Friday, June 15, 2007

Igloos are expensive

My father lives in Sugar Land, Texas, just outside Houston, which is the FOURTH LARGEST CITY in the U.S. He tells me housing is cheap there.

Dad knows I am having a difficult time finding decent housing here in my frozen Canadian city.

So for kicks, and instant depression, I did a search for what our housing dollars would buy in Sugar Land, Texas. I have adjusted for cross-border currency.

This house is listed in Sugar Land, Texas for $375,000 US. Note the curb appeal, the symmetry, use of brick, stained wooden front door... Spacious, well-appointed kitchen. Okay -- huge, honkin' kitchen...
Living room...
For those of you who point out that Sugar Land is a suburb... Fine... Here's a listing that is in Houston itself. Remember, Houston is a huge city. Two million people while my city has one million. This house is listed at $344,000 U.S. Oh,yeah, it has a gold fish pond, too...
...and some granite counters. Remember this...
Nice open foyer...
Generous kitchen... (fait attention)
Stop.

---------Prepare to be depressed----------

Now THIS is what $399,000 Canadian will buy you in my city. It's a condo, to boot, which means condo fees, so essentially, this is a $420,000 property if you assume $350/month condo fees....

Remember, this property is more expensive than the Texas homes...
This is a "luxury" condo
Windowless, no bath "bathroom"...
uuuuugly stairs. Piece de resistance: the rooftop "terrace". Note the attempt at greenery. Sad. No fishpond here.

Not *exactly* the same quality of housing, would you say?

Some may say they prefer a detached house. Fine. How about this beautiful little number in one of the hotter neighborhoods in my city? It's listed for a mere $404,900 Canadian:I especially like the garbage cans parked outside. $404,000 won't buy you a garage here.
Not even a dishwasher...
Nor a foyer...
Not even room for four chairs round the table. Tell me, for $404,000, are THOSE curtains included?

Depressing, isn't it?

Wait 'til winter.

13 Comments:

At 8:46 AM, Blogger Jennifer said...

That's an interesting comparison.

Having been to Houston a fair amount in my married life (and going there again in a couple of weeks), I can tell you that Houston is an anomoly in that it's relatively inexpensive for such a big city. Real estate is cheaper, salaries are lower. In fact, my little college town in Virginia is much more expensive.

So, are you moving to Texas? ;-)

 
At 9:49 AM, Blogger katieo said...

I could cry.

I live in a relatively low cost of living state, but jeez. ...not that low. Have you ever seen that show, it's something like, "What your money gets you" or something like that on HGTV? They go around to different parts of the United States comparing homes and how much house (for example) $500,000 will get you. (Think Boise, ID vs. Vienna, VA) Whenever I get semi-depressed about what I can't afford, this show reminds me it could be a lot worse! :)

 
At 9:50 AM, Blogger katieo said...

but now that I just read that comment, it occurs to me you may be living in a "worse" place. HA! sorry...

 
At 10:47 AM, Blogger Pearl C. Pritchard said...

First of all, thank you for saying those nice things about my gray wig and tail warmer.

Secondly, did you say that you want to move to England? Well -- if you do, brace yourself. The housing here is so expensive and the houses are small. Very.

Thirdly... aren't you kind of glad that you don't live in Sugarland Texas?

 
At 12:35 PM, Blogger suburban mom said...

No offense to anyone...but you would HATE Texas. Seriously. The weather, the bugs, I could say more but I won't....

But I agree, I drool over what we could buy in other parts of the country.

Have you don't a realtor.com search on Orinda? Try it. You'll laugh.

 
At 12:36 PM, Blogger suburban mom said...

Have you considered Portland? The weather is kinda crappy, but it has amazing houses, you can walk to cute downtowns, tree lined streets, nice cafe's, no big box stores, lots of outdoor activities....

 
At 1:00 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

In my earlier comment, I was trying to be nice about Houston, but since someone else broke the dam...

My husband grew up there and you could not pay him to move back. I have flat out told him I would divorce him before moving to Houston. Proximity to his mother is not the major factor here either. :-) The heat and humidity are not just bad, they last for months longer than here in Virginia. Since it's an oil town, nothing is walking or biking friendly. The bugs are awful, but the roaches are the worst.

That said, Houston does have a lot of great big city amenities, such as museums, music, and restaurants. Some parts of town are thriving and vibrant.

So it all depends on what one wants.

 
At 2:59 PM, Blogger mohairpink said...

There are other parts of the country where you'll get that for your money. People from Houston seem to love it - couldn't pay me to move there, though!

 
At 7:04 PM, Blogger Anne said...

I hear ya sista! When we were in Georgia, I couldn't believe the prices. Huge houses, HUGE lots for the price of our townhouse here and our yard is the size of a postage stamp :( Yes, that's my banister and countertop. Want to come keep me company in Orleans? I miss living in the "Berg"

Re: Cravings. I think I love the chocolate coconut thing better as well, yeah, they are expensive, but I don't care. I wonder if we could make out own, can't be that hard?

 
At 7:50 PM, Blogger Julia said...

Who knew! Houston sucks!

 
At 2:38 PM, Blogger The Muehli's said...

I feel for you, I really do!

We looked for our home for over two years. It was an off and on process, sometime we could get totally discouraged and just stop looking for a while. But we were still getting emails about houses and just sort of stumbled upon this one.

Don't give up hope!! The right place WILL find you.

I'm actually from Houston. Born there and lived in the burbs for 15 years before moving to Virginia...and then college in Miami. Texas is a great place to live in my opinion although will be a massive climate adjustment...but I'm kinda partial to the state anyway. It'll always be home to me ;-)

 
At 2:38 PM, Blogger Yolanda Elizabet said...

How come prices are so high where you live? I thought with all that space Canada wouldn't be so expensive.

Having said that, have you seen the prices of houses in the UK? Or in my country for that matter? ;-)

 
At 1:12 PM, Blogger Jacran Cottage said...

Which frozen Canadian city are you in or near? I live near Toronto, Ontario and I agree that house prices are high, and going higher. Crazy!

I'm in the UK now on vacation and my parents are looking at property. I took the price of properties they are looking at, converted it to Canadian, and went on the MLS site to see what their money could get them near me. They could almost get a mansion! Property here in the UK is sooo expensive I don't know how people can do it. But they do.

 

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