SL 793

Everybody is moving to the ‘burbs. So, while half the country is protesting and making public declarations of being a good person, the other half (or maybe it is the same half, I don’t know) are quietly sneaking out of town.

Are you afraid of liberal lynchmobs?

I’ll pretty much listen to anything that Dave Chappelle has to say.

Yes, everybody is doing “Yoga with Adrienne,” but we’re doing “Yoga with Ritesh.”

Even as things open up, our cooking habits haven’t. We’re still cooking dinner six days a week; lunch and breakfast are everyday at home. Tonight it’s going to be chicken stew, tomorrow London Broil on the grill.

Interesting profile of Melania.

11 thoughts on “SL 793

  1. We are currently getting organized to move to the burbs this summer. Our move has been long planned, mostly because with two growing kids we need more space. My feeling, however, is that a lot of this ‘moving to the burbs’ trend is overstated. Right now you can’t do any of the things that generally appeal to people about the big city. Of course the suburbs look good, although plenty restricted you can do a lot more of the things people like about living in the suburbs right now.

    But 12-24 months from now (hopefully!) a vaccine will be widely deployed. Life in the big city will slowly get back to normal. The things that bring people to the cities will come back, and so will the need to go in to the office. If you rent in the big city, moving to the suburbs to save some money until that happens makes lots of sense.

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  2. As a non-subscriber, I can’t access the story about people moving to the ‘burbs. But I believe it, as I’ve read similar stories elsewhere. A realtor in one town said recently, anything under a million doesn’t last a day. In a similar town, my sister heard that people from New York and Boston are looking for large properties with privacy.

    But, as I’m always a contrarian, I wonder how this compares to a normal spring market? Is it just pent up activity from the lockdowns, all being released at once?

    The most dramatic interpretation would be that people are selling their city properties to buy in the ‘burbs. They plan to work remotely? Because otherwise, they’re planning to take public transportation, which is an identified risk factor.

    Searching for “New York drop in apartment leases” pulls up some dramatic articles. “New apartment signings fell 62% last month” (Crains NY business, I’m not a subscriber…) Rent is softening… Which signals many people deciding to move out of the city, to make rents fall. I know a lot of families have adult children home, working remotely.

    Although, ok, with a search, Redfin agrees with you: https://www.redfin.com/blog/weekly-update-home-buying-demand-up-22-percent/

    To contend with rising home prices, we’re hearing more stories of buyers purchasing a home with space for their parents or moving in near family to be closer to help with the kids. People are trading a condo in LA for a single-family home in Dallas, selling in D.C. and heading to Atlanta, or moving from Denver to Detroit.

    In many cases, buyers aren’t looking in big cities, at all. In April and May, pageviews on Redfin.com for homes in cities with less than 50,000 residents and rural areas are growing five times faster than pageviews for homes in cities and suburbs with more than a million people.

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    1. In New York, you would have to take mass transit, but in most cities, people can feasibly commute by car, while protecting their families from the rioters. Most of my friends in Boston, Atlanta, Minneapolis, or Chicago do not take mass transit, and obviously in places like LA there is no mass transit.

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    2. I think one reason for the rent changes is also changes in short-term rentals (AirBnB being the big one, but other kinds as well), at least here in Toronto. However, I’m more or less in the burbs and it seems like housing prices have jumped some in my little area..however, inventory is also way down, so the jump is really just one house so far.

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      1. I’ve read about the troubles AirBnB hosts are having about a month ago in the Wall Street Journal. It is interesting that the company strives to portray the hosts as people renting out a spare room to make ends meet, rather than property speculators gathering dozens of apartments, veritable virtual hotel-lite empires. That reminds me strongly of the property speculation that went bust in 2008.

        I do think the bankruptcy of multiple speculators, each controlling more than 10+ apartments, could certainly affect the rental market. If I were in charge of a city, I would certainly be concerned about lots of residential property being converted into hotel space. Do the hosts pay the same taxes real hotels pay? I think it has to crowd out anyone willing to make a long-term commitment to a city, which is not in the city’s best interests. It particularly makes it difficult for young adults to buy or lease property in the city, simply by raising the cost.

        Some of the AirBnB hosts don’t even live in the same city as their apartments. So you have residential properties that don’t house residents or voters.

        However, there are strong signs that other factors are at play, such as real estate markets in surrounding suburbs suddenly getting much livelier. There’s about a 2 month lag between accepted offer and sale, so right now it’s just realtor gossip. If people want to change their kids’ school districts, they have to close and move before the start of school, which is different in different states. Some states start in August, so the offers have presumably already been accepted in those states. I’ve been watching the Apple Mobility tracker. Driving is at or above baseline in many areas in the US. Public transport use is far below.

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      2. We stayed in Air B n B’s when we were in Scotland. They were so, so, so awesome. Sigh. I want to go back very badly. I would love to spend the summer at one – a thatched cottage on a remote Scotish Island — and write a novel or something.

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  3. We bought 20 pounds of frozen fish (ahi, swordfish). I’m trying new cooking things, but only where those things involve putting something different on the same grill. Maybe I’ll learn to make a sauce for it? Swordfish is a little boring.

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    1. This is very similar to a wonderful America’s Test Kitchen recipe: https://www.californiaavocado.com/recipe-details/view/10064/grilled-swordfish-with-california-avocado-grapefruit-salsa

      But, I don’t know if only 3 minutes per side on the grill would be sufficient. Fishmongers around here don’t sell 6 oz swordfish steaks; they’re much larger. Maybe California has mini swordfish?

      The AMT recipe is found in https://www.amazon.com/Best-Simple-Recipes-Flavorful-Foolproof-ebook/dp/B07FS11V62/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2NE0ZE1PBYPK8&dchild=1&keywords=the+best+simple+recipes+america%27s+test+kitchen&qid=1591996579&sprefix=the+best+simple+re%2Caps%2C148&sr=8-1

      Or you could search online for swordfish recipes. Skewers, maybe?

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      1. We got these from a restaurant that was selling supplies before it could reopen. They are 5-6 ounces pieces, very uniform.

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  4. Reading Laura’s blog archives during her suburban transition is fun (and, I think useful for people making the transition).

    We have lived in the part of the city that funny maps title “bedroom communities inside the city limits” and I am a suburbanite by desire (not flight). I like parking my car outside my house and driving to the grocery store. I like having my own house that’s not connected to anyone else’s. I like having lots of room. I like my very defined private space. I miss greater diversity, restaurants I can walk to, more of a sense of neighborhood (we used to talk across the porch in the more urban neighborhood).

    I think there will be changes and resorting and a blow to the urbanist movement. But, I don’t think people will change what they want forever.

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    1. I’m in the city, but without a huge amount of space (though we have an attached garage). My big problem now is that my boss is on NextDoor and lives near me, so I can’t troll the neighbors.

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