Saturday, July 2, 2016


I built homes for about 16-18 years. My favorite style home was the simple ranch house, 1000-1600 sqft, usually vinyl siding, seldom brick.

(This house was probably the 10th house I built.  By this time son Mark was working for me)

Like a retired teacher, welder, cook, pilot, etc, I still at times look at the standards of my profession.  I was always proud of my homes. I look at the houses built today and they are about twice the size I built with smaller families. Two baths standard came out while I built, now I think new homes have a bath for everyone.  I read the average is 3 baths per house and 2000+ sqft.  During my time the average home had a single garage, now the standard is a double+ garage.

I was shocked to see that concrete slabs are preferred to crawlspace or basement. In all my building I did only one slab.

It amazes me that people earn the salary to make $2000 payments for 30 years or are they stretching a budget and depending on two salaries?  Don’t get me wrong, I think it is great when someone can afford a cabin or a mansion, but in my mind ‘afford’ is the operative word.

We in the USA can remember 7-8 years ago the ‘BUBBLE’ burst. Banks had loaned too much on houses that were over evaluated to people who could not weather the storm on one or no salary. 

I have been watching the prices of homes. We are in the market to buy a reasonable home in Florida, preparing for the day we cannot drive this ‘Wheelestate’ (term coined by blogger Lisa). Along the ‘Space Coast’ 2 years ago we could have bought a 3br 2bath house ready to move in for $72K. Today the best we can see is the same house for $120k.

We wanted the space coast, but now we are looking a little more inland.  If you know of something about central FL, let us know!

Nite Shipslog

 It is hard for this old man to think a 1975 Chevy is an antique!


I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I'm not surprised to hear that Florida would be your choice when you no longer travel. You've spent a good deal of time there. It will be fun looking !

Lisa said...

We have met several friends at the campground that we see every summer. Many are retiring to Florida. Ill pick on words next time I see them and see if I hear of any good areas. We talk a lot lately about downsizing from our 3br ranch to a smaller house or condo. Maybe to Belmont. But its baby steps to the beach.


betty said...

I remember a pastor when we were in Montana saying that the average size house in the 1950s and 1960s was about 1100 square feet with a one car garage. Now it is double that plus a 2-3 car garage and people in addition have rented storage space for all their stuff. I think smaller is simpler; my only necessity with a house is 2 bathrooms (at least 2 toilets, just in case both are ill at the same time, LOL). Otherwise, I could get by at about 900 square feet myself :)

I hope you find the right property in Florida. It is good to see house values going up, wonder how the presidential election will do with the house marketing depending on who gets elected.


Mevely317 said...

Interesting perspective!
These days, whenever I spot something large n' luxurious the only thing that comes to mind is the heating and cooling costs. That, and the elbow grease required to keep it clean!
How I remember the housing bubble. We'd only been in our place for 3-4 years, but I was darn determined to do whatever it took not to fall behind. Some of our neighbors and friends weren't so lucky.

I wonder if y'all are set on Florida's east coast and/or the central part of the state? I seem to recall the gulf coast always being more affordable. (Then again, Mark would be the natural expert, wouldn't he.)

Paula said...

That is a neat looking house. I waited 65 years for a brand new house. I love the open space and two bathrooms although I don't think it was built as well as it could have been.

Unknown said...

I see houses everyday you have built. I live in the Condo you built.
I understand Florida is a nice place to live I have on visited. Just
don't get close to the water.

Rick Watson said...

My brother-in-law is a plumber and you should hear him talk about the plumbing in houses built within the last few years. He said a lot of his work today is redoing shoddy contractor work. I know there are still good contractors out there, but there are some around here that do just enough to last until the new homebuyer's check clears.