  So originally I thought the AUD was great and the ADU sucked, but I've flipped.  Turns out local homeowners are better at taking care of the 'hood compared to developers.

Parking is the big issue.  This is CA not DC.  People have cars.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Another Reader on May 01, 2019, 03:22:01 PM
"Parking is the big issue.  This is CA not DC.  People have cars."

Yes, they have them and they want to use them.  There is no public transit in the Southern Bay Area except buses that no one rides and the light rail to nowhere.  There is some private transport provided by large corporate employers, but that is nowhere near enough to impose reduced parking requirements based on fanciful projections of mass transit use.

And almost all the new housing is oriented to highly paid professionals.  There are a few subsidized housing projects, but nothing for the old-style middle class.

Thinking of building an ADU before I move to maximize the rental income of the current property.  The last City-sponsored seminar on ADU's was oversubscribed, but I plan to attend the next one.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: dougules on May 01, 2019, 04:05:18 PM
If you have a decent size lot, why is parking an issue?  You have room for a driveway and/or garage. 
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Another Reader on May 01, 2019, 05:04:42 PM
If you have a decent size lot, why is parking an issue?  You have room for a driveway and/or garage.

When you have 9 bedrooms in two units on a 5,000 sf lot, there is no room for parking. 

Most new construction here is multi-story condos and apartments.  Densities up to 60 units per acre.  Some townhouses with one or two car garages.  Little or no additional parking on site.  The surrounding lower density single family neighborhoods are the recipients of all the extra cars, parked on their streets.  It creates an unpleasant, hostile environment in those neighborhoods.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: spartana on May 01, 2019, 07:23:02 PM
If you have a decent size lot, why is parking an issue?  You have room for a driveway and/or garage.
As @Another Reader said it's about high population density communities.

Building codes there for anything 5 bedrooms or larger on a SFH lot requires a 3 car garage and 3 driveway parking spots in front of the garages. ADUs require a single parking spot. So that can give you 7 parking areas (with some maneuvering of vehicles each time a garage parker wants to leave or return) plus street parking which, in a normal suburban tract home area is usually plentiful. Since this is a 9 bedroom, 9 bath, 3 car garage and 4 parking spots place on an 8000 sf lot with only one undesiginated (and highly fought over)  parking space in the street in front of the house I imagine that parking will be insane...probably impossible.

But because in that area of SoCal many people live in large extended multifamily groups and/or rent out available space - including illegally converted garages and multiple room shares. So a 9 bedroom place there will likely house many more people then 9. And, based on past house builds, people will live in the garages too. And since this is happening in most houses, there is no street parking and parking on grass is not allowed.

For example the single story house across the street from my old place had 3 bedrooms plus a 2 bedroom addition and 10 people lived there with 10 cars. No one parked in the garage so they parked in the extended driveway (4 cars) and the others parked in the street. The people next to them with an original 3 bedroom house had 7 cars - also did not use their garage for parking so parked 3 on the driveway and the rest on the street. It was massively crazy for anyone who had multiple people living in one house or had many cars.

ETA I was just googling the cities current demolition permit requests and one was to demolish a newer 2800 sf house and build a 4300 sf house on the lot. Apparently no one could live in 2800 sf and, you know, actually survive ;-).
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: robartsd on May 02, 2019, 08:52:55 AM
The parking issue is easily solved by petitioning the city to make on street parking permit based. Each lot would have the opportunity to get one or two permits to park on the street in their neighborhood.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: dougules on May 02, 2019, 11:33:38 AM
If you have a decent size lot, why is parking an issue?  You have room for a driveway and/or garage.

When you have 9 bedrooms in two units on a 5,000 sf lot, there is no room for parking. 

Most new construction here is multi-story condos and apartments.  Densities up to 60 units per acre.  Some townhouses with one or two car garages.  Little or no additional parking on site.  The surrounding lower density single family neighborhoods are the recipients of all the extra cars, parked on their streets.  It creates an unpleasant, hostile environment in those neighborhoods.

I meant for the existing residents that still have houses much smaller than the lot.  I almost never need street parking because I have plenty of driveway and a 2 car carport.  As my neighborhood becomes more and more student focused, my older neighbor likes to complain about the uptick in cars parked along the street.  It seems like a non-issue to me, though. 

Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: spartana on May 02, 2019, 11:35:48 AM
The parking issue is easily solved by petitioning the city to make on street parking permit based. Each lot would have the opportunity to get one or two permits to park on the street in their neighborhood.
IIRC about 5 or so years ago when parking started to be a problem some residents tried to petition the city for parking permits but they didn't get enough "yes" votes. Apparently you needed 75% of the residents to agree.  That was back when parking was more "normal" for a suburban SFH tract. Now, given the current population growth there, I doubt if anyone would vote yes except for the very few remaining long term owners that haven't expanded.

She sent me a photo showing the house gone and lot compacted and ready to start building. It looks so tiny I can't even visualize a big house and second house plus garages etc on it.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: spartana on May 02, 2019, 11:42:48 AM
If you have a decent size lot, why is parking an issue?  You have room for a driveway and/or garage.

When you have 9 bedrooms in two units on a 5,000 sf lot, there is no room for parking. 

Most new construction here is multi-story condos and apartments.  Densities up to 60 units per acre.  Some townhouses with one or two car garages.  Little or no additional parking on site.  The surrounding lower density single family neighborhoods are the recipients of all the extra cars, parked on their streets.  It creates an unpleasant, hostile environment in those neighborhoods.

I meant for the existing residents that still have houses much smaller than the lot.  I almost never need street parking because I have plenty of driveway and a 2 car carport.  As my neighborhood becomes more and more student focused, my older neighbor likes to complain about the uptick in cars parked along the street.  It seems like a non-issue to me, though.
All of the houses there, even in the original small houses, have 2 car garages and at least two car driveways. So back in the day it was enough. But now most houses have more people with cars living in them then they have room to park and most don't use their garages for parking. There are only a few houses who only have 4 cars or less.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: dougules on May 02, 2019, 12:00:07 PM
If you have a decent size lot, why is parking an issue?  You have room for a driveway and/or garage.

When you have 9 bedrooms in two units on a 5,000 sf lot, there is no room for parking. 

Most new construction here is multi-story condos and apartments.  Densities up to 60 units per acre.  Some townhouses with one or two car garages.  Little or no additional parking on site.  The surrounding lower density single family neighborhoods are the recipients of all the extra cars, parked on their streets.  It creates an unpleasant, hostile environment in those neighborhoods.

I meant for the existing residents that still have houses much smaller than the lot.  I almost never need street parking because I have plenty of driveway and a 2 car carport.  As my neighborhood becomes more and more student focused, my older neighbor likes to complain about the uptick in cars parked along the street.  It seems like a non-issue to me, though.
All of the houses there, even in the original small houses, have 2 car garages and at least two car driveways. So back in the day it was enough. But now most houses have more people with cars living in them then they have room to park and most don't use their garages for parking. There are only a few houses who only have 4 cars or less.

How can you complain about newcomers if you're already part of the "problem"?
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: dougules on May 02, 2019, 12:02:57 PM
BTW, let your neighbor know she can get a house in Alabama for $100k with more than ample parking. 
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: spartana on May 02, 2019, 12:43:16 PM
If you have a decent size lot, why is parking an issue?  You have room for a driveway and/or garage.

When you have 9 bedrooms in two units on a 5,000 sf lot, there is no room for parking. 

Most new construction here is multi-story condos and apartments.  Densities up to 60 units per acre.  Some townhouses with one or two car garages.  Little or no additional parking on site.  The surrounding lower density single family neighborhoods are the recipients of all the extra cars, parked on their streets.  It creates an unpleasant, hostile environment in those neighborhoods.

I meant for the existing residents that still have houses much smaller than the lot.  I almost never need street parking because I have plenty of driveway and a 2 car carport.  As my neighborhood becomes more and more student focused, my older neighbor likes to complain about the uptick in cars parked along the street.  It seems like a non-issue to me, though.
All of the houses there, even in the original small houses, have 2 car garages and at least two car driveways. So back in the day it was enough. But now most houses have more people with cars living in them then they have room to park and most don't use their garages for parking. There are only a few houses who only have 4 cars or less.

How can you complain about newcomers if you're already part of the "problem"?
I don't know if any of the other neighbors are complaining except maybe the people who live behind the new build. Both my former neighbor and the people behind the new house only seem to park one far in the street in the space in front of their house ( although if they move someone from down.the street or even several streets over will park there). But if I was still living there and had a couple of roommates or kids who had cars and drove, I'd still be a bit upset that the next door neighbor had 10 or more cars parked on the street and I or my roommates/kids had no where to park near my house. Of course I'd be outta there and moving to Alabama ;-).

Plus both I and my former neighbor and the family behind the new house had bought in years ago when most people who lived there were single families and people did park on their driveways with maybe one car on the street. I'm sure your hood is very similar population-wise to what my hood was like 10 years ago. Things change and original owners move out and new owners build up and out and the hood population density changes.

Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: mm1970 on May 02, 2019, 02:28:12 PM
If you have a decent size lot, why is parking an issue?  You have room for a driveway and/or garage.
My lot is 5200 sf, but it used to be part of a double lot.  In the 1950s, it was legally split front-to-back.
So I have a house BEHIND my house, and the 100 ft long driveway goes to his house and his garage (that used to belong to our house, before it was our house).

So usable space, for us, goes down.  We cannot park in the driveway.  We have 2 off street spots in the front "yard" (as required by zoning).  And only 2 cars and 2 drivers, but what if we get a 3rd car when the teen starts to drive?  (This is unlikely).

Likewise, the back neighbor, at one point, had 4 cars and a motorcycle and 3 bicycles, for one guy.  He's down to 2 SUVs and a motorcycle and the bikes.

Across the street, many of the houses have smaller setbacks.  So, the driveway is only one car wide and one car deep, with a one car garage.  As many of the houses were built in 1940s and 1950s, the one car garage won't actually fit most cars.  I have friends with 2 big cars (they have 4 kids), an RV (which is parked in the driveway), and a work truck.  That's 3 cars on the street for one house.  Many of the other houses nearby are similar - extended family in one house with 4 cars.   3BR rental with 3 single people and 3 cars (but only driveway space for a single car).  Then the ADUs, which add 1-2 cars to a house because you are adding 1-2 drivers.  But not added parking.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: dougules on May 03, 2019, 03:28:07 PM
(http://sensibletransportation.org/wideningwontwork.org/assets/img/bus-bike-car-comparison-cycling-promotion-fund.jpg)

What can I say?  If you try to have one car per person in a large urban area the system breaks down.  It sounds like the area is running up against that fact.  Trying to stop building to improve parking is just going to make housing even more expensive than it already is there. 
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Cassie on May 03, 2019, 10:47:49 PM
Wow thatís small as our lot is 7500.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: spartana on May 03, 2019, 11:31:17 PM
(http://sensibletransportation.org/wideningwontwork.org/assets/img/bus-bike-car-comparison-cycling-promotion-fund.jpg)

What can I say?  If you try to have one car per person in a large urban area the system breaks down.  It sounds like the area is running up against that fact.  Trying to stop building to improve parking is just going to make housing even more expensive than it already is there.
That's true but my former hood isn't urban it's suburban. Approx 40-50  miles from LA and doesn't really have urban transportation structure. A few slow buses here and there but that's it. So for most here a car is needed. The area itself is mainly single story single family tract homes (very like the Edward Scissorhands photo I showed) with various shopping/commercial areas nearby and some light industry as well as a couple of big employers further out. Not a city with high rises (2 story structures were the max for  residential until last year) and no urban core.

 The hood is zoned for SFHs and doesn't have the kind of parking infrastructure that an area zoned for multifamily has like large parking structures for all the residents So with the increase of large SFHs with multiple tenants, parking becomes very tight. The city has been building g a lot of apts near the business and commercial.areas the last year or so, with lots of parking, but the prices are high so room rentals in very large houses are a common thing now. Personally I think it will end up as an AirBNB since this is in a tourist area.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Fomerly known as something on May 04, 2019, 06:15:52 AM
Wait.

This happened in my most recent neighborhood although not McMansion size but 2x the size of the old house.  I had one of the new ones, one of the first new ones.  The owner behind me sold for $45,000 shortly after I moved in, current tear downs began to go for at least 6 figures 3-4 years later.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: dougules on May 04, 2019, 05:31:48 PM
That's true but my former hood isn't urban it's suburban. Approx 40-50  miles from LA and doesn't really have urban transportation structure. A few slow buses here and there but that's it. So for most here a car is needed. The area itself is mainly single story single family tract homes (very like the Edward Scissorhands photo I showed) with various shopping/commercial areas nearby and some light industry as well as a couple of big employers further out. Not a city with high rises (2 story structures were the max for  residential until last year) and no urban core.

 The hood is zoned for SFHs and doesn't have the kind of parking infrastructure that an area zoned for multifamily has like large parking structures for all the residents So with the increase of large SFHs with multiple tenants, parking becomes very tight. The city has been building g a lot of apts near the business and commercial.areas the last year or so, with lots of parking, but the prices are high so room rentals in very large houses are a common thing now. Personally I think it will end up as an AirBNB since this is in a tourist area.

What's driving the increase in prices and density that far out?  That's kind of surprising. 
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: spartana on May 05, 2019, 05:02:32 PM
That's true but my former hood isn't urban it's suburban. Approx 40-50  miles from LA and doesn't really have urban transportation structure. A few slow buses here and there but that's it. So for most here a car is needed. The area itself is mainly single story single family tract homes (very like the Edward Scissorhands photo I showed) with various shopping/commercial areas nearby and some light industry as well as a couple of big employers further out. Not a city with high rises (2 story structures were the max for  residential until last year) and no urban core.

 The hood is zoned for SFHs and doesn't have the kind of parking infrastructure that an area zoned for multifamily has like large parking structures for all the residents So with the increase of large SFHs with multiple tenants, parking becomes very tight. The city has been building g a lot of apts near the business and commercial.areas the last year or so, with lots of parking, but the prices are high so room rentals in very large houses are a common thing now. Personally I think it will end up as an AirBNB since this is in a tourist area.

What's driving the increase in prices and density that far out?  That's kind of surprising.
Probably just good old urban expansion (build it and they will come!). People from the big cities like LA want a lower cost suburban lifestyle so over the last few decades have moved to the newly built burb or areas closer to nature/agriculture. Then others follow so more SFH tract housing is built...just a bit bigger each time...then stores and businesses and industry. Farmland and orchards are razed to.build housing tracts and malls and eventually no land is left. Then more people move in so more multifamily housing like apts and condos are built, shared housing grows and costs increase, etc.

Compared to LA and it's immediate metro area this IS an open area. But it's still a densely populated county (3 plus million and growing) and people are willing to do long commutes in heavy traffic because they want to live in.the area. Although my town still only has one high rise (so far) and you can see it for miles away if at the beach even though it's only about 10 or so floors. That's changing though. I think this is common in most big metro areas - sprawl happens when people want to move out of a city environment into the country.

Also this is in a predominately Asian American/immigrant community and it is very common to live in large multi generational family groups as well as have shared room rentals (several people sharing a bedroom) for students and workers.

Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Blindsquirrel on May 05, 2019, 08:18:43 PM
   I think she should chill a bit before she sells. If area is going commercial, the value of her place goes up. (even if just used as a parking lot. If her area remains residential, when the monster house next door sells, her comps will go through the roof. 2 cents and worth less. :)
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: spartana on May 06, 2019, 08:55:13 AM
   I think she should chill a bit before she sells. If area is going commercial, the value of her place goes up. (even if just used as a parking lot. If her area remains residential, when the monster house next door sells, her comps will go through the roof. 2 cents and worth less. :)
It'll stay residential as there is no more land to build commercial. The last plot of land nearby (a strawberry field) was bought out by a developer and they built a large gated master planned SFH community of big 2 story houses. I think the owner is planning to live in the ADU and rent out the big house so likely won't be sold. I think my former neighbor is staying until Aug and will sell then. Maybe try to get one of the many SFH builder/owners to buy it directly before then.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Blindsquirrel on May 06, 2019, 09:33:21 AM
   Seems like a reasonable plan and kudos to someone who builds a small house and a large one and then rents out the large one. :)
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: mm1970 on May 06, 2019, 01:32:39 PM
Wow thatís small as our lot is 7500.

It's not even that small.  Closer to "downtown" there are a number of "flag lots" that are 3500 sf, some with zero off street parking.  The homes that were more suburban and built in the 1960s and 1970s are a bit larger as far as lot and home sizes go.  More like 7000 sf lots not 5000 sf.  But for the homes built in the 1920s-1940s?  If you were working class, 5000 sf + a little (1/11 to 1/12 of an acre) were standard here.  (There are also some much larger homes on larger lots, Victorian style, etc. build in the 1890s-1940s, but they were for the wealthy folk).

Quote
What's driving the increase in prices and density that far out?  That's kind of surprising.

Population. 

I have a running cohort who is in her early 60s and is really pissed at the growth, density, traffic, etc.  So many ADUs going in, and she scrimped and paid a lot to buy her house and now it's getting crowded.  Like I said, I have sympathy for both sides.  The younger and poorer folk who have no chance of buying a home here want more growth, so at least rents will be more competitive.  The people who have preferred the no growth policies (because they like their 'hoods the way they are) say "you can't afford to live here, go somewhere else."  I feel her pain (she probably bought the house on her own), but a few quick google searches tells me she bought a $325k house 20 years ago that's worth $800k now.

When obv, the answer is in the middle and everyone is going to be unhappy. 
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: spartana on May 07, 2019, 07:42:26 AM
^ population growth AND 30 million people wanting to live by the beach ;-).

I think the extended LA metro area sees this kind of suburban sprawl more than other large cities because you are hemmed in by the ocean, the mountains and deserts so sprawling further out and building is (comparatively) limited. I imagine more far out suburbs and smaller cities will start having the same issues and OC and other areas currently have as the LA metro area continues sprawls. Probably more "apt-like" boarding house/multiple room rental/AirBNB housing structures built in areas zoned for SFHs in.the future.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Cassie on May 07, 2019, 10:32:09 AM
ADUís were going to be allowed in our neighborhood if your lot was 10,000. However, the neighborhood mobilized and the ordinance was not changed to allow it.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: dougules on May 07, 2019, 10:53:31 AM
ADUís were going to be allowed in our neighborhood if your lot was 10,000. However, the neighborhood mobilized and the ordinance was not changed to allow it.

And hence the root of the housing crisis. 
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: dougules on May 07, 2019, 10:57:31 AM
^ population growth AND 30 million people wanting to live by the beach ;-).

I think the extended LA metro area sees this kind of suburban sprawl more than other large cities because you are hemmed in by the ocean, the mountains and deserts so sprawling further out and building is (comparatively) limited. I imagine more far out suburbs and smaller cities will start having the same issues and OC and other areas currently have as the LA metro area continues sprawls. Probably more "apt-like" boarding house/multiple room rental/AirBNB housing structures built in areas zoned for SFHs in.the future.

This is probably true.  This area gets around the issue by just sprawling out further and further.  It works for a smaller city, but at a certain point it breaks down even for cities like Atlanta and Dallas that have tons of land around them.  A 30 mile commute becomes less and less feasible when traffic goes from an average of 40 mph to an average of 15 mph. 
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: mm1970 on May 07, 2019, 10:57:52 AM
ADUís were going to be allowed in our neighborhood if your lot was 10,000. However, the neighborhood mobilized and the ordinance was not changed to allow it.

And hence the root of the housing crisis.
One reason why the CA governor signed the law.  Literally cities cannot prevent it - they can set up reasonable limitations - which our city has done by requiring it to be owner occupied.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: spartana on May 07, 2019, 12:11:59 PM
ADUís were going to be allowed in our neighborhood if your lot was 10,000. However, the neighborhood mobilized and the ordinance was not changed to allow it.

And hence the root of the housing crisis.
So I take it that if you were a long term homeowner in a tract of small houses you'd be OK with them building large high rise apt complexes on 3 sides of your house? Or even a 2 or 3 story mcmansions across the full lot? A lot of us support building small ADUs but its the building extremely large houses or multi-unit apts/housing/AirBNBs and ADUs on one small lot that is the problem for many homeowners.

In any case I didn't want this thread to get political as I was only looking to see how others would feel about something like a giant house with lots of people going up next door to them and if it would cause them to move and, if so, whether it was best to wait until finished or sell asap.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: dougules on May 07, 2019, 03:05:45 PM
ADUís were going to be allowed in our neighborhood if your lot was 10,000. However, the neighborhood mobilized and the ordinance was not changed to allow it.

And hence the root of the housing crisis.
So I take it that if you were a long term homeowner in a tract of small houses you'd be OK with them building large high rise apt complexes on 3 sides of your house? Or even a 2 or 3 story mcmansions across the full lot? A lot of us support building small ADUs but its the building extremely large houses or multi-unit apts/housing/AirBNBs and ADUs on one small lot that is the problem for many homeowners.

In any case I didn't want this thread to get political as I was only looking to see how others would feel about something like a giant house with lots of people going up next door to them and if it would cause them to move and, if so, whether it was best to wait until finished or sell asap.

Sorry I took it in a political direction.  It struck a nerve because I hate living in suburbia, but because of politics I don't really have any better option. 

I don't think it would bother me personally to have larger units next to me once the construction was done, but I understand how it would bother other folks.  Infrastructural inertia means that somebody's going to lose as cities grow. 
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Cassie on May 07, 2019, 03:20:09 PM
There is plenty of land for people to build out. We have parking issues because we are a 1950ís neighborhood with 1 car garages.   The whole feel of the area would change.  Plus we are fairly close to the university and nobody wants to deal with college students as neighbors.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: ysette9 on May 07, 2019, 03:51:29 PM
I feel a lot of these issues are the result of our crappy zoning laws in the US that are unnecessarily limiting and prescriptive. Allowing cities to grow and adapt to larger populations doesnít need to be rocket science and doesnít necessarily need to put neighbors against us. Many cities around the world have figured out how to provide quality living conditions and accommodate denser populations.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Linea_Norway on May 08, 2019, 01:11:20 AM
It is shocking to me that your neighbours can just do this without informing the adjacent neighbours. In Norway you need to get your neighbour's signatures on your detailed plans for rebuilding your existing home or building a new home, before you can start building. The neighbours can give their opinion and protest. You need to inform about the period of building and about any inconveniences.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: spartana on May 08, 2019, 08:30:58 AM
ADU’s were going to be allowed in our neighborhood if your lot was 10,000. However, the neighborhood mobilized and the ordinance was not changed to allow it.

And hence the root of the housing crisis.
So I take it that if you were a long term homeowner in a tract of small houses you'd be OK with them building large high rise apt complexes on 3 sides of your house? Or even a 2 or 3 story mcmansions across the full lot? A lot of us support building small ADUs but its the building extremely large houses or multi-unit apts/housing/AirBNBs and ADUs on one small lot that is the problem for many homeowners.

In any case I didn't want this thread to get political as I was only looking to see how others would feel about something like a giant house with lots of people going up next door to them and if it would cause them to move and, if so, whether it was best to wait until finished or sell asap.

Sorry I took it in a political direction.  It struck a nerve because I hate living in suburbia, but because of politics I don't really have any better option. 

I don't think it would bother me personally to have larger units next to me once the construction was done, but I understand how it would bother other folks.  Infrastructural inertia means that somebody's going to lose as cities grow.
No problem. It IS a hot button topic.

 In my former city they have been building many higher rise (10 story?) apt complexes of studios, one and two bedrooms to address the housing crunch. There's currently a 200 unit complex being built of just studios - which could house 400 people. But all of these large complexes are being built in commercial.areas that are zoned for multi-housing units, have tons of underground parking, easy access to commuter buses and shopping. Expecting long term residents in SFH developments to build second homes or enlarge their homes for extra housing is too much to ask. But that's just imho.

 Like you I hate suburban living and tract developments of mcmansions and would rather see more multifamily housing for new builds. But I also feel for current homeowners who have to deal with changes in their quality of life. 
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: spartana on May 08, 2019, 08:40:45 AM
It is shocking to me that your neighbours can just do this without informing the adjacent neighbours. In Norway you need to get your neighbour's signatures on your detailed plans for rebuilding your existing home or building a new home, before you can start building. The neighbours can give their opinion and protest. You need to inform about the period of building and about any inconveniences.
I was surprised by that too but after looking it up, apparently they don't have to give you any notice unless they are changing zoning laws - building a commercial or business or apt complex. So they can legally build as big of a house as they want as long as it is 5 feet from all property lines and no more than 2 stories tall - or a big house plus a smaller one on the same lot and the neighbors wouldn't know until the bulldozer shows up one morning. Reminds me of Arthur Dent from Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy. Hope my neighbor knows where her towel is and then everything will be OK ;-).

ETA: one thing that is interesting is that in that hood and area there are a lot of Buddhist Monasteries in the expanded  SFHs. I would think that would be considered commercial or business but apparently it's not so the adjacent neighbors don't need to be informed before the Monastery  house is built or expanded. Then it goes on the "Monastary" tour and the giant tour buses show up every week parked in the middle of the neighborhood street.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: dougules on May 08, 2019, 10:14:56 AM
It is shocking to me that your neighbours can just do this without informing the adjacent neighbours. In Norway you need to get your neighbour's signatures on your detailed plans for rebuilding your existing home or building a new home, before you can start building. The neighbours can give their opinion and protest. You need to inform about the period of building and about any inconveniences.
I was surprised by that too but after looking it up, apparently they don't have to give you any notice unless they are changing zoning laws - building a commercial or business or apt complex. So they can legally build as big of a house as they want as long as it is 5 feet from all property lines and no more than 2 stories tall - or a big house plus a smaller one on the same lot and the neighbors wouldn't know until the bulldozer shows up one morning. Reminds me of Arthur Dent from Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy. Hope my neighbor knows where her towel is and then everything will be OK ;-).

ETA: one thing that is interesting is that in that hood and area there are a lot of Buddhist Monasteries in the expanded  SFHs. I would think that would be considered commercial or business but apparently it's not so the adjacent neighbors don't need to be informed before the Monastery  house is built or expanded. Then it goes on the "Monastary" tour and the giant tour buses show up every week parked in the middle of the neighborhood street.

That's random, but I guess it isn't any more random than all the strange places they put churches around here.  Since monasteries are religious institutions, it's probably a lot harder to regulate their activities given the first amendment.  I remember when I lived in Oregon a church decided to raze several buildings downtown for a parking lot.  Since it was a church there was nothing the city could do to stop them.   

Why do monasteries have tour buses come through?
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Goldielocks on May 08, 2019, 11:44:11 AM
@dougules  -- I think the core of the "problem" with not being able to do anything about new builds, is not limited to churches.

Cities have zoning bylaws, and each property is in a zone.  If the new build / new use fully conforms to the zoning for that property, then the city can do very little other than enforce safety, zoning rules, parking rules, ensure trash is picked up, construction does not just stop halfway, buildings are not left to rot, etc.

The city needs to change the zoning rules (that apply to hundreds of properties, and require public consultations) and/or add more zoning rules to get more restrictive.

As for notifying the neighbors, they will not be notified unless either a)  The whole area has a building permit rule that neighbors must be notified about any new construction  (rare, special identified areas only), or b)  The new build will not fully conform to the zoning rule.

As for churches being special -- that is only the case if they have made a specific "church" zone.  Here, I think churches are zoned just like recreational building spaces (assembly spaces, like a theatre), and need to comply with those zoning setbacks and parking rules.  In fact, the only unique thing about churches is that the spot that the building is on (but often not the parking lot) is property tax reduced / free, by long standing convention.  For that reason, it is very very difficult to get a new property zoned to be "church".  You have to buy an existing one, tear it down or renovate.

The buddist / asia religious centres are growing here, too.  And people often start them in homes, because they have a leader there and can create space by opening up a few rooms.  It starts with just 10 people and grows. Queue parking problems in the residential area.  Several have been told to go rent space in the nearby rec centres, or buy land and build using assembly zoning, but would not get the church tax status.  One that grew like this here was on farm land, building adhoc structures was told to tear it all down, get rezoned, get permits and rebuild with inspections.

Lastly, I have a suspicion that the church property you named, that tore down buildings to put in a parking lot may have had a few underlying causes -- older, under used buildings that needed expensive repairs maybe with those tiny meeting/class rooms that was the style in the 70's but now churches want larger group meetings for 30 people at a time, or they were residences for religious students that they no longer have......or most likely the city told them to -- they are not compliant with city parking regulations for their zone, and have the abilty to charge for parking during the week (if they are close to downtown) and get some income.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Cassie on May 08, 2019, 03:09:35 PM
I would definitely not want to deal with monastery tours and bus loads of people. Thankfully that has not happened here.  Millennials and retirees are buying the small houses in our neighborhood and remodeling them but not tearing the houses down. Most arenít even adding on in the back.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Goldielocks on May 08, 2019, 03:14:29 PM
I would definitely not want to deal with monastery tours and bus loads of people. Thankfully that has not happened here.  Millennials and retirees are buying the small houses in our neighborhood and remodeling them but not tearing the houses down. Most arenít even adding on in the back.
Just wait until there are enough younger / newer families that you start to have the "Monster halloween haunted house" or "Christmas light display"... with volunteers and collection of donations for a charity.

These things are terrific. to have close by.. until they start attracting more than 300 people a night.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Cassie on May 08, 2019, 09:06:10 PM
I will probably be dead before that happens. On the west coast but not California.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: spartana on May 09, 2019, 12:43:15 AM
7 bathrooms? What the hell is wrong with people?
 
How will they clean that big house and all those rooms ??
It gives all the monks living there something to do and keeps them humble ;-).

@dougules there are numerous big ornate temples near by and a whole lots small monasteries in the local hoods (4 monasteries within my hood and more a few blocks from my former home, and maybe 5 huge temples within 5 or 10 miles). So lots of tourists/worshippers from out of the area would come via tour buses to see the temples and also stop to visit the monasteries too. This is in or close to the largest Vietnamese community in.the world outside of Vietnam and a big tourist area. So it is highly probable that the new built houses could become monasteries since they have 9 bedrooms and 9 bathroom. Legally that could be 18 people living there.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Linea_Norway on May 09, 2019, 02:24:54 AM
It is shocking to me that your neighbours can just do this without informing the adjacent neighbours. In Norway you need to get your neighbour's signatures on your detailed plans for rebuilding your existing home or building a new home, before you can start building. The neighbours can give their opinion and protest. You need to inform about the period of building and about any inconveniences.
I was surprised by that too but after looking it up, apparently they don't have to give you any notice unless they are changing zoning laws - building a commercial or business or apt complex. So they can legally build as big of a house as they want as long as it is 5 feet from all property lines and no more than 2 stories tall - or a big house plus a smaller one on the same lot and the neighbors wouldn't know until the bulldozer shows up one morning. Reminds me of Arthur Dent from Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy. Hope my neighbor knows where her towel is and then everything will be OK ;-).


Maybe it works that that here as well. I just remember that many neighbours have gotten our signature for rebuilding their existing house. It could be that plans for new houses only are displayed at the community office for those who remember to go there by themselves. Like Arthur Dent didn't.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: dougules on May 09, 2019, 10:29:08 AM
@dougules  -- I think the core of the "problem" with not being able to do anything about new builds, is not limited to churches.

Cities have zoning bylaws, and each property is in a zone.  If the new build / new use fully conforms to the zoning for that property, then the city can do very little other than enforce safety, zoning rules, parking rules, ensure trash is picked up, construction does not just stop halfway, buildings are not left to rot, etc.

The city needs to change the zoning rules (that apply to hundreds of properties, and require public consultations) and/or add more zoning rules to get more restrictive.

As for notifying the neighbors, they will not be notified unless either a)  The whole area has a building permit rule that neighbors must be notified about any new construction  (rare, special identified areas only), or b)  The new build will not fully conform to the zoning rule.

As I was discussing earlier all the zoning, bylaws, and resistance to change is having a lot of bad consequences, too, like the price of housing.  I don't want to go political again, but I'll just say that it really isn't simple.  It's not straightforward to strike a balance of how and how much neighborhoods should or should not change with changing needs.  All the zoning and city layout you are familiar with were experimental regulatory models within the lifetime of people still alive today.  They have their upsides and their downsides. 

Quote
As for churches being special -- that is only the case if they have made a specific "church" zone.  Here, I think churches are zoned just like recreational building spaces (assembly spaces, like a theatre), and need to comply with those zoning setbacks and parking rules.  In fact, the only unique thing about churches is that the spot that the building is on (but often not the parking lot) is property tax reduced / free, by long standing convention.  For that reason, it is very very difficult to get a new property zoned to be "church".  You have to buy an existing one, tear it down or renovate.

The buddist / asia religious centres are growing here, too.  And people often start them in homes, because they have a leader there and can create space by opening up a few rooms.  It starts with just 10 people and grows. Queue parking problems in the residential area.  Several have been told to go rent space in the nearby rec centres, or buy land and build using assembly zoning, but would not get the church tax status.  One that grew like this here was on farm land, building adhoc structures was told to tear it all down, get rezoned, get permits and rebuild with inspections.

Lastly, I have a suspicion that the church property you named, that tore down buildings to put in a parking lot may have had a few underlying causes -- older, under used buildings that needed expensive repairs maybe with those tiny meeting/class rooms that was the style in the 70's but now churches want larger group meetings for 30 people at a time, or they were residences for religious students that they no longer have......or most likely the city told them to -- they are not compliant with city parking regulations for their zone, and have the abilty to charge for parking during the week (if they are close to downtown) and get some income.

The older buildings were still usable, and even if they did need extensive repairs, the economics of land in downtown Portland would have easily supported it.  The city did not want them to add parking as that they're trying to reduce the number of cars downtown. 

Interestingly enough an old house about a mile north of me has been converted into a Vietnamese Buddhist temple.  I had seen the big Buddha out front, and just now looked it up.  I guess it's not just California. 

It looks like you are in Canada, so there would be different laws on how zoning can work with religious buildings.  The US constitution makes it a lot harder to regulate things when it's a religious institution involved. 
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Goldielocks on May 09, 2019, 11:18:31 AM

It looks like you are in Canada, so there would be different laws on how zoning can work with religious buildings.  The US constitution makes it a lot harder to regulate things when it's a religious institution involved.
Not really..at the country level. It is all based on local ordinances.  Some states and cities are more "free for all", some are less so when it comes to church properties.  I worked both sides of the border.   I have never seen a jurisdiction that did not enforce building safety regulations when it comes to churches, for example.... unless grandfathered in due to age.   They may be lenient on timeline, but no one is willing to take on the liability of approving an unsafe structure.   Likewise, I have not seen any that ignored local parking regulations and bylaws... they would accept reasonable alternatives, but not ignore it.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: spartana on May 10, 2019, 09:15:26 AM
^I think we are very similar in Calif, which may have more safety codes then other states due to earthquake issues. Parking is pretty regulated too. I just googled how SoCal cities deal with parking in neighborhood church/temple zones and it varies city by city but basicly if its in a hood of SFHs and on public streets the rules favor the homeowners over the church or other "commercial" kind of thing. Although I doubt parking regulations are enforced unless you get a lot of complaints.

 Its like AirBNBs in my old city - technically they aren't allowed,  and technically you can file  a complaint with code enforcement, but they admit they don't actually enforce it.

Anyways the slab for the ADU is being poured right now and apparently it is 5 feet from her lot line (and 10 feet from her house) and will be 35 feet long along her property line. The big house lines have been chalked in to mark its location along with the 3 car garage and 3 car driveway,  and it'll cover the whole lot with the ADU. So now that they are already starting the actual construction she plans to wait before deciding to sell.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: robartsd on May 13, 2019, 01:57:44 PM
ADUís were going to be allowed in our neighborhood if your lot was 10,000. However, the neighborhood mobilized and the ordinance was not changed to allow it.

And hence the root of the housing crisis.
So I take it that if you were a long term homeowner in a tract of small houses you'd be OK with them building large high rise apt complexes on 3 sides of your house? Or even a 2 or 3 story mcmansions across the full lot? A lot of us support building small ADUs but its the building extremely large houses or multi-unit apts/housing/AirBNBs and ADUs on one small lot that is the problem for many homeowners.

In any case I didn't want this thread to get political as I was only looking to see how others would feel about something like a giant house with lots of people going up next door to them and if it would cause them to move and, if so, whether it was best to wait until finished or sell asap.
Most 10k+ sf lots are plenty big for a smal ADU. While state law allows ADU, local jurisdiction could set reasonable limits to minimize impact on neighbors (setbacks, off-street parking requirements, limitation on short-term rentals, maximum occupancy limits).
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: spartana on May 14, 2019, 08:37:39 AM
ADUís were going to be allowed in our neighborhood if your lot was 10,000. However, the neighborhood mobilized and the ordinance was not changed to allow it.

And hence the root of the housing crisis.
So I take it that if you were a long term homeowner in a tract of small houses you'd be OK with them building large high rise apt complexes on 3 sides of your house? Or even a 2 or 3 story mcmansions across the full lot? A lot of us support building small ADUs but its the building extremely large houses or multi-unit apts/housing/AirBNBs and ADUs on one small lot that is the problem for many homeowners.

In any case I didn't want this thread to get political as I was only looking to see how others would feel about something like a giant house with lots of people going up next door to them and if it would cause them to move and, if so, whether it was best to wait until finished or sell asap.
Most 10k+ sf lots are plenty big for a smal ADU. While state law allows ADU, local jurisdiction could set reasonable limits to minimize impact on neighbors (setbacks, off-street parking requirements, limitation on short-term rentals, maximum occupancy limits).
Yeah I googled some of the surrounding towns and they are all a bit different but the differences are minimal. One city near by actually allows you to build 2 4000 sf or larger 2 story house on one smallish lot as long as its within the required setbacks from all the lot lines - which seems to be around 4 or 5 feet on the sides and back and 10 - 20 feet in front.

This particular lot is 7,995 sf total. 60 ft wide. The big house will be 50 ft wide (not sure how long though)  with a 4 ft gap between it and the ADU, which is in the rear and is around 35 ft wide along the width of the property. So other than a small open area in the back corner of the lot, both houses plus 3 car garage and 3 car driveway pretty much cover the entire lot.

So I don't think its the ADU or a big rear extention people have much issue with, its the big 2 story 4000 sf or bigger mcmansions on relatively small lots people have a problem with in SFH hoods. But being this is SoCal and land is at a premium (and people want giant houses and ADUs) I imagine the trend of razing small houses and building one or two big houses will continue...until the next housing downturn at least.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: spartana on May 19, 2019, 09:29:00 AM
Former neighbor found out some more info from owner and is now wondering if she should move asap and perhaps take advantage of the investors who are now sniffing around her house.

Basicly it is going to be used for student housing for the local college. The owner and his wife will be living on the bottom floor of the big house and the upper 6 beds/6 baths plus the 2 bed/2 bath ADU will be rented to students. They plan to put 2 beds in each room for 2 renters per room. That is a common thing around there. So 16 students max, or maybe less if someone pays higher for there own room,  plus the owners. Most of the houses there also illegally convert the garage to living space so could be additional people.

So, if you were in this situation, would you sell asap before/while it's being built (all the sewer lines installed now) or wait until its done and people start moving in for the next school year (end of August)? I'm thinking that to a potential buyer a huge house and ADU being built next door might be OK but one that will have tons of students living there might be a horror.

ETA just googled and in this city you can only have max two people per bedroom and must rent at least 31 days so no daily or weekly rentals. But there appears to be some places that have up to 6 people per room so maybe the law is not enforced. Since it appears to mostly be international students from Asia there may be different rules. Here one example of a room rented to students in another town:
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Cassie on May 19, 2019, 09:35:10 AM
That definitely changes things but if the owners are living on site they arenít going to want to live in a noisy party house either.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: spartana on May 19, 2019, 10:02:39 AM
That definitely changes things but if the owners are living on site they arenít going to want to live in a noisy party house either.
Well the owners are legally suppose to live onsite but whether they really do or not might be a different story. However I think most Asian students are quiet and respectful - at least that seems to be the stereotype and my own experience living there - so might not be a party house.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: robartsd on May 20, 2019, 10:35:46 AM
Since it appears to mostly be international students from Asia there may be different rules. Here one example of a room rented to students in another town:
I highly doubt that the rules are different, but the international students expectations for privacy and space likely is different than US born students. If they are indeed quiet and respectful (and also mostly car-free) then the impact on the neighborhood might not be too bad; but I'd still rather not have the big house right next to my property line. The good news about a housing impacted college town is that residential property values are unlikely to decline.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: dougules on May 20, 2019, 11:05:18 AM
A big question to me would be if she does move, where would she go, and what would it cost?
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: spartana on May 20, 2019, 06:41:33 PM
Since it appears to mostly be international students from Asia there may be different rules. Here one example of a room rented to students in another town:
I highly doubt that the rules are different, but the international students expectations for privacy and space likely is different than US born students. If they are indeed quiet and respectful (and also mostly car-free) then the impact on the neighborhood might not be too bad; but I'd still rather not have the big house right next to my property line. The good news about a housing impacted college town is that residential property values are unlikely to decline.
I think it would likely be a quiet house if mostly international students and parking won't be an issue either - close to buses that go currently to a couple of community colleges and not far from 3 big state universities and several city and private colleges. So I'm sure that's a huge relief from thinking it might be a AirBNB party house or frat house or even just multiple extended family/friends house. The international student housing is a big thing here so, besides a giant house and second house a few feet from her living room, its probably ok.

Here's a craigslist ad I saw for a private house near UCLA and USC that seemed similar although house is much smaller. The owner could make a killing! Something for the MMM landlords  to think about:

"Are you looking for a vibrant place to share with other students? Share your bedroom with another student or have a private bedroom for yourself. Everything is included (sheets, towels, utilities, wifi, and kitchen utensils) so just bring your luggage.
This is a massive 3300 sf 8 bedroom house.

Private Room = $1600/month
Shared Room = $1100/month"

@dougules I'm not sure where she'd move to but would probably move to a condo or townhouse in a nearby town she likes a lot and rent. Very expensive there but she has lots of equity in the house.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: lhamo on May 20, 2019, 07:25:17 PM
At this point her best bet is probably to wait it out and see what happens.  If the project ends up being successful but annoying to live next to, she'll most likely be able to sell to a developer wanting to replicate the successful model.

Or she sells to a developer now.  I can't see any mainstream family wanting to buy her place while the construction is going on and before the results are known.  At least not at a reasonable price.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Goldielocks on May 21, 2019, 01:54:17 AM
International students with the owners on site is a LOT quieter/ better than many other higher density rental situations.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: dougules on May 21, 2019, 10:28:49 AM
At this point her best bet is probably to wait it out and see what happens.  If the project ends up being successful but annoying to live next to, she'll most likely be able to sell to a developer wanting to replicate the successful model.

Or she sells to a developer now.  I can't see any mainstream family wanting to buy her place while the construction is going on and before the results are known.  At least not at a reasonable price.

+1  There's a good chance it won't be as bad as she thinks it is once the construction dust settles. 

That is unless she could get really good money relative to where she wants to move. 

It seems mildly ironic that she wants to move to a condo. 
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: mm1970 on May 21, 2019, 11:50:44 AM
At this point her best bet is probably to wait it out and see what happens.  If the project ends up being successful but annoying to live next to, she'll most likely be able to sell to a developer wanting to replicate the successful model.

Or she sells to a developer now.  I can't see any mainstream family wanting to buy her place while the construction is going on and before the results are known.  At least not at a reasonable price.

+1  There's a good chance it won't be as bad as she thinks it is once the construction dust settles. 

That is unless she could get really good money relative to where she wants to move. 

It seems mildly ironic that she wants to move to a condo.

Only mildly though, as condos generally have assigned parking, more rules about who can live there, open spaces.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: spartana on May 21, 2019, 12:23:22 PM
At this point her best bet is probably to wait it out and see what happens.  If the project ends up being successful but annoying to live next to, she'll most likely be able to sell to a developer wanting to replicate the successful model.

Or she sells to a developer now.  I can't see any mainstream family wanting to buy her place while the construction is going on and before the results are known.  At least not at a reasonable price.

+1  There's a good chance it won't be as bad as she thinks it is once the construction dust settles. 

That is unless she could get really good money relative to where she wants to move. 

It seems mildly ironic that she wants to move to a condo.

Only mildly though, as condos generally have assigned parking, more rules about who can live there, open spaces.
Yeah condos and townhouses are not only MUCH cheaper to rent (or buy) then a SFH in that area, but the rules and regulations generally mean they are very pleasant places to live. I'm sure she'd rather buy a SFH (or maybe not - lots of work for a single person) but a nice townhouse would be half the cost.

Just did a Google search and median housing prices are around $750k and median condo/townhome prices are $450k. That's to buy. Her house would sell as a tear down for around $600k. If she had enough equity she could buy a townhouse or condo with all cash if she wanted. Not sure that's what she'd do.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: spartana on May 22, 2019, 09:25:06 AM
At this point her best bet is probably to wait it out and see what happens.  If the project ends up being successful but annoying to live next to, she'll most likely be able to sell to a developer wanting to replicate the successful model.

Or she sells to a developer now. I can't see any mainstream family wanting to buy her place while the construction is going on and before the results are known.  At least not at a reasonable price.
I think she feels the opposite - no regular home buyer would want to buy her place if it ends up being student housing with 18 or more transient people living there. Or maybe an AirBNB. Or both. Right now it just looks like a big fancy house and ADU is going in which "may" house a regular larger extended family.

Plus its building season and she may have a harder time selling in the fall or winter as owners may not want to do anything on the place until next summer. Although this being SoCal all year long is building season - assuming you can get the SoCal construction workers outside when the temps drop to 65 ;-).

Personally I'd sell asap and just find a place to rent. But I'd be freaking out if that big of a group of transient people would be living next door to me. It's part of the reason I moved from that area originally. Apparently they are pouring concrete for the foundations today so the framing will start soon.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: ChpBstrd on May 23, 2019, 09:47:59 PM
A friend of mine put his house on the market in a panic when he learned a WalMart super center was to be built down the road. I checked the neighborhood prices a few years after the sale and after the WalMart and the prices had increased in line with all the other neighborhoods in the area. They lost probably tens of thousands of dollars in house-trading expenses for nothing.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: ChpBstrd on May 23, 2019, 09:56:58 PM

That type of thing is happening to my neighborhood in Seattle too.  My neighborhood is mostly post WWII, small houses.   Four houses on my street (in one block) have been scraped and rebuilt as luxury homes.   That says to me the value of my house is almost entirely in the land.  And that's probably true for your friend as well.  Since the value is in the land, it probably doesn't matter too much when she sells.  But as a SWAG, it might be better to wait until after they build and sell the McMansions, because that's proof of concept that the tear down model is viable in your neighborhood.   

...which leaves me a little torn.   If my house's value is mostly in the land, I could scrap it myself, rebuild with a McMansion, and then sell it.   Because I bought before the huge run-up in real estate, my cost basis would be much lower than the new McMansion down the street.  Like $550K lower.   If those guys are making money, I could make even more.   But I've put considerable sweat equity into my house and yard and I've become attached.  I realize it is foolish to become attached to inanimate objects, yet here I am.

As someone living in a part of the country where home price appreciation has been 1-2% for the past several decades and where home prices per square foot rarely exceed the cost of building per square foot, I would love to switch places with you and be able to become a millionaire simply for the trouble of hiring a developer. Zero plus a rounding error of people in the world have such an opportunity in front of them. I hope you appreciate that, because I'd be all over it. I also wonder how long such exuberance can last.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: spartana on May 27, 2019, 09:37:50 PM

That type of thing is happening to my neighborhood in Seattle too.  My neighborhood is mostly post WWII, small houses.   Four houses on my street (in one block) have been scraped and rebuilt as luxury homes.   That says to me the value of my house is almost entirely in the land.  And that's probably true for your friend as well.  Since the value is in the land, it probably doesn't matter too much when she sells.  But as a SWAG, it might be better to wait until after they build and sell the McMansions, because that's proof of concept that the tear down model is viable in your neighborhood.   

...which leaves me a little torn.   If my house's value is mostly in the land, I could scrap it myself, rebuild with a McMansion, and then sell it.   Because I bought before the huge run-up in real estate, my cost basis would be much lower than the new McMansion down the street.  Like $550K lower.   If those guys are making money, I could make even more.   But I've put considerable sweat equity into my house and yard and I've become attached.  I realize it is foolish to become attached to inanimate objects, yet here I am.

As someone living in a part of the country where home price appreciation has been 1-2% for the past several decades and where home prices per square foot rarely exceed the cost of building per square foot, I would love to switch places with you and be able to become a millionaire simply for the trouble of hiring a developer. Zero plus a rounding error of people in the world have such an opportunity in front of them. I hope you appreciate that, because I'd be all over it. I also wonder how long such exuberance can last.
I don't know. In places like coastal Calif land value has long outpaced house values if it's a small older home. Even larger newer homes are bought for the land value (location location location!) and often razed to build something new and shiny. That hasn't really changed much over the years and probably unlikely too. However another housing crash could happen and it hard to sell for such a high amount.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Goldielocks on May 28, 2019, 10:00:37 AM
Neighbors sold their home last fall, and I was in fear of a large home (4500 sq.ft) going up because the lot is larger and a second storey would have a view.

It would also loom over my home, and eliminate yard privacy as there is a 8ft ground height difference between us already.

I was very relieved to see the new owners gutting and rebuilding the place, without making large changes to the outside, so far.  Yay!  However, they are doing it themselves / with small contractors who appear to be business contacts, and instead of moving in in Feb, they are not in yet.   And they have a lot of garbage out front (city gave them a notice, it was that bad...). 

The challenge is that they have not mowed their lawn yet this year, obviously don't care while construction goes on.   Grass on their patch was well over knee height and about to self seed all over my flower beds.   I mowed it yesterday for them... I sure hope they aren't environmentalist - nazis....
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Jimbo on May 28, 2019, 10:04:22 AM
.   I mowed it yesterday for them... I sure hope they aren't environmentalist - nazis....

Environmentalist-nazis??

What poor choice of word. Ugh!
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Cassie on May 28, 2019, 12:31:19 PM
Gold, I totally understand them not wanting to move in until the work is done. We did the same thing and it took my husband and a helper 4 months working 12 hours day / 7 days a week. However, they should have removed the junk and cut the grass.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: WanderLucky on May 28, 2019, 12:35:38 PM

That type of thing is happening to my neighborhood in Seattle too.  My neighborhood is mostly post WWII, small houses.   Four houses on my street (in one block) have been scraped and rebuilt as luxury homes.   That says to me the value of my house is almost entirely in the land.  And that's probably true for your friend as well.  Since the value is in the land, it probably doesn't matter too much when she sells.  But as a SWAG, it might be better to wait until after they build and sell the McMansions, because that's proof of concept that the tear down model is viable in your neighborhood.   

...which leaves me a little torn.   If my house's value is mostly in the land, I could scrap it myself, rebuild with a McMansion, and then sell it.   Because I bought before the huge run-up in real estate, my cost basis would be much lower than the new McMansion down the street.  Like $550K lower.   If those guys are making money, I could make even more.   But I've put considerable sweat equity into my house and yard and I've become attached.  I realize it is foolish to become attached to inanimate objects, yet here I am.

As someone living in a part of the country where home price appreciation has been 1-2% for the past several decades and where home prices per square foot rarely exceed the cost of building per square foot, I would love to switch places with you and be able to become a millionaire simply for the trouble of hiring a developer. Zero plus a rounding error of people in the world have such an opportunity in front of them. I hope you appreciate that, because I'd be all over it. I also wonder how long such exuberance can last.

I'm pondering the same thing here in Seattle. My house is over a hundred years old and the maintenance is starting to get too much for me. And despite it being a place I love, it's a 2Bdrm/1Bath, inefficient house, taking up 5000 sqft in an awesome neighborhood. I've been getting weekly offers from developers that have recently climbed to $1.2M. I'm so tempted because as you say, how long can this last? And at the same time, if they are willing to give me $1.2M for the land, then how much are they profiting? Could I do this myself by hiring my own builders? Ultimately, I'd love to have one of the new units because I do love the neighborhood (at least for now; everything is changing so fast), and I know I would have a hard time getting back into this neighborhood - Right now, there are only 13 townhouses (no SF houses) for sale in my neighborhood and only one of them is appealing to me. And the price range is $725k-$1.25M. It's getting a little out of hand, and I do realize that I am one of the lucky ones.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Telecaster on May 28, 2019, 02:22:04 PM
I'm pondering the same thing here in Seattle. My house is over a hundred years old and the maintenance is starting to get too much for me. And despite it being a place I love, it's a 2Bdrm/1Bath, inefficient house, taking up 5000 sqft in an awesome neighborhood. I've been getting weekly offers from developers that have recently climbed to $1.2M. I'm so tempted because as you say, how long can this last? And at the same time, if they are willing to give me $1.2M for the land, then how much are they profiting? Could I do this myself by hiring my own builders? Ultimately, I'd love to have one of the new units because I do love the neighborhood (at least for now; everything is changing so fast), and I know I would have a hard time getting back into this neighborhood - Right now, there are only 13 townhouses (no SF houses) for sale in my neighborhood and only one of them is appealing to me. And the price range is $725k-$1.25M. It's getting a little out of hand, and I do realize that I am one of the lucky ones.

They are offering you $1.2M for the lot?!?   I think I'd be willing to move out of the neighborhood for that much.

Around me, the last two houses that sold went for $700K and $770K.  The $770K house got redeveloped but hasn't been resold yet.   Nobody ever moved into the $700K house and it just went on the market again after six months, and just sold for an undisclosed amount.   That house had never really been updated, so I'm sure it was supposed to have been a scrape and rebuild.

Here's my situation (and I guess I'm sort of asking for advice here).  I owe $130K on the mortgage (mostly thanks to a too high down payment.  I didn't know better at the time).  My house is conservatively worth $700K.  I believe more, because when I bought it was a 2Br/1Ba, and now it is a legal 3/2.   Plus a metric ton of other sweat equity (upgraded electricity, plumbing, etc). 

Cost estimates I hear for custom homes in Seattle are on the order of $300/SF.   So 3,000 SF house would cost $900K and sell for...shoot, now I'm really guessing...$1.5 million?   Doesn't really pencil out.  $1.8 million probably does, and new construction can go for that much.   

The other issue is the $130K mortgage.  That means my actual cost of living is pretty cheap.    If I sold now, I'd get about $500K in equity, which using the 4% rule translates to $1,600/month.   Basically, if I captured the equity I'd have to leave Seattle, which I don't want to do. 
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: lhamo on May 28, 2019, 06:59:51 PM
Telecaster, if you are willing to consider surrounding suburbs, you can still get a decent house in the 500k range -- I am watching that price point in Shoreline/Mountlake Terrace/Lynnwood and seeing a decent amount of inventory.  Once ST3 is done it will be a 30 minute commute to downtown.  I'm actually quite surprised that values haven't shot up yet -- I guess people are wary of how construction is going to disrupt things.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: spartana on May 28, 2019, 07:07:47 PM
Telecaster, if you are willing to consider surrounding suburbs, you can still get a decent house in the 500k range -- I am watching that price point in Shoreline/Mountlake Terrace/Lynnwood and seeing a decent amount of inventory.  Once ST3 is done it will be a 30 minute commute to downtown.  I'm actually quite surprised that values haven't shot up yet -- I guess people are wary of how construction is going to disrupt things.
I've been looking at the rental prices in some of those areas just outside Seattle ('cause someone owes me a hike and coffee up there ;-)) and if I had a place with as much equity as Telecaster I be selling asap and renting until FIRE. Invest those big bucks! But I do understand that people love their hoods and have affordable housing and if they sell may never be able to move back. I had this same situation but didn't like my area or house so was an easier choice.

Oops just realized Telecaster said they would have $500k in profit not the million five I first thought. So a bit different and I guess I'd hang on to the place with its low mortgage and high equity if I wanted to stay in the area.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: seattlecyclone on May 28, 2019, 07:53:39 PM
I'm pondering the same thing here in Seattle. My house is over a hundred years old and the maintenance is starting to get too much for me. And despite it being a place I love, it's a 2Bdrm/1Bath, inefficient house, taking up 5000 sqft in an awesome neighborhood. I've been getting weekly offers from developers that have recently climbed to $1.2M. I'm so tempted because as you say, how long can this last? And at the same time, if they are willing to give me $1.2M for the land, then how much are they profiting? Could I do this myself by hiring my own builders? Ultimately, I'd love to have one of the new units because I do love the neighborhood (at least for now; everything is changing so fast), and I know I would have a hard time getting back into this neighborhood - Right now, there are only 13 townhouses (no SF houses) for sale in my neighborhood and only one of them is appealing to me. And the price range is $725k-$1.25M. It's getting a little out of hand, and I do realize that I am one of the lucky ones.

Interesting situation. I wonder how amenable some of these builders might be to a deal where they give you $250k and one of the townhomes that they would have sold for ~$1 million, rather than $1.2M cash. Seems like it could be a win-win. You'd get a newer, likely bigger house with less need for maintenance in the short term, perhaps with some input on the layout to make sure it's more like the one that appeals to you and less like the 12 that don't. The builder would have a less risky project, with less up-front cost and one unit that is spoken for regardless of what happens to market prices during construction.

Or you could go the route of hiring your own builders, but that doesn't really seem to be for the faint of heart. I'd bet it's pretty common for developers to lose money on their first project(s) as they learn the business.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: ChpBstrd on May 29, 2019, 08:18:16 AM

That type of thing is happening to my neighborhood in Seattle too.  My neighborhood is mostly post WWII, small houses.   Four houses on my street (in one block) have been scraped and rebuilt as luxury homes.   That says to me the value of my house is almost entirely in the land.  And that's probably true for your friend as well.  Since the value is in the land, it probably doesn't matter too much when she sells.  But as a SWAG, it might be better to wait until after they build and sell the McMansions, because that's proof of concept that the tear down model is viable in your neighborhood.   

...which leaves me a little torn.   If my house's value is mostly in the land, I could scrap it myself, rebuild with a McMansion, and then sell it.   Because I bought before the huge run-up in real estate, my cost basis would be much lower than the new McMansion down the street.  Like $550K lower.   If those guys are making money, I could make even more.   But I've put considerable sweat equity into my house and yard and I've become attached.  I realize it is foolish to become attached to inanimate objects, yet here I am.

As someone living in a part of the country where home price appreciation has been 1-2% for the past several decades and where home prices per square foot rarely exceed the cost of building per square foot, I would love to switch places with you and be able to become a millionaire simply for the trouble of hiring a developer. Zero plus a rounding error of people in the world have such an opportunity in front of them. I hope you appreciate that, because I'd be all over it. I also wonder how long such exuberance can last.

I'm pondering the same thing here in Seattle. My house is over a hundred years old and the maintenance is starting to get too much for me. And despite it being a place I love, it's a 2Bdrm/1Bath, inefficient house, taking up 5000 sqft in an awesome neighborhood. I've been getting weekly offers from developers that have recently climbed to $1.2M. I'm so tempted because as you say, how long can this last? And at the same time, if they are willing to give me $1.2M for the land, then how much are they profiting? Could I do this myself by hiring my own builders? Ultimately, I'd love to have one of the new units because I do love the neighborhood (at least for now; everything is changing so fast), and I know I would have a hard time getting back into this neighborhood - Right now, there are only 13 townhouses (no SF houses) for sale in my neighborhood and only one of them is appealing to me. And the price range is $725k-$1.25M. It's getting a little out of hand, and I do realize that I am one of the lucky ones.

$1.2M is my FIRE number in my LCOL area. I've been saving 10 years so far, with 5 more to go, trying to reach the number you could reach just by moving. 15 of the best years  of my life is what that square of dirt is worth. Amazing...

I suppose everyone who wanted to retire from real estate profits has already done so. The only people left are the ones who love that specific location, and who are willing to work hard to stay there.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Telecaster on May 31, 2019, 01:00:39 PM
Around me, the last two houses that sold went for $700K and $770K.  The $770K house got redeveloped but hasn't been resold yet.   Nobody ever moved into the $700K house and it just went on the market again after six months, and just sold for an undisclosed amount.   That house had never really been updated, so I'm sure it was supposed to have been a scrape and rebuild...

...Cost estimates I hear for custom homes in Seattle are on the order of $300/SF.   So 3,000 SF house would cost $900K and sell for...shoot, now I'm really guessing...$1.5 million?   Doesn't really pencil out.  $1.8 million probably does, and new construction can go for that much.

Welp, the $770K demo and new build just went on the market.   Asking price is $2.1 million.   
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: dougules on May 31, 2019, 03:44:01 PM
Around me, the last two houses that sold went for $700K and $770K.  The $770K house got redeveloped but hasn't been resold yet.   Nobody ever moved into the $700K house and it just went on the market again after six months, and just sold for an undisclosed amount.   That house had never really been updated, so I'm sure it was supposed to have been a scrape and rebuild...

...Cost estimates I hear for custom homes in Seattle are on the order of $300/SF.   So 3,000 SF house would cost $900K and sell for...shoot, now I'm really guessing...$1.5 million?   Doesn't really pencil out.  $1.8 million probably does, and new construction can go for that much.

Welp, the $770K demo and new build just went on the market.   Asking price is $2.1 million.

That's insane.  When I lived in Oregon a friend of mine who had been priced out of San Diego told me he thought the whole West Coast would eventually be only for rich people.  I kind of shrugged off the notion that it would also apply to the PNW, but I guess that day has come. 
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: WanderLucky on June 02, 2019, 07:42:47 PM
I'm pondering the same thing here in Seattle. My house is over a hundred years old and the maintenance is starting to get too much for me. And despite it being a place I love, it's a 2Bdrm/1Bath, inefficient house, taking up 5000 sqft in an awesome neighborhood. I've been getting weekly offers from developers that have recently climbed to $1.2M. I'm so tempted because as you say, how long can this last? And at the same time, if they are willing to give me $1.2M for the land, then how much are they profiting? Could I do this myself by hiring my own builders? Ultimately, I'd love to have one of the new units because I do love the neighborhood (at least for now; everything is changing so fast), and I know I would have a hard time getting back into this neighborhood - Right now, there are only 13 townhouses (no SF houses) for sale in my neighborhood and only one of them is appealing to me. And the price range is $725k-$1.25M. It's getting a little out of hand, and I do realize that I am one of the lucky ones.

Interesting situation. I wonder how amenable some of these builders might be to a deal where they give you $250k and one of the townhomes that they would have sold for ~$1 million, rather than $1.2M cash. Seems like it could be a win-win. You'd get a newer, likely bigger house with less need for maintenance in the short term, perhaps with some input on the layout to make sure it's more like the one that appeals to you and less like the 12 that don't. The builder would have a less risky project, with less up-front cost and one unit that is spoken for regardless of what happens to market prices during construction.

Or you could go the route of hiring your own builders, but that doesn't really seem to be for the faint of heart. I'd bet it's pretty common for developers to lose money on their first project(s) as they learn the business.

That is a great idea. I have no idea if they would be open to doing that but I just asked (via email) the latest developer to send over an offer to see what they say.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Telecaster on June 04, 2019, 04:50:28 PM
Welp, the $770K demo and new build just went on the market.   Asking price is $2.1 million.

I did a walk through at the open house this weekend.  It is almost 4K square feet, so it is big.  And it is nice, but it isn't that nice.   They did pay some attention making sure there was good natural light in each room (important in the PNW) and there is a legit Mt. Rainier view from the upper deck.  High quality appliances and countertops, and hardwood flooring in most rooms.   The finish work was below what I would have expected for the price.

Be interesting to see if they get the asking price. 
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: lhamo on June 04, 2019, 07:08:18 PM
Welp, the $770K demo and new build just went on the market.   Asking price is $2.1 million.

I did a walk through at the open house this weekend.  It is almost 4K square feet, so it is big.  And it is nice, but it isn't that nice.   They did pay some attention making sure there was good natural light in each room (important in the PNW) and there is a legit Mt. Rainier view from the upper deck.  High quality appliances and countertops, and hardwood flooring in most rooms.   The finish work was below what I would have expected for the price.

Be interesting to see if they get the asking price.

Doubtful -- though it depends on the neighborhood, I guess.  In general I think there is a lot more inventory than interest at the higher price points.

Here is another scrape and build at a comparable size/price point, in View Ridge.  It has only been on the market a couple of weeks and they already dropped the price to 1.995 from 2.1. 

https://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/7347-58th-Ave-NE-98115/home/322022

Helps to include the link....
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Telecaster on June 04, 2019, 07:50:14 PM
Thank you!  Here's the link:

https://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/6802-36th-Ave-NE-98115/home/166865309

Not far from the View Ridge house. 
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: spartana on June 04, 2019, 10:49:48 PM
YIKES and I though Calif prices were high! Well they are but Seattle is looking pricey. Ever since the house in OP was razed and is being rebuilt I've been googling places near by thinking they couldn't possibly sell for a million or more. I found out I was very very wrong. Some of the new builds in my crappy old  hood and surrounding area are selling for $1.5 mm or more. Kind of shocking. There appears to be a ton of expansions and ADUs being built, or razing and mcmansionizing, or both on the same small lot as is happening to my old place, going on. Not sure it's sustainable though and I wouldn't have taken out a loan to mcmansionize myself or build an ADU (or both) in hopes that I could sell for double or more than I got for the land alone.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: lhamo on June 05, 2019, 09:33:57 AM
Thank you!  Here's the link:

https://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/6802-36th-Ave-NE-98115/home/166865309

Not far from the View Ridge house.

Yeah, that price point is really high for Wedgwood.  I'm guessing it will go for 1.9, tops.

At least it isn't a flat-top box.  I like the vaulted ceilings on the top floor.  But agree that the finishes are underwhelming for such an expensive house.  Also surprised that with so much space they didn't put a kitchenette in the basement to make it immediately feasible as a rental.  I guess you could probably add one pretty easily, but with the potential for both long-term and short-term rentals near the UW putting it in during construction seems like a no-brainer -- I mean, even if you only use that space as a rec room/kids hang out area, a small kitchen with a sink, microwave and fridge would be a plus.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: seattlecyclone on June 05, 2019, 10:36:25 AM
Thank you!  Here's the link:

https://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/6802-36th-Ave-NE-98115/home/166865309

Not far from the View Ridge house.

Yeah, that price point is really high for Wedgwood.  I'm guessing it will go for 1.9, tops.

At least it isn't a flat-top box.  I like the vaulted ceilings on the top floor.  But agree that the finishes are underwhelming for such an expensive house.  Also surprised that with so much space they didn't put a kitchenette in the basement to make it immediately feasible as a rental.  I guess you could probably add one pretty easily, but with the potential for both long-term and short-term rentals near the UW putting it in during construction seems like a no-brainer -- I mean, even if you only use that space as a rec room/kids hang out area, a small kitchen with a sink, microwave and fridge would be a plus.

Under current rules if you want to permit an ADU on your property in Seattle you need to file a covenant promising that the owner will always live on site. While I'm sure pretty much anyone buying a brand new $2 million house in Seattle is doing so with the intention to live there, who would really promise that their life will never take them out of town for a couple years? If I were building houses for an undetermined buyer, I wouldn't want to limit the pool of customers in that way. Instead I'd put in all the plumbing and electrical connections needed for the buyer to easily make that upgrade if they want, but not take that final step.

Good news on that front is that legislation to loosen this and other onerous ADU permitting requirements is nearing the finish line after many years of "environmental" appeals from anti-housing groups.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: lhamo on June 05, 2019, 02:40:07 PM
Thank you!  Here's the link:

https://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/6802-36th-Ave-NE-98115/home/166865309

Not far from the View Ridge house.

Yeah, that price point is really high for Wedgwood.  I'm guessing it will go for 1.9, tops.

At least it isn't a flat-top box.  I like the vaulted ceilings on the top floor.  But agree that the finishes are underwhelming for such an expensive house.  Also surprised that with so much space they didn't put a kitchenette in the basement to make it immediately feasible as a rental.  I guess you could probably add one pretty easily, but with the potential for both long-term and short-term rentals near the UW putting it in during construction seems like a no-brainer -- I mean, even if you only use that space as a rec room/kids hang out area, a small kitchen with a sink, microwave and fridge would be a plus.

Under current rules if you want to permit an ADU on your property in Seattle you need to file a covenant promising that the owner will always live on site. While I'm sure pretty much anyone buying a brand new $2 million house in Seattle is doing so with the intention to live there, who would really promise that their life will never take them out of town for a couple years? If I were building houses for an undetermined buyer, I wouldn't want to limit the pool of customers in that way. Instead I'd put in all the plumbing and electrical connections needed for the buyer to easily make that upgrade if they want, but not take that final step.

Good news on that front is that legislation to loosen this and other onerous ADU permitting requirements is nearing the finish line after many years of "environmental" appeals from anti-housing groups.

I guess that makes sense -- looking forward to those zoning changes if/when they ever come.

If I were in the  market for a 1.5-2 mill house, I'd take this one over Telecaster's neighbor any day:

https://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/10049-Lake-Shore-Blvd-NE-98125/home/318854

It's not waterfront (that would probably push it up to 2.2-2.5 mill), but it has the lake view and is just a few blocks from the public access at Matthews Beach, and right off the BG.  I love that street.....  Much better yard than the Wedgwood and View Ridge houses, too.  I think this one will go fast, and for at or over list. 
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: mm1970 on June 05, 2019, 02:54:30 PM
Thank you!  Here's the link:

https://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/6802-36th-Ave-NE-98115/home/166865309

Not far from the View Ridge house.

Yeah, that price point is really high for Wedgwood.  I'm guessing it will go for 1.9, tops.

At least it isn't a flat-top box.  I like the vaulted ceilings on the top floor.  But agree that the finishes are underwhelming for such an expensive house.  Also surprised that with so much space they didn't put a kitchenette in the basement to make it immediately feasible as a rental.  I guess you could probably add one pretty easily, but with the potential for both long-term and short-term rentals near the UW putting it in during construction seems like a no-brainer -- I mean, even if you only use that space as a rec room/kids hang out area, a small kitchen with a sink, microwave and fridge would be a plus.

Under current rules if you want to permit an ADU on your property in Seattle you need to file a covenant promising that the owner will always live on site. While I'm sure pretty much anyone buying a brand new $2 million house in Seattle is doing so with the intention to live there, who would really promise that their life will never take them out of town for a couple years? If I were building houses for an undetermined buyer, I wouldn't want to limit the pool of customers in that way. Instead I'd put in all the plumbing and electrical connections needed for the buyer to easily make that upgrade if they want, but not take that final step.

Good news on that front is that legislation to loosen this and other onerous ADU permitting requirements is nearing the finish line after many years of "environmental" appeals from anti-housing groups.
Can't speak for Seattle but...we have the same ADU rule here (owner must live on site).

I assume that means that, if you need to go out of town for a year or so, then you can rent your main house but not the ADU.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: seattlecyclone on June 05, 2019, 03:55:33 PM
Can't speak for Seattle but...we have the same ADU rule here (owner must live on site).

I assume that means that, if you need to go out of town for a year or so, then you can rent your main house but not the ADU.

Actually the rule as written says that the ADU must be physically "decommissioned," which I understand to mean that you must remove enough of the kitchen that the city doesn't consider it to be a separate habitable dwelling unit anymore. So that backyard cottage that you paid upwards of $200k to build is now a really nice backyard shed that you're not allowed to recoup your investment on anymore, and you have to hire a contractor to put the kitchen back in when you move back to town. And if you happened to have a renter living there at the time you decided to leave? Too bad for them. They have to go. It's very hard for me to see the good in this policy.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Telecaster on June 05, 2019, 04:29:48 PM
I guess that makes sense -- looking forward to those zoning changes if/when they ever come.

If I were in the  market for a 1.5-2 mill house, I'd take this one over Telecaster's neighbor any day:

https://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/10049-Lake-Shore-Blvd-NE-98125/home/318854

It's not waterfront (that would probably push it up to 2.2-2.5 mill), but it has the lake view and is just a few blocks from the public access at Matthews Beach, and right off the BG.  I love that street.....  Much better yard than the Wedgwood and View Ridge houses, too.  I think this one will go fast, and for at or over list.

I used to live a block from that house in Lakeshore Blvd NE.   The morning I moved out there was a amazing sunrise over Lake Washington and I remember thinking "WTF am I doing?"
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: robartsd on June 05, 2019, 04:44:28 PM
Pretty easy to make "not a kitchen" function as a kitchen. Just leave out the major cooking appliance and be sure to provide a wet bar with plenty of counter space and regular electrical circuits. Some combination of microwave, portable induction burner, toaster oven, and/or automatic cooking pot can meet just about all small scale cooking needs. Add a fridge and without any "remodeling" you have a functional kitchen.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: spartana on July 10, 2019, 04:01:26 PM
Dropping this photo for @Another Reader. (Removed for privacy reasons) but is BIG  2 story (completely with gun turret...ok skylight roof turret)  plus 2 story ADU behind it - both towering a few feet from her house. She's found out its going to be used mostly as an AirBnB so is contacting RE investors and getting quotes and will likely move asap.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Another Reader on July 10, 2019, 07:53:55 PM
If she is patient, it will be foreclosed on in the next down turn...

Lots on my street are 15,000 sf plus, with setbacks required.  No sidewalks.  There is one house a couple of blocks up that has been expanded to the maximum coverage,  Setbacks plus an upslope in back keep it from being too overbearing.  Not many first generation immigrants here, so less of an expectation this type of project will be done.  Entry price point of $1.5MM keeps a lot of this crap out.

Going to be a lot of demand here from those high paid Google types once the downtown campus is finished.  The higher lever managers and executives that will buy here will have a handle on the City bureaucrats and politicians so preservation is likely.

Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: spartana on July 10, 2019, 10:21:11 PM
UGH that would be terrible. I remember all the long term empty foreclosed houses back during the great recession and they rapidly became a blight. Although that foreclosed and ready to auction off for a song 9 bedroom mcmansion next to a puny little old house is going to look sweet - for the mcmansions buyers. Probably best for her to sell while the market is still perky and her place is worth something.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Another Reader on July 11, 2019, 04:46:12 AM
The real estate market is cyclical.  Sometimes the cycles are more extreme than typical.  Make investment decisions with that in mind...
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Telecaster on July 11, 2019, 10:43:19 AM
Another scraper just sold in my neighborhood

https://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/6842-36th-Ave-NE-98115/home/317609

$688,000.   I assume it is a scraper anyway.   The house has never been updated.   

Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: MayDay on July 11, 2019, 12:56:05 PM
Llamo and Telecaster, the two "modern" houses you posted at the top of this page totally fascinate me.

I'm no architect bit they seem like a cheap hodgepodge of the various "modern" random decors you can buy on Wayfair. And I say that as someone who has furnished much of my house in exactly that way! But my house is worth 300k, lol. And I am also not a "professional".

It just boggles my mind that at that price point you wouldn't have an actual architect or designer who produces a cohesive high quality design.

I'm not just talking about the furnishings (which I'm sure is just staging), but the choices of finishes and the layout. It just does BAD, and if it is bad in pictures, it's probably really bad in person.

And also I hate their photography.

Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: ChpBstrd on July 11, 2019, 01:19:49 PM
Llamo and Telecaster, the two "modern" houses you posted at the top of this page totally fascinate me.

I'm no architect bit they seem like a cheap hodgepodge of the various "modern" random decors you can buy on Wayfair. And I say that as someone who has furnished much of my house in exactly that way! But my house is worth 300k, lol. And I am also not a "professional".

It just boggles my mind that at that price point you wouldn't have an actual architect or designer who produces a cohesive high quality design.

I'm not just talking about the furnishings (which I'm sure is just staging), but the choices of finishes and the layout. It just does BAD, and if it is bad in pictures, it's probably really bad in person.

And also I hate their photography.

If the hatred runs deep enough, you could always submit it to McMansionHell.com . Just saying.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: MayDay on July 11, 2019, 01:56:21 PM
Llamo and Telecaster, the two "modern" houses you posted at the top of this page totally fascinate me.

I'm no architect bit they seem like a cheap hodgepodge of the various "modern" random decors you can buy on Wayfair. And I say that as someone who has furnished much of my house in exactly that way! But my house is worth 300k, lol. And I am also not a "professional".

It just boggles my mind that at that price point you wouldn't have an actual architect or designer who produces a cohesive high quality design.

I'm not just talking about the furnishings (which I'm sure is just staging), but the choices of finishes and the layout. It just does BAD, and if it is bad in pictures, it's probably really bad in person.

And also I hate their photography.

If the hatred runs deep enough, you could always submit it to McMansionHell.com . Just saying.

I love that blog, but it has been super slow lately. Do you by chance subscribe to her Patreon? I've been wondering if there is enough content to justify it given the small amount of content on the main blog.

It would be cool to see her analysis of a modern mcmansion.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: lhamo on July 11, 2019, 09:28:15 PM
99% invisible did a great interview with her that covers a lot of the characteristics of a McMansion:

https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/mcmansion-hell-devil-details/
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: spartana on July 12, 2019, 11:35:09 PM
Haha I think the new macmansion being built next to my neighbor has ALL those house features.  Did I mention the ocagone turret sky light, the 2 story high octagon wall of windows in the living room (which doesn't attach to the turret which is just for the second floor), the 2 story square wall of windows entry way - attached to neither octagon room, the 4 giant balconies and huge patio, the French double doors that will on every balcony or patio entrance room (8 total),  the 2 winding staircases? Oh and then.there's the ADU - not quite the charming little cottage I envisioned but a 2 story tall wall of skylights and dormers and maybe even its own turret. Its all going to be marvelous ;-). This is a semi-crappy working class hood.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Abe on July 13, 2019, 12:58:42 PM
If they'd just make some attempt, just even consider for a second, a bit of symmetry, a lot of the architecture in suburban US would be much nicer. Some of the roof profiles look like a semi-random pile of shingles. Also wouldn't it be cheaper to have windows that are the same size rather than a random assortment of sizes?

Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: spartana on July 14, 2019, 03:17:33 PM
If they'd just make some attempt, just even consider for a second, a bit of symmetry, a lot of the architecture in suburban US would be much nicer. Some of the roof profiles look like a semi-random pile of shingles. Also wouldn't it be cheaper to have windows that are the same size rather than a random assortment of sizes?
I went on a little tour of some of the big new construction houses within about 5 miles and so many (all?) were really over kill on all the house "amenities" with various turrets, towers, abutment, gargoyles, etc. Especially since most (all?) were in hoods comprised of very modest small single story houses. Although in the right setting or just alone the are beautiful in a macmansion he'll kind of way.

And here's a nice little house near by the I'm sure @HBFIRE is familiar with.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Another Reader on July 14, 2019, 05:19:30 PM
If they'd just make some attempt, just even consider for a second, a bit of symmetry, a lot of the architecture in suburban US would be much nicer. Some of the roof profiles look like a semi-random pile of shingles. Also wouldn't it be cheaper to have windows that are the same size rather than a random assortment of sizes?
I went on a little tour of some of the big new construction houses within about 5 miles and so many (all?) were really over kill on all the house "amenities" with various turrets, towers, abutment, gargoyles, etc. Especially since most (all?) were in hoods comprised of very modest small single story houses. Although in the right setting or just alone the are beautiful in a macmansion he'll kind of way.

One that was for sale and had an open house  was a new construction  house similar in size to the house being built in my old hood but more modern and contemporary then most that are going up and also.doesn't have an ADU and also 2 less bedrooms and baths. It sold for $310k and now they are asking $1,475,000.

  https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/14771-Donegal-Dr-Garden-Grove-CA-92844/25188011_zpid/

And here's a nice little house near by the I'm sure @HBFIRE is familiar with.

When the 7.5 magnitude hits on the nearby fault system, the soil (sand) will likely liquefy and these beasts will sink into the morass.  Only the turrets will remain in view.  Kind of like the La Brea tar pits...
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Abe on July 14, 2019, 06:29:56 PM
If they'd just make some attempt, just even consider for a second, a bit of symmetry, a lot of the architecture in suburban US would be much nicer. Some of the roof profiles look like a semi-random pile of shingles. Also wouldn't it be cheaper to have windows that are the same size rather than a random assortment of sizes?
I went on a little tour of some of the big new construction houses within about 5 miles and so many (all?) were really over kill on all the house "amenities" with various turrets, towers, abutment, gargoyles, etc. Especially since most (all?) were in hoods comprised of very modest small single story houses. Although in the right setting or just alone the are beautiful in a macmansion he'll kind of way.

One that was for sale and had an open house  was a new construction  house similar in size to the house being built in my old hood but more modern and contemporary then most that are going up and also.doesn't have an ADU and also 2 less bedrooms and baths. It sold for $310k and now they are asking $1,475,000.

  https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/14771-Donegal-Dr-Garden-Grove-CA-92844/25188011_zpid/

And here's a nice little house near by the I'm sure @HBFIRE is familiar with.

When the 7.5 magnitude hits on the nearby fault system, the soil (sand) will likely liquefy and these beasts will sink into the morass.  Only the turrets will remain in view.  Kind of like the La Brea tar pits...

Iím definitely evacuating my family when that happens. My surgical skills will be needed, but otherwise Iíd leave too. It will take several years to recover. I doubt my rental is if unusually high quality, and it being a rental I canít have it retrofitted. Also no turrets so...
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: spartana on July 14, 2019, 07:07:11 PM
But when The Big One hits and the giant tsunami follows  you guys will be grateful for the 50 foot tall archer's turret with multiple gargoyles you can cling to.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: BicycleB on July 14, 2019, 09:26:10 PM

When the 7.5 magnitude hits on the nearby fault system, the soil (sand) will likely liquefy and these beasts will sink into the morass. 

What? You can't build a house on sand??? LOL.

 

Only the turrets will remain in view.  Kind of like the La Brea tar pits...

California is still a good place to see cinematic sights, then. (nods, duly impressed at SoCal's creative foresight)
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: zolotiyeruki on July 14, 2019, 09:34:02 PM
If they'd just make some attempt, just even consider for a second, a bit of symmetry, a lot of the architecture in suburban US would be much nicer. Some of the roof profiles look like a semi-random pile of shingles. Also wouldn't it be cheaper to have windows that are the same size rather than a random assortment of sizes?
I think part of the issue is that the people paying for these houses have lots of money and a big wish list, but lack practical design skills or any sense of architectural design.  It's a classic case of "Your <homeowners> were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didnít stop to think if they should."  So you get "ooh, a turret looks cool, I want one!" and "I neeeeed a five-car garage!" and "we can afford a pool!" with no realization that turrets are horribly unusable, the only reason you want a five-car garage is because you have too much junk, and that pools are maintenance-intensive and just generally a pain in the neck.

Several years ago, DW and I happened upon an open house for this house (https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/9318-Cypresswood-Dr-Spring-TX-77379/28384416_zpid/) (realtor.com listing (https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/9318-Cypresswood-Dr_Spring_TX_77379_M72207-48958#photo7)) near Houston.  (That road is lined with a couple dozen McMansions, across the street from a golf course)  To call it ridiculous is to be too kind, although it had no turrets (some of the neighbors do, though! (https://www.google.com/maps/@29.9944899,-95.5440489,3a,75y,331.64h,90.86t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1se7kNvzvLYvtqnovOA76hPA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656)).  If you'd like a little entertainment, zillow and realtor.com both still have some photos, but from what I remember:

--From the top of the front stairs, you could see no fewer than three different types of hardwood flooring--one in the upstairs, a second in the office (visible in the remaining photos on zillow), and a third in the formal dining room.
--The master bathroom had ugly, (worn) gold-leaf swan-shaped faucets, and a jetted tub up on a plinth.
--There were 5 separate A/C units for the house
--Every bedroom had a private bathroom
--The enormous kitchen had a giant, T-shaped island, top-of-the-line appliances of all kinds, and cobblestone floors.
--The small powder room off the kitchen had three different patterns of wallpaper, including leopard print.
--The upstairs bonus room had Route 66-themed wallpaper, and the furniture had matching upholstery.

It's been a long time since then, so I'm sure I've forgotten a lot of the details.  But it was at once humorous because of the lack of taste, and a little bit depressing, because it felt like a home where a six-person family would live separate lives.

Seriously, though, if you're looking for some high-quality architectural humor, take a Street View Stroll (https://www.google.com/maps/@29.9952691,-95.5417196,3a,75y,14.91h,87.36t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sen2zmA4YGlZMXm5nPgTOsg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656) down Cypresswood Drive.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Abe on July 14, 2019, 10:30:21 PM
Yeah, people rich enough for a clown house but not rich enough for a designer or architect. That house sounds like a sad Epcot center Disneyland ride. I kind had of want to see it now.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: ChpBstrd on July 15, 2019, 10:12:02 AM
But it was at once humorous because of the lack of taste, and a little bit depressing, because it felt like a home where a six-person family would live separate lives.

McMansions and luxury SUVs are physical expressions of the idea that stuff=happiness and stuff=love. These associations are reinforced by advertising to the point that many people adopt consumerism as a personal philosophy/religion.

The executives working 70+ hour weeks to pay for these things genuinely believe they and their families have a ďbetterĒ life than than those middle class blokes who share bathrooms, lack 5-car garages, and must swim at public pools. Surely all that space/luxury and the social status symbols function to remove stress, help the family cohere, and make joy happen just as the marketers promised. If for some reason one is not absolutely thrilled with McMansion life or if the kids come to resent their absentee parents, it could only be because one is underspending on luxury. Thatís the only logical explanation within the stuff=happiness/ stuff=love framework.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: spartana on July 16, 2019, 12:19:17 PM
^Oh how my former neighbors (person behind them has it almost as bad...maybe worse) wishes it would be lived in by a single family who works all the time or never uses any of the fancy rooms. But the 9 bedroom/bath combos are all very small and all appear to have individual doors to the outside (even the ADU bedrooms). Sounds like it'll be a large rental house, student housing, monk housing or (most likely) AirBNB. I took some photos of the back house and ADU that the person (who I know well) who lives directly behind the house experiences. Its pretty huge from that perspective too but at least she has a yard space of about 30 feet seperating her house from the other place.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Cassie on July 17, 2019, 09:26:37 PM
Wow thatís truly awful!
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Goldielocks on July 24, 2019, 12:19:22 PM
^Oh how my former neighbors (person behind them has it almost as bad...maybe worse) wishes it would be lived in by a single family who works all the time or never uses any of the fancy rooms. But the 9 bedroom/bath combos are all very small and all appear to have individual doors to the outside (even the ADU bedrooms). Sounds like it'll be a large rental house, student housing, monk housing or (most likely) AirBNB. I took some photos of the back house and ADU that the person (who I know well) who lives directly behind the house experiences. Its pretty huge from that perspective too but at least she has a yard space of about 30 feet seperating her house from the other place.

Yikes.  California, I guess.... but yikes when it is obviously not built to be a "home" for one or two families.   
I have a concern with a monster going up near me that maxed out the floor area by building a huge cube of a house (complete with flatish roof to max out the ceiling heights inside), and then put what must be 2000 sq.ft of roof covered deck (1000 sq.ft per level) on the Front, which is very intrusive as it projects far past the neighbor houses.... and will likely be enclosed living space in 2 years, against building codes...
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: spartana on July 24, 2019, 12:57:48 PM
^Oh how my former neighbors (person behind them has it almost as bad...maybe worse) wishes it would be lived in by a single family who works all the time or never uses any of the fancy rooms. But the 9 bedroom/bath combos are all very small and all appear to have individual doors to the outside (even the ADU bedrooms). Sounds like it'll be a large rental house, student housing, monk housing or (most likely) AirBNB. I took some photos of the back house and ADU that the person (who I know well) who lives directly behind the house experiences. Its pretty huge from that perspective too but at least she has a yard space of about 30 feet seperating her house from the other place.

Yikes.  California, I guess.... but yikes when it is obviously not built to be a "home" for one or two families.   
I have a concern with a monster going up near me that maxed out the floor area by building a huge cube of a house (complete with flatish roof to max out the ceiling heights inside), and then put what must be 2000 sq.ft of roof covered deck (1000 sq.ft per level) on the Front, which is very intrusive as it projects far past the neighbor houses.... and will likely be enclosed living space in 2 years, against building codes...
UGH sounds terrible but pretty much what is happening around here. While the roofs aren't flat they are low pitched so that the builder can max out ceiling height on both floors since the house can't be over 38 feet tall (not counting "projections" like the skylight turret, dormers, etc). I think the ceiling on this house are about 12 to 15 feet on both floors. ADU ended up being 2 stories tall also but only one story of living space and second story is for tall ceiling and skylights. Here's a photo of some of the back part ADU (in front of fence) and some of the back part of big house behind ADU from the backyard neighbors yard. Side yard neighbor has it way way worse. Now they both want to move as does cat-e-corner house. ETA that's an 8 foot tall wood fence and shed between houses.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Goldielocks on July 24, 2019, 02:13:12 PM
Okay, I got a picture of the house.   I think the deck is at least 50% of the area of the house, and that house is likely 4500 sq.ft.

Note the (now typical) projection of the house far beyond the frontage of the neighbor.  I think the enclosed wall area is around the same distance from the road.  The city does try to make the frontages fit in, but because it is an "open deck" they likely allowed the projection forward.   In the past, they did not allow for second floor decks that could be easily enclosed like this, without counting them as floor area.

The issue here, is the massive bulk of the roof over the upper deck.   No roof and this would have been fine.   Pergola roof with shade fabric or a clear rain cover would be fine.   

Nothing close to the challenges of the monster home in your pictures (9 bedrooms with doors to the outside!)
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: MayDay on July 24, 2019, 03:14:26 PM
Does the roofed porch not violate the building code setback requirements and permeable space requirements?
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: spartana on July 24, 2019, 03:49:44 PM
YIKES that's a monster deck! The house in my pic is putting a big covered balcony deck and patio below across the entire rear lot (which is 60 feet wide so deck is 50 feet long) as well as 2 smaller covered balcony decks in front above 3 car garage and massive entryway. None of that counts toward the house square footage - just like the garages don't - and as far as I know they can be legal as long as they are within 5 foot set back from property lines. Can't imagine going over that would be legal but maybe if there were no houses next to property line they can get away with it. Here's a side view where you can see upper deck. No one next to that house on that side. Again, an 8 foot tall fence on side of house.
Title: Re: House next door razed. Giant mcmansion to be built. Sell now or wait?
Post by: Goldielocks on July 25, 2019, 09:20:55 AM
Does the roofed porch not violate the building code setback requirements and permeable space requirements?
Yeah,  10 years ago it certainly would have....   Now I think they just default to "lot coverage not more than 40% of the lot" and "total sq.ft (enclosed) at around 4500 to 5000 sq.ft across all levels.  This house is on a large lot, so the (hidden) backyard is deep.  They should have placed it further back, IMO.