Peak Auto is Here! Or maybe not.

Predictions are hard. Particularly predictions about the future.

But here’s a prediction that’s easy to make – we’re not at peak auto. Media goons think, and secretly hope, that private automobiles are a thing of the past. We will all be subscribers to ride sharing services faster than you can say Uber.

Just this week there was another article predicting that we are at peak auto, that auto sales are going to crater and car companies are going to crash. This defies all logic.

While there will no doubt be continued increase in ride sharing services and in dense urban environments car ownership may indeed decline, my prediction is that autonomous vehicles will result in more cars, not less.

In order to it to be otherwise, it would mean that for the first time in recorded history, a product or service will become easier to use, but we will want less of it.

There will be more cars because the gold standard of transportation is still the private automobile. If cars were about nothing more than getting from A to B, then any old used econo-box would do. Utility alone cannot explain the predominance of combat ready SUVs that are about all you can buy today.

Clearly, our cars are so much more than just transportation. They are a statement about who we are, or think we are, or wish we were.

Often, meaningless statistics are cited in defense of ride sharing services. Like the observation that our cars spend 95% or more of their time parked and not in use. My toothbrush spends 99% of its life parked in a cup next to my sink, but that doesn’t mean I want to participate in a toothbrush sharing service. Having to ride in a car previously occupied by unsupervised strangers doing who knows what is about as appealing as a public toilet or a shared toothbrush.

Autonomous cars mean that the elderly never have to give up the keys and junior doesn’t have to wait until 16 to get his (or her) first car. The blind and disabled can be car owners too. That means more cars, not less.

Autonomous cars will probably be electric cars, which means cheaper to fuel and cheaper to maintain. That’s the additional secret to why cars will proliferate, not evaporate. Not only will they be easier to use, they’ll be cheaper too.

The world will be radically transformed by autonomous vehicles. There will surely be plenty of them. That’s why you’re going to need that three car garage at Catalina Crossing!

peak auto - Peak Auto is Here! Or maybe not.

7 Simple Home Repair or Improvement Projects You Really Can Do Yourself

Of course, at Decker Properties, you never have to lift a finger, because we’re always here for you, no matter how simple or complex. But for the determined do-it-yourselfer, in a moment we’ll look at this guest post from Emily Khan, 7 Simple Home Repairs You Can Do Yourself. But first, remember to check with your landlord first! And now, on to 7 Simple Home Repair or Improvement Projects You Really Can Do Yourself.

Part of homeownership is dealing with items that need to be repaired as the need to do so arises. There are home repair projects that are also easy to undertake without professional assistance. Presented for your consideration here are seven simple home repair or improvement projects you really can do on your own.

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5 Great Gardening Tips for Small Spaces

5 Great Gardening Tips for Small Spaces

By Shawna Miller

Who needs a big yard with the hassles of mowing, weeding and fertilizing? You can enjoy the benefits of gardening on your patio or balcony, without all the headaches. Want the beauty of plants year-round? Bring your green thumb inside. Check out these five great gardening tips for small spaces.

1. Go Vertical
Most of us only look at the floor space of our homes and patios. It’s time to branch up. Vertical gardens are designed to make use of height. Consider hanging baskets to attach to hooks on a patio cover or along outdoor walls. Baskets can hold a variety of plants but are best for those that drape, such as petunias or ferns. You can create your own vertical garden using recycled materials or a trellis, or buy a vertical garden kit online.

2. Choose Plants Wisely

Plant size and production vary, depending on the kind of plants you want. Plenty of options provide delicious fruits and vegetables and are suitable for smaller areas. Melons, squash, and corn may be out of the question, but cherry tomatoes grow nicely in a small garden space. Check seed packets and make sure you’re aware of the mature size of the plants you choose. Opt for those that produce a lot of edibles per plant to maximize your production.

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8 Really Cool Gifts for a Traveler That Are Also Really Useful

image?url=https%3A%2F%2Fcdn wearing headphones at airport NONOISE0418 - 8 Really Cool Gifts for a Traveler That Are Also Really Useful


So, what kind of gift to get for your favorite world traveler? Or, maybe it’s just someone who travels for business, or occasionally for pleasure. Suitcases and toiletry totes are nice gift ideas, but they’re also a more personal type of purchase.

There are neat little things you can buy for a traveler that are not only cool, but really useful. We’ve picked out eight cool gifts for the traveler that should bring a smile to the face of anyone who travels a little or a lot.

Rest it

If you’ve traveled very often, you’ll immediately appreciate how difficult it can be to get comfortable. There are countless situations that arise where you have an opportunity to grab a little rest, but you can’t get comfortable. One reason is the inability to rest your head and neck.

Problem solved if you have travel pillow. A travel pillow can give you head and neck support on a long plane flight or a cross-country drive. They hold your head and neck in such a perfect ergonomic position for sleeping; they’re a great compliment to that uncomfortable hotel pillow. Continue reading

Maximizing Space in your Kitchen

Hungry? Let’s eat out! But if you’re not like me, and every once in a while you want to cook, it might be nice to have some strategies on how to maximize the space in your kitchen. So check these out:

Hang your kitchen pots1. Hang it up. Those fancy pots with the copper bottoms are expensive. Why not show them off a little? There are all kinds of peg board, S hooks, shelves and other mechanisms to gain added space on your walls or ceilings.


kitchen island on wheels2. A kitchen island on wheels. Need extra counter-top space? Here’s your answer. The one shown in this picture is even collapsible for when you don’t need it.


3. Move it out. Maybe those fancy dishes or glassware will make a nice decoration in your living room. Get creative!


Madison Catalina Crossing Apartments kitchen dining4. Move to the all new Catalina Crossing apartments in Madison. These units have huge kitchens, walk-in pantries and more than enough room for all of your stuff. Call (262) 785-0840 to set up an appointment to see these modern, Huge living spaces.

Rents Likely to Keep On Increasing

Red arrow uptrending reports that June 2019 saw a spike in rent prices across the US, increasing about 0.826%. You can view the entire article here. Yes, 0.826% is less than 1%, but on an annualized basis this change would result in an increase in rents of about 10%. And this after years of increases, all faster than the rate of inflation.

Part of the problem is the cost of new construction. Few new single-family homes have been built owing to affordability problems. This in turn has driven up prices on existing single-family homes. Price escalation causes increased demand for housing alternatives like apartments.

Another source of trouble is the government interference we’ve thoroughly documented in this space. Government regulation and constraint on development has increased the cost of construction and limited the supply of additional housing, again putting pressure on rents.

What it means is that, like it or not, fair or not, rent prices are going to continue increasing. Of course, if you live in an area with rent control, then you probably won’t be able to find an apartment at all.

That is why we are grateful to be able to offer beautiful (and affordable) apartments in 14 cities and towns across Southeastern Wisconsin. Contact Decker Properties to arrange a visit, or call our office at (262) 785-0840 with your apartment question.

Hand Over Those Apartments!

apartment being torn downLike a broken record, we’ve been discussing the increasing rents that have been happening all over the country, and now even all over the world. It’s an international problem.

And never mind that part of the cost problem stems from government interference and constraints on new development. Regardless, governments increasingly feel compelled to step in to “solve” the problem they were guilty of helping to create in the first place.

The latest government intervention comes to us compliments of our German friends in Berlin. There, the government is proposing to actually confiscate apartments owned by private landlords! The premise is that any landlord owning 3,000 rental units or more would be subject to confiscation.

Doesn’t anyone remember the miserable apartments blocks in the former Soviet Union? Or how about the Cabrini Green public housing in Chicago that was plagued by sniper fire between the towers prior to the development finally being demolished?

I’m not sure what services governments are good at providing, but I’m certain that housing isn’t one of them. When one thinks about excellent service, is it Federal Express that comes to mind or the US Postal Service?

One correction that needs to be noted. I said that rising rents were an international problem. That’s not quite true. Housing costs in Japan have been stagnant for decades. That’s partly due to a stagnant population. But in Japan, there is less government regulation and constraint on development and as a result, more housing is created. Japan has a population roughly half that of the US. Last year in Japan, about a million housing units were built, a typical year. Last year in the US, 1.25 million housing units were built.

Get the picture?

I’m thinking you had better line up one of the beautiful new apartments at the Wilson Heights Apartments in Hartford before the government confiscates them and ruins everything! Call our main office at (262) 785-0840 to arrange a tour of your next apartment.

How to Differentiate Between a Hoarder and a Classic Pack Rat and What to Do

hoarder cluttering a kitchenHoarding can be an emotionally devastating disorder. The effects of obsessive hoarding can be hard on the hoarder themselves, and equally as troubling for friends and family. There is a distinct difference between someone who is a pack rat and someone who would constitute a hoarder. Let’s start by providing information you can ponder to see if you or someone you know might be a hoarder, followed by some suggestions for what to do.

Hoarder vs. Pack Rat – Is There Actually any Difference?

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Decorate Your Digs Part 4

We’re back for Part 4 of Decorate Your Digs because we still haven’t yet gotten all the crazy out.
Forget about keeping up with the Joneses, you’re going to be the Wizard of Oz:

14. Skate-park Room

Skate-park Room 1 Skate-park Room 2
Gravity is so yesterday. Show us your tricks!

15. Fire Pit Table

Fire Pit Table
I’m not sure how this thing gets vented, but until you collapse, it looks like fun.

16. Balcony Pool

Balcony Pool
I’m speechless.


Also see “Decorate Your Digs, Part 1” and “Decorate Your Digs, Part 2” and “Decorate Your Digs, Part 3

Decker Properties has other great spaces for you to live in across southeastern Wisconsin. Two hip apartments are on the northeast side, in Shorewood at the Jarvis Street Apartments and in Whitefish Bay, at the Diversey Manor Apartments. Call (262) 785-0840 for an appointment to set up a tour.

Decorate Your Digs Part 3

Toss out that lava lamp! Throw away that picture of dogs playing poker. We’ve got some real decorating ideas for you:

9. Hammock Bed

Hammock Bed
If you’ve already got the swing set table (see Part 1), may as well get the hammock bed. Take 10.

10. See-through Bathtub

See-through Bathtub
There’s something holding the water back here isn’t there? Probably goes well with the glass floor over the open shaft in Part 2.

11. Vertical Herb Garden in Your Kitchen

Vertical Herb Garden

It almost hurts to include something practical, but every once in a while, exceptions must be made.

12. Treehouse Room For Kids

Treehouse Room

Forget the kids, I’m moving in!

13. Pirate Ship Bedroom For Yourself

Pirate Ship Bedroom

OK, the kids can have the treehouse room if I can live in this thing.

Come back next time for more!

Also see “Decorate Your New Digs, Part 1” and “Decorate Your Digs, Part 2

Decker Properties has great spaces for you to live in across southeastern Wisconsin. Two great (and NEW) apartments are in Fond du Lac: City Center Lofts and The Fairways Apartments. Why not set up a tour? Call (262) 785-0840 for an appointment.

Come back next time for more innovative apartment decorating ideas in Part 4.