Friday, September 30, 2016
1012 C Street  •  Floresville, TX 78114  •  Phone: 830-216-4519  •  Fax: 830-393-3219  • 

WCN Site Search


Preview the Paper Preview the Paper

Preview this week's Paper
A limited number of pages are displayed in this preview.
Preview this Week’s Issue ›
Subscribe Today ›

Lost & Found

Lost: White Poodle mix, "Dillon," white curly hair, Sutherland Springs area, he has been missing since the beginning of August. 210-219-7963.

VideoFound: Black and white female puppy, appears to be a pit bull mix. Friendly, sweet and gentle. Phone: 830-216-4505 day/210-213-0569 evening.

VideoLost male German Shepard/Husky mix dog. Freckles on his nose, leather collar, last seen in backyard on Legacy View in La Vernia. Call 210-331-1907
More Lost & Found ads ›

Help Wanted

Floresville ISD is accepting applications at www.fisd.us for the following positions: Custodian, plumber; grounds worker; and bus driver.
Class “C” Water Operator. McCoy Water Supply Corporation is seeking a full time Water Operator to join our team.  We are seeking candidates with a Texas Class “C” Water Operator’s License. Skill sets regarding safety, construction and heavy equipment operation is a must. In addition to competitive pay, the Corporation provides excellent employee benefits. Applications can be obtained on line at mccoywsc.com or at our Business Office located at 2125 FM 541 in McCoy, Texas. For more information, call 830-569-5575.
More Help Wanted ads ›

Featured Videos





Video Vault ›

Commentaries


It’s Time to Create a Different Model for Housing




E-Mail this Story to a Friend
Print this Story

Disclaimer:
The author of this entry is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.
July 16, 2012 | 1,693 views | 5 comments

Recently, the story broke that foreclosures were at the lowest level since 2007. That sounds like great news--we’re finally cleaning up the mess from the real estate bubble. Except for one thing: RealtyTrac.com, a marketer of information on foreclosed real estate, noted in April that the number of short sales (where a bank allows an owner to sell for less than is owed on the mortgage) were up by 33 percent from last year. In other words, there’s still plenty of distressed real estate; the banks are just using a different method to get rid of them.

The fallout from the bubble and the associated financial meltdown continues to cause pain for a lot of people. The standard question among economists is, “What can we do to get things back to the way they were?” But it’s not clear why we’d want to do that. There’s no point in trying to return to inflated prices that have everything to do with speculation and nothing to do with real value. There’s nothing to be gained by recreating a market where everyone buys the biggest house they can afford--and maybe a bit more.

Why not ask, instead, what we can do to create a different model for housing--one that embraces the best of tradition and the best of new thinking. Since 1950, the average size of a new house in the United States has more than doubled, even as average household size has decreased by nearly a quarter. The average American now has living space just shy of 1,000 square feet--nearly the size of the average house in 1950. Have our needs really changed that much in six decades? Or have we been sold something we don’t really need?

While not a scientific survey, here’s an interesting data point: One of the perennially popular articles on the YES! Magazine website is the story of Dee Williams’ tiny house. Williams moved from a 1,500-square-foot house to an 84-square-foot house she built herself for $9,000. That’s extreme, for sure, and no one expects the majority of Americans to go that far. But the continued interest in the concept says that people are realizing that smaller is better.

A return to smaller houses has many advantages. They’re less expensive to build, so you don’t have to get the biggest mortgage you can afford to own one--and your chances of ending up as a foreclosure statistic are lower. They’re easier to heat and cool, saving both dollars and resources.

Not everyone is going to build a new house, and there’s a huge stock of existing larger houses. But those, too, offer the opportunity for living smaller. An increasing number of people are “doubling up,” living with friends or family--whether out of economic necessity or desire to downsize both living space and expenses. The nearly 18 percent of existing housing stock that’s larger than 3,000 square feet could be divided into multiple dwelling units.

The Census Bureau estimates that more than 18 million houses stood empty during 2011, even as hundreds of thousands of people were homeless. Millions more are insecure in their housing because they’re burdened with underwater mortgages or because they’re renting.

The real solution to the wrecked state of U.S. real estate is not to try to get things back to where they were. It’s to find creative ways to match supply with demand, to change the way we finance housing, and to recognize that owning the biggest house on the block could be the American nightmare rather than the American dream.

Doug Pibel is managing editor of YES! Magazine, which recently published an issue on homes in a post-bubble world. © Copyright American Forum. 7/12
 
‹ Previous Blog Entry
 

Your Opinions and Comments

 
Philip Vipond  
Floresville, TX  
July 17, 2012 4:04pm
 
I could not disagree with this article more. The fundamental American dream of owning your own home must not be allowed to be replaced with Agenda 21 style multi - family dwellings. I am sure most people want to sit on their ... More ›

 
Publius Valerius Publicola  
Rome, Tx.  
July 17, 2012 12:11pm
 
The housing problem was created by liberals (Dodd & Frank) by forcing lenders to lower standards to allow unqualified buyers to get into mortgages they could not repay. There is not a thing wrong with having a large house ... More ›

 
matilde serna  
floresville  
July 17, 2012 3:59am
 
Everything is bigger in texas. No small houses please.

 
PRAIRIE GROUCH  
GRAND PRAIRIE TX  
July 16, 2012 4:11pm
 
Some great ideas in this article. I think that stupid zoning laws would preclude conversion of large single units into two units in many places. So much for private property rights. In many subdivisions. square footage rules ... More ›

 
Elaine K.  
Floresville  
July 16, 2012 2:11pm
 
New post.

Share your comment or opinion on this story!


You must be logged in to post a comment.




Not a subscriber?
Subscriber, but no password?
Forgot password?

Commentaries Archives


Commentaries
Commentaries page govtrack.us
Commentaries who represents me?
Friesenhahn Custom WeldingHeavenly Touch homeAllstate & McBride RealtyVoncille Bielefeld homeTriple R DC Experts

  Copyright © 2007-2016 Wilson County News. All rights reserved. Web development by Drewa Designs.