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  1. about 9 hours ago on Steve Kelley

    I have made it clearer but you seem no further along the learning curve. Maybe it’s my teaching style :P

    It’s a highly complex issue, between the intersection of housing economics, macroeconomics, behavioral economics and building/energy codes. The team at MIT along with a few wingnuts like myself have been reconciling all of the above plus some. Nationally recognized economists are reviewing our work and, so far, have been highly impressed with the work. No dissent, really, but the occasional minor suggestion so they can feel like they’re earning their fee. We have a national housing problem unlike any before, and in places like MA, it’s a downright crisis. The reason we are getting attention nationally is that their is consensus that MA is the tip of the spear – what is happening here will soon be playing out nearly everywhere.
  2. about 12 hours ago on Steve Kelley

    I didn’t say a significant number of contractors would go out of business, although some certainly will. There will be a continued attrition that will now pick up speed. Housing production has been declining with every decade despite a growing population and demand. The number of home builders and remodelers has shrunk as the pool of clients who can afford a new home or fix up a sub-standard one. The problem of driving up housing costs isn’t just what it will do to the construction industry, it’s what it does to the citizenry. The ones who can afford the median home price in MA, which is north of $600k will be fine, but even some of them will choose to live elsewhere. The ones who are squeezed out will leave, if they have the ability to do so. Those are the middle calls folks. The poorer people are the least mobile and will be mired in housing-cost induced poverty. I’ve already explained what happens in the business community if they are put at too much of a competitive disadvantage with other states.

    NO, this is not a MA problem. CA, and many other markets are experiencing variations of the same problem, and it’s growing. And the MA codes are coming to a state near you. MA cods are not created from whole cloth, they are based on national model codes that are adopted by states. MA just happens to be a couple years ahead of many other states who will be adopting the same model codes in the near future. Already, the national median home price has risen to the point where the percentage of our population that can no longer afford a home is at its peak and trending the wrong way. This seems to be something you are unconcerned with, but very concerned with the definition of “significant”. I think your priorities are screwy.

    Again, this com stuff that you have no clue about and it’s what I do for a living. Yet that doesn’t stop you from having a strong opinion despite your ignorance. I wouldn’t argue with you over tent making and awnings. I have no clue on that.

  3. about 14 hours ago on Steve Kelley

    The 50% is an example, as I stated. It is not the only trigger that requires what I stated.

    “I doubt the renovators in MA will suffer that much.”And you base this on what knowledge and understanding of the MA codes and housing economy? I’ve been working with MIT’s Center for Housing and Real Estate for just over a year as they conduct a study on the cost impacts of the new codes and the impact those costs will have of housing starts (including single and multi-fam) and renovations. The study also looks at the economic impact those additional costs and the effect they will have on MA. Higher costs squeeze more and more people out of the market for both new and existing homes as well as shrinks the number of renovations that are economically feasible for homeowners. But I’ll share your doubts with the team at MIT, as they disagree with their findings. I’ll see that they send you a nice card to thank you for straightening us all out.

    Or maybe you should just leave these complex matters to those who deal with them for a living and have actual expertise int he subject matter, as you have no idea what you’re talking about.

    “In any case, it still doesn’t involve the CPSC sending “stove nazi’s” to your residence.”It’s a bloody cartoon! Satire, y’know? A technique frequently employed by cartoonists. You have zero problem when a left-leaning cartoonist does it.

  4. 1 day ago on Steve Kelley

    LOL, yes, the steady stream will become a torrent! Us Massholes have ruined Southern NH, according to my friends in NH, including the ones who used to live in MA :P

  5. 1 day ago on Peanuts Begins

    I had somebody ask me for my autograph, for real. I have no idea who she thought I was.

  6. 1 day ago on Steve Kelley

    “Significant renovations” sounds extremely vague.

    No, it’s not vague in the actual regulations, but I’m not about to copy and paste a bunch of building and energy code language that you won’t understand. Here’s a quick example. If I renovate my home and disturb more than 50% of the area of the square footage, or exceed 1000 s.f., I have to bring the entire home up to the new code. That means my electric rates, perfectly good gas stove, gas furnace, gas water heater and gas dryer, all have to be replaced with electric versions. Not only that, but I’d also have to replace all the exterior doors and windows and somehow bring my exterior walls up to R-30 from the current R-19. Attic insulation would need to be R-60, and the house would have to be tested for leakage and pass a blower door test. Had I done this work last year, let’s say it would have cost me $100k. With the new code, it’s now a full gut rehab and would cost $250k. Given that, it’s likely that I don’t renovate. This code is going to drastically effect the home remodeling industry and drive the cost of housing up even more than it already is. MA is already the 2nd (or 3rd, depending on who is slicing the numbers) most expensive housing state in the country.

    The people who build, renovate and sell homes in MA are plenty scared. Housing advocacy groups and non-profit affordable housing groups are scared for their ability to produce affordable housing. The negative impact on housing affordability has businesses scared, too, as it makes them less competitive with other states when it comes to attracting talent. We already have a negative net domestic migration; this will only drive more people out.

  7. 1 day ago on Steve Kelley

    Well, as of a few eeks ago, MA Energy Code penalizes you for using fossil fuels for heating and/or appliances in new construction and significant renovations. The penalty is that you have to reach a higher level of energy efficiency for the building ($$$) and you still have to pre-wire the house to be all electric ($$).

    There’s a “municipal opt-in” code that cities and towns are starting the adoption process on that bans fossil fuels and requires you to install solar panels. This is not a scare tactic; this is a model code that is being considered in multiple other states.

    There is a pilot program that the MA legislature passed that has 10 municipalities going fossil-fuel free. That means anything you do to a home, office, business, etc., even if you’re just replacing old equipment, will have to be electric. It remains to be seen whether there will be an exception for restaurants, but it’s not looking good for them.

  8. 1 day ago on Steve Kelley

    He’s using future tense. Notice the words “will be”. Can you provide citation for your autopsy? No, it hasn’t happened yet, but is likely to happen.

    Yes, there are both municipalities in MA that are discussing exactly what WestNYC mentioned. It’s difficult to do that in MA if renovation is the trigger because we have a state building code that disallows local rules that supersede state code. Some states have no such barrier. If the trigger is placed withing local zoning by-laws, it would probably work. It could be a hard deadline or more likely upon transfer, which is the mechanism used to upgrade older septic systems.

  9. 1 day ago on Mike Lester

    The problem is your reading comprehension is on a 5th grade level. I bet my IQ is 30 points or more higher than yours, assuming you’re at least in triple-digits. Big assumption, I know. Keep the insults coming. It’s all you got.

  10. 2 days ago on Lisa Benson

    Those interstate agreements are for situations where you live in one state but earn income in another, and some other like situations. CA taxing my assets that are in another state or country is something completely new. If that stands a legal test, the wealthy politicians will be adversely affected, which makes me think it has no chance.