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ccosart
Mueller Community

Posts: 213
Joined on August 30th, 2007
Next Phase of Mueller - Affordability
by ccosart on July 21st, 2010

Quote:
[quote]The 2.5 times income rule ignores the effects of low or high interest rates... [/quote]

I agree, and it also ignores the lower maintenance costs of an energy-efficient home, and a potential reduction in transportation costs if you can live near your second and third places (employment and community / social areas)

There's an interesting Visual Economics chart that shows that the average American (not suggesting anyone is average) spends 17.6% of their paycheck on transportation costs, and 7% on utilities.

In my utopia (which is probably an oxymoron), there is a little less spent on energy and commuting. Which allows me to spend more on housing if I choose to (whether that be renting or owning)


Because, of course, at Mueller people can walk their kids to Mueller elementary, take the light rail to work and walk to do their shopping in the Town Center. Sorry, couldn't resist.

I'm with you on the benefits both to the individual and the community of car-lite and car free living - it's why we wanted to live at Mueller in the first place. But it rarely changes what someone can afford, at least in Austin with extreme premiums on central location and mediocre to terrible transit in all but a few areas... After 10 years of living with one or zero cars we have had to give in and move farther out and buy a second car. The premium on living in even a tiny place that could barely house our family was just too high, and even then in 90% of those places the transit would still not be good enough to allow us to drop a car....


 
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Mike
Mueller Community

Posts: 112
Joined on January 22nd, 2009
Next Phase of Mueller - Affordability
by Mike on July 21st, 2010

Quote:

Sorry, but given the foreclosure/default crisis we have in this country, and the effect being ‘house poor’ can have on a family, I don’t think pushing people to overextend themselves is a good or responsible idea.


Yes, the current foreclosure issue is partially due to unscrupulous mortgage brokers and lenders. However, I am not referring to the unscrupulous ones that suggest loans that are not a good fit, but to a loan that IS manageable by the homeowner. Most financial planners do not consider spending a third of ones salary on shelter irresponsible.

I've worked with many people that preferred a larger and less expensive house in the suburbs, to a small more expensive house closer into town and closer to work. They preferred to spend an hour or two in the car each day and $500 a month on gas and tolls. That extra $500 each month in gas and tolls could have gone towards a $100,000 larger mortgage.





 
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roberts_bj
Mueller Community

Posts: 154
Joined on November 17th, 2008
Next Phase of Mueller - Affordability - who pays?
by roberts_bj on July 21st, 2010

[According to the press release, this is how the Mueller Foundation is funded:

(1) fees applied to each builder
(2) proceeds from Mueller’s shared-equity feature for its Affordable Homes Program and
(3) a community assessment fee applied perpetually to each property commercial and residential property at re-sale.


In response to Garreth, I am aware of how it's being subsidized now but if these subsidies aren't sufficient to also fill the "gap" that is being discussed then we need more money/subsidies to fill this need too. I am referring to this additional gap need that folks are discussing. It doens't appear that the above is sufficient to buy down units for the 80% MFI and under crowd AND the 80% MFI and over crowd. Or we have to decide that it's a need that isn't high on the priority list.
 
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ccosart
Mueller Community

Posts: 213
Joined on August 30th, 2007
Next Phase of Mueller - Affordability
by ccosart on July 21st, 2010

Quote:
[quote]
Sorry, but given the foreclosure/default crisis we have in this country, and the effect being ‘house poor’ can have on a family, I don’t think pushing people to overextend themselves is a good or responsible idea.
[/quote]

Yes, the current foreclosure issue is partially due to unscrupulous mortgage brokers and lenders. However, I am not referring to the unscrupulous ones that suggest loans that are not a good fit, but to a loan that IS manageable by the homeowner. Most financial planners do not consider spending a third of ones salary on shelter irresponsible.

I've worked with many people that preferred a larger and less expensive house in the suburbs, to a small more expensive house closer into town and closer to work. They preferred to spend an hour or two in the car each day and $500 a month on gas and tolls. That extra $500 each month in gas and tolls could have gone towards a $100,000 larger mortgage.







I simply don’t agree. For families with kids, you have to take into account things like child care and health care. The example in my original response is not unreasonable. It’s typical. And I think expecting that family to spend 208K on a house is not a good idea. And expecting them to be able to save up 40K for a down payment is probably not realistic.

Sure you can come up with a huge number for the amount of money saved living closer in if you are talking about driving a hummer in from cedar park every day, but a lot of people aren’t doing that – they’re driving civics and other cars in from Davis and Manchaca or something along those lines. They don’t have this magic $500 they can suddenly make appear.
 
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roberts_bj
Mueller Community

Posts: 154
Joined on November 17th, 2008
Next Phase of Mueller - Affordability
by roberts_bj on July 21st, 2010

[quote

But back to who should pay for closing the gap? Not to be glib, but not my problem. I didn't make the promises that aren't being kept. As a rule of thumb, I don't make promises I don't intend to keep, and don't say things I don't mean to get my way. Guess I wouldn't make a very good politician or developer.

[/quote]

It's disappointing to hear that you believe promises aren't being kept. I believe it's too early still to make that claim. They haven't even broken ground on Phase 3 yet. There is an attempt being made to provide housing options (which include renting) for a variety of income levels. There are many more phases ahead of us. How can you claim this when the development isn't even close to being complete?

On a second note, about your statement of something not being your problem. As long as you are a tax payer in the City of Austin it is your problem. How do you think these types of programs are funded? Through sigificant approrpriations of tax dollars. And with those tax dollars our elected officials and city management must decide whether the goal of acheiving affordable housing at each income level is worth the cost. It requires a balance.
 
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GarrethWilcock
Mueller Community

Posts: 480
Joined on February 23rd, 2008
Next Phase of Mueller - Affordability - who pays?
by GarrethWilcock on July 21st, 2010

Quote:
In response to Garreth, I am aware of how it's being subsidized now but if these subsidies aren't sufficient to also fill the "gap" that is being discussed then we need more money/subsidies to fill this need too. I am referring to this additional gap need that folks are discussing. It doens't appear that the above is sufficient to buy down units for the 80% MFI and under crowd AND the 80% MFI and over crowd. Or we have to decide that it's a need that isn't high on the priority list.


Ah - gotcha - my mistake.

If the new homes are "affordable by design", then I'm personally hoping that additional subsidies / monies won't be needed. Smaller homes, smaller lots or condos, less amenities.
 
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GarrethWilcock
Mueller Community

Posts: 480
Joined on February 23rd, 2008
Next Phase of Mueller - Affordability and Utopia
by GarrethWilcock on July 21st, 2010

Quote:
Because, of course, at Mueller people can walk their kids to Mueller elementary, take the light rail to work and walk to do their shopping in the Town Center. Sorry, couldn't resist.


Ok, ok, my utopia isn't here. Yet.

I guess the chickens have to live here before the eggs can be delivered.

My life story:

Didn't have a car for 9 years, took the bus or walked or cycled to work, or took the train or a rental car to meetings. Hated using the Tube. Cars weren't a practical option for getting around town. I thought my condo was enormous at 1000sqft. That was in London.

Now, my kids are in a daycare 1.4 miles by car from my door (real actual google map miles, not "minutes from downtown Austin" realtor miles). I could walk in 1.1 miles if I wasn't allergic to the weather.

My grocery store is 1.7 car miles from my door.

I walk to work on a good day, though my family has two cars. I just joined Car2Go to see what that's like, and so I can bez about on that Smart car I see parked down the street all the time.
 
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Nor Cal Hal
Mueller Community

Posts: 15
Joined on July 15th, 2008
Next Phase of Mueller - Affordability and Utopia
by Nor Cal Hal on July 21st, 2010

Mmmm... these grapes are delicious!
 
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mrs aaron
Mueller Community

Posts: 767
Joined on August 31st, 2007
Next Phase of Mueller - Affordability and Utopia
by mrs aaron on July 21st, 2010

we are totally happy here. this neighborhood is like an extended family to us. and we used to have serious life-sucking commutes. now i get crabby if i have to drive to west austin. of course, we would like things to be perfect, but part of being a pioneer is being a part of a transformation, and that takes time and effort.

and if you ask my husband, i'm a glass half empty kind of person.
 
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GarrethWilcock
Mueller Community

Posts: 480
Joined on February 23rd, 2008
Next Phase of Mueller - Affordability and Utopia
by GarrethWilcock on July 21st, 2010

Quote:
we are totally happy here.


Us too. Especially in the cooler months.
 
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