Re: [C-L] affordable housing
From: Brian Bartholomew (
Date: Sat, 4 Jan 2020 14:25:36 -0800 (PST)
 Sharon Villines <sharon [at]> writes:

> A house is totally unlike a car. The land doesn't wear out and a
> well-maintained house will last 100 years? 200 years?

Let's count what it means to keep a house well-maintained: Re-roof
every 20-30 years. Open the walls and re-plumb every 30-something
years. New kitchen and washing appliances every 10 years. New
heating and air conditioning appliances every 15 years. Some houses
in St. Louis have brick solid-core walls without cracks after 100
years, those can last 200. But what exterior skin other than masonry
lasts 100+ years without intense maintenance like museum houses?
Replace those old colors of tile in the bathroom and kitchen; doesn't
have to be done for function but many people do it. New insulated
windows and new wall/roof insulation every so often. In coastal
locations it must built stronger than code, otherwise a hurricane or
tornado will ruin it sometime in 100+ years. This may or may not be
solved by insurance; also consider flood and forest fire. Interior
repaint is cheap and can be done by residents, so I won't count that.
Plan to pay for these major expenses with reserve fund savings which
buys less stuff each year. You're making 6%/year from investments,
and losing 13%/year to cost of living increases in the cities. Net
minus 7%/year, and the math doesn't work. 


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