From community to commodity.

By
Real Estate Agent with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers

The old Homeplace by Richard WeisserI was checking out the old neighborhood of my youth on the Internet the other day. I was amazed that a lot of the names of property owners there were still familiar to me.

It seems that about half of the homes were still owned by the same families that lived there in the 1960s. Which led me to draw several anecdotal conclusions:

Back then, a home was not a commodity. It was part of a community where you lived, worked, retired, and eventually passed on to an heir.

The houses were simple and sturdy, and always well maintained. Even after 50 years in the extreme climate ofWestern Pennsylvania, they still look much the same as they did when they were constructed.

Society has changed. We move a lot more now. We rarely know our neighbors beyond the immediate contiguous lots.

So it’s no wonder that a house as a commodity is considered to be nothing more than a financial asset or liability.

I liked it better when it was just HOME!

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Topic:
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Rainmaker
406,224
Peter den Boer
MBA,GRI,ABR,SRES, Associate Broker, Realtor
Keller Williams Realty Partners

Richard - I agree. The home where I grew up was in a neighborhood where everyone knew everybody. It is where all my friends live. I miss those times.

February 20, 2013 06:24 AM
Rainer
158,829
Edward Gilmartin
Boston Homes

They did build sturdy homes back then...all wood and plaster. I notice the funerals in those towns are well attended too...One has to wonder a bit about funeral for this next generation ...they move so often and do not obtain too many life long friends any longer..

February 20, 2013 06:27 AM
Ambassador
1,440,211
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com

Richard, Some of my childhood homes are long gone (we moved a lot).  Others I can see from Google Streetview and a few things have changed, but the core of the home and the neighborhood is still the same.  I do wonder how well some of these tract homes will hold up.  What will they be like when they're 50 years old?  I'm skeptical that they'll hold up as well as the older homes have done.  Bill

February 20, 2013 06:28 AM
Rainmaker
590,152
Margaret Goss
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
Baird & Warner Real Estate

I did the same this week as well!  We lived in ranch on a 1/2 acre lot and there were only a few small trees. Now I couldn't even see the house because of all the foliage.  All I remember is that the house cost $15,000 in the early 1960s.  

February 20, 2013 06:45 AM
Rainmaker
359,089
Bob Jakowinicz
734-578-6561 - Michigan Real Estate Agent
National Realty Centers Livonia--Bob Jakowinicz

I guess I really have not looked at it this way as for the most part I'm pretty active with my neighbors.  I do think this is exactly how things have gone as many are moving much more often and don't really know all their neighbors the way they used to.  

February 20, 2013 07:54 AM
Ambassador
1,434,893
Kathy Streib
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224
Room Service Home Staging

Richard- I do agree with you.  Gone are the days for the most part, when you had the family home... where we would all return for the holidays to the house where we grew up.  Now the old homestead may have had more than one owner since you lived there. 

February 20, 2013 08:47 AM
Rainmaker
483,914
Jordon Wheeler
J W Group Real Estate Sales and Service
The Jordon Wheeler Group

Hey Richard,

My original neighborhood in Toccoa was a housing project, and in the 60s people were happy to be in those homes and took great care of them.  My mom treated our two bedroom one bathroom like it was a mansion.  Nowadays those housing project look a lot different.  This post is awesome and helping me to be thankful today.  Have a blessed day sir!

February 20, 2013 09:04 AM
Rainmaker
597,770
Nancy Conner
Olympia/Thurston County WA
Managing Broker - City Realty Inc
We've definitely become such a mobile society that the home that stays in the family for decades has become really, really rare. And there were definite benefits to a neighborhood that was truly a community of people who knew each other. I'm glad I got to grow up in one like that, but over the years, all the familiar family names have been replaced and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't know a soul. (though I reconnected with my childhood best friend on Facebook!)
February 20, 2013 12:09 PM
Ambassador
1,645,690
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Coweta Newnan Homes for Sale
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers

Peter...

I miss those times a lot. THX.

Edward...

Interesting observation and oh so true. Thanks for jumping in.

Bill...

Oddly enough, we moved into our "new" Ryan home exactly 50 years ago. From what I have seen on Google it still looks pretty good today. TYVM.

Margaret...

Yes, in many cases the trees became so big they had to be cut down. But the houses stand tall and true. Thanks so much,.

 

 

February 20, 2013 12:55 PM
Ambassador
1,010,201
Harry F. D'Elia
Investor , Mentor, CSSN, Radio Coach, REOs, ABR
Precision Real Estate Inc.

Some people just like staying in one small city. Most people want to move for change and opportunity

February 20, 2013 01:41 PM
Rainmaker
1,735,019
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.
WHISPERING PINES REALTY

It made much more sense when it was just a home.

Just like for me a car is just trasnportation.

February 20, 2013 03:09 PM
Rainmaker
357,222
John G. Johnston
An Exclusive Buyer's Agent ~ Westcliffe, CO
John G. Johnston & Associates, LLC

Richard  You just made me realize I have lived here longer than anywhere.  April will be 10 years to own the Courtyard Country Inn B & B...home!  Great blog for bringing back some great memories...and values!

February 20, 2013 04:12 PM
Rainmaker
656,226
Pamela Seley, REALTOR®
Menifee Lakes California Real Estate
REALTY EXECUTIVES OTF

Richard, those days are gone. It became a commodity when homeowners saw that they could make a profit. Maybe those days will come back, when home meant something.

February 20, 2013 04:40 PM
Ambassador
1,227,360
Erica Ramus
MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate
Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA

Where in western PA are you originally from Richard? Sounds a lot like where I am, in eastern PA. Families own houses for generations and most keep good care of them.

February 20, 2013 07:03 PM
Ambassador
1,550,726
Christine Donovan
Broker/Attorney 800-610-7253 DRE01267479 - Costa M
Donovan Blatt Realty
Richard - It would be nice in many ways if houses were more about community. I think you're right about them being more commodity with people moving more.
February 20, 2013 10:13 PM
Rainmaker
240,545
Maria Gilda Racelis
"Your Goal, My Goal. We Can Make it Happen."
Home Buyers Realty, LLC-Manchester, Bolton. Vernon,Ellington

Hi Richard: Excellent thought. Instead of looking a home in an economic perspective, we should treat it as an integral part of ourselves. By doing so, it enhances the sense and value of a community.

February 21, 2013 03:25 AM
Rainmaker
1,776,282
Gabe Sanders
Stuart Florida Real Estate
the BlueWater Realty team specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales

I often wonder why so many are now insisting on new construction down here in FL, while they come from areas where the 100 year old homes are prized and in demand.

February 21, 2013 05:45 AM
Rainmaker
891,596
Michael Setunsky
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA
Michael's Commercial LLC

Richard, I agree! Houses are purchased today for their appreciation value. Many people buy homes so they can acquire value to move up to a larger more expensive home. Homes have become a commodity.

February 21, 2013 05:56 AM
Ambassador
1,638,391
Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001

Richard. .having just sent out a lot of post cards "What's my house worth? . .

I'm hoping that your old neighborhood does not resemble my farm neighborhood. .

I need people to move! lol

February 21, 2013 06:22 AM
Rainmaker
1,203,318
Richie Alan Naggar Author PEARLS SERIES of books
on LIFE and LOVE plus Real Estate too!
People first then business! Ran Right Realty Riverside, Ca

Today there is no reason why everyone in a neighborhood doesn't know each other. This is a strength that can only help us all

 

February 21, 2013 06:37 AM
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Richard Weisser

Richard Weisser Coweta Newnan Homes for Sale
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