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Old 06-03-2012, 05:19 PM   #61
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FWIW, this thread wasn't about personal preferences. Nor was it an attempt to tell anyone what to think, that's up to the reader as always.
It's just one of those enduring things...what people want to talk about may not be what the OP wanted to talk about. Sometimes, as the OP, I wish it wasn't that way...but that is just how it is. FWIW, people in this thread sometimes wanted to talk about personal preference.

AS far as the larger issue, I think it depends a lot on local conditions and stage of life.
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Old 06-03-2012, 05:49 PM   #62
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There are actually two different forces at work that exert conflicting pressures on these "fringe" suburbs: the obvious one is that increased highway congestion and higher gas prices will make them less attractive to commuters and thus are likely to be left in favor of something "closer to work", maybe even close enough to not need to own a car.

But with technology enabling more and more people to work at home -- many people, myself included, need only a telephone, a computer and a broadband internet connection -- it will be easier to live in a place that far enough away from the masses, noise and congestion of the city, but close enough for the occasional trip for the educational, cultural and retail options that can be found in (and close to) the cities.

As recently as 10-15 years ago there was no way I could get paid to do what I do in a town of 3,500 people which is more than an hour away from "the city" and the physical location of all the technical jobs -- unless I wanted to do the 80-minute commute (each way) to our Austin office every day. But now it's a reality and my "commute" is from the bedroom to the kitchen to grab breakfast and coffee, and then to the other bedroom which doubles as my office. As that becomes possible for more people, I don't think they're as likely to want to live in the city, and maybe not even the near suburbs.
Very good point WRT the influence of work/commuting on the issue/trend, thanks.
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Old 06-03-2012, 06:25 PM   #63
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Very good point WRT the influence of work/commuting on the issue/trend, thanks.
According to this article,

Work Shifting - How Many People Actually Telecommute?

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I lean toward Census data. They ask employed workers where their principal place of work was during the survey week. Granted, some may have had an unusual week, but the numbers for 2008 show that 5.9 million called home their principal place of work. Of those, 3.1 million were home based businesses. That means that only 2.5 million employees, 1.9% of the working population, worked at home most of the time.
I wonder if these numbers are big enough in a country with population of 313 million to make a trend, even if we assume these four year old statistics are now, say, double what they were four years ago.
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:10 PM   #64
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.Frankly, my impression of a 55+ community is that it will be quiet -- which is a reason I'm likely to look into those at some point after I reach the age where age discrimination in housing becomes legal.
As you age your hearing may decline and that may make quietness less important
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:12 PM   #65
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According to this article,

Work Shifting - How Many People Actually Telecommute?



I wonder if these numbers are big enough in a country with population of 313 million to make a trend, even if we assume these four year old statistics are now, say, double what they were four years ago.
My guess is that they have increased quite a bit. I also wonder what they mean by working at home "most of the time." I know people who work at home a lot but still go into the office or an office some period of time. I personally do a significant part of my part-time work from home but I'm not sure if it would be considered "most." I have also known people who work at home 3 weeks of the month and then go into the office (even in another state) for 1 week or so.
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:18 PM   #66
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My guess is that they have increased quite a bit.
Even if they doubled in less than four years, the numbers telecommuting most of the time still is a miniscule fraction of the total working population.

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]I also wonder what they mean by working at home "most of the time." I know people who work at home a lot but still go into the office or an office some period of time. I personally do a significant part of my part-time work from home but I'm not sure if it would be considered "most." I have also known people who work at home 3 weeks of the month and then go into the office (even in another state) for 1 week or so.
Call me weird, but if I was working I'd choose my house location based on wherever I was working "most of the time" (the majority of the time), not where I was working once in a while.
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:26 PM   #67
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I recommend we settle on mutually consistent causes for the demise of the suburbs. If the high cost of gas is going to doom them because few people will be able to afford to drive, we should probably avoid saying that traffic congestion will be the cause of their death.

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Old 06-03-2012, 07:26 PM   #68
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Call me weird, but if I was working I'd choose my house location based on wherever I was working "most of the time" (the majority of the time), not where I was working once in a while.
Well, I don't know. I mean if you could choose the "most of the time" would you choose one that was a long way from where you worked part of the time?

At our old house, there was a couple who moved to the area recently and they both work for Google. They work at home (in Texas) I think 3 weeks out of the month and then go to California for one week. Then, at our current house, there is a neighbor who is here for several weeks but apparently commutes for some period of time to Alaska (I don't know the details for how long they spend here versus Alaska).

I guess this works for both of these but I personally wouldn't really like having to regularly fly like that.
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:33 PM   #69
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I guess this works for both of these but I personally wouldn't really like having to regularly fly like that.
Oh, I'm sorry!!! Misunderstood. I thought we were talking about people who (like Ziggy29 apparently) are content in the fringe suburbs surrounding a city, rather than downtown in that city, because they only needed to go in occasionally if at all. Different situation, I agree..
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Old 06-03-2012, 09:46 PM   #70
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I wonder if these numbers are big enough in a country with population of 313 million to make a trend, even if we assume these four year old statistics are now, say, double what they were four years ago.
IMO, not quite yet -- I suspect the pull of high gas prices and worsening traffic will, for at least some time, more than offset the increase in people who no longer have to commute into the city. But at some point it would not surprise me if they reached an equilibrium, and perhaps within the next 10 years -- the higher gas prices get, the more valuable a cheap "employee benefit" it will be to allow more telecommuting. Heck, some employers (mine included) are actually starting to encourage it where feasible, because they need to own/lease less office space and pay lower facilities costs since they need less square footage.

In fact, in my case, the reason I became a *full time* work-at-home employee is because my employer wanted to consolidate office space to save money 3-4 years ago, and they wanted to know if I'd be willing to give up my office on the Austin campus since I was only there about two days a week on average. I told them I'd be glad to relinquish it if they'd agree to let me exclusively work from home, and they quickly agreed. Never underestimate the power of the ability of Corporate America to "go cheap" -- I think that is in itself a trend that isn't about to end.
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Old 06-03-2012, 10:14 PM   #71
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In fact, in my case, the reason I became a *full time* work-at-home employee is because my employer wanted to consolidate office space to save money 3-4 years ago I am outlandishly good at what I do, and I could probably ask for the moon and they might give it to me...
There, FIFY. You are modest and humble, but I have a pretty good idea that you can work miracles at work on a regular basis and evidently your employer knows that very well too.
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:34 AM   #72
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Oh, I'm sorry!!! Misunderstood. I thought we were talking about people who (like Ziggy29 apparently) are content in the fringe suburbs surrounding a city, rather than downtown in that city, because they only needed to go in occasionally if at all. Different situation, I agree..
Yes. Right now, we live in a house that is a little over an hour from my office. At one time we had a house closer in than this house and we moved because I hated the drive. But, now, I only go to the office once or twice a week since I work part time and do a lot of work at home. In that situation, I'm very happy with where we bought since it allows us to have the acreage that we wanted and to have our pets. And, once I fully retire we will rarely have to go into the big city and can do most everything in the suburban area.
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:11 AM   #73
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Very good point WRT the influence of work/commuting on the issue/trend, thanks.
May have been too subtle, but my point was also that access to everything other than work is also a factor. Though there are more and more online alternatives, you'll never be able to telecommute for groceries, haircuts, restaurants, bars, museums, live theater, live sports, to engage in sports & outdoor activities and many other of life's activities. If the price of gas puts them increasingly out of reach, I'd think it would (subtly or markedly) shift the balance of personal preferences away from fringe suburbs. Work is a very significant component (and Ziggy's point was well taken), but not the only one...
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:19 AM   #74
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May have been too subtle, but my point was also that access to everything other than work is also a factor. Though there are more and more online alternatives, you'll never be able to telecommute for groceries, haircuts, restaurants, bars, museums, live theater, live sports, to engage in sports & outdoor activities and many other of life's activities. If the price of gas puts them increasingly out of reach, I'd think it would shift the balance of personal preferences away from fringe suburbs. Work is a very significant component (and Ziggy's point was well taken), but not the only one...
I really do like living close to all of those businesses, events, and amenities you listed. That is one reason why I don't use much gas; everything is close by. At one point the fringe suburbs were supposed to have lower crime than my area, and I would greatly appreciate lower crime. However, in the past few years rumor has it that that several of the fringe suburbs have developed a higher crime rate as well.

In other words, to bring this out of the anecdotal realm and into the generalization realm, growing crime rates in some fringe suburbs are likely to be a factor affecting this trend as well.
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:58 AM   #75
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We're not about to downsize just because somebody says we should.
Who said you should?
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Old 06-04-2012, 01:47 PM   #76
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I do like living within walking and cycling distance of my favorite outdoor activities.

But that means that I do have to drive to go shopping or to eat out. But only once a week if I care to (more if I wish). A tank of gas easily lasts us a month! We grocery shop for "the good stuff", so we eat home a lot as we like our own cooking.

Non-food shopping? We buy an awful lot of stuff on-line.

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Old 06-04-2012, 01:52 PM   #77
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Non-food shopping? We buy an awful lot of stuff on-line.
It's gonna be a lot less, probably, for us starting on July 1...
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Old 06-04-2012, 03:30 PM   #78
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I do like living within walking and cycling distance of my favorite outdoor activities.

But that means that I do have to drive to go shopping or to eat out. But only once a week if I care to (more if I wish). A tank of gas easily lasts us a month! We grocery shop for "the good stuff", so we eat home a lot as we like our own cooking.

Non-food shopping? We buy an awful lot of stuff on-line.

Audrey
I'm jealous. We literally can't walk to anything, the definition of a fringe suburb though we're "only" 9 miles from downtown. We can ride bikes sometimes (and do), but it might be tough in winter. We'd be thrilled if we could just walk to some business or services. If we could walk to a coffee shop, a couple of restaurants and a library - that would be nirvana! I'd be happy to drive other places (I can't carry a weeks worth of groceries for miles so I'd need a car for that chore anyway).

'Hindsight is a wonderful thing' as my Dad always told me, or 'too soon old, too late smart', another of my Dad's lessons lost on me when I was younger.
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Old 06-04-2012, 03:45 PM   #79
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I'm jealous. We literally can't walk to anything, the definition of a fringe suburb though we're "only" 9 miles from downtown. We can ride bikes sometimes (and do), but it might be tough in winter. We'd be thrilled if we could just walk to some business or services.

'Hindsight is a wonderful thing' as my Dad always told me, or 'too soon old, too late smart', another of my Dad's lessons lost on me when I was younger.
In my small town, I can walk anywhere at anytime for exercise purposes, however, I need to drive to shop. Personally, it would be cool to be able to walk to a restaurant or pub. But walking to go shopping escapes me. I load up once a week from a Walmart 2 miles away and thats it. Carrying small bags of shopped items would appear to be a pain to me. Plus it would have to be done more often.
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Old 06-04-2012, 04:18 PM   #80
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In my small town, I can walk anywhere at anytime for exercise purposes, however, I need to drive to shop.
Same here, except that 6 months out of the year down here you don't want to be outside at all. That and the fact that while we have a grocery store in town, no locals I know of use it for their main shopping. They'll use it to pick up 2-3 items they may need, but they tend to load up their shopping carts at HEB more than a half hour's drive away. Then again, the cartload of groceries that would cost $200 at HEB would probably cost close to $300 at the market here in town, if not more than $300.
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