I wanted to tell you all about a fantastic neighborhood. It is right off New Circle Road, has plenty of shopping right in the neighborhood….even a grocery store. It is a large mixed use neighborhood that has everything from apartments to upscale houses. …even has new public schools right in the neighborhood. Do you know the one I am talking about? Sound like Beaumont to you? There is a little twist here…..The year is 1973, so I am referring to Eastland!
Yep. Eastland. Eastland was the Beaumont of the early 1970’s. Kind of scary when you think about it, but how neighborhoods change over time is the topic of today’s post…..How can this happen?
For Eastland, Lexington grew on the Southside, which is probably the biggest single thing that made it lose it’s luster. Then the shiny new apartments started to decline, the schools were no longer new, sprawling ranches, split levels and split foyers fell out of style, and Eastland Shopping Center became just another old strip shopping center.
Let’s look at some things that replaced many of these formerly trendy items: Enclosed shopping malls, smaller lots, McMansions, and living on the outskirts of town. I find this funny since NOW the trend is smaller houses (ranches are hot now!), living closer in town, and free-standing shopping centers where you can park at the door, run in, run back out, drive 100 feet, and do it all over again. I guess what comes around goes around.
So, I guess my message today is kind of ecclesiastical. It is basically that whatever reason causes people to pay top dollar for a house today will, in time, be the same things that will cause it to decline in value. I talked to a neighbor at my old house, which is in Tates Creek Elementary and Middle district. She said that one of the reasons they built their split foyer in that neighborhood back in 1972 was because her kids could walk to those brand new schools just up the road…..the same ones today that make people chose not to buy in that area.
Can you see these things having an effect on a neighborhoods value: Energy costs? The Economy? Aging Boomers? The shift in mindset of living within your means? Busy lifestyles that don’t allow time for maintenance? All those are just as real as how the car has changed where we live and what we consider close, how air conditioning took us off the front porch, and how the formal living room has all but disappeared through lack of use.
The bottom line is that schools get redistricted, finishes go out of style, lifestyles change, and there will always be a new neighborhood to knock the top ones off their throne. When I moved here in 1985, Hartland was THE place. Then came Andover Forest, Palomar and Firebrook. All still nice neighborhoods today, but when new, they were revered the way Beaumont is today……and Eastland was in the early 1970’s.