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Old 02-20-2012, 10:32 PM   #101
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If the geography we have to traverse were as compact as New Zealand (the size of Colorado) I would agree. Since that isn't the case I'm afraid we will be affected significantly - but you are right: there will be plenty of squawking!
Heh. We island dwellers prefer to think of it as maximizing the coastlines and minimizing the flyover country...
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:48 PM   #102
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If the geography we have to traverse were as compact as New Zealand (the size of Colorado) I would agree.
Well, just because the US is big doesn't mean you have to drive across the whole thing for your grocery run. There's no reason an American's drive to work, friends, and the store couldn't be the same or less than a New Zealander's. It's just a matter of where you decide to make your home... 10 miles from everything, or right in, or on the edge, of town.
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:54 PM   #103
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We usually do not leave the home unless we have to. It has been years since we go to the malls, or drive around town just for something to do.

But there are many National Parks, many cities to visit on vacations or long road trips, and the US is a large country. So it takes a lot of gasoline. The islanders are spared that expense. They, well, just walk to their beaches.
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:01 AM   #104
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They, well, just walk to their beaches.
"Don't get me started", he said as he waited for rush hour to abate so that he could drive 30 minutes to the beach without getting mixed up in the horde of grumpy commuters...

But our home's location was chosen by factors that should probably have a higher priority than surfing.
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:11 AM   #105
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Well, just because the US is big doesn't mean you have to drive across the whole thing for your grocery run. There's no reason an American's drive to work, friends, and the store couldn't be the same or less than a New Zealander's. It's just a matter of where you decide to make your home... 10 miles from everything, or right in, or on the edge, of town.
+1. Decades of cheap gas created our sprawl, presumably expensive and/or scarce gas will force us to re-urbanize. My next home will have a much higher "walkscore", but it comes at a significant premium already and that will only get worse if gas gets dramatically more expensive/scarce. I hope to beat the rush, tick tock...
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:19 AM   #106
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"Don't get me started", he said as he waited for rush hour to abate so that he could drive 30 minutes to the beach without getting mixed up in the horde of grumpy commuters...
Heck, every time DW/me get away to HI, we see multiple vans parked semi-permanently at/near a beach (since they are all public).

Maybe you just need to change your living arrangements?
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:04 AM   #107
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+1. Decades of cheap gas created our sprawl, presumably expensive and/or scarce gas will force us to re-urbanize. My next home will have a much higher "walkscore", but it comes at a significant premium already and that will only get worse if gas gets dramatically more expensive/scarce. I hope to beat the rush, tick tock...
One has to wonder if this will cause even more gentrification of decaying urban areas. And will this turn some of the suburbs into (for lack of a better term) the 21st Century ghetto?

I need to get my bicycle fixed up and get a new lock and basket for it. I can easily bike to anything I need in town to run errands or pick up a small number of things at the store, plus I need the exercise.
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:11 AM   #108
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One has to wonder if this will cause even more gentrification of decaying urban areas. And will this turn some of the suburbs into (for lack of a better term) the 21st Century ghetto?
Some "experts" are predicting just that as you probably know The Next Slum? - Magazine - The Atlantic. One more reason my next home will be much more "urban." Even if it doesn't come to pass, we've lived in suburbs our entire lives, so we'd like to experience a walk/bike environment for a change...
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:11 AM   #109
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Since my next home will have a prefix of 'nursing' or 'funeral', I'm not too worried about the neighborhood...
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:15 AM   #110
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Some "experts" are predicting just that as you probably know The Next Slum? - Magazine - The Atlantic. One more reason my next home will be much more "urban." Even if it doesn't come to pass, we've lived in suburbs our entire lives, so we'd like to experience a walk/bike environment for a change...
My biggest problem with the thought of living in the city is extreme aversion to external noise. I get stressed out when I can't experience quiet in my home when I want it. It's why I don't live in a condo or townhouse despite my desire to eliminate yard work, and it's why I would be hesitant to live in an urban environment, even if it *were* clean, safe and affordable (in reality, at most "pick any two").
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:27 AM   #111
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I like the idea of living in cities or with easy access to cities but there are already burbs which are at the terminus of subway or rail lines into big cities where prices are already high.

So the market has already figured it out.

Not sure it would be a great idea to bike around with crazy big city traffic.

It would make more sense if some cities have non-car zones. A lot of European towns have that or at least severely restrict traffic from non-residents.
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:29 AM   #112
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My biggest problem with the thought of living in the city is extreme aversion to external noise. I get stressed out when I can't experience quiet in my home when I want it. It's why I don't live in a condo or townhouse despite my desire to eliminate yard work, and it's why I would be hesitant to live in an urban environment, even if it *were* clean, safe and affordable (in reality, at most "pick any two").
DW agrees, not that I don't. I suspect we'll be looking for close in single family home neighborhoods, ones that were probably considered suburbs many, many years ago. One "bad" neighbor could make a condo or townhouse a nightmare, and DW worries about noise and fire...
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:33 AM   #113
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Well, just because the US is big doesn't mean you have to drive across the whole thing for your grocery run. There's no reason an American's drive to work, friends, and the store couldn't be the same or less than a New Zealander's. It's just a matter of where you decide to make your home... 10 miles from everything, or right in, or on the edge, of town.
People that live and work near a city can say things like this. Live out in the midwest and it can be much tougher to live 10 miles from everything. I know what it's like to drive 45 miles to take the kids to McD's as a treat!
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:38 AM   #114
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People that live and work near a city can say things like this. Live out in the midwest and it can be much tougher to live 10 miles from everything.
+1

We live near a city but it is still 12 miles to the nearest supermarket & 5 miles to the nearest convenience store.
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Old 02-21-2012, 01:10 PM   #115
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+1. Decades of cheap gas created our sprawl, presumably expensive and/or scarce gas will force us to re-urbanize. My next home will have a much higher "walkscore", but it comes at a significant premium already and that will only get worse if gas gets dramatically more expensive/scarce. I hope to beat the rush, tick tock...
having just recently purchased a new home, I do want to echo that this is easier said than done. while it seems accepted here that condos/townhomes are definitely not for everyone, there are many amenities that some would desire that are not afforded to the average working stiff if looking to live "close in." things we found lacking for "close in" properties were amenities such as garages (or even off street parking), yards and streets that didn't have more than light traffic. Not to mention, these homes tend to be older and there is risk of expensive updating. In our last two cities, we have lived close in to el centro (<8 miles). In the first case, the house we bought was at the top of our budget and had a lot that was 25' wide.

to get what we wanted in the last move, we had to add more than $100k to the budget and move to a neighboring county. And even then, there are few restaurants and grocery stores without driving at least 5 miles. DW's newest thing is sending the list to me to pickup on my way home.

I was surprised when I first went to my first "real" city (the city of angels, and not LA) and realized it all looked like down town because the population density was really high. suburbs are certainly not the way the rest of the world generally lives.

either way, being within reach of a bicycle commute has been important for our home locations, but we also had to make tradeoffs for our americanized values. well, I don't know if I would call blowing the budget a "value."
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Old 02-21-2012, 01:12 PM   #116
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I would really like to have a plug-in hybrid with about 30 miles of battery capacity, at a relatively reasonable price.

My gasoline consumption would drop dramatically with that level of all-electric range.

So far the only option I'm aware of is the Volt, and at $40k ($32.5k after tax credit), it is too expensive IMO.

I'm suprised at how little progress Toyota has made in this area, considering how far ahead they were a few years ago.



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Old 02-21-2012, 02:19 PM   #117
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I would really like to have a plug-in hybrid with about 30 miles of battery capacity, at a relatively reasonable price.

My gasoline consumption would drop dramatically with that level of all-electric range.

So far the only option I'm aware of is the Volt, and at $40k ($32.5k after tax credit), it is too expensive IMO.

I'm suprised at how little progress Toyota has made in this area, considering how far ahead they were a few years ago.
On some plug-in in the near and not so near future:

plug-in news on GreenPacks
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:35 PM   #118
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Well you don't have to live near a metropolis to have short/no drives. I live in a town of 10k, on a 1 acre lot, about 1/2 mile to over a dozen restaurants, a small grocery store, a handful of convenience stores, a couple of pharmacies, the library, and the post office. And it's only about 4-6 miles to several large grocery stores and other big box stores.

Small towns can be very pedestrian/bike friendly. They just need to actually encourage scattered commercial development rather than shun it for fear of bringing down property values.

The town I live in isn't governed by forward-looking geniuses or anything, it just got lucky. It had a much higher population about 100-150 years ago, before the advent of cars, so main street was developed fairly densely so all the mill workers could get all their stuff done on foot. Even the people on the edge of town only have about a 3 1/2 mile trip to main street with everything you really need.
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:18 PM   #119
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My big concern is the price of diesel fuel. I am retiring to the life of a hobby farmer and I use alot of diesel fuel. It is higher then gas even after buying tax free for agriculture. We farmers have a saying: " if you like buying foreign oil you're going to love buying foreign food". On the serious side, higher fuel costs will just be past along, so expect to pay more for everything, especially food.
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:54 PM   #120
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Heck, every time DW/me get away to HI, we see multiple vans parked semi-permanently at/near a beach (since they are all public).
Maybe you just need to change your living arrangements?
We've talked about it, but I'm equi-distant between North Shore and south shore surfing. Lots of choices.

Something about living in the tsunami inundation zone gives me pause...

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Since my next home will have a prefix of 'nursing' or 'funeral', I'm not too worried about the neighborhood...
... with a mobility scooter!

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I would really like to have a plug-in hybrid with about 30 miles of battery capacity, at a relatively reasonable price.
My gasoline consumption would drop dramatically with that level of all-electric range.
So far the only option I'm aware of is the Volt, and at $40k ($32.5k after tax credit), it is too expensive IMO.
I'm suprised at how little progress Toyota has made in this area, considering how far ahead they were a few years ago.
I don't think Toyota has any incentive to develop a niche EV when they have millions of hybrid customers. They've been dragging their feet on the plug-in Prius for years.

If you're only looking for 30 miles then consider a Leaf. From Craigslist. In 3-4 years, when most of the bugs and depreciation will be worked out.
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