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Author Topic: Cheapest housing?  (Read 1194 times)
alan2here
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March 09, 2013, 02:43:11 PM
 #1

How cheap could high quality housing be?

Ignoring precedent, what does a person need to be happy?

I don't think ownership is or should be one of these things. Security and peace of mind yes, but do you feel Google is going anywhere soon, so are you happy with being able to use Google search, do you feel there is a gap in your life caused by not owning Google, or the internet it searches? Often competition although you don't own it increases your feeling of security about a service right? It's a vote of confidence as well as being a backup service. Maybe you even want each services to be able to maintain an image of what your doing on each of the others to ensure an even greater level of robustness. Many are still happy not to own all this infrastructure that guarantees such amazing efficiency, it would be such an impossibly impractical thing for them anyway. Whats more if you own everything, in a way you still own nothing, it's like one person having all the BTC.

How about activities that you want, when you want them? I could go one further into being only when you need them, but I don't think this is workable even if it's moral, support groups for addiction are a great idea but it's quite different to not let a person into a casino because they resemble problem gamblers you know.

And believe it or not thats everything, that one point covers socialising, societies for interests, pubs, sightseeing, professional and academic interests, exercise such as sport and so many other things I couldn't possibly list them all.


Back to designing the house, to cover the "Activities on demand." requirement, location is the most important thing, in a densely populated city is a good start. Some outdoor pursuits may not be as compatible, however you could be more likely to find people to go with to do them, so even then you may well be better off in the city. Lets presume you choose the city option.

How large is this house, we need 3 bedrooms incase we start a family or have visitors, a kitchin to prepare food, a bathroom or two, a front or living room and another room as well as houses often have thease. But do we? This is a financial and maintenance overhead on your whole life, it's not just a case of ticking all the boxes because you might as well, there are drawbacks to this, as already established ownership of infrastructure is not the most optimal way to live, only availability is desired. Do you need a washing machine and tumble dryer or clothes line or could you use a laundrette instead, do you need an anvil or could you buy cutlery ready made, do you need a huge farm or could you use a much smaller segment of another persons farm indirectly via a food shop? I've lived in a city with a high enough density of infrastructure and due to my location the laundrette was close enough that it didn't make sense to own a washing machine, this is unfortunatly unusual, but there are pleanty of things you wouldn't think twice about just going out and doing like:

Printing a poster.
Borrowing books.
Meals for special occasions.
Watching a film.

Now we have thined out the space, maintenance and electrical costs of the washing equipment why do we need the space left behind in their absence, you were happy with no having that space before, will you really benefit greatly for it now? So lets lose that space too, causing the house to become smaller, presuming your in the right location or transport infrastructure is extremely progressive you've saved time and money too and you've saved this every few days, but now what do you do with the time and money you've saved, how about:

Joining a new society or interest group.
Getting your body or mind into shape.
Catching up on daytime TV.

Already some people will be suspicious though, we have saved money and increased the quality of a service, however think that it wouldn't be hard to deliberately spend more on a service than is required without the service being any better, so why is an increase in efficiency so unbelievable. You really do get more yeald by having the farmer grow your food over doing it youself, and while the farmer may or may not have good environmental and food quality practices this is not inherent in the centralised approach, this is just that farmers decision.

In this house, extra bedrooms could be useful, but when they are not they only take up space, time and money. If you both don't think you and your own time are worth anything and you vacuum without electricity you could take out the financial costs, but even then the rest is true, so if possible it would be better to get these things on demand right?

Now your house is smaller you only need one bathroom, you probably only needed one anyway.

I'm not going though all the intermediate reasoning for this, but you really shouldn't benefit even financially from cooking at home although in most places you do, lets remove the kitchin. If you find you miss cooking, take up a job or join a society for it.

1 bedroom and a bathroom remaining, the bedroom dosn't need to be large enough for your PC, a TV which somehow ended up with its own separate screen, Bookcase and CD collection because you can replace it with an IPad or Nexus, a Kindle and a Spotify account or other similar service, it does need to be large enough for a bed.

When your not using all the extra infrastructure required to make this work, it shouldn't cost that much for it to tick over, after all others are using it. You can now go out and do things, need to watch video on a huge screen one day, go to the cinema, want to get some excersise or catch up with mates, go do it, your mind is not going to turn to mush if your not enslaved, if it doubt join more societies. Want to try a particular job one day, your feeling some existentialism about your current direction, even this should be possible although maybe not on full pay. Want to move house, it should be easy!

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March 09, 2013, 10:18:02 PM
 #2

what

My attempt at adding to the bitcoin-using marketplace: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=171843.0
Like online video games? Check it out! I'm selling at a big discount
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March 10, 2013, 09:20:26 AM
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You're suggesting to a board made up almost entirely of introverts they should eliminate the security of owning what they know how to service (or maybe not...) in favor of enjoying the existence of others.

Maintenance costs are generally pretty slim. I furnished my kitchen for ~$2k with everything new. So far, maintenance costs have been $0. It costs money to heat the room I suppose, but there are no maintenance costs otherwise. Unless there is unchecked leaking or something like termites, there's generally no cost over time with extra rooms outside of initial purchase cost and, more expensively, the extra property taxes. I don't need to waste my time vacuuming an unused room because.... it's not used. More importantly for me, having something like a kitchen allows my wife to cook, which she enjoys (as do I), and minimizes my need to rely on others to cook for me. Worst case scenario, I have to cook for myself, not walk through a blizzard to find the nearest restaurant is closed (in my case, that'd mean I'd either have to walk 3 miles back home, or go 10 miles to the next town). More importantly for me, I can take a good lunch with diversity of food to work for maybe $3, instead of eating a greasy sandwich of bland meat by-products for $10 from the work cafeteria. If I did not have control over the food I'm eating, I would need to eat the greasy by-product sandwich, and it really doesn't matter whether it's a systemic problem or just that one company throwing sandwiches into an oven, because that's the company which provides food service on Wednesdays.

I don't think comparing a house to the Internet is reasonable. The Internet requires you be connected to other people, which, without ISPs, would require you go to every building and establish a connection to "your" Internet, which is kind of the opposite in owning a house where you're able to sustain yourself at-home. Establishing something like Google in its current form would be absurd for an individual to do, simply because it'd take too much time (especially in learning what's required) for one person to complete in their lifetime. Cooking takes maybe an hour a day for results, which is probably less time than it'd take for food to get to me if I ate out three times in a day, and I know I'm getting exactly what I want, not selecting from a list of 20 items with ingredients I won't know much about until tasting (or perhaps only after tasting!). I am happy using Google, though I don't own it - but I'm fairly sure I'd be happier if I owned Google, simply because of the opportunities ownership presents. Ownership allows you to make changes... in this particular community, I'm sure almost everyone on the board has a list of what they want Google to do differently. It also presents new opportunities to rapidly learn many advanced ideas from high-ups in the company, an opportunity you likely wouldn't get otherwise. If I owned Google, we could immediately create massive acceptance of Bitcoin, change the news, and ultimately change the course of humanity in a meaningful way -- something more in our image (or perhaps not in case of unintended consequences). Conversely, if I rented an office unit in a building Google owns, they probably wouldn't even allow me to paint the walls a preferable color.

Cars, though... I might be with you if you favor renting cars. I'm very sick of owning and having to repair cars, mostly because a jack is now sitting under one of them, crushed and yet immovable because one of the tires was removed when the car fell on the jack (there's no room to slip another jack under it). The car's now sitting - leaning - in the driveway, and that's pissed me off to no end, largely because it was purchased less than two months ago. Very pissed. Actually, it's so bad, I'd agree with you should you support public transportation, were it available where I am. Cars are not houses, though.
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March 10, 2013, 01:11:27 PM
 #4

Minimalism means different things to different people. Your idea of getting rid of a kitchen - would it really economize and provide for our needs better? I think not. It would cost a lot more over the years to pay a cafeteria or restaurant for every single meal. It would also significantly raise your health-care costs because, as was mentioned, sketchy processed meat-by-product coldcut sandwiches on refined wheat bread with some weird sauce made from HFCS - is that a daily lunch and general diet that ensures you won't be bed-ridden for the following 10 years starting at age 80, maybe even early-onset alzheimers at 55? But if you want the "healthy prepared food" that's going to cost you an arm and a leg at a natural market or health food store, so now you are entering big $$ territory. And let's talk about living in a city. Sure you have plenty of goods and services available at your fingertips, but you also have cigarette smoke, other pollution & smog, a significant portion of summer days where the air is considered "harmful to breathe," light pollution disrupting melatonin production, noise pollution disrupting melatonin production, which greatly increases risk of cancer. Increased risk of crime, etc. Oh, and you also have a lot more wi-fi and cell-phone radiation than in suburban or rural areas. These are all risks that must be weighed against the economizing incentives of various goods and services that may or may not meet needs that you may or may not have.
Note that you don't have to agree with any of my assessment above. Just observe that your neat little minimalist economizing scenario may not necessarily be as economical as you'd imagine. Sure, it's more economic than most people living in cities who are all about consume, consume, consume without much thought to efficiency.
What if you lived in a tropical area where nudism was considered legal by the state, and your philosophy happened to align? Well, the need for the laundrette or a washing machine would be virtually eliminated. We can take economizing/minimization as far as we want to go, and we can even make incorrect analysis of what is truly the most economic option for a given human need. And of course, for the truly cheapest housing, you'd need to have your house located in a climate where heating in the winter was not necessary. The overall cost of living tends to be lower in those places as well, with the exception of tourist hot-spots.
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March 13, 2013, 01:27:03 AM
 #5

Why do you need a bathroom? It sits empty most of the time and if you have family members or guests over, you run into collision of needs issues. Better to have communal bathrooms. All your bedroom needs is a sink for basic hygiene and to provide water for drinking and small cleaning tasks (more major cleaning can be performed by a dedicated cleaner).

This is pretty much how I lived as a student. It was OK but I couldn't see living the rest of my life like that.

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March 13, 2013, 01:42:54 AM
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This is pretty much how I lived as a student. It was OK but I couldn't see living the rest of my life like that.

Exactly, that is why our current house has 2 bathrooms. One for kids and visitors, another one for me and the misses to lounge in the bath tub while the radio broadcasts announcements of traffic jams. Today there was over 1600 km of road jams, and I spend one hour in the tub playing with my rubber ducks. Beat that....
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March 13, 2013, 01:45:50 AM
 #7

Subjective theory of value.
Thank you, try again...
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March 13, 2013, 01:49:09 AM
 #8

Fuck cities.  If you are concerned with living frugally, getting away from other people will save you 10-20% a year.  Everything is cheaper in rural areas.

Get a small house in the country, keep the basement full of food, and spend anything left over on bitcoins and other hard assets.

https://www.bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
While no idea is perfect, some ideas are useful.
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March 13, 2013, 03:05:58 AM
 #9

It depends on the area as well though Notme as well as living standards etc. for instance, in the UK we have a stupid problem and I mean really stupid problem with car insurance, so while you could get a house outside the city, if it turns out to be that the outskirts are a rough area then it'll be more expensive than living in the city where the shops are all in walking distance and so on because you're having to pay for the car.
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March 13, 2013, 03:21:12 AM
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It depends on the area as well though Notme as well as living standards etc. for instance, in the UK we have a stupid problem and I mean really stupid problem with car insurance, so while you could get a house outside the city, if it turns out to be that the outskirts are a rough area then it'll be more expensive than living in the city where the shops are all in walking distance and so on because you're having to pay for the car.

Good points.  In the US, we have cheap used cars (I can get a chevy cavalier or similar with a solid drivetrain for under $200, again because of where I live.  Good luck finding a deal like that in an urban area.) and cheap gas.  As long as you plan ahead a little bit, you don't have to make extra trips to shop.  In my experience, the 10-20% savings on nearly everything is only comparing my area to a smallish city.  In NYC, most things are at least twice as costly.

https://www.bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
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March 13, 2013, 01:58:07 PM
 #11

I'm not a city boy but I try not to bash cities, they're pretty amazing things. They may be more expensive but they have better jobs and everything is closer and there are so many things to see and do. Like so much in life, it's a trade-off. Different strokes for different folks.

I've been to New York a couple of times and I could see spending a year there. I think that it would be enough for me. I've been to London a few times too but I think I'd top out at a couple of months there (though I had a friend who lived there for a few years and he loved it. He did luck out on cheap rent though).

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