Originally Posted by GotGarlic
So it's "most folks that [you] grew up with" and not "most folks." I don't think that's common throughout the country. In newer areas over the last 50 years, most people have bought single-family homes. And many owners of single-family homes fix up their homes at least somewhat to make them appeal to the most buyers. Not everyone wants to buy a home that needs work.
The great thing about having your own home is that you can fix it up however you like. Landlords usually restrict what you can do.
Having lived in several different states all across the country and visited quite a few to see friends, Boston does have some unique housing features. Even our tax base is different. A lot of towns and cities I have seen have a separate tax for schools. Not Boston. One property tax and the City or Town will divvy it up among the needed services.
We also have "triple deckers." An east coast type of housing. Although I once saw three of them standing all alone in Tacoma. They were all identical, such as they are in Boston and were probably six/seven roomers. The were one of the more upscale type. Very large front porch on all three floors.
As a small kid, living on the farm on Cape Cod, all the housing was single family. I can't recall ever seeing a multiple family building. Today, the Cape is covered with Condos.
Building single family homes in the city doesn't happen too often here. Financially, it is not worth it for the home owner. Just two doors from my daughter, they just built a large two family home. Someone has to help pay for that new home and it is going to be the tenant. And you can bet the rent is going to hit at least $2,000 a month.