Thursday, February 9, 2006

Close to Nowhere
By Linda Jones

“Sacre bleu!” How much?

Sometimes, on email quilting lists, not all the talk is about quilting. Topics can go in all directions and oftentimes do.

For instance — a quilting friend in California has been living with her mother since her return from Brazil sometime back. Marilyn has decided that it’s time for her own “quilting” space and has been looking for a nice double wide home. She mentioned in an email to the list last week that she had found a 1974ish double wide for around $40,000.

I almost gagged when I read that. Then, I thought, oh, she’s got to be kidding. Wrong!

I posted a note telling the list about our daughter’s house, next door to us and there has been a landslide of discussion since. A bunch of Dear Jane quilt fanatics may be moving south soon!

One quilter’s response: “Sacre bleu! A single parking space (not a garage, not a carport, just a piece of asphalt) in my condo complex in Long Beach (CA) sells for a minimum of $6,000. A 2-bedroom, 2 bath, 2nd floor, 1,100 sq. ft. condo just listed for $499,000. What’s that, 10 double-wide trailers? The housing costs out here are insane; and, what is really scary, is that Long Beach isn’t that desirable of an area to live in (my complex is right next to a freeway, but since I’m on the far side of the grounds and we have lots of fountains and waterfalls, so from my unit, I can’t really hear the traffic; but I am in the best part of town, away from downtown which is a very high crime area). I work in Torrance, just below Rancho Palos Verdes and Rolling Hills Estates. There, a one-bedroom condo starts at about $675,000, so I obviously, live in the slums.” - Joy

Marilyn’s response to this: “Bumpy, consider this - in San Francisco (and I suspect other large cities) land is no longer sold by the acre but by the square foot! Downtown San Francisco is a million or so PER SQUARE FOOT!  And we wonder why a one room apt. in downtown SF goes for about $2500/month! And that’s in an old “picturesque” building with no elevators, etc.! Here in Sacramento almost every residence starts at $300,000 - the apartment/condos start around $240,000 and they’re not nice!  Your basic California ranch 3/2 on a standard lot goes for $320,000+ - and that’s one about 40 years old with minimal upgrades or improvements! Amazing!”

Emails have been flying fast and furiously the past few days — I am just totally stunned at the amount of land and housing costs in other parts of the country.

I’ve asked Marilyn to buy a mobile home out of this paper’s ads — she can live across the driveway from us and from the description of California prices — she’ll be rich!

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