Thursday, August 2, 2007

Before and After

The infamous "Manufactured Home"! This type of house was probably the norm a few years ago in this area. Affordable, easy to erect, and, it might even keep you warm during the freezing winters. Thousands of these were erected on small and large acreages around Central Oregon because they were about the only thing people around here could afford. Those who couldn't afford these, simply bought an inexpensive "mobile home" and parked it in one of the many "Mobile Home Parks" located around and in Bend. The mobile home park, an American Icon?

Now, however, land prices have skyrocketed and mobile home park owners can get a fortune for the land their parks occupy. But, there is a "Catch 22". Any mobile home or manufactured house constructed before about 1982 (or something like that) cannot be transported on Oregon highways. So the owners, many retired and on fixed incomes, are in a bind. Can't sell it. Can't move it. Can't afford to live anywhere else in Bend with most rents exceeding $1000 per month for anything decent. Lawmakers are scrambling to try to fix the problem, but the almighty dollar always seems to win out. I think many of the people are hoping they die before they have to move.

So, what's driving up the prices?

Nice "little" homes like this. Just around the corner from the house in the first picture. Probably about 3000 - 4000 sq ft, built with out-of-state money for a little ol' retired couple that hop in their $200,000+ RV in the winter and head south to the warmer temperatures.

Does anyone really need to create this big of an ecological footprint? Just the RV is bad enough. Ever imagined couples driving around the country in their own private Greyhound Bus, usually pulling an extra SUV behind? Disgusting!

Only consolation is that maybe the previous owners of the land got a good price when they sold. Not all did, though. They never imagined the land here would be so valuable.


M.Benaut said...

Certainly seems to be a C-22. I reckon the Greyhound coach is likely to be more luxurious than the home.
At 6 miles per gallon, that's got to be the catch. However, if one could afford it, who needs a home?
Seems like a great way to veg out,- and the roads to the south are probably choc-a-block with them.
i wonder if they come with a fold-up flag pole?

Anonymous said...

SOME PEOPLE HAVE BIG FEET....We were just talking about the lack of perception re Environmental Sustainability in the USA. Lush Green Lawns, large houses and big vehicles...hopefully we can educate future generations to question this and change their approach to the world they live in. Perhaps some large companies and political parties could lead by example...Aboriginal People believe they are one with the earth...if you abuse it then you are in fact abusing yourself and your family...Think globally Act locally...

Cheers simmo

ArizonaDB said...

We are having a similar problem in Flagstaff. People from Phoenix and California are buying up all the affordable housing as "second homes", which raises the housing prices and lowers the supply of housing for the average families who live here and actually keep the community going. It makes me wonder what Flagstaff will be like in 10 or 20 years. Could anyone afford to live here?

Flagstaff Daily Photo

Anonymous said...

Thanks for discussing this issue. New to the area, I would love to make a pretty place like Bend home BUT... F.Y.I. a $250,000 house is NOT cheap housing. Good quality homes can be built for half that amount. It is shameful that Bend has followed the path of many western towns with a few getting rich off of an over inflated real estate market at the long term expense of their community and the people that live there. Wages in this town are not commensurate with housing prices, so you will see more and more only the wealthy (retired or not) owning homes/property. Others may buy homes, but they will be putting themselves into huge and unnecessary debt doing so. For "average income people" new to town or old Bendites that didn't buy property or a home before this market went sky high, becoming a homeowner may never happen they will become permanent renters paying exorbitant prices for something they will never own. And renters DO NOT have the same tax benefits as homeowners. People come to places like Bend for the quality of life (rivers, mountains, lakes, nature activities, smaller community)but to afford to be a homeowner here, many of us have to make work/money to pay for a home, the priority. There undoubtedly will be kids that grew up here that will not be able to afford to stay here.
Bend, Oregon (?)

drpack said...

You are so right, Tracy. The other unfortunate fact is that "work" in Bend is mostly for a basic wage. Making owning anything that much more difficult.
It really isn't much different than the poor "middle income" members of society being slaves to the wealthy.
But, I guess they have a choice. They could move. Where I'm not sure!

Gina said...

I agree with what you say about Bend. I used to live there, and I loved it so much. The small town, knowing your neighbors, and all the "small town" stuff. Yet, there are those who feel they found the bucket of gold at the and of the rainbow. Hey you! It's always been there, you just didn't want it until it became cute and popular. You want to bring in your Cali money and have somethng for nothing without working hard for it. Most people who move there don't care they just want cheap land to build there exspensive home and sit back and say what a life! Yet, ther are those who live and work in Bend for peons, who say WHEW! what a life! Just trying to make ends meet. If so many people want to live there, why not bring in business and actaully pay them more than minimum wage so they can enjoy the "good" life to. Heck, they are the ones who built the town in the first place. No, you people didn't "find" anything new, you are just being selfish in thinking you did. You are just sucking the life and blood out the those who were already there.