Being young has the advantage of excuse. At any point in time a young project, community, idea, neighborhood can simply claim ignorance on lack of experience and receive a pass. At what point does youth run out as an excuse? People are a different sort of excuse but in the real estate sphere, how long can a neighborhood or city go on messing up internal affairs blamed on newness? Supporting local business, education, and public safety are pretty much the core functions of any city but in many cases these affairs are pushed by the wayside because he change in landscape is enough to put city planners on their heels, reeling back what they thought they knew of the task only to realize that cities are fundamentally different places, requiring drastically different management solutions.
Take for example, the city of Irvine that was only really grown from strawberries into raspberry pies (comp sci joke) in the early 80s because Silicon Valley got tired of having all the fun. Meanwhile the champions of the industry thrived on turning turnip farms into tech space and innovating on the cheap land in ways that would make river valley civilizations hang their heads for dreaming too small. Swing by many of the older businesses plazas in Irvine, Mission Viejo, Laguna etc and you’ll realize the running trend is that the infrastructure behind the walls has been swapped and updated several times over as spaces changed hands over and over. In Laguna Niguel for example, the city hardly had a local economy to speak of until real estate developers realized that if they built affordable living, a crowd of support laborers and lower socio-economic townspeople would move in. Their solution was just to build expensive homes. After a predictable dip in 08, Laguna Niguel homes today are worth more including inflation adjustment than they were when they were first built. Few markets can boast such bragadocious claims because few homes are built as well or with as much planning ahead of time. Luckily Laguna Niguel was not a pioneer city like Irvine so it could rest on the tempered confidence of city planners from surrounding, better established cities. The real estate market in some places was the original only reason for them to exist and if we’ve learned anything from the Spanish, it’s not to set up those kind of seed towns hoping for something to germinate – because all it takes is one or two idiots in office to bury the city shovel and all for generations to come.
While novice mistakes do tend to slow the growth, establishment or progress of smaller cities like Laguna, some old communities that are then ported into large, modern metropolitan like Sarasota Florida are forced to adjust their classic ways over to the demands of an ever shifting citizenry. Living within the city limits of Sarasota means recognizing the historical significance of the west coast of Florida but simultaneously keeping up a Los Angeles / Malibu type party vibe so your other vacation home owner neighbors can see both your oxford and FSU sides. Sarasota real estate markets are not quite as evanescent as those of Southern Orange county simply because of its age, niche and reputation but in any case they sure do draw a crowd when spring break hits and youth transition from pseudo-responsible right back to infancy. It’s almost poetic how fitting the gorgeous beaches on Siesta Key draw a crowd representative of the space itself as a piece of real estate. Aged to know better but playing young to get away with stupidity.