Author Topic: A Crowdfunded Mustachian City  (Read 12565 times)

Kaspian

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Re: A Crowdfunded Mustachian City
« Reply #50 on: July 21, 2016, 10:39:13 AM »

Pauline at "Reach Financial Independence," is actually building her own little Mustachian community.  Yeah, you have to "crowdfund" your own way in, no free ride.  But some of the lots are ony $7K.  Very affordable!  I'd buy one if I was already FIRE.

http://reachfinancialindependence.com/guatemala/

EDIT: Looks like she was the lady profiled here: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/mustachianism-around-the-web/gal-retires-even-earlier-by-moving-to-guatemala/

The idea sounds interesting.  Looks like this is the website for it: http://sanpedroitza.com/about/

Yep, I've been quietly following her blog (well written, frugal, and smart as fuck) and development project for a few years now.  If I was just a few years closer to FIRE, I'd be watching even closer and maybe even pulling the trigger on buying a chunk.  However, a part of me wishes it was a development on the ocean rather than a fresh water lake.  First, because I love the ocean.  Secondly, because alligators in fresh water. :(
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dougules

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Re: A Crowdfunded Mustachian City
« Reply #51 on: July 21, 2016, 11:25:11 AM »
If you did manage to make a Mustachian Utopia happen, then it would just succumb to gentrification.  People with money/debt to throw around would see how nice it was then move in and make prices go sky high.   Places built to human scale are cheaper to build than sprawl, but the demand far exceeds the supply.  That means prices for something cheap to build go through the roof. 

Plus building on greenfield land is a lot of the problem right now.  There are a lot of ways that existing sprawl can be retrofitted to be pretty nice.  It would be cheaper and more sustainable than building from scratch.  The problem is that the NIMBYs and the sidewalks-are-too-expensive-but-more-freeway-lanes-are-not people keep it from happening.  If you could find somewhere you could move in and convince/outvote people to do the retrofitting, then you'd be a lot better off then trying to put infrastructure in place out of nothing.  Of course then you'd face the above problem of gentrification. 




hoping2retire35

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Re: A Crowdfunded Mustachian City
« Reply #52 on: July 21, 2016, 11:39:13 AM »
If you did manage to make a Mustachian Utopia happen, then it would just succumb to gentrification.  People with money/debt to throw around would see how nice it was then move in and make prices go sky high.   Places built to human scale are cheaper to build than sprawl, but the demand far exceeds the supply.  That means prices for something cheap to build go through the roof. 

Plus building on greenfield land is a lot of the problem right now.  There are a lot of ways that existing sprawl can be retrofitted to be pretty nice.  It would be cheaper and more sustainable than building from scratch.  The problem is that the NIMBYs and the sidewalks-are-too-expensive-but-more-freeway-lanes-are-not people keep it from happening.  If you could find somewhere you could move in and convince/outvote people to do the retrofitting, then you'd be a lot better off then trying to put infrastructure in place out of nothing.  Of course then you'd face the above problem of gentrification.
SEE ABOVE-ghosttownish

edit; bolded quote
« Last Edit: July 21, 2016, 06:42:58 PM by hoping2retire35 »

arebelspy

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Re: A Crowdfunded Mustachian City
« Reply #53 on: July 21, 2016, 05:50:23 PM »

Pauline at "Reach Financial Independence," is actually building her own little Mustachian community.  Yeah, you have to "crowdfund" your own way in, no free ride.  But some of the lots are ony $7K.  Very affordable!  I'd buy one if I was already FIRE.

http://reachfinancialindependence.com/guatemala/

EDIT: Looks like she was the lady profiled here: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/mustachianism-around-the-web/gal-retires-even-earlier-by-moving-to-guatemala/

The idea sounds interesting.  Looks like this is the website for it: http://sanpedroitza.com/about/

Yep, I've been quietly following her blog (well written, frugal, and smart as fuck) and development project for a few years now.  If I was just a few years closer to FIRE, I'd be watching even closer and maybe even pulling the trigger on buying a chunk.  However, a part of me wishes it was a development on the ocean rather than a fresh water lake.  First, because I love the ocean.  Secondly, because alligators in fresh water. :(

Some of the lots are 7k, but it looks like the best ones are taken.. and many of the more decent ones are 23k-ish.

And how much will everything else cost to build?  That's just the raw land.  Your all-in cost will be much more than that (at least 2-4x that).  So maybe 50-100k?  (Obviously less the more you DIY/are handy, but even materials and transport costs add up.)

It's interesting, but I don't know that it's optimal.

But convince me otherwise, cause I'd like to buy into something like this, I'm just not convinced (yet?) hers is the one. :)
« Last Edit: July 21, 2016, 05:52:41 PM by arebelspy »
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Making Cookies

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Re: A Crowdfunded Mustachian City
« Reply #54 on: July 22, 2016, 09:01:39 AM »
But who wants to live in Guatemala?

http://reachfinancialindependence.com/what-i-hate-about-guatemala/

I'd be more inclined to live in one of those sleepy little Italian villages all the youth are moving away from. Italy has it's problems too but I never felt at risk for my life there except dying by Fiat. Crazy drivers! (me too)

Kaspian

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Re: A Crowdfunded Mustachian City
« Reply #55 on: July 22, 2016, 10:08:52 AM »

It's interesting, but I don't know that it's optimal.

But convince me otherwise, cause I'd like to buy into something like this, I'm just not convinced (yet?) hers is the one. :)

I can't, dude.  I'm still far enough (6 years?) away from FIRE that I shouldn't even be looking at anything like that too seriously.  Like you, I'd also need to know carrying costs of things--like annual taxes, fees, water delivery, is it a septic system/outhouse, and yes--building costs.  Given a few more years (and a few more structures) I'm pretty sure she'll be on good terms with the best and most efficient local contractors.  But I like that it's a Mustachian idea--she hopes to have multiple gardens where people can share small crops and a few chickens while being eco-conscious (but not commune-hippy overboard).  Also, I guess (?), even for $7K I'd want to actually see it so as not to get stuck with an albatross.  A small lot might be ideal if biking to the beach was only 30 seconds or something.  A stay in a room at the AirBNB she runs on the property is only $38/night.  So, that's something I'm filing away  for possible future investigation.
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dougules

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Re: A Crowdfunded Mustachian City
« Reply #56 on: July 22, 2016, 10:30:15 AM »
But who wants to live in Guatemala?

http://reachfinancialindependence.com/what-i-hate-about-guatemala/

I'd be more inclined to live in one of those sleepy little Italian villages all the youth are moving away from. Italy has it's problems too but I never felt at risk for my life there except dying by Fiat. Crazy drivers! (me too)

It sounds like she still likes Guatemala despite the problems it has.  And you're right that the guy with a taxi is generally more dangerous than the guy with a gun. 

arebelspy

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Re: A Crowdfunded Mustachian City
« Reply #57 on: July 22, 2016, 04:12:39 PM »
I can't, dude.

Darn.  :)

Well keep me in the loop if you do investigate more!  Maybe moving there would speed up your FIRE time.  ;)
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caseywoolley

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Re: A Crowdfunded Mustachian City
« Reply #58 on: October 11, 2017, 05:37:46 AM »
I know this thread died over a year ago but I still can't stop thinking about this topic.

I live in Round Rock, Texas.  Is there anyone in the Austin area that would be interested in brainstorming something like the Llano Exit Strategy - https://www.outsideonline.com/2054171/true-story-llano-tiny-home-exit-strategy
If done right you could bring the community and convenience of the city but have the simplicity and efficiency of a Mustachian car-less super utopia and near instant financial independence.

700 sq ft self sufficient, modular and expandable homes for under $25k:
https://fellowsblog.ted.com/how-to-build-your-own-starter-house-in-just-5-steps-for-25-000-861821051131

Large unrestricted acreage lots near cities with some potential "common area" structures already built:
https://www.austintexasresidence.com/homes/5317-Hupedo-Ranch-Rd/Spicewood/TX/78669/72766713/
https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/00-F-M-Rd-1431-Leander-TX-78641/2092574642_zpid/?fullpage=true
https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/10401-Wildwood-Hills-Ln-Austin-TX-78737/28609778_zpid/?fullpage=true

Let me know if you're interested.  I'd love to have some help crunching numbers and bringing my idealism more inline with reality.


arebelspy

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Re: A Crowdfunded Mustachian City
« Reply #59 on: October 11, 2017, 08:39:56 AM »
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with a kid.
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GuitarStv

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Re: A Crowdfunded Mustachian City
« Reply #60 on: October 11, 2017, 09:17:30 AM »
Let's see, which stores would do well? We'd need an Aldi, a bike shop - what else?

Bikes are very easy to fix on your own if you've got a little time and interest . . . and it's pretty close to impossible to match let alone beat the online prices at a brick and mortar store.  No freaking way would a bike shop survive in MMM city.

arebelspy

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Re: A Crowdfunded Mustachian City
« Reply #61 on: October 11, 2017, 09:21:04 AM »
Let's see, which stores would do well? We'd need an Aldi, a bike shop - what else?

Bikes are very easy to fix on your own if you've got a little time and interest . . . and it's pretty close to impossible to match let alone beat the online prices at a brick and mortar store.  No freaking way would a bike shop survive in MMM city.

A cosharing workspace with tools and such that had bike repair stuff (along with other tools for lending) would be good.
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bacchi

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Re: A Crowdfunded Mustachian City
« Reply #62 on: October 11, 2017, 09:39:51 AM »
Seaside, FL is a New Urbanist community worth a study: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seaside,_Florida. With no need for fancy pants architects and 4000 square foot, which Seaside has, the prices should be lower. Of course, even an empty lot is almost a million.

I'd love to do something like this. The problem being, probably for most of us, is that I can't spend $250k to live in a crowdfunded MC and then have it go belly up. I couldn't recover from that (=back to work!). This is inherently the problem with co-housing, too -- if you buy in, it's tough to get out.


SecondBreakfast

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Re: A Crowdfunded Mustachian City
« Reply #63 on: October 11, 2017, 09:40:17 AM »
I don't think a city is something you can plan - any "planned" cities I've seen have been pretty horrible. You can probably tweak the by-laws to incentivise a certain style of development, but people will always look for creative way around your rules to follow their own incentives. And to be honest I don't see a lot of wealthy mustachians swallowing the style! High-density, mixed use walkable neighborhoods are attractive and efficient but demand that people be willing to share a lot of space, when the more common desire I've seen from FIRE folks is to own something spacious and personal (a small farm, some woodland etc.). I think you'd be in danger of people liking the idea of the dense, walkable town as their local centre, but not enough to live there. They'd look a couple of miles out for a nice patch of quieter land they could commute from. Ironically, I think you'd start off trying to build something new and efficient and end up with a shopping mall and a suburb.

GuitarStv

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Re: A Crowdfunded Mustachian City
« Reply #64 on: October 11, 2017, 09:46:37 AM »
Let's see, which stores would do well? We'd need an Aldi, a bike shop - what else?

Bikes are very easy to fix on your own if you've got a little time and interest . . . and it's pretty close to impossible to match let alone beat the online prices at a brick and mortar store.  No freaking way would a bike shop survive in MMM city.

A cosharing workspace with tools and such that had bike repair stuff (along with other tools for lending) would be good.

I agree comrade, we should share together with respect for the tools for the betterment of the proletariat.  My concern is that this is a tragedy of the commons waiting to happen.

bacchi

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Re: A Crowdfunded Mustachian City
« Reply #65 on: October 11, 2017, 09:53:22 AM »
I don't think a city is something you can plan - any "planned" cities I've seen have been pretty horrible. You can probably tweak the by-laws to incentivise a certain style of development, but people will always look for creative way around your rules to follow their own incentives. And to be honest I don't see a lot of wealthy mustachians swallowing the style! High-density, mixed use walkable neighborhoods are attractive and efficient but demand that people be willing to share a lot of space, when the more common desire I've seen from FIRE folks is to own something spacious and personal (a small farm, some woodland etc.). I think you'd be in danger of people liking the idea of the dense, walkable town as their local centre, but not enough to live there. They'd look a couple of miles out for a nice patch of quieter land they could commute from. Ironically, I think you'd start off trying to build something new and efficient and end up with a shopping mall and a suburb.

This is a problem with all cities. They're desirable enough to live near, for jobs and shopping and entertainment, but not desirable enough (for some) to live in and pay the taxes. This leads to eminent domain annexation to grow the city. In essence, the cities are trying to put the "moochers" on the tax rolls.

Modified versions of Seaside (New Urbanist design) do work, though they're more car-centric than Seaside. Watercolor, FL is an example and it sits next to Seaside. Celebration, FL is another example. Those are probably too sterile for the FIRE folks but the zoning and deed restrictions can be adjusted.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/09/travel/escapes/seaside-at-25-troubles-in-paradise.html



Eta: I meant that cities annex their suburbs not take them over through eminent domain.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 10:18:24 AM by bacchi »

SecondBreakfast

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Re: A Crowdfunded Mustachian City
« Reply #66 on: October 11, 2017, 10:08:08 AM »
This is a problem with all cities. They're desirable enough to live near, for jobs and shopping and entertainment, but not desirable enough (for some) to live in and pay the taxes. This leads to eminent domain to grow the city. In essence, the cities are trying to put the "moochers" on the tax rolls.

This is part of why I think New Urbanism will ultimately fail as bad as Old Urbanism. The plan is still to build A Thing and keep it that way. The old way enforced that building had to be low and roads wide. The new way enforces that buildings can be slightly higher and roads slightly narrower. Both are attempting to maintain a certain style, feel, and type of person. But cities change. The poor area gentrifies, the rich one degrades, people move around, needs change. Until cities accept that things change over time and set the rules to work with it and allow it to happen smoothly then cities will stagnate and get trapped in endless cycles of revenue-seeking expansion.

Prairie Stash

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Re: A Crowdfunded Mustachian City
« Reply #67 on: October 11, 2017, 10:24:14 AM »
Problems include:
Pitiful Craigslist, MMM are the worst about selling great items for cheap.
Lack of side hustles doing easy jobs for lazy neighbours
Very low Gleaning potential, I get a lot of fruit from current neighbours
No second hand store since everything would be maintained forever or used till it no longer has any residual value

I lack all of you, its just that you all are too self sufficient. Maybe in retirement it would work, by then I won't care about all the side hustles.

bacchi

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Re: A Crowdfunded Mustachian City
« Reply #68 on: October 11, 2017, 10:26:23 AM »
This is a problem with all cities. They're desirable enough to live near, for jobs and shopping and entertainment, but not desirable enough (for some) to live in and pay the taxes. This leads to eminent domain to grow the city. In essence, the cities are trying to put the "moochers" on the tax rolls.

This is part of why I think New Urbanism will ultimately fail as bad as Old Urbanism. The plan is still to build A Thing and keep it that way. The old way enforced that building had to be low and roads wide. The new way enforces that buildings can be slightly higher and roads slightly narrower. Both are attempting to maintain a certain style, feel, and type of person. But cities change. The poor area gentrifies, the rich one degrades, people move around, needs change. Until cities accept that things change over time and set the rules to work with it and allow it to happen smoothly then cities will stagnate and get trapped in endless cycles of revenue-seeking expansion.

Perhaps. Do you have any ideas on how to make rules that allow change to happen smoothly? Any books to recommend?

Christopher Alexander in A Pattern Language suggests having "fingers" of rural land throughout an urban area, so that anyone isn't more than 30 minutes by bike from agriculture (his "city country fingers"). This would allow for those inclined to live out in the country with some land.

GuitarStv

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Re: A Crowdfunded Mustachian City
« Reply #69 on: October 11, 2017, 11:05:10 AM »
This moustachian community sounds like it's being designed to be low density.

Several high density buildings surrounded by greenspace would radically limit travel time for most things, be more environmentally friendly, and provide less space for people to hoard and more reason for people to partake in shared stuff (tool libraries, communal bike shops, etc.).  It's totally possible (although slightly more expensive up front) to build quiet, energy efficient mass housing.

A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: A Crowdfunded Mustachian City
« Reply #70 on: October 11, 2017, 12:18:28 PM »
I hate to be the skeptic, but I doubt this would work. There are plenty of pleasant communities to live in that are high density. They are also quite expensive, because lots of people want to live there. There's nothing at all unique about Mustachians wanting to have walkable/bikeable neighborhoods.

Likely result? Gun to my head, I'd say it'd either become overrun with yuppies who bid up prices to crazy levels. Either that or you need some sort of handicap that makes it utterly unappealing, like banning cars entirely, or having no transportation connection to other major cities, or underfunding all sorts of public services (I imagine the least being the most likely to happen).


Personally I wouldn't mind living in a city, but I've looked into cities across the nation and the public schools are all ranked considerably worse than public schools in the higher income suburbs around said schools. I think I found one school district in Lincoln, NE that looked appealing. But then you're living in Nebraska.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 12:20:02 PM by A Definite Beta Guy »

SecondBreakfast

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Re: A Crowdfunded Mustachian City
« Reply #71 on: October 11, 2017, 04:36:09 PM »
Perhaps. Do you have any ideas on how to make rules that allow change to happen smoothly? Any books to recommend?

Christopher Alexander in A Pattern Language suggests having "fingers" of rural land throughout an urban area, so that anyone isn't more than 30 minutes by bike from agriculture (his "city country fingers"). This would allow for those inclined to live out in the country with some land.

I've not read as much on the subject as I'd like to but a real good (and pretty old now) book is The Life and Death of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs. Kind of depressing though since all the mistakes she highlights that waste money (and ruin lives too) just keep being repeated over and over again.

I'm unconvinced by any argument that blends urban and rural land. It's been tried before and it leads to deadzones, crime, blight etc. A city is a city. I don't think the trick is to blend open space in (tried by utopian architects in the early and mid 20th century) or to make it more like the country (tried by low-density postwar American cities like L.A), but to let it do the things a city is good at - high density, mixed use activity. Note that this doesn't forbid parks or greenspace in a city, they just have to work with the urban environment rather than be something completely different in the middle of it.

caseywoolley

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Re: A Crowdfunded Mustachian City
« Reply #72 on: October 13, 2017, 02:55:15 PM »
Quote
I don't think a city is something you can plan - any "planned" cities I've seen have been pretty horrible. You can probably tweak the by-laws to incentivise a certain style of development, but people will always look for creative way around your rules to follow their own incentives. And to be honest I don't see a lot of wealthy mustachians swallowing the style! High-density, mixed use walkable neighborhoods are attractive and efficient but demand that people be willing to share a lot of space, when the more common desire I've seen from FIRE folks is to own something spacious and personal (a small farm, some woodland etc.). I think you'd be in danger of people liking the idea of the dense, walkable town as their local centre, but not enough to live there. They'd look a couple of miles out for a nice patch of quieter land they could commute from. Ironically, I think you'd start off trying to build something new and efficient and end up with a shopping mall and a suburb.

I agree, city "planning" is horrible.  Applying top down, one size fits all strategies never works.  Cities are a living, breathing organism and should be allowed to grow naturally.  Any form of organization or planning should come from the bottom up.  That's why capitalism works so well.  It's democratic and non-coercive.

Cities should have the minimum amount of underlying rules to function and then be allowed to grow organically from there.  My interest would be in establishing an underlying framework (possibly blockchain based) for incentivizing and streamlining smart growth and efficient land use and removing monopolies, special privilege and as much top down regulation as possible from the equation. More specifically I'd like to use something similar to Geolibertarian land policies (but fully market based and distributed as a citizen's dividend rather than a tax) and liquid democracy to allow the community to evolve as freely and efficiently as possible with direct governance by the users.

A few potential tools might be:
https://aragon.one/
http://democracy.earth/
https://www.bancor.network/

caseywoolley

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Re: A Crowdfunded Mustachian City
« Reply #73 on: October 13, 2017, 03:08:15 PM »
Quote
A cosharing workspace with tools and such that had bike repair stuff (along with other tools for lending) would be good.

I was thinking the same thing.  I envision having something like a "library" rental storage but for tools or any other infrequently used items.  Basically Uber for the stuff that clutters up homes.  You could even offer Uber like convenience if the "library" employed these little guys for delivery of smaller items: https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/18/postmates-and-doordash-are-testing-delivery-by-robot-with-starship-technologies/

LennStar

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Re: A Crowdfunded Mustachian City
« Reply #74 on: October 14, 2017, 07:07:40 AM »
I agree, city "planning" is horrible.  Applying top down, one size fits all strategies never works.
What you describe is not city planning. Not since about 50 years. Or at least should not and mostly isn't.

Quote
That's why capitalism works so well.
Not in city planning. Because if capitalism does it you end up without sewerage (sometimes even in the rental houses the capitalists build), parks, doctors or anything else that does not make the highest profit.
You can see countless examples of that in the "developing countries".