August 04, 2008

Who'd have ever thought America would go out and build itself new ghost towns?


"Daily life in these developments seems a bit post-cataclysmic. Children play on elaborate but empty playgrounds. They walk their dogs past rows of shiny houses that have never been lived in. Voices echo up and down the block. Unfinished houses and vacant lots strewn with construction debris clutter the horizon."

- Scene from "After the Bubble,Ghost Towns Across America" expose in the Wall Street Journal, August 2, 2008

24 comments:

keith said...

And when you get foreclosure ghost towns, you get scams like this one:

http://www.ktvu.com/news/16927518/detail.html

Frank@Scottsdale-Sucks.com said...

Hmm.... DC Ranch, anyone?

mickeyc said...

You can see these subdivisions when you fly over Atlanta.
They look miserable even from the air.

Anonymous said...

Would William Tecumseh Sherman be able to help?

Anonymous said...

Forsyth County is to Atlanta what the Inland Empire is to LA. It is far away from the city, 30-40 miles from downtown. Like in the IE with $4 gas nobody wants to live that far away any more.

That being said, homes (not condos, just single family homes) close in to the city, especially inside 285 are holding value pretty well.

a.creampuff said...

There wouldn't happen to be a mall and business park called "Croker Concourse" nearby, would there?

Read Tom Wolfe's _A Man In Full_, in which Charlie Croker tries to develop a business complex in the "third ring" around Atlanta. The book opens with Charlie's bank "workout". Life imitates art.

Peahippo said...

Remember, not all of them will become ghost towns. There's still a strong movement of businesses away from cities. In my area (Ohio), we're still seeing businesses claiming to be poor, then uprooting, moving to just outside the city limits, building a multimillion-dollar sparkling new building, and then moving in.

Businesses will continue the process of moving into industrial parks and other such areas in the exoburbs. But the movement of business offshore is equally strong. Not all of these ghost towns will remain abandoned-looking ... just most of them.

Stuck in So Pa said...

Great news clip about the foreclosure scam, Keith!
Makes you wonder how long this could go on with the backlog of foreclosures, and the banks don't even bother to check up on properties unless a neighbor complains.

A good renter maintaining a nice neat home could theoretically keep the con going on for the scammers, for years!

Anonymous said...

On the bright side, lots of vacant lots to grow food on...

Nick said...

Folks, everything will be fine. In the long term real estate prices always go up. Eventually people will buy real estate and the market will turn around. Right now there is a huge inventory of houses for sale but soon people will buy because the government will give us an incentive.

Anonymous said...

Blazenheimer & Burnupski at your service...

PLEASE Censor the retards... said...

"Nick said...
Folks, everything will be fine. In the long term real estate prices always go up."

PLEASE Censor the retards...

homeless & hungry (nice ring there)... said...

Sheeple, there may still be time for you to learn WHY you WILL be UNEMPLOYED and thrown into the street homeless & hungry (nice ring there)...

Try reading some of James Howard Kunstler books or if you cannot or will not read (like the President) try youtube Kunstler.

You will not regret it. You might even learn something or have an original thought between stuffing you fat faces with a large fried dough and a cheese doodle chaser while waiting for the SUV to fil up...

But I doubt it. Nevermind.

Anonymous said...

.


A ghost town with the copper plumbing ripped from the walls, holes kicked in the drywall, windows broken, weeds in the yard, dying plants, algae in the pool...

Oh wait, thats with the tenants still living there!


.

Anonymous said...

But Keith. This wasn't supposed to happen. Deregulation is the answer to everything, just like when Reagon deregulated the Savings & Loans.

Damn. Another failed Libertarian experiment.

Anonymous said...

a large fried dough and a cheese doodle chaser
================

my mouth is watering....

Anonymous said...

Bloomberg -- WCI Communities, the home builder whose chairman is billionaire investor Carl Icahn, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after failing to obtain new financing and losing 90 percent of its value in the past year.

The developer said it will continue to sell, build and deliver homes.

WCI, which began developing master-planned communities in 1946, joins at least a dozen home builders that have sought bankruptcy protection since June 2007. Existing home sales in Florida, WCI's biggest market, fell 5 percent in June to 11,700 and the median price tumbled 16 percent to $205,500, the Florida Association of Realtors said on July 24.

''The company, with all diligence, has attempted to avoid a bankruptcy filing,'' Icahn said in the statement. ``

The filing became necessary because of the recent failed effort to obtain financing and the recognition that the company's entire $1.8 billion of debt may soon be in default.''

Anonymous said...

SelectBuild Florida, which provides framing and construction services to single-family home builders, is discontinuing its operations within the next four months.

Building Materials Holding, the San Francisco parent of SelectBuild, cited Florida's weak economy for its decision to shutter the business.

SelectBuild, which has operated an office in Sunrise, will issue pink slips to about 140 employees in the state.

FredE said...

eventually the homeless will go and squat in them (after the developers go under and can't afford security, if that hasn't already been dumped), and our whole country can be just like New Orleans.

Anonymous said...

On the flip side, that unfinished development happened to me in Central Florida 15 years ago after the 89-90 housing drop. Big difference - it wasn't one builder, it was custom homes on a completed water, sewer, street lights and pavement development property . Everything was in except the houses. It took 10 years for the development to fill in. The developer and then the HOA took care of the empty lot mowing, maintenance etc. My kids had a blast with all the open lots It was quiet and very plesant to live there. It's the megabuilders that abandon and don't give a sh78!

I also had 17 years to build equity, not the 2 year turnover. I don't have any pity for those who bought on the lies of the developer.

Anonymous said...

I call a place with no neighbors, a paradise. Plus you can do target shooting from the comfort of your window to all the vandals who show up to f*ck around.

Anonymous said...

soon people will buy because the government will give us an incentive.

The consumer needs to be recapitalized just like the banks.

Even after the consumer gets recapitalized they will not buy just as banks are not lending.

Edge Living said...

This isn't much of a story. Are we supposed to feel sorry for someone who chose to buy a house 40 miles outside the city and is now unhappy because he doesn't have enough neighbors?

Please, my neighborhood in NC has only built 20 houses on its 99 lots. I like it! Empty roads for jogging and kids' bicycle riding. The 20 houses are occupied by friendly people who take good care of their homes.

I'm in no hurry for the development to build out and bring with it traffic problems.

wings said...

Kagunga!