Some economic and physical aspects of farm housing and service buildings in selected areas of Michigan

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A Comparative Analysis on User Satisfaction in Closed and Open Office Buildings: Case Study of Some Selected Buildings in Abuja
A Comparative Analysis on User Satisfaction in Closed and Open Office Buildings: Case Study of Some Selected Buildings in Abuja

Many organizations and industries around the world have their own preference of office type base on the nature of services to be rendered. Office building without employee’s satisfaction can adversely affect their performances at their places of work. Open office is an office that has large open space with no partitionable walls but providing workstation for each employee within the open space while close office is the type with solid walls or frames as partitions with doors which open to each office. It is in the light of this that the design of office becomes imperative to both employers and architects. The aim of this study is to investigate user satisfaction and preferences in office buildings, in other to proffer appropriate design suggestion and recommendation that can be used when providing office to employees. A survey is adopted through the aid of administredquestionnaire to respondents, and the results are therefore analysed using simple statistical tool. Findings from the study reveals users satisfaction and preference for open office layout, it further reveals efficiency in users productivity due to its effectiveness in communication, kwnoledge sharing, space saving, cost saving and flexibility in managerial activities. The study therefore creates a correlation between findings conducted by other researchers over the years concerningthe provision of office for employees their preference andsatisfaction for open office buildings. JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY URBAN AFFAIRS (2018), 2(3), 102-106.

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Evaluation of the Sustainable Aspects In Housing Sector To Overcome Housing Stress In Northern Iraq
Evaluation of the Sustainable Aspects In Housing Sector To Overcome Housing Stress In Northern Iraq

Northern Iraq as part of Iraq, has been witnessed a great population increment last few decades. However, housing stress in Northern Iraq has risen due to that. Environmental, economic and social sustainability became crucial in the movement towards a more effective built environment and community nowadays. This research seeks to evaluate the presence of sustainability aspects (environmental, economic, and social) in housing sector, which makes them acquired and affordable for low income earners in Northern Iraq. Housing projects as case studies were investigated in Erbil, the capital of Northern Iraq. The research examined, the presence of sustainability aspects. Field observations checklist have been prepared based on the theoretical analysis through literature review and applied to collect data on the case studies. The results demonstrated that applying the aspects of sustainability for the buildings is weak and not clearly familiar in Northern Iraq. The study concluded that, the housing projects focusing on the case studies not sustainable. The findings show that the application of sustainable principles in the housing projects at Northern Iraq is very weak. It is highly recommended to achieve sustainability, because it is the significant way to produce acquired and affordable housing and overcome the housing problems, socially, environmentally and economically. The recommendations have been suggested to formulate new ways for implementing sustainable principles in the housing sector to overcome housing stress in Northern Iraq. JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY URBAN AFFAIRS (2019), 3(1), 67-81.

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Some economic and physical aspects of farm housing and service buildings in selected areas of Michigan

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By Ermond H. Hartmans

A THESIS Submitted to the School of Graduate Studies of Michigan State College of Agriculture and Applied Science in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of DOCTOR OP PHILOSOPHY

Department of Agricultural Economics Year 1950

ProQuest Number: 10008702

All rights reserved INFORMATION TO ALL USERS The quality of this reproduction is dependent upon the quality of the copy submitted. In the unlikely event that the author did not send a complete manuscript and there are missing pages, these will be noted. Also, if material had to be removed, a note will indicate the deletion.

uest ProQuest 10008702 Published by ProQuest LLC (2016). Copyright of the Dissertation is held by the Author. All rights reserved. This work is protected against unauthorized copying under Title 17, United States Code Microform Edition © ProQuest LLC. ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway P.O. Box 1346 Ann Arbor, Ml 4 8 1 0 6 - 1346


With this manuscript, the writer reaches the end of a fruitful, period of three years study at Michigan State College.

His thoughts go back to the many persons, who

not only made his stay in the United ^tates possible but also guided him through his initial period of adjustment to foreign customs and habits to the final completion of his DoctorTs Degree. Special thanks are extended to £r. Ralph C. Huston, former Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and through him to Michigan State College for the provision of a for­ eign tuitionship after the authorfs arrival from The Nether lands. Much gratitude goes out to Dr. Clifford



former head of the Agricultural Economics Division in the School of Agriculture and presently Director of the Agri­ cultural Experiment Station.

It was he who promoted first

the author1s interest in the general field of Agricultural Economics and It was he who encouraged the author to con­ tinue his studies after the completion of the Master's Degree. Recognition also should be given to -Dr. Lawrence W. Witt, Dr. Herman T. Wyngarden and Dr. Thomas K. Cowden for their inspiring influence and me Ip throughout the author's

graduate work.

The provision of a graduate assistantship

during the last two and a half years was greatly appreciated. The author wishes to express his appreciation to all who aided in the preparation of this manuscript.

In parti­

cular the assistance and guidance of Professor Raleigh Barlowe of the Agricultural Economics Department at Michigan State College and of Dr. R. J. Burroughs, Head of the Division of Housing Finance in the Bureau of Agricultural Economics has been very stimulating and helpful.


in the preparation of the rating schedule for farm houses, Dr. R. J. Burroughs had a major part.

Dr. Raleigh Barlowe

gave many valuable suggestions throughout the period that the author was working on this study and took much time in editing the manuscript.

For much of the information present­

ed thanks must be given to the many farmers in Eaton County and Tuscola County, who were interviewed in the field.


but not least the author wishes to express his thanks to all members of the Agricultural Economics, and the Economics and the Agricultural Engineering Department who not only contributed to his formal education but also made his stay in the United States a very pleasant one.




I. INTRODUCTION .................................



Nature and Purpose of the S t u d y ........



Sampling Methods




Limitations of the Data .....



The Rating Schedule .....................






The Farms and the Farm P o p u l a t i o n ......


Farm and Land Values ............... Net Income ........ Tenure and Tenure Experience ............ Type of Farming ................ Age of the Farmer ........................ Schooling .....

15 18 20 23 23 24

The Farm Houses ..................


Size of the House .................... Dining Rooms, Living Rooms and Kitchens.. Bedrooms ............... Bathrooms ......... Attics and Basements .................... Porches ................. Miscellaneous Rooms ..........

24 26 27 27 27 28 28


The Structural Condition of Farm Housing ..... Type of C o n s t r u c t i o n ............. Foundation ............ Roofing ......... Chimneys .................... Floors ........ Porches .................... The Over-All Rating ..................... Deficiencies as Related to Structural Condition ....


30 30 30 32 33 34 34 35 35 38

Correlatives of Physical Housing Condition .......


Size of Dwelling In Relation to Number of Occupants... s^Availability of Facilities ..........

44 50


PAGE C. Facilities as Related to Structural Level ...... 52 D. Other Factors Affecting the Physical Housing Condition .............................


53 Net Income ............... Acreage Per Farm and Value of the Land Per Acre. 57 Operatorship ......... 58 Tenure ............ 62 Nationality 9 Educational and Social Background.. 63 IV.



A. General Observation Concerning Farm Housing .... 66 Production Versus Consumption Item



B. Relative Investments in Farm Housing ........... 69 Dwelling Values as Related to Structural Level.. 73 Dwelling Values as Related to Size of Net Income ...... 75 Size of Farm and Value of the Land .............. 78 *..........84 Type of Operat o r s h i p ....... Tenure ••••....... 86 V.



A. Service Buildings in General..................... 89 Inflexibility of I n v e s t m e n t ...........


B. Available Service Buildings and Their A g e s ....... 93 C. Relative Investments in Service Buildings....... 96 D. Relationship Between Investments in Service Buildings and the Structural Level of the Dwelling . ............................ E. Level of Income


99 101

F. Size of Farm in Tillable Acres and Value per Tillable A c r e ........


G. Type of Farm Operator ..........................


H. Tenure



I. Improvements to Service Buildings

......... 117


PAGE SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS ...........................


APPENDIX A: Rating Schedule for Determination of the Structural Level and Condition of Farm Houses.


APPENDIX Bi Questionnaire Used in Gathering Primary Data Concerning Farm Houses and Service Buildings. 138 APPENDIX C: Tables* Providing Additional In­ formation for the Text ..................


APPENDIX D: Alternative Methods of Rating Farm Houses .........................


A. B. C.

Comparative Results In Rating Houses by Non-Technical Enumerators .......


Rating Houses by Means of Value and Number of Rooms........


Abbreviated Methods of Rating Houses ....


B I B L I O G R A P H Y ............................



PAGE Characteristics of Farms-Land and Buildings in Three Michigan Counties 1949 ...................


Average Yearly Gross Income, Expenditures and Net Income by Areas 1948 ................. .............


Percentage Distribution of Number of Rooms Per Dwelling by Areas 1949 ............................



Percentage Distribution of Types of Construction by Areas 1949 ......................


Percentage Distribution of Types of Foundation by Areas 1949 ....................................... .


Percentage Distribution of Types of Roof Covering by Areas 1949 ....... ........... ....... ..........


Structural Level of Farm Dwelling by Areas


Structural Level of Farm. Housing As Related to Style of Construction 194-9 •••..••••..............

9 10 11 12

1949* •

Structural Level and Condition of Farm Dwellings sis Related to Type of Construction by Areas 1949*.



Percentage Distribution of Number in the Household by Size of Income, 1949.......................

Percentage Distribution of Number of Rooms per Person by Areas, 1949 ..................



Condition of the Major Parts of Farm Dwellings as Related to Rating of Structure 1949 .............





Number of Bedrooms as Related to the Size of the Farnily ..........................



Structural Level in Relation to Age of Dwelling and Application of Paint 1949 ....................




Square Feet of Living Space Per Person by Areas, 1949 ................................................ Percentage Distribution of Facilities, Available In Farm Dwellings for Three Michigan Areas 1949 .... Characteristics and Facilities of Farm Dwellings as Related to Income Groups, 1949 ................. Improvements in the Years 1944-1949 by Income Groups 1949 ••••••....................


4 49 51 55

V TABLES (CONT'D) NUMBER 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29

PAGE Condition and Facilities of Dwellings as Related to Size of Farm in Tillable Acres 1949 ...........


Condition and Facilities of Farm Houses as Related to Value Per Tillable Acre 1949 .......


Rating of Structure and Available Facilities by Type of Operator 1949 .... .................


Condition and Facilities of Farm Dwellings as Related to Tenure 1949 ........................


Average and Relative Investments in Farm Dwellings by Areas 1949 ....................................


Average and Relative Values of Farm Dwellings by Groups of Structural Level 1949 .........


Average and Relative Values of Farm Dwellings by Income Groups 1949 .....


Average and Relative Values of Farm Dwellings by Type of Operator 1949 ............................


Average and Relative Values of Farm Dwellings for Owners and Tenants by Areas 194-9... .......


Availability of Service Buildings and Their Ages by Areas 1949 .........


Average and Relative Investments in Service Build­ ings by Areas 1949 ........ .



Value of Farm Dwelling and Service Buildings and Their Replacement Values in Relation to Total Farm Value by Structural Condition of Dwelling 1949.... 101


Relative Values of Farm and Service Buildings by Size of Farm and Level cf Income 1949..........



Relative Values of Farm and Service Buildings by Value Per Tillable Acre and Level of Income 1949.. 104


Value of Service Buildings in Dollars and as a Percent of the land Value by Increasing Value Per Acre for Farms with 51-75 Acres of Tillable Land.. 105



35 36 37

PAGE Value of Service Buildings in Dollars and Expressed as a Percentage of the Total Land Value by Increasing Size of Farm and Constant Value of $51.75 Per Tillable Acre ...............


Average and Relative Values of Land and Buildings ky Type of Farm O p e r a t o r ................


Average and Relative Investments in Land and Buildings for Owners and Tenants by Areas 1949...


Percentage Distribution of Improvements to Service Buildings in 1947 and 1948 by Income Groups 1949. 120


PAGE Percentage Distribution Tillable Acres by Areas

of Size of Farms in 1949 • ••••

.... 152

Percentage Distribution of Type of Operatorship by Areas 1949 . ............. ,.....................



Percentage Distribution of Land Values Per Tillable Acre by Areas 1949 ..................... 153


Percentage Distribution 1949

5 6

of Farm Values by Areas /. 154

Percentage Distribution of Yearly Net Income by Areas 1949 ........................................


Percentage Distribution Areas 1949 ......


of Tenure Arrangements by


Percentage Distribution of Tenure Experience by Areas 1949 ........................................ 157


Percentage Distribution perience by Areas 1949


of Farmers Background Ex­ 158

Percentage Distribution of Background of Operators' 158 Father by Areas 1949 ...••.......................


Age Distribution of Farm-Operators by Areas 1949..


Percentage Distribution of Schooling of B'armer and His Wife by Areas 1949 ........................... 160


Percentage Distribution of Sizes of Kitchen, Living Room and Dining Room for Farm Dwellings Id j Areas 1949 ............................................... 161


Percentage Distribution Areas 1949

of Number of Bedroom by

Percentage Distribution Dwelling by Areas 1949

of Number of Persons Per ...................

14 15



Percentage Distribution of the Distance from the Water Source to the Kitchen, by Areas 1949 ....

163 164


Percentage Distribution of Available facilities as Related to Structural Level and Condition of Farm Dwelling 1949 .............................. 165


Percentage Distribution of Improvements among Areas During the Years 1944-1948 ....... 166





Percentage Distribution of Farm Dwelling Values by Areas 1949 ................. .............. .. .. 167


Investments in Land and Buildings and Relative Value of Farm Dwelling by Different Size of Farm 1949 ...............................................


Investments in Land and Buildings and Relative Value of Farm Dwelling by Different Value Per Tillable Acre 1949 ................................


Percentage Distribution of the Values of Farm Service Buildingsby Areas 1949 ..................



21 22

Value of Service Buildings in Dollars as Related to Size of Farm and Value Per Tillable Acre 1949.. 171


Value of Service Buildings, Expressed as a Percent­ age of Total Farm Value, as Related to Size of Farm and Value Per Tillable Acre 1949 ........... 172


Percentage Distribution of Improvement to Service Buildings in Dollars During 1947 and 1948 to Areas.173


Comparative Results of Rating Houses by Non Technical Enumerators and Technical Enumerators in Two Sample Areas of M i c h i g a n ......... 176


Sample Counties (.Eaton and North and South Tuscola} and the Areas Which They Represent. ............


Percentage of Farm dwellings Having Selected facilities by Groups of Struc tural Level•...........


Actual Value and Percentage of Total Real Estate Value Invested in the farm Dwelling for Different Size of Farms 191+9.........................................................


Actual Value and Percentage of Real Estate, in the Farm Dwelling for Different Value per Tillable Acre.,.


Relationship between Investment in Land and Value of Farm ........ Dwelling.


Long and Short Run Transformation Between Beef and Poultry Production......................



Production Functions of Beef...............



Production Functions of Poultry...........................



Average Value of Service Buildings Curve I_ By Increasing Size of Fa m and Constant Value of 51-75 Dollars Per Tillable Acre Curve II By In creasing Value Per Tillable Acre and Con­ stant Size of 51-75 Tillable Acres.......... .. ..........


Average Value of Service Building Expressed as a Percent­ age of Total Farm Value: Curve i By a Constant Size of 51"75 Acres of Tillable Land and Increasing Value Per Acre Curve II By a Constant Value of 51*75 Dollars Per Tillable Acre and Increasing Size of Farm.................


Average Value of Service Buildings Expressed as a Percent of Land Value Curve I_ By Constant Size of 51"75 ^cres of Tillable Land and In creasing V^lue Per Acre Curve II By Constant Value of $51-75 Pe^ Tillable Acre and Increasing Size of Farm...............................


Average Value of Service Buildings Expressed as a Per­ centage of the Land Value Curve 1^ By Increasing V^lue Per Tillable Acre Curve II By Increasing Size of Farm inTillable Acres....



1|_ 5 6





Chapter I INTRODUCTION A. Nature and Purpose of the Study Considerable attention in recent months has centered around the housing problem*

The general public has been great­

ly interested in the current housing situation for the nation. Congress debated the housing question at length before passing the Housing Bill of 19^4-9*i/

Research workers have indicated

Interest in many aspects of the housing problem* The bulk of this interest has concerned Itself primarily with urban housing* been forgotten*

But the problems of farm housing have not

Both farm and city folks recognize that farm

life, In and of itself, does not necessarily guarantee healthy surroundings*

Census reports and various local and area surveys

for example, indicate that farm houses tend to lack modern facilities such

as running water, electricity, and central heat­

ing to a much greater extent than urban homes*2/

Also the re­

ports on the physical examinations conducted by the Selective Service System during World War II show that a higher proportion

1* 2*

The Housing Acts of 19)4-9. Housing and Home Finance Agency, Office of the Administrator, Washington 25, D* C#, July 19L.9 The Housing Situation, Housing No* 1, Home Finance Agency, Washington, D* C*, July 1914-9* page 28*

2 of farm boys than any other group were rejected for military service because of physical deficiencies.3/ Data of this sort suggests that something is wrong with rural housing and living conditions.

Before any far reaching policy regarding farm hous­

ing can be developed, however, more needs to be known about the farm housing situation. Thus far few data have been gathered on either a national or a local basis concerning the structural level and condition of farm homes.

The 1950 census classifies houses as dilapidated

and non-dilapidated.

This classification depends upon the per­

sonal judgement of the census enumerator.

Even though these enumer­

ators have received some instruction on this point at their training schools, the approach used provides no guarantee of objectivity.

One has to consider that any individuals standard

for decent housing is strongly influenced by his own living conditions.

It is also true that requirements for satisfactory

housing are not the same all over the country.

Local climate,

with its differences in humidity, and temperature determines to a considerable extent the structural characteristics a dwell­ ing must have if it is to conform with accepted health and sani­ tation standards. The first objective of this study is that of developing and testing series of criteria that can be used by non-technical personnel in securing objective rating of the structural level


physical Examinations of Selective Service Registrants During Time, by U. S. Selective Service System, National Headquarters, Medical State Bulletin No. 3, Washington, D. C., 1944, pp. 119-124



and condition of farm dwellings.

The method developed for this

purpose and passible alternative methods will be presented in the course of this study.

This objective had a great importance

in view of a nation-wide survey in which the here designed methods could be used.^/ The second objective of this study is to provide informa­ tion on types and number of farm buildings, their structural level and state of repairs, the availability of facilities,


the amount of repair and improvements done in recent years in some selected areas of Michigan.

For this purpose an additional

questionnaire was composed containing questions concerning the farm, its land, its buildings, and its occupants.

(See Appendix B.)

The third objective is the establishment of relationships between investments in house and service buildings and certain major characteristics of the farm and the farm family. Finally, it is hoped that definite conclusions can be drawn that will give the farmer a better insight into his own business and also indicate lines of action which can aid farmers in obtaining better houses and consequently a higher standard of living. B* Sampling Method Economy of time and money have had a decisive influence on the size of the sample and the sampling method being used. The final selection of the sample areas> indicated in Figure 1

i+. This expectation has already been realized, as such a nation-wide survey is now in progress under authority oi ^he Housing Bill of 191+9 "the methods presented in this study are adopted therein with some minor changes.

1+ was conditioned by two objectives: first, to make the sample fairly representative of as large an area of Michigan as possible: secondly,

to obtain a sample large enough to assure reliability

of final results with the limited funds available.

For this

reason only two sample counties were selected, namely Eaton and Tuscola Counties, representing however, areas#

three different sample

Tuscola County divides quite naturally into two quite

different sub-areas when topography, type of farming, acres per farm, and levels of living are considered#

The area north of

the Cass River consists of good level farming land, with a pros­ perous farm population.

The part South of the Cass River has

poor soils and many inadequate farms with a low income population# Eaton

County on the other hand is a medium good farming area# With such a selection of sample areas it is fairly accurate

to say that northern Tuscola is representative for the better farming areas of Michigan, such as the Saginaw Valley and Lenawee County.

The southern part is a good illustration of the poorer

farming areas of Michigan,

such as those found in most of the

upper portion of Michigan’s lower peninsula#

Eaton County is

fairly representative of the rest of the southern peninsula, with the exception of the fruit areas in southwestern Michigan and the counties immediately surrounding the City of Detroit# In selecting the sample farms the following method was used#

Both counties were first divided into blocks containing

approximately 30 farms. in sequence#

Each of these blocks was given a number

From a table of random numbers 10 blocks of 30





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fj/wwvfwV r \





Luce s'*___ . I k ‘V sks, ' ' ifjcwooiCPAPT ! I U f rJ ' MACKMAC v ! fSksr^






$EEUmU rforaf

WW/tAC• 'iui'pe GENESEE


Figure X*

Sample counties (Eaton and North and South Tuscola) and the areas nhich they represent.

6 farms were selected In Eaton County, 5 l*1 Northern Tuscola and 5 in Southern Tuscola.

Within these 20 selected blocks each

third farm was chosen for enumeration*

With this method a

total sample of approximately 200 farms was expected*


actual number sampled was 216 farms.of which 108 are in Eaton County, 5i in southern Tuscola and 57 in northern Tuscola.


terviews were only taken at houses which were located on or were a part of a farm business of at least two and one-half acres of farm land, and with a gross income of $500 or ®ore in 19U&* Especially this

last requirementexcluded a great number of

rural residents from the sample. Limitations of the Data. Although the obtained data are considered fairly accurate, certain limitations have to be kept in mind. 1. The sample Is too small

to permit very detailed statis­

tical analysis,as cross tabulations would

leave too few cases

in each sub-group. 2. Data on income and value of land and buildings are obtained from the farm operator without any possible check of their reliability, except for some cases where the Income data were obtained from farm account books*

As for the data on value

of land and buildings, we assume that the data which the farmer provided are his own estimates which guide him in his actions* even though they may not always be completely accurate* 3* All conclusions drawn relate to a rather homogeneous

7 group of farms and cannot be accepted for other farming areas without further testing*

Approximately ninety percent of the

records were obtained from owner-operator farms* which are of the general farming type, ranging in size from 1+0 to 250 acres of tillable land* lj.* The extent to which the three sample areas are representa­ tive of farming areas in the state, as indicated in Figure 1, holds true only along general lines*

No accurate estimates can

be made for the State of Michigan from the results of the sample areas* D* The Rating Schedule The rating schedule for houses shown in Appendix A was designed with the help of many experts from different fields, especially engineers, architects and economists*

The primary

objective in the devlopment of this rating schedule has been the setting up of a rating system based on objective observations* An attempt has been made to minimize the influence that the sub­ jective and personal views of the non-technical enumerator could have on the overall rating*

For this purpose the house

is first divided into its major parts -- the foundation, walls and openings, roof,

chimney, porches and floors*

For each of

these parts, descriptions are given of conditions as they may appear in any structure with or without major or minor deficien­ cies*

The present schedule is constructed from on-the-spot

observations and numerous changes have been made since it was

6 originally set up*

It is believed that almost all possible

cases are covered, particularly all possible deficiencies which may have a bearing on the final rating of the whole structure* The criteria being used In this schedule are grouped into three classes: First, characteristics which apply if there are no or very few deficiencies*

Second, characteristics that appear

when there are rather serious deficiencies, but not so serious that replacement of part or the whole structure is required* Third, characteristics which apply to such serious deficiencies that complete replacement of part or the whole structure is required* The enumerator checks only those items of the schedule which are applicable to the particular dwelling subject to nis observation*

That is all he has to do and no biased valued

judgment enter into the picture*

After the rating schedule for

a structure Is completed, the following general rules are set up* 1* Any house of which the foundation, or the walls and roof, have such serious deficiencies that complete replacement is necessary, according to the rating schdule, is classified as unacceptable*

Also In this group are houses with less than

200 square feet of floor surface. 2* Houses of Tafoich walls, foundations and roof require more than minor repairs as identified by cheque marks in the rating schedule are classified as passable*

This group includes also

9 those houses which have from 200 to JQQ square feet of floor surface, and those for which the chimney, floors and porches have such defSciencies as to constitute a hazard.

This holds

true even though the other parts of the structure may be in good condition* 3* Houses with no deficiencies requiring more than minor repair are classified as acceptable* This classification scheme divides farm houses into three classes according to structure, quality and condition*


una cceptable houses are dwelling units that are dilapidated, hazardous, too small for occupancy by two people,©r not suffi­ ciently weather-tight under local climatic conditions*


houses do not meet minimum housing standards in keeping with the public interest* Passable houses are dwelling unites that require much reconditioning and repair to make them decent and to prevent them from becoming -unacceptable. ful and valuable to tear down*

Such houses may be too use­ Yet their location in a neigh­

borhood may cause a serious wblightw .

The structural level of

such houses may be above the level described as unacceptable, yet perhaps be n jerry-built” and of such characteristics as to be generally unacceptable to middle income classes*

in the

interest of decency and economy many such structures require re­ conditioning to prevent further deterioration. Acceptable houses include all homes generally considered to be decent,

safe and sanitary.

Such housing may need painting

10 ®r require minor repairs but must not require general recon­ ditioning to put it in sound condition#

The structural level

of such housing should be generally acceptable to the middle Income classes of each community* This method of rating the structural level of a house is concerned only with the outside of the house*

It Is of great

advantage to the enumerator if he does not have to rate the inside of the dwelling*

Inside ratings also were planned when

this study was initiated*

But in the trial field work^many

occupants objected against showing the inside of their houses* After studying the obtained trial schedules, It was found that in not a single case did inside conditions change the overall rating of a house as obtained from the outside observa­ tion alone*

It appeared that once a dwelling has deteriorated

to some degree people care equally well for the outside as for the inside structure*

This is understandable,because major

deficiencies of the outside parts have a direct influence on the inside*

For instance, a broken foundation causes settling

of the structure, resulting in cracks and breakage of inside walls and ceilings*

A leak in the roof or wall gives water an

unlimited opportunity to do its destructive work to the inside thereby endangering the health and the lives of the occupants* On the other hand Inside deficiencies are seldom so serious that they cannot be eliminated at reasonable cost either through repair or remodeling* The structure furthermore that is other wise in good con­ dition will not be rated unacceptable because of inside de-

11 ficlencies and it Is especially,

the unaccepted group, in which

we are most interested* Houses which were rated passable because of Inside de­ ficiencies usually would have been rated passable also with only an outside rating*

This means that a deficiency of seme degree

in the inside ©f the dwelling usiially is accompanied by such deficiencies on the outside that would prevent the house from being rated as acceptable* To our knowledge n® rating method such as the one describ­ ed above has been used before* Some studies have been made in which engineering experts did all the field work themselves* Wooley made a study of farm buildings in northwest Missouri in which he describes the occurrence and causes of excessive depreciation, but he did not attempt to rate the overall struc­ ture* 5/ He based his judgment on the general condition of buildings on the relationship between their present worth and replacement cost* McMIllen uses a housing index which includes not only the type of construction and materials used, but also facilities available In the house, the number of persons per room, etc*


This index however useful for a study of living standards seems

5* Weoley, A. G,? Farm Building Studies In Northwest Missouri,1* Agricultural Experiment Station Research Bulletin 218 August, I95C7T5P------------- ------------ - ---- ------6* McMIllen, Robert T*,wSocial Factors Related to Farm Hoising in Southern Oklahoma? Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College, October, 19lj.5,pp.7-8*

12 to be too complex and does not give a clear picture of the structural level of the dwelling alone.

Overcrowdedness for

instance can also appear in a dwelling of excellent structure and normal size*

We do agree with him that usually there is a

very close relationship between the structural level of a house and the other factors used in his index. that later on.

We will come back to

A similar method was followed by Cottan in a

housing study in Pennsylvania .2/ No less than 57 specific factors were listed under his index, which were given various weights. The census of 19I4.O requested the enumerator to Indicate whether the farm dwelling needed major repairs or not, which Is slightly different from the classification of the census of 1 9 5 0 . ^ However, also there the personal judgment of the census taker or the respondent entered into the classification and the ob­ jections against such procedure have already been expressed.

7 Cottan, Howard R*,ttH©using and Attitudes Towards Housing in Rural Pennsylvania.11 Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin U56, December, 19U2, PP* 5-5♦ Sixteenth Census of the United States 19^0, Housing Vol. II General Characteristics, p* 5*


Chapter II DESCRIPTION .OP SAMPLE AREAS A* The Farms and the Farm Population Before turning to the actual analysis of the data obtain­ ed, brief attention should be given to the major characteristics of the farm and farm population covered by the survey* Table 1 —

Characteristics of farms - land and buildings - In three Michigan Areas, 1949

Eaton County__

Area S.Tuscola County

N«Tuscola Countv

Number of farms




Average size of farm in acres







X uOia

Average size in tillable acres Average value per farm in


9 ,5 9 2

f t ip

Average value per farm dwelling in $ Average value of service buildings per farm in $ Average value per tillable acre In $ Average net income per farm in $ Farms owned and operated as % of total Farms rented as % of total Full-time farm operators as % of total Part-time farm operators as % of total


2 ,7 7 3

2 3 ,1 8 6 14,91+0


1 ,6 8 2

3, 028





2 ,9 3 3

1+, 352

8 7 .0

9 1 .8

82 .I).

1 3 .0

8 .2

1 7 .6


5 3 .1



14.6 . 9


i4 The surveyed farms ranged in size from 10 to 400 acres* In all three areas fifty percent or more of all farms were smaller than 100 acres*

(See AppendixCTable I*)*

In South

Tuscola, where the greatest number of small farms were found seventy percent of all farms were smaller than 100 acres*


larger number of small farms brought the average size in Eaton County to 121 acres of southern Tuscola to 9s acres, and of North Tuscola to 120 acres* as well as nontillable land*

These figures include tillable If one takes account only of

the tillable acres the Eaton County farms average appoximately 93 acres in size, North Tuscola 104 acres, and southern Tuscola only 66 acres. For an area where the general farming type Is predominant, a size of 70 • 60 acres of tillable land is generally assumed to be needed to secure an efficient operation for one man* Forty-seven and five tenth percent of the farms In Eaton County had less than 75 acres of tillable land as compared to 67$ In South Tuscola and 43$

North Tuscola.

It is therefore

understandable that a great many farmers seek part-time off-thef&rm employment for additional Income*

(See Appendix C Table 2)*

Mere than ene-third of the farmers in Eaton County made use of additional job opportunities In manufacturing and Industry in ©r around Lansing*

Southern Tuscola shows even a higher per­

centage of part-time farmers*

Nearly half of the farmers work­

ed daily ©r part of the year off the farm* the situation is quite different*

In Northern Tuscola

Here a great many acres of

time consuming cash crops are grown,

(especially navy beans)

and only 10 percent of the farmers reported other than farm

15 income* Farm and Land Values Farm and land values are determined at a certain price level by a great many factors; the most important of which are: soil fertility, number of acres, locational and demand factors and the structural condition and size ©f farm buildings* The importance of soil fertility and size is obvious* The greater physical and economic returns are capitalized in the value ©f the farms* The question ©f location may need some further explana­ tion.

Poor soils located near the highway, near the market

or near the city are often valued higher than comparable or better soils in the country along less accessible roads* Alternative opportunities other than farming often play a part in the valuation of land now being farmed* Intensive demand for land which often is demonstrated by the occurrence of many small farms leads to high land values, often to over-valuation when considered from a strictly economic productive basis* Lack of mobility and institutional strings often are other Influential factors* The extent to which farm buildings contribute to value is difficult to determine.

Douglas refers to three possible

16 methods In estimating the value of farm buildings^ 1*

The original cost method*

Subtract from the original

cost the amount of depreciation and add to It the cost of repairs, alterations and maintenance* 2*

The production cost method*

Estimate the present cost

of construction of an equivalent structure* 3v* The farm valuation method*.

Estimate the present market

value of the farm and the proportional net value accreditable to the farm buildings or the value the buildings add to the farm* The third method was used in both the Census of 1930 and 194^*


in the Census of 1950 no separate values

for land and buildings are anymore obtained due to doubt In their accuracy* In this study the value of the land is reported at the x current market price also and the value of the buildings are determined by consideration of the magnitude of the loss which would be sustained if the farm building or house were removed or destroyed*

Other measures could be reduction in rent or

the loss of income, under such conditions.

As to this last

measure Murray states in his book, Farm Appraisal, that al­ though buildings do contribute to farm Income the separation

1 Douglas, Edna, wAn Economic Appraisal of Iowa Farm Housing,n Iowa State College Research Bulletin 367* November 19l+9» pp* 260-261*

17 •f building income from total income is s© difficult that it should be avoided if possible* 2 / The average farm value in north Tuscola appears to be highly superior to any of the other areas*

The average value

there is almost twice as high as in Eaton Countyf

As both

areas have approximately the same size farms the difference in value must be caused principally by differences in soil ferti­ lity*

This is clealy shown In Table X, where the average

tillable acre for Eaton county is valued at $66.00 as compared to $1 5 6 *0 0 for northern Tuscola. The average southern Tuscola farm is valued at about one-fourth less than the average for Eaton County.

This is

principally due to the small farms in this area, because the value per acre is slightly higher there than in Eaton County* More than one-third of the farms in Eaton and southern Tuscola counties reported land values of $50* to $7U Per till­ able acre as compared to only 5 percent for northern Tuscola* (See Appendix C Table 5)* Northern Tuscola reported l+O percent of its farms with land values of $100 to $li|9 per tillable acre as compared to only 20 percent for the other two areas.

Land values above

$150 per acre appear only in Northern Tuscola area*


mately 25 percent of all farms in this area fall in this value


Murray, William G*, Farm Appraisal, Iowa State College Press, 19ijX), Chapter XIII*

16 class*

The average value per farm In Eaton county is $12,073*

in South Tuscola $£,592 and in North Tuscola $23,186* percentage distribution of farm values*

For a

(See Appendix C

Table If.)* Part of this difference in farm values must be attributed to the value of the dwelling and service buildings*

The high­

est average value for service buildings is found in northern Tuscola ($3*023) and the lowest in southern Tuscola ($1,682)* The average dwelling values of $3*1+99* $2,773 *nd $l+*9l+° for respectively Eaton county, South Tuscola and North Tuscola are above the average of Illinois farms as reported by G* E* 3/ Foreman*^ He estimated an average dwelling value of $2,683 191+5*

Since 191+5 however, urban buildings Increased more than

50 percent in value and it i^ therefore, rather difficult to make any direct comparisons with the above figures* Net Income The approximate net income figures as quoted in Table 2 are obtained from data on gross income, farm expenses and offfarm income as supplied by the respondents to the Interviews. Although income figures are hard to obtain because of the sus­ picion of people that they will be used for tax purposes, it is believed that these used in this study are fairly accurate*

^ Foreman, J* A*, Some Economic Aspects of Farm Housing and Service Buildings, Ph*D. Thesis, University of Illinois, December, 19^+9* P« 7k*

In some oases the information was taken from farm account books, which are completely reliable# Table 2*

Average yearly gross Income, Expenditures and Net Income by Areas, 194® _____ ________ Area_________ _______ _ Item

Average gross farm income

Eaton County

S.Tuscola County

N*Tuscola County

$ 3 ,7 1 3

# 3 ,2 7 0

#7 ,2 0 5

Average farm expenses

1 ,9 1 8



Average off farm net income


1 ,2 9 7


Total net income

3, Olj.0


k> 352

As could be expected net and gross income figures in Table 2 closely follow the lines of farm values*


Tuscola has average gross farm Incomes twice as high as those reported In Eaton County and Southern Tuscola*

The expense

data follow the same trend* A frequency of distribution of net Income, in 1948, as given In Appendix C Table

reveals that the median income of

Eaton County amounts to $2,804 of southern Tuscola to $2,3^1 and of northern Tuscola to $3,4l4* As has been mentioned, southern Tuscola reported the large percentage of part-time farmers, and consequently the highest amount of non-farm income*

Higher wages and salaries In Eaton

County and differences in skill of labor may explain why the average off-farm income for Eaton County is only

less than

20 In southern Tuscola* Off-farm income in northern Tuscola is of a different type than in the other areas*

Here most of the income is obtained

from custom work with farm machinery or from business or pro­ perty assets*

This is the main reason why off-farm income is

still more than half that of the other areas, while only onefourth as many part-time farmers are reported


Tenure and Tenure Exoerience Owner-operatorship is predominant in all of Michigan* More than $1 percent of the farms in southern Tuscola are own­ ed privately or in partnership, 87 percent of the farms in Eaton County and 82 percent in northern Tuscola are owned in this way*

The reason for this difference in degree of owner­

ship is partly explained b y existing farm values*

The average

farmer in northern Tuscola must have approximately twice as much capital to acquire a farm as the farmer in Eaton County, Still less investment capital is required in southern Tuscola* Another explanation may be found in the fact that almost all tenants in northern Tuscola are share tenants, while in the other two areas this type of tenancy is not so important (See Appendix C Table 6)*

This situation may result from the earlier

retirement of operators from active farming in northern

^ Thirty-four percent of the farmers in Horth Tuscola received other than farm income. However, only 10 percent were parttime farmers. The other 2k percent were full-time farmers, receiving interest, rent, dividends, etc. from proper ty assets.

21 Tuscola than in other areas*

Although this is a nere assump­

tion and cannot he proven with exact data,

the low median age

(1+2 years) of the farmers in north Tuscola seems to strengthen such conclusion*

After the operator retires the farm is oper­

ated on a share basis and the rental returns provide consider­ able returns to the landlord*

Another possibility may be that

the profitable farming conditions favor multiple farm-owner­ ship* Partnership arrangements are most frequently found in northern Tuscola, with 20 percent of its farms owned in that way.

Eaton County has almost as many with 18 percent but south­

ern Tuscola reported only 6 percent of its farms with such an arrangement*

Farms operated under partnership arrangements

should normally provide sufficient income to support both the senior and junior partner*

The greater the size and the

higher the fertility the better the farm is equipped for part­ nership agreements. arrangements*

This holds equally true for share tenant

No wonder, therefore, that so may of these two

types of tenure are found in northern Tuscola* It appears from Table 7* Appendix C that very few farmers have climbed a l l ladder


steps ( P H R O ) - ^ / of the so-called a g r i c u l t u r a l

Most farmers skipped one or more rungs or stepped

5 P is parental farm experience; H indicates time spent as hired man; R indicates time spent as tenant; 0 stands for ownership. Barlowe, Raleigh E. and Timmons, John, 11What Has Happened to the Agricultural Ladder?11.Journal of Farm Economics,Vol. 32* No* 1, February, 19&0> PP» 31"35*

22 Into ownership via an intermediate step of non-farm employment* In northern Tuscola County 1+1 percent of the owners re­ ported no previous tenure experience except experience on a parental farm*

In Eaton County and southern Tuscola this

group was less important that the owners with only parental farm experience who had also non-farm experience (PHO). Approximately 26 percent of the owners of Eaton County as com­ pared to 37 percent in southern Tuscola and 10 percent in north Tuscola reported this latter type of experience*


all the owners who had climbed one or more rungs of the agri­ cultural ladder, approximately 1+2 percent In Eaton County as compared to 1+6 percent in southern Tuscola and 12 percent in north Tuscola had worked in non-farm employment*

A break-down

of the different types of non-farm employment reported by owners and tenants is shorn in Table 8, Appendix C*

It appears

that more than 9® percent worked as common laborers in some type of industry other than farming* The great majority of the present farmers were raised on farms*

Eaton County, with 19 percent of Its farmers coming

out of the labor or professional class, is by far the exception* (See Table 9» Appendix C)*

This group for the most part

represents part-time farmers who had saved some money in offfarm employment and bought a farm in the country, primarily for residential purposes.

However, some farming is carried on

23 on available land, which is often considered as a kind of hobby or means of relaxation* Type of Farming In selecting the sample areas, an effort was made to avoid getting too much differentiation of farming types*

The truck

and fruit areas of Michigan were left out and actually only one type of farming is fully represented*

More than 90 per­

cent of the farms In our sample are of the general farming type, which Is a combination of crops and dairy.

Most of

the crops, grown on the farm are fed to livestock, and most of the cash income comes from dairy and livestock products* This, of course, has an Important effect on the economic analy­ sis of investments of farm housing and service buildings* We are dealing with a rather homogeneous group, and even In northern Tuscola County where the past five years have brought a general shift toward the growing of cash crops, the farms are fully equipped with buildings and equipment for general farming*

The main variations among the sample farm^ therefore,

are based on differences In fertility and size of farm* Age of the Farmer In all three areas the higher age groups are predominant as shown In Table 10, Appendix C.

More than one-fourth of

the farmers in Eaton and northern Tuscola are over 61 years, as compared to approximately one-fifth for southern Tuscola*

21* However,

southern Tuscola has almost one-thirdcfits farmers

in the age group of $6 to 60 years*

The median age of the

farm owners in Eaton County is 1*3 years as compared to 52 years for southern Tuscola and 1*2 years for northern Tuscola* Schooling The amount of schooling people have experienced In the rural areas is strongly influenced by their age status*


11, Appendix C, gives a percentage distribution of farm oper­ ators and their wives with relation to their education* Southern Tuscola reported the highest median age for its farm­ ers and the lowest level of formal education*

More than one-

third of the farmers and one-fifth of the farmer’s wives failed to complete grammer school.

In none of the areas Is a high per­

centage of college graduates recorded* The Farm Houses Size of the House Most of the farm houses covered in this study are one family detached units with sufficient space for all stages of the family cycle*

The modal size of dwelling for the

three areas is the seven room house*

Houses in south Tuscola

are smaller than In any of the other areas* rooms*

North Tuscola has the largest houses, with a median of

7*75 rooms per house* house.

The median is S*!+

Eaton County follows with 6*5 rooms per

A percentage distribution for all three areas is

25 shown in Table 3*

The Census of 1940 reported a median size

of 6.6 rooms for farm houses in Eaton County as compared to 6.1 for all of Tuscola County, which figures correspond very well with those found in this s t u d y T h e Table 3,

size are smaller

Percentage Distribution of Number of Rooms per Dwelling by Areas, 1949

Number or rooms

Eaton Co unty

Area S. Tuscola County

N. Tuscola County

Percent 2





1.8 5.9
























- -



- -


10 or more All classes




than those found by Beyer in the Northeast States.

He reports

a median size of 7.1 rooms for farm houses in the Northeast region. 7 Sixteenth Census of the United States 1940, Op. Cit. O — --Beyer, Glen H . , Farm Housing in the Northeast, Cornell Univer­ sity Press, pp. 17-57.

26 What the ideal size of a farm house should be is hard to determine.

However, certain limits can be set to its minimum

requirements o

Any house with less than 200 square feet of liv­

ing space, as measured by the outside dimensions, is considered inadequate in this study.

A house with 200 to 300 square feet

of living space will only be sufficient in size, if it is occupied by not more than two persons.

Farm homes, however,

should always be sufficiently large to care for the needs of average sized families. can have is passable.

Hence the highest rating such houses No houses of this size were found in any

of the three areas. Dining Rooms3 Living Rooms and Hitchens Dining rooms and/or living rooms are commonly found in all farm houses.

They either have one or the other or both.

A total of 43 percent of all farm houses have one of each while the remainder have only a living room.

A total room size

of more than 150 square feet is most common. Kitchens run in all sizes, but in Katon County and southern Tuscola approximately half of them contain more than 150 feet. This does not hold true for North Tuscola. the farm homes

Only one-third of

have large kitchens, but on the other hand

almost one-fourth have more than one kitchen.

This duplication

in kitchens is directly related to the high number of father and s o n ’s partnership arrangements found in the area.

In many

cases the son and his wife move into the parent’s home, but

27 have separate living quarters*

A distributionof dining room,

living room and kitchen sizes can be seen in Table 12, Appendix C. Bedrooms The number of bedrooms may be a better criterion than the total number of rooms in measuring the adequacy of a house* The median number of bedrooms forfarm houses in Eaton County is 3.2 as compared to 2.6 for South Tuscola and 3.6 for North Tuscola.

A percentage distribution of number of bedrooms by

areas is shown in Appendix C, Table 13. Bathrooms Approximately 53 percent of all farm houses covered in this 9/ study have a bathroom. There is considerable variation between the three areas inthe percentage of farm houses having a bathroom.

In South

Tuscola less than half, 41.2 percent, of the farm houses have one, while North Tuscola has the largest percentage with 71.9 percent.

In Eaton County the percentage is 49.5.

At tics and Basements An attic is defined generally as an unfinished or partially finished story or half story, used,primarily for storage. Approximately 49 percent of the farm houses covered in this study have an attic, which Is either completed or could provide space


Only bathrooms with running water and the conventional faci­ lities, bathtub or shower, are Included here.

28 for additional rooms.

The highest percentage is found in Eaton

County with 63 percent. ished attic.

Only 6 percent, however, have a fin­

Ther percentage is very low among houses in North

Tuscola (33 percent) where a slightly greater proportion (8 percent) have finished attics.

In South Tuscola 11 percent

of the farm houses have a finished attic while 41 percent have an unfinished one with space for additional rooms. A basement is defined as any excavation underneath the house on which is laid a permanent floor of either wood or concrete material.

Approximately 94 percent of the farm houses

in Eaton County have a basement as compared to 82 percent for South Tuscola, and 74 percent for north Tuscola. Porches Only 6.5 percent of the farm houses covered In this study do not have a porch.

Most farm homes have one or more porches,

which are built against one of the main walls of the house while the roof of the porch is not a continuation of the house proper. No important differences were found in connection with porches between the three different areas. Miscellaneous Rooms Many farm houses covered In this study have some rooms of other b ss important types. have a pantry*

Approximately 50^ of all farm houses

About 10 percent have specifically designated

29 storerooms, utility rooms, work rooms or back rooms. insignificant number have special other types of rooms.


playrooms, offices, or

30 Chapter III THE PHYSICAL STATUS OF FARM HOUSING A* The Structural Condition of Farm Housing Type of Construction Most farm houses In Michigan are of either a frame or masonry type of construction.

For neither type is any one

particular architectural style predominant.

The frame con­

struction type consists almost completely of wood, although, to a small extent, brick or stucco is used in the form of an outside layer on frame houses, giving the house the appearance of solid masonry construction.. Solid masonry construction like brick, concrete, cement or cinder blocks Is becoming more and more popular because of their durability and firs resistance qualities.

Of this type,

the cost of construction, however, is high as compared to frame houses.

This is especially true for brick though less so

for cinder or concrete blocks. About 90 percent of all houses included in this sample are frame houses while the remainder are masonry.

See Table 4 .

The largest single type of construction is the frame board type, with 70 percent of the houses in Eaton County in this group, as compared to 73 percent for South Tuscola and 63 percent for Not*th Tuscola.

Second in importance, with approximately 16

percent for all three areas, is the frame composition type,

31 which gradually grows in importance due to the replacement or covering of deteriorated board siding with some type of com­ position material. Many old and most new masonry brick homes are found in the more prosperous areas.

This is the reason why none were

recorded for South Tuscola, while only 3 percent for Eaten, but 10 percent for North Tuscola.

Cement or cinder block houses

are rapidly increasing in number. Table 4.

Percentage Distribution of Types of Construction by Areas, 1949 Eaton

Type of construction



Percent Frame: 1. Board




2. Compositicm




3. Veneer




4. Stucco






Total Frame:


Masonry: 1. Brick


2. Stucco


3. Cement blocks



4. Stone




Total Mascnry:




Asphalt Shingle:




Log: All others: All Types:


— -

* 4




10 -


32 Of the six new houses in the sample which were built or under construction in 1948, four were of the cinder block type. Foundation The foundation is one of the most important parts of the building, and its construction should be solid and without any serious deficiencies*

It is the part of the house that literally

has most to bear and in the climate of Michigan a solid masonry continuous foundation is almost imperative.

As shown in Table

5, most types of foundation are satisfactory as to type of construction.

Ninety-five percent of the farm houses in Eaton

County and North Tuscola, as compared to 86 percent in South Tuscola have a solid masonry continuous type of foundation. Table 5

Percentage Distribution of Types of Foundation by Areas, 1949 Type

Eaton County

S.Tuscola County

N.Tuscola County

1. Blocks




2. Posts




3. Sills




4. Stone with mortar




5. Solid masonry


9 .8


6 . Solid concrete




7.Cement blocks







All classes

33 Stones 3a id with mortar is the single largest group being used as foundation material in all three areas*

This was the

common material in use approximately 30 years ago.


in most cases, were obtained without cash outlay, often being gathered from the fields* The use of blocks or posts and sills alone does not pro­ vide an adequate type of foundation under Michigan conditions unless a weathertight curtain is provided between the blocks or posts*

More than 10 percent of the houses in South Tuscola

had this inadequate type of' construction.

This factor had a great

bearing on the over-all structural condition of the houses in the area* Ro ofing The roof is another very important part of the house* Several types of roofing material are used at the present time • Many old houses are still covered with wood shingles because 20

to 30 years ago this was the most common type of roofing


One-third of the houses of Eaton County and North

Tuscola as compared with one-fifth of the houses in South Tuscola are still covered with wood shingles, as shown in Table 6* At the present time, asphalt singles and asphalt composition shingles and roll roofing are gaining in importance, especially because this asphalt impregnated material is both very durable and also much cheaper than wood shingles.

Approximately 40

percent of Eaton County farm homes are now using this type of


Table 6.

Percentage Distribution of Types of Roof Covering by t e a s 1949



Wood singles




Composition shingles




Composition roll roofing




Metal roofing Asbestos shingles

S. Tuscola

N . Tus c ola

3.4 13.0









Slate or tile Tar paper


Asphalt shingDe s


Combination of tar paper and some other material


All classes


34 roofing material as compared to approximately 50 percent for North Tuscola and 60 percent for South Tuscola.

Tar paper is

being used on 11 percent of the houses in South Tuscola, and must be considered the cheapest and least adequate form of roofing material.

In our study it is not accepted as an ade­

quate permanent roofing material. Asbestos shingles are expensive and accordingly, in spite of their extreme durability, are not used to any great extent. In all three areas, only 10 to 15 percent of the houses are using them. Metal roofing is more common on service buildings than on houses.

In Eaton County a few homes were found with metal

roofing but none were found in the other areas. Chimneys Practically all farm houses In this sample have chimneys which are built with some kind of masonry material.

Only In

a few cases, metal pipes are used with or without protective thimble. Floors Inside floors in farm houses are almost 100 percent In adequate condition.

To be adequate it is required that they

have either a basement underneath, or are built more than 6rt above the ground level and consist of masonry or wooden mater­ ial.


Porches Although porches are usually not considered a vital part of the house, a few words have to be said about them*


practically all cases the porch consists of wooden material, and the roof is not a continuation of the roof of the house proper*

If the porch roof, however, is a continuation, then

this porch becomes a vital part of the house, and needs as solid a foundation as the main part of the house.

Any settling,

for instance, of the foundation, and consequently of the porchr o o f , will damage the roof of the main structure, and hence, the whole house.

This factor is taken into consideration in

the over-all rating of the structure. The Over-aII Rating As already explained in the introduction, farm houses are classified Into three groups according to structural quality and condition; namely, acceptable, passable, and unacceptable houses.

The cla ssifIcation of houses into these

three classes is for the moment accepted as completely re­ liable, but the method will be tested In the course of this study. There Is a noticeable difference between the three areas In the structural condition of the farm homes, closely follow­ ing the lines of farm prosperity as shown in Table 7.


North Tuscola, the best f a m i n g area, 64.9 percent of the

36 houses were recorded as acceptable, as compared to 56.5 per­ cent for the medium good fanning area of Eaton County, and only 47.1 percent for the poor farming area of South Tuscola. Less difference is noticed between the three areas in the num­ ber of houses classified as passable, although they also follow the same pattern.

In North Tuscola, 28.1 percent were rated

passable, as compared to 32.5 percent for Eaten County and 35.3 percent for South Tuscola. Undoubtedly our main interest must be centered on the houses which are classified as unacceptable.

Only 7 percent

of all farm houses in North Tuscola fell in this lowest group as compared to 11 percent for Eaton County and 17.6 percent for South Tuscola.

This means that in this last area approxi­

mately one-sixth of the farm houses are so dilapidated that Immediate steps for improvement should be considered.

The only

remedy in most cases is complete replacement of the present structure.

If one considers that approximately 2,000 farms

are located in South Tuscola, then about 350 of them need new farm dwellings.

Even in Eaton County, with one-tenth of all

Its farm homes In the lowest rating, the replacement of approxi­ mately 370 houses would be required. mately 130 houses should be replaced.

For North Tuscola approxi­ The total number of

farm houses, consequently, in which people are living while en­ dangering their health, amounts to approximately 850 for just

37 Table 7.

Structural Level of P a m Dwelling by Areas, 1949

Rating of dwelling

Eaton County

Area S.Tuscola C ounty

N. Tuscola County

Percent Acceptable








11 .0





Unacceptable All classes


the two areas, Eaton and Tuscola Counties,

lo this number,

one should add a total of approximately 2,400 passable houses which require reconditioning and repair to make them adequate and prevent them from becoming unacceptable.

These data suggest

the scope of* the farm housing problem in Michigan.

They also

show why farm housing experts like Roy J. Burroughs-i/and TJ.S.D.A. study groups^/have focused public attention on this subject in the past, and why the Housing Bill^/of 1949 has certain pro­ visions to bring the most needed assistance financially as well

**■ Burroughs, Roy J. .Toward a Farm Housing Policy, Land Economics, Vol. 24, #1, February, 194b. 2 The Farm Housing Problem Report prepared by a working group of the Committee on Post War Programs of the Department of Agriculture for submission to the Senate Special Committee on Post War Economic Policy and Planning, January 17, 1945. 5 Housing Act of 1949, Housing and Home Finance Agency, Wa shington, D .CT* 1949, p. 21.

38 as technically to this neglected part of our economy. Deficiencies as Related to Structural Condition As shown in Table 8, all the houses which are classified as unacceptable are either of the frame board or frame com­ position construction type. Table 8.

None of those built with some

Structural Level of Farm Housing as Related to Style of Construction 1949 The

Construction type

Number Acceptable

Structural Level

All Passable Unacceptable classes Percent

Frame board














Masonry stucco Stone Asphalt shing­ les




Masonry brick




Cement, cinder blocks



Frame Compos!ti on Frame veneer



Fraire stucco 100


type of masonry material are in the lowest rating.

100 100

Of the frame

board type, the largest single construction group, 14 percent are rated as unacceptable.

Exactly half of them are rated

39 acceptable, and the remainder, are passable.

Houses of


frame composition type are in slightly better condition.


only 11 percent is rated unacceptable, 61 percent acceptable, and 28 percent passable.

This type of construction often is

used to replace deteriorated board siding, and is usually of younger age.

On houses of this type, usually the walls —

replaced parts —


are in good condition, but if the foundation

and roof have not been improved as well as the walls, the house still receives a low rating. The frame brick type (brick veneer I is a type of construc­ tion which only in the last 20 years has been used to a consider­ able extent.

No wonder

that almost 90 percent of these houses

are acceptable. Masonry brick houses often are very old, although recently with the high prices of lumber, more activity is observed in the direction of masonry types of construction.

One-third of

the solid brick homes were merely passable, mostly again for reasons of deficiencies in foundation and.roof. All cement or cinder block houses, a type which has been built in increasing numbers during the last five years, are acceptable• All other types of construction are placed in one group together because the individual groups consist of too few cases to have any significance.

Except for one house with

asphalt shingle siding and one stone house, all of them received the highest rating.

40 As far as the individual areas are concerned approxi­ mately one-fifth of the South Tuscola homes which were of the frame hoard or frame composition type, were rated unacceptable as compared to approximately one-eighth of the farm houses in Eaton County* Table 9*

See Table 9.

In North Tuscola, one-ninth of the

Structural Level and Condition of Farm Dwellings as Related to Type of Construction by Areas, 1949.

Type of construction



Passable Unaccept All able classei

Percent Frame board

Frame Composition

Others (Masonry,etc)






S •Tus c o la

37 .7

43 .3



IT.Tus c o la










S. Tuscola





N* Tuscola







S. Tuscola




N* Tuscola






houses of the frame board type are unacceptable, but no houses of the frame composition type are in the lowest rating*

41 No definite differences between the three areas can be observed for the passable group.

For instance,

a larger

proportion of the far m houses in Eaton County which have a com­ position type of siding is rated passable than in any of the other two areas.

In South Tuscola, however, the highest per­

centage of passable houses is recorded among those which have a frame board type of construction. As shown in Table 10, practically all the houses which are rated passable or unacceptable were built before 1920. Table 10.

Structural Level in Relation to Age of Dwelling and Application of paint Rating of the dwelling





Percent Built from 1945-49




Built from 1940-44




Built from 1920-39




Built before 1920










All c Tb . sses

Dwellings painted during period 1940-49

Whether or not the houses were painted in the 3a st ten years seems to have no great influence on the over-all condition—

42 20 percent or the most inadequate group of houses were painted in the last ten yea? s as compared to 28 percent of tbe passable group. The one single factor which has the greatest bearing on the rating of a structure is the foundation*

As shown in

Table 11, 35.6 percent of all houses have deficient foundations. Next in importance follow the walls and roof with respectively 32.9 and 31.1 percent of all houses having some defects to these parts.

Hazardous or deteriorated chimneys and/ or in­

side floors, which can place a house in the passable group or even in the unacceptable group, were reported for 33 percent of all houses.

Only about 10 percent of these defects were of

serious character. Almost one fourth of all houses had porches which were in poor condition, and constituted a hazard for life or limb. It is clear by now that it is usually not just one single item that affects the over-all rating of a house.

In most

cases more than one part has minor or serious deficiencies. For instance, of the 25 unacceptable houses, 16, or 64 percent, had such poor foundations that this factor alone was sufficient to place the house in the lowest structural group.


four of these 16 houses could be rated unacceptable on account of the condition of the roof and eight on account of the con­ dition of the walls.

Foundation, roof and walls together

account for 23 of the 25 unacceptable ratings, while chimney and

43 Table 11.

Conditions of major parts of Farm Dwelling as Re ­ lated to rating of Structures, 1949

Acceptable Part of dwelling

In good condition

Some' defects

In poor condi­ tion

Percent of total













53 .2



Inside floors







Passable F ounda t i on
















Inside floors




Porehe s




Unacceptable Foundation











Inside floors

4.6 1*4



5.2 6.5 —

3.7 3.7 6.5

Walls Chimney

44 inside floors in combination with minor defects in other parts of the house were responsible for the other two cases. This same trend holds true for passable structures.


most 2/3 of the passable houses have some kind of deficiency to their foundation.

At the same time, however, 50 percent of

all the passable houses either had defective roofs, walls or porches.

One, therefore, may well conclude from these obser­

vations that it is not neglect of one single item, but the complete neglect of maintenance or repair of the whole outside structure generally that Is the cause of deterioration.


explanation of this situation can be traced to several factors such as the attitude of the farmer and his family toward their housing, their financial and health status, etc. Correlative of Physical Housing Condition Size of Dwelling in Helation to Number of Occupants The number of ‘bedrooms may be a better criteria than the total number of rooms so far as a measure of adequacy of the house Is concerned.

The distribution of number of bedrooms by areas

is reported in Appendix C, Table 12.

The amount of bedroom

space in South Tuscola is rather small, but nevertheless over­ crowding does not seem to be a great problem.

The farm houses

in the areas with the largest families have also the greatest number of bedrooms. The largest families are found in Eaton County, with a median size of 3.2 persons.

The smallest families are found

in South Tuscola with a median of 2.9, as compared to 3.1 for


North Tuscola.

Approximately one-fourth of all farm houses

are occupied by not more than two persons.

For a percentage

distribution of number of persons per dwelling by areas, see Appendix C, Table 14. The study shows that families in the higher income groups occupy dwellings with the greatest number of bedrooms, and families in the low income groups occupy units with the fewest • As shown in Table 12, the median number of persons per family Table 12.

Percentage Distribution of Number in Household by size of income, 1949 — 500-1500

Size of income 1501-3000 Percent 2.9

3001 and more

















15 .9






7 or more



t-j o •

Number in household



All classes




for the income class of $500 to $1500 is 2.3 as compared to 2.9 for the income class of $1501 to $3,000, and 3.6 for the income class of $3,001 and more dollars. families occupy also the largest houses.

Hence, the largest

46 In order to take a closer look at the possible bedroom requirements of the households in this study, certain assump­ tions have to be made regarding bedroom requirements. The first assumption is that married couples with or with­ out a child under two years of age 'require a minimum of one bedroom.

Two children under the age of 7, regardless of sex,

represent a requirement of one additional bedroom.


over the age of 7, if of opposite sex represent a requirement for separate bedrooms, but represent a requirement for only one bedroom if of the same sex.

Adults not married and either

of the same or opposite sex represent a requirement for one bedroom each. On the basis of these assumptions, the median number of bedrooms required for the families in this study is 2.1.


reality, the median number of bedrooms for the three areas is 3 .2 .

A total of 96.6 percent of the households covered in

this report have an adequate number of bedrooms when their requirements are c anputed on the basis of the assumptions stated above. It is interesting to note that of the seven houses which were found to be overcrowded, five had structural deficiencies that would have caused them to be rated unacceptable regardless of the size of the family; one was rated passable, and one was rated acceptable. ently go together.

Overcrowding and low structural level appar­ A distribution of the number of bedrooms

by size of families is reported in Table 13.

© m


ON vO 00 • V OJ


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UN •









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o0 UN KN •




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o o G «H

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*5 4G_>

U) ©

bO G •H G eH rH O Jis! H O 0 years old

9U . 7


8 8 .1

8k. 0


Having: Electricity



9 7 .6



Running water 3 1 .6

62 . 1

7 3 .8



Cold water


22 .1+

1 ^ .3

lk. 0

6 .9

Warm and cold 1 5 .8


5 9 .5


9 3 .1

Flush toilet



5 7 .1

7 2 .0


Bath tub or shower

1 5 *8



68. 0


Central heat

3 6 .8






1 0 .3



1 3 .8




6 .9

Less than one room per person Less than 100 square feet per person

61 with respect to housing, facilities are rather small and not always consistent*

lor detailed data, see Table 21*


outside employment* although a help is often not sufficient to bring net income up to an adequate level* Table 21.

Rating "of Structure and Available Facilities by Type of Operator 1949. Operatorship

Item of farm house

Full-time More farm farmer than outside income

More outside than farm income______

Percent Rated: Acceptable
















Cold alone




Cold and Warm




Flush toilet




Bath tub or shower Central heat
















Passable Unacceptable Having JElectric ity Running water

More than 30 years old Less than one room per person Less than 100 square feet living space per per­ son

62 Tenure In studies of this kind, it is commonly observed that the housing condition of tenants are below those of owners


or part owners.—/ These observations are not confirmed in this study.

Closer inquiry into the different types of

tenants supports the belief that the share tenants are just as well off as the owners.

None of the houses occupied fcy share

tenants were rated unacceptable, and the availability of facilitiestwas well in line with those of farmers in a partner­ ship as shown in Table 22.

The number of share tenants, how­

ever, is too sma 11 to use for detailed analysis.


research into this matter may well be justified.

An explana­

tion may be found in the fact that share tenancy arrangements generally are made in Michigan only on the more productive and higher valued farms. Robert McMillan found in a study of Oklahoma that as the value of the farms increase the differences between dwellings of owners and tenants tend to decrease.2/ Apparently, as the size of the farm investment approaches an economic optimum, the social and economic disadvantages of farm tenants are diminished, at least relative to ownership.

This same

implication seems to follow fromthe differences in housing conditions between full owners and part owners.

The latter

^ Edna Douglas,f,An Economic Appraisal of Iowa Farm Housing,” Jnwa State Research Bulletin 367, November 1949, p. 269 2 McMillan, Robert R.,"Social factors related to Farm Housing in Southern Oklahoma,11 Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechnical College, Tech. bulletin No. T22, October, 1945, p. 17.

63 are considerably better off as.shown in Table 22.

It should

be mentioned,however, that Michigan has very few farm houses that were originally constructed for tenant use.

Most houses

so used were built for owners and may be occupied by owners again in a few years. Farms which are operated under a partnership agreement have the best housing conditions of all.

Usually, of course,

such arrangements appear only on the more productive or larger sized farm units.

Often, before the present arrange­

ment was made, these units were operated under one owner, who received sufficient income to keep his house in very good condition.

After the arrangement, either both partners lived

in the one good farm house, or a new house was built adjacent to the old one for one of the partners. Nationality, Educational and Social Background Differences in nationality, education of the farmer or his wife and social background do not seem to have a signi­ ficant influence on the condition under which people live. As has been mentioned a high percentage of the farmers in this study are fairly old.

Thirty to forty years ago, edu­

cational facilities were very limited, and many farmers had little opportunity to obtain any formal education after they completed grammar school.

Nevertheless, these same farmers

turned out to be good farm operators, and acquired highly productive units, which enabled them to obtain good housing.

64 Table 22.

Condition and Facilities of rarm Dwellings as Related to Tenure 1949. Type of tenure

Item of farm house




Part owner »/

Tenant1 7
















More than 30 years old Electricity Having:









Running water





Cold water





Warm & cold









Bathtub or show­ 49.6 er 45.1 Central heat







Less than one room per person





Less than 100 sq. ft. of living space per person





Flush toilets


S Part owner, owns part of the land but rents additional ones. 4 Tenant, includes all types of tenancy like, farm manager, hired man, cash tenant and share tenant. All of the unacceptable ratings occured on houses, occupied by hired man, manager or cash tenant. None of the share ten ants lived in bad structures although more than 50 percent of the tenants were share tenants.

An Iowa study by Reid revealed that Dutch owner families in one county in contrast with non-Dutch had a higher pro­ portion of homes which had kitchen sinks, electricity and power washing.

At the same time the status of housing of

Dutch families was in some ways lower, because there were, a higher proportion of homes among them which had less than Three fifths bedroom per person, and because of the lower proportion of reported dining rooms, bathrooms, basements, piped cold and warm water.


No such differences were found in our areas of study where

the nationalities were not strongly concentrated, but

rather intensively inter-mixed among areas.

When nationality,

age or educational groups are concentrated together these factors may effect new housing standards. mixed people copy from each other.

?Ihere they are

This situation is aggra­

vated by the fact that so many of our houses are second hand structures •


Reid,"Status of farm. Housing in Iowa3nIowa Agricultural Experiment Station Research Bulletin 174, September 1934, p. 291.

Chapter IV Economic Aspects of Farm Housing A*

General Observation Concerning Farm Housing

Production versus consumption Item. The dwelling Is usually considered as a consumption item. In this sense, a farmer can spend on his house or on any other consumption good whatever gives him the highest satisfaction* Nevertheless, the farm dwelling is the center of certain farm activities and certain domestic activities distinctive to farm living and to that extent, It constitutes a part of the pro­ ductive plant, in the same sense as other service buildings do* A study In Illinois, for Instance, showed that

of the

year-round hired labor on Illinois farms is being done by single workers who live with board and room in the farm dwelling. 1/ Minor enterprises such as the storage of eggs, milk, butter and cheese are often carried on in the house* The farm house requires a special position in the farm unit to comply with productive efficiency*

Farm enterprises

involving the care of animals generally dictate that the house be located near enough to the barns so that the farmer can give his attention to his livestock without undue travel be­ tween the residence and the barns*

Most convenient and efficient

Cross, A. J. and Johnson, P*E, A Survey of Farm Labor in 19Ub, Exp* Sta. Bulletin 5^8, p* 27*

access to crop lands and pastures demand,

that the dwelling

he located as near as possible to the center of the farm* However, the advantage of location in the center of the farm may be out weigh ted by the necessity of construction and main­ tenance of long drives for access to the farm from the public road*

Robertson found In 1939 that 77^ of the farmsteads in

Indiana were located next to the road*

In older farming areas

there was a greater tendency to build homes more off the road*§/ Due to the dual characteristics of farm dwellings, they are closely related to service buildings but, nevertheless, are treated quite differently by the farm operator.

He may

choose to allocate a large portion of his resourees to his business, land, service buildings and equipment, rather than to his dwelling, because this will have a more pronounced effect upon his future income* The functional and economic relationships between farm and housing distinguish of housing* market.

the farm dwelling from other forms

This results in peculiarities in the farm housing

R* Burroughs summarises this problem as follows:

wNew farm housing, though produced independently, becomes inevitably linked to the agricultural plant as soon as it is built* Thereafter, the farm and the farm house becomes on© legal unit; title to the land conveys title to the house. Moreover, the demand for the farm usually carries with it the demand for a farm house* The demand Is a joint one»n2/

Robertson, Lynn, Farm Buildings in relation to Farm Management In Indiana, Purdue TJniversity Agr* stai," Builetin"5357 193*4-7 pT“9 Roy T* Burroughs, Toward a Farm Housing Policy, Land Economicg, Vol. H I V , Number 1, February 1 9 W , p. 6 .

The common definition of appraisal as "an opinion of a fair market price or value" is very unsatisfactory when applied to the farm house as a separate unit.

Investments In farm

housing usually become fixed or sunk costs just as other farm improvements such as tile drainage.

These improvements can

seldom be sold separately; their value is inseparably mingled with the overall value of the farm. Any farm building, either dwelling or service building, has value only as it contributes to the earning power of the farm.

Too costly buildings even may decrease the earning power

of the farm which is often the case where a large farm Is split up into smaller units but where the one set of original buildings Is linked with one of the newly created smaller farm units. In such cases, the determination of the real value of a farm building from Its

physical value e.i. cost minus depreciation,

makes a very poor measure as It does not measure value from the standpoint of usefulness In the farm set up* Brief consideration was given in Chapter II to the chief methods used in determinating the value of farm buildings and also to the methods used in this study.

Mordecai Ezekiel

reported in a study, mad® in Chester County, Pennsylvania in 1923; "On small farms of less than $0 or i^O acres, a fi^OO dwelling added about fcOO to the value of the farm* On larger farms, a $1+000 dwelling added about $3000. A $10,000 dwelling added about |5>00Q to the value of the farm. A dwelling valued at $15*000 or more, no matter how expensive

the dwelling was, would not add more than $6 ,0 0 0 to the value of the farm*" 4fc/ Recognizing the difficulties involved in placing separate values on land, dwellings and other buildings and for the some­ what questionable nature of the data, we have proceeded with the assumption that farmers11 estimates of separate values present a fairly reliable breakdown of real estate values.

The question

concerning the farm and building values as shown in the Question­ naire Appendix B, requires answers which consider both the functional and consumption aspects of the dwelling and, there­ fore, gives an estimate of Its utility value* The replacement value which also was obtained will give an estimate of the original building cost as measured with the price level of 19*4-9 * B.

Relative Investments in Farm Housing.

Dwelling Values by Areas. A great many factors are responsible for and related to the Invested value of the farm house.

The most important of

which are net Income, type of farming, size of farm, tillable acre, type of operatorship and tenure.

value per

Each of these

factors will be discussed in the following pages as they relate to dwelling values.

Dwelling values vary directly with the

physical condition of the structure and It will, therefore, be

Ezekiel, Mordecai, Appraisal Data and Future Habitation of Values, Study, reported before by Joint Committee on Appraisal and Mortgage Analysis, Washington, D. C. , November 1937* P* 7*


necessary to refer now and then to the findings of the previous chapter* Foreman found in north and central Illinois that the average value of the operator's dwelling amounted to $2 ,6 8 5 which was 11*6$ or about one-eighth of the total value of land and buildings. This average dwelling value amounted to one-third of the value of all farm buildings in dairy enterprises but to two-fifths of the value of all farm buildings for cash grain farms*5/

by Area - 1949 Area Item Number of farms

_ . Eaton 101

Av. value of land and and buildings $12 ,0 7 3 Av* value of farm dwelling $ 3*499 Av* replacement value of dwelling $ 7*505 Av* dwelling value as % of total farm value 2 8 *98$ Replacement value of dwelling as $ of total farm value 6 2 *16% Value of dwelling as % total value of buildings 58*9$


Foreman, Op. Git, p. 7I1

S* Tuscola ks

N. Tuscola 51


#2 5 ,1 6 6

#2 ,7 7 3

# k,9ko


#1 0 ,k70

2 8 .91$

2 1 .31$

6 7 .18$


6 2 .2k$

62.0 $

In this study, the average value of the farm dwelling varies from $2 , 5 0 0 to $5*00 0 for the respective areas as shown in Table 25*

For a percentage distribution of farm dwelling

values In terms of value categories for each individual area see Appendix C Table 1 8 .

The median value of the average and

median farm dwellings In Eaton County is $3*244 as compared to $2 , 7 6 9 In South Tuscola and $4* &4l

^OI»th Tuscola seem to

correspond closely with the farming situation of the three areas. North Tuscola, the best farming area, has the highest value while South Tuscola, the poorest farming area has the lowest value.

If these dwelling values are expressed as a percentage

of total farm value, little difference exists between Eaton County and southern Tuscola.

North Tuscola, however, is about

7 1/2$ lower than the other two areas.


the actual

value of the dwelling Is approximately one-third higher.


three areas show considerably higher percentages than Foreman found for Illinois but we have to consider that he quoted an average farm value of $3 7 ,2 3 7 which Is almost twice as high as the average farm value of North Tuscola, the best of the three Michigan areas. Examination of data which were collected In 1931 from 28 counties in 20 states throughout the United States showed that In about two-thirds of the counties, the value of the operator's dwelling represented 16 to 30 P®? cent of the value of all farm real estate.

For low-valued farms, however, it was found that

a relatively high percentage of the real estate value was

72 represented by the dwelling*^/ These figures correspond closely with our own findings# same conclusion*

An Iowa study by K e i d does not come to the

She reported that for every thousand dollars

of higher level in value of land and buildings, the value of the dwelling was higher by about #55*7/ At higher values, the study indicated an even smaller contribution to the total value*


farms of $7*000* the dwelling amounted to one-fifth but at #2 5 * 0 0 0 only to one-tenth of the value of land and buildings* The replacement cost of a dwelling which indicates what It will cost to build a similar house at the present time amounts to $10,1+70 for North Tuscola*

In Eaton County, the replacement

value of the dwelling is $7*505 or approximately one-fourth less and in South Tuscola $6,i|l|l|. or even one-third less than In North Tuscola*

These facts indicate that the houses In North Tuscola

are either larger, more sturdy or are built with more expensive material than in the other two areas*

The present value of the

dwellings amounts in all three areas to approximately 50/ of the replacement value which means that In general the dwellings are about half depreciated* In spit© of the higher actual replacement cost In North Tuscola the relative investment e*i* the replacement cost expressed as a percentage of total farm value, Is lower than In any



Farm and Village Housing, Volume VII, Publication of the fresIdent1 onference of Home Building and Home Ownership, 1952, p. 125 Reid, Margaret C*, Status of Farm Housing In Iowa, Agr* Exp* Sta* Bulletin #174* September 195U* P • 288*

of the other areas as a result of the relative higher total farm value*

In summary, one can say that the higher the total

farm value, the higher will he the value of the house, actual and replacement, hut the lower will he the relative investment In the house* The dwelling value expressed as a percentage of all buildings Is approximately the same (60 percent) for all three areas* Foreman reported that the operator1s dwelling represented only 38/ of the value of. all the buildings,

The reason for this

low figure as compared with ours has to be found In the larger farms In Illinois which require consequently a higher investment in service buildings but also In the fact that this study covered an area that has lots of hobby farms where more than usual attention is given

to service buildings*

Dwelling Values as

Related to Structural Level*

Edna Douglas found in her study of Iowa Farm Homes (for which she used 19I4.O census data) that a high correlation existed between the reported value of the farm houses and their facilities and condition*

Electrical heating and plumbing facilities were

more often found in high valued dwellings than in low valued units*

She concluded from this that the presence of any one

of these utilities We have seen,

added to the value of the house *.§/ however, in Chapter III, Table


that there

Is a significant correlation between structural level and number

Douglas, Edna, An Economic Appraisal of Iowa Farm Housing, Agr. Exp* Sta., Iowa State College Research Bulletin 3^7* November 19^9* P* 275"275*

of facilities*

Hence both factors together determine the value

of a dwelling*

To what extent each of these factors separately

Influences the recorded values can not be determined from our data* The data in Table 2l|. show an average value for acceptable houses of $i|., 61+6 as compared to $2 ,7 2 9 for passable and $1,7^-U for unacceptable dwelling*

These values again are a test of

the reliability of the rating schedule of houses, used in this survey*

A difference of approximately $2,000 between acceptable

Table 2lj.»

Average and Relative Values of Farm Dwellings by Groups of Structural Level - 19ii9 Rating of the Dwelling Structure

Item Number of dwelling

Acceptable 108

Av# value of land and buildings $1 7 ,2 7 1 Av* value per dwelling $ Av* Replacement value of dwelling $ 9, 573 dwelling value as Av* % av. total farm value 2 6 .9 0 Av# replacement value of dwelling at % of total farm value 5^4-•Up­ Av# value of dwellings as % of total value of buildings 81*57

Passable 66

Unacceptable 22



$ 2 ,7 2 9


$ 6 ,9 6 2

$4 ,4 4 1

2 3 .8 5

2 2 .9 5

6 0 .81+.


5 9 .9 6

5 2 .2 2

and passable and difference of $1 ,0 0 0 between passable and un­ acceptable houses agrees very well with the objectives of our rating as presented in Chapter I*

On the other side it tests

the reliability of the data obtained from the farmers concerning the values of the farm dwelling*

The differences In the replacement values of $9,575, $6,962, and for respectively acceptable, passable and unacceptable houses,

suggests that there were considerable differences in

the original types of construction which apparently still have a decided influence on the present condition and value of the dwellings* No significant difference is found between the three groups if the average value and the replacement value of the house Is expressed as a percentage of the total farm value. Dwelling Value as Related to Si%e of Net Income Net income is usually a fairly good measure of the pro­ ductivity of the farm and of the economic return that the farmer receives on his investment in land, buildings and equipment. Table 25*

Average and Relative Values of Farm Dwellings by Income Groups Size of Net Income In Dollars

Item Number of farms

$500 - 1500 37

Av* value of land and buildings $7*322 Av. value per dwelling $1 ,7 8 0 Av* replacement value per farm dwelling$5,397 Av. dwelling value as % total farm value2l4.*31 Av* replacement value as % of total farm value 73*71 Av. value of dwelling as % total value of buildings 5 6 .5 8

$1501 - 5000 87

$5001 - more 89



$ 3>k9k

I ^-,233

$ 8,203

$ Q,k9b



6 1 .3 6

5 0 .7 8



As we observed in Chapter III, Table 9, the amount of net income Is closely associated with physical housing conditions. We consequently find the same trend in farm dwelling values* The value of the dwelling increases directly with the size of net Income as shown in Table 25*

Farms with Incomes above $3*000

report an average dwelling value of $i+,233 which Is only $1+00 less than the average value of all acceptable houses*


explains the high percentage of good structural houses In this group * The

Income group

of $1,501 to $3*000 reports an average

value of

$3*!+9l|- which

Is almost $800 more than the average of

all passable houses* Farmers with Incomes from $500 to $1,500 live in dwellings with an average than


of $1,780*

the average for all

This value Is only $66 more

unacceptable houses.

No wonder that

approximately one-fourth of these dwellings are in the lowest rating*

Little difference exists between the average replace­

ment costs of farm dwellings In the Income group above $1,500* However, the average present values of the Income groups $1,500 $3,000 and $3,000 and more differ by $700 which means that the variation in values must be attributed to differences In upkeep and maintenance or in differences of utility value, especially because the ages of the dwellings are very similar for both groups. No significant difference is found between the income groups if the dwelling value Is expressed as a percentage of total farm value or total building value.

If replacement cost Is expressed

77 as a percentage of total farm value,

one observes that the lower

Income groups originally had proportionally more invested in the house than the higher income groups* Size of Farm and Value of the Land The value of a farm dwelling varies directly with the size of the farm and the value of the land under conditions of in­ creasing total real estate value* This relationship between dwelling value and size of farm is expressed by the equation

19I+.O 4 21*07 X where Y is equal

to the value of the dwelling and X is equal

to the size of


farm in tillable acres*

of estimate is

$65 >

The standard error

and the coefficient of correlation is *72 *

See Figure 3»Curve 1 . 2/

In spite of this relationship, farm dwellings occupy a maximum relative position on the smallest farms as shown In Curve

2 of Figure 3 *

The dwelling represents

the total real

estate value on farms with approximately 20 acres of crop land* When the size of the farm increases from 20 to 60 acres of tillable land, cent*

the relative position decreases rapidly from I4.5 to 25 per­ Only a slight decrease is observable above 60 acres* The dwelling represents more than half

of the value of all

buildings for all farms with less than 175 acres*

Also, a


decrease In relative investment Is noticeable from the smaller to the bigger farm* A similar high correlation is established between dwelling values and land values*


This relationship is expressed by the

in the computation of this regression line, size-group average^ are used and no other variable factors are eliminated. However, as can be seen from the figures on Table 19, Appendix C, the average land values of the particular size-group? vary only slightly*

•anxsA axejsa






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79 equation Y - 18*77 ^ 15* 3ft

where Y is the dwelling value and

X th© value per tillable acre In dollars*

The standard error of

estimate is $578 and the coefficient of correlation is *7 1 * Figure ft


If one expresses the value of the dwelling as a percent­

age of the real estate value, one observes again an inverse relationship with Increasing value per acre similar to the one shown under condition of increasing size of farm*

This is expressed

by the regress©ion line Y - 37*38 - .O558X where Y is the relative value of the dwelling and X the value per tillable acres*


standard error of estimate is ft 02^ and the coefficient of correlation Is *69*10/ It is now possible to draw some tentative conclusion from the above relationships with regard to th© size of farm and the value per tillable acre which Is required to have a high probability of adequate housing*

As we have seen In the former, th© average value

of an acceptable house if ft, 61}.6 and $2,7^9 for a passable and $l,7ft for the unacceptable house*

Let us now assume that the lower value

limit of acceptable houses is half way in between ft, 61+6 and #2 , 7 2 9 which would be at $3 *6 8 7 and th© lower value limit of passable houses is $2,221 - th© midpoint between $2 ,7 2 9 and $1,71I4-.


ing to Figure 2 then, the average farm needs to have at least 82 acres of tillable land to guarantee acceptable housing at a sig­ nificant probability rate*

As mentioned before, approximately the

same size (7 0 - 80 acres) is needed to secure an efficient operation for on© man the year around*

This size of course, only

holds true for farming and price conditions as described in this In the calculation of these regression lines, group averages were used and it can be seen from th© data on Table 20 pf Appendix C that the average farm sizes of each consecutive group varied only slightly.


A rather high percentage of houses located on farms with

less than 82 acres of tillable land will not be passable or unacceptable due to th© great amount of part-time outside em­ ployment found in this bracket*

This outside employment is one

of the reasons why it is not possible to determine from our data lower like limits for farms which would give a high pro­ bability of at least passable housing* If one takes th© same value limits as above for the three quality classes,

one sees that the value of crop land has to be

at least $118 per acre to guarantee acceptable houses at a high probability rate according to Figure ft

Passable houses are

found most frequently on land valued at between $2!* and $118 per tillable acre*

Land valued at less than $2l| per tillable

acre most often has unacceptable


Michigan counties in 19ft* Stone


In a study of cameto


the same conclusion

that there is a very high correlation between quality of


and condition of the house* 11/ To eliminate the disturbing influence of a great many in­ dependent variables of land in looking at one factor alone an analysis is made between th© total value of farm land and corres­ ponding dwelling values*

Th© total land values in this case

reflect a number of variable factors* In Figure 5, two different approaches to this problem are

Stone, John T*, Farm Buildings and the Land, Quarterly bulletin, August 19^2* Agr• Exp* Station, Michigan State College, p. 39*

_Value of dwelling in dollars > ■ si" 4

o y

3 ,“a d

*■_■ ti> a i £ *r5 c?> &
0 cd P* l— » Ph P 0 O P rH cd



o to P 0

P *H 0

O P 0 P 0




In the one case, a relationship is established

between total land values and dwelling values while the in­ crease in total land value Is principally due to the Increasing size of farm* •1355X*

This is expressed by the equation Y2 = $2*7^3 +

In the other case, the increase in total land value Is

principally due to increasing value per acre, and the equation becomes than Y1 - $2770 ^


These two regression lines

constructed from data reported In Tables 19 and 20 of Appendix C differ only very slightly and the standard errors of estimates s.

which are respectively $813 and $883 gives the difference an Insignificant character# For this reason conclusions can be drawn from the regression line constructed through both sets of figures, which were formerly used separately# Figure 5#

This is shown as a dashed line in

According to this relationship the farm should have

at least $8,500 Invested in the land to assure a high probability of acceptable housing* Due to the great amount of outside employment at farms with small investments in the land, no limits can be Indicated for passable and unacceptable housing. It should be noted that all the above conclusions are only estimates and may vary widely#

This is already indicated by the

relatively large standard errors of estimate* However,

the significant coefficient of correlation for all

the regression lines here discussed (approximately *7 0 } justifies such general conclusions*

It also should be emphasized once again

that all the above relationships only hold true under farming and price conditions of 191+9 #

described in this study*

Type of Operatorship It was observed in Chapter 3 that the physical condition of farm dwellings of full-time farm operators is better than of any other type of operator*

The average values as presented in

Table 26 follows the same pattern*

The average value of the

full-time operator*s dwelling amounts to $lj.,11+3 as compared to $2,693 for those farm operators who receive less than half of their net income from the farm and $2 ,7 8 7 for an operator, who receives more than half of his net Income off the farm* The difference In value between the two groups of part-time farmers is very small, which corresponds with the very small difference in the physical condition as shown In Table 21.


average dwelling value of full-time farmers is not quite as high as the average value of all acceptable houses, but the difference is only The average dwelling value of part-time farmers is approximately the same as the average value of all passable hous es.

The average replacement values of respectively $7,07I+

and $6,213 follow the relationship established between total farm value and housing value in the former section* It would appear from this that the houses of part-time farmers In Group II are better maintained than those of part-time farmers in Group I*

This Is understandable because many part-time

farmers in Group II have a full-time job and consequently a relative high income#

Hence they invest In their houses relatival

more money than the other groups If seen from the standpoint of total real estate value*

This is true as well for present

value and replacement value*

Of course, hence also the house

takes up a larger portion of the total value of all buildings* The difference between relative Investments by full-time farmers and part-time farmers in Group I are rather small, except for the replacement value if expressed as a percentage Of total real estate*

The houses of part-time farmers in Group X as originally

built, represented a larger part of the total farm value than that of the full-time farmers, mainly due to the higher total farm value of the latter* Table 26*

Average and Relative Values of Farm Dwellings by Type of Operator - 19ii9 Type of Operator

Item Number of Operators

Full-time 136

Av. value of land & #1 6 ,9 9 0 buildings Av. value per dwell­ ing t k,ib3 Av* replacement value per dwell­ # 8 ,7 2 1 ing Av, dwelling as per­ centage of total 2I4..38 farm value Av. replacement value of dwelling as per­ centage of total farm 5 1 .3 3 Av. value of dwelling as percentage of total value of 5 9 .U8 buildings *

Part-time I# 50

Part-time IX** 15

1 1 0 ,1 3 3

18, 3kk

$ 2 ,6 9 3


# 7,oU7

#6 ,2 1 3


2 6 .5 8


6 9 .5 5



6 6 .7 7

Receive less than half of their net income off the farm. Receive more than half of thei r net Income off the farm.

Tenure In much of the literature concerning housing, the Impression Is given that ownership is the most preferable type of tenure to assure high standard housing#

As already expressed in the fore­

going chapter our study does not completely confirm this con­ ventional way of thought# Share tenants in this study live In houses which are In better structural condition, and ufoich have more facilities than those of owners*

Consequently it Is found, as shown In

Table 2J, that the average value of a tenant house in North Tuscola (all tenants of that area included In this study, were sharetenants) is $5*77$ aa compared to fij., 756 for the average owner dwelling.

Also in South Tuscola, where incidentally

very few tenants were found - the average value of the dwelling on a tenant farm was much higher than that on a owner farm} respectively $>11,275

tenants and $>2,870 for owners.


in Eaton County, the owners dwelling was reported at a value of

| 7 0 0 more than that of tenants* In all areas

as well for owners as tenants

the dwelling

value increases proportionately with the total value of the f a ™ . All this leads to of

the conclusion that

the often observedfact

lower standard housing for tenants

is not necessarily in­

herent in the tenancy-status* An important factor which has to be considered in analysing this problem Is whether the land with its buildings were destined by the original owners to serve permanently as a tenant farm.


Do < •

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to H» P P O H* h>* »-t> 3 *o 0Q P P

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52« >P O o M

by Areas

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S>J p





-P“ « vx ro



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M •

■p» #



O' M * O




OD ro

SJl SJt • CD SJl

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VJ1 ro •

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• sjn






hi JB Q< »o 3 Ob < P © 4 p p *1 ^ ® H P M H* M P p H f lP H ® P t* H* O H* GO o {3 P p 3 to ct a 0Q H B W P P 3 H» P 3 ct ct a o ot


5> < •





Many tenant farms for instance in Iowa and even more so in the share cropping area of the South are owned by holders of large estates.

The dwellings and buildings on the farms are built

with the purpose to be used permanently by tenants and have been used so for many years.

Under such conditions one is likely

to find lower housing standards for tenants than for owners. 1 In Michigan, however, one finds very few farms which have been occupied b y tenants over long periods of time.


farms now occupied by tenants were only recently occupied by the owner and consequently do not differ in any way with other owner farms. Often farms are rented to close relatives of the original owner operator from the time of the letter’s retirement until his death. the owner.

After that the tenant Inherits the farm and becomes This situation occurs very frequently under share

tenants arrangements, as we found It Tuscola County.

In other

words, Michigan has not only a low degree of tenancy as we ha^e seen In Chapter I, but also many tenant farms are only of the transitional type* Consequently no significant difference is found in this study between the housing standards of owners and tenants, neither from a physical or an economical point of view.

Douglas, Edna, Op. Cit., p* 2 6 9 ®


Service Buildings in General

Inflexibility of Investment A service building is a production item and is built with the purpose of contributing to the efficient operation of the farm unit.

The investor expects to receive sufficient

additional income from his investment to compensate for his loss of liquid assets.

Before making an Investment, the farmer

can chcose between numerous alternatives in the use of his funds but once the Investment is made, this flexibility is partially lost.

Most agricultural production costs in the short run such

as labor, lands, machineries and buildings are fixed costs. It is this loss of flexibility in agriculture which has caught the attention of many economists.

A review of the theory

concerning the inflexibility of Investments In buildings as presented by Hart may contribute to a better understanding of the problem.-^/ Let us for this purpose investigate the relationship between beef and poultry enterprises, assuming that the use of buildings is required for any level of output.


In the long

Hart, A. G. , Anticlpatinns, Uncertainty and Dynamic Planning. 1940; Monography published by the Chicago""School of' Business, p.25-27.

90 run, when all fixed costs disappear, an

almost completely

linear relationship exists between poultry and beef as, shown in Figure 6 (AI-BI).

An increase in the output of beef, re­

quires only a proportional decrease in the output of poultry . An identical picture exists in the short run when the entrepreneur has not yet invested any of his liquid assets. This is the situati on which he faces at the moment that he has to make the decision to go into either beef or poultry production or into a conbination of both.

Let us assume

that he chooses to produce a combination of both for reasons of diversification.

Under a certain price relationship, his

most efficient level of output will be X with an output of OC of beef and OD of poultry.

Whenever this price relation­

ship changes, he is then free to produce proportionately more or Hess of one or the other. The situation, however, changes as soon as the entre­ preneur has some fixed investments in buildings.

Curve A2-

B2 represents a case in which buildings are erected in such a way that they are rather flexible in use for either type of enterprise.

The increase in the output of beef, for instance,

will now require a more than proportional decrease in the out­ put of poultry. In the third case, when the entreprenuer has buildings that are most efficient for each particular type of business as adapted to the present price and cost conditions, almost complete inflexibility occurs, which situation is illustrated

91 Output

of beef


0 Output of poultry Figure 6.. Long- and shortrun transformation between beef and poultry production.




Figure 7.

Production functions of beef


Figure 8 . Production functions of poultry.


"by curve which


A slight

he uses his poultry

increase in the outputof beef for buildings will requirealmost a

complete sacrifice of his poultry business.

This same idea

expressed In cost curves is seen In Figure 7 and Figure 8 , When the entrepreneur has buildings specially designed for or most efficiently used for one particular type of busi­ ness, the cost per unit of output will be lower (YI In Figure 7 and

8 ) than when his buildings can be used for different


of enterprises.

apt to be le



the second case, however, they are

efficient for any one particular type of enter­

prise (Y2 In Figures 7 and 8 ).

The cost per unit of output

is higher when the entrepreneur tries to produce more beef with buildings, which were originally erected as to give the most efficient operation for poultry and have consequently, a higher degree of inflexibility (Y3 in Figure 7),

The same

holds true for a poultry enterprise in beef buildings (Y3 in Figure 8 ), The major problem in multi enterprise areas, therefore, as presented by this theoretical discussion is that of providing service buildings which have the highest possible degree of flexibility without losing a great deal of their efficiency,

^nder changing price conditions as between re­

lated enterprises, operators, should be able to shift em­ phasis to the most profitable type of farming, thereby using the same buildings as formerly but not losing a great deal of

their efficiency•

A farm building, as for instance a dairy

barn, can be depreciated in approximately 30 years. mer has little assurance, however,

The far­

that the present price posi­

tion of dairy within the national and local pattern will not change to such a degree that he rather would shift to some other type of enterprise.

To get a partial solution to this problem,

general purpose buildings are now gaining in popularity.


pen-type barn is one good example of this kind which building can be used both for beef or dairy or with very little change also for hogs. This problem of inflexibility is strongly accentuated in some farming types by the high investment requirements for buildings, relative to the total value of the farm.

A cash

crop farm for instance needs very few permanent buildings but a dairy farm often has 50 percent or more of its total value Invested in permanent buildings. B. Available Service Buildings and Their Ages In this survey, data were gathered concerning all the service buildings on each farm and their approximate ages. No definite age was obtained for building over 30 years old. # Such figures had they been obtained undoubtedly would be very inaccurate.

Table 28 gives a summary of the service buildings

and their ages. In all three areas, almost 100 percent of the farms have a barn.

More than two-thirds of these barns are more than

30 years old, for the most part, either in poor condition or in a progressed state of obsolescence•

Many of these barns,

however, are no longer used for cattle housing, but only for storage of grain or machinery. in northern Tuscola.

This is true especially

Eaton County showed the highest percent­

age of old barns, even though more barns were still in use here then anywhere else for cattle housing.

On the other hand,

southern Tuscola had the largest number of new barns (12 per­ cent).

The explanation for this may be found in the fact that

more farmers have tried to improve their fragile living standards with dairy farming on this very poor soil. Silos are still not found on many farms.

It is, however, in­

teresting to note that E aton Gounty has the most silos.


may be due to the more intensified dairy farming in this area, or to the more direct influence of the agricultural college at East Lansing. Granaries and Corn cribs are found on more than three-fourths of the farms.

Half of these buildings, however, are more than

30 years old, and often so dilapidated that replacement is necessary.

However, it is easy to understand that a farmer

who does not take pride in good buildings will keep on using the old ones as long as they do not fall apart, even though they form, a vital part of the farm business.


Poultry houses are fairly common on most farms. them

are more than thirty


though some farmers have tried

Half of

years oldand in very poor condition to modernize their poultry

bui Idings • Permanent hog houses are not very common in Michigan* Only

about one-quarter of


farmsreported them.

Often part

of the barn is used for this purpose. Machine sheds are not very common either. able whether or not it pays to build sheds.

It is question­

Some engineering:

experts maintain tha t they are uneconomical for the cheaper machinery, such as plows, harrows, disc, et cetera.

More ex­

pensive machines, like combines, tractors, et cetera, are often stored in the barns. Milk houses are not shown in fable 28, but It may be mentioned that even in Eaton County within the Detroit Milk Shed, only 14 percent of the farmers reported them, as a se­ parate building.

This is the same as in northern Tuscola.

South Tuscola farmers reported a much higher amount of milkhouses, present at their farms.

Here 18 percent of the farms

have built a new milk house in the last ten jest s and a total of 40 percent reported that they had one.

In many cases far­

mers remodeled part of the barn as milkrooms, which are not recorded as a separate building.

The amount of milkhouses

therefore, does not indicate the amount of farms which had good milk facilities•

ro ro ro





Ages by Areas' 19^4-9


03 0 bC cd

of Service

rH rH rH

o o o O O C_) H H H

o o o o o o H H rH

o o O o o o rH rH rH

o o o O CJ O rH rH rH

o o o O cj o rH i—1i —1

O UNCM * • • CM CM - P X? (S-CO

O UN UN • • • ONp— CM CM

O X> • * • ~a i—ion •H CM CM

O • _pj-t-T\ O * • X cx>03 C— C—

O jO fo have barns above 30 years of age, only 32 percent had painted them In the last 10 years and only 4 percent had done any other improvement to them in the last five years.

One may

well coinclude from this that these barns are in a fairly bad shape of obsolescence, and that the owners probably are not planning to make any more major repairs on them.


cost of modernization is probably more than be feasible under present conditions.

In such cases replacement often is the

r,cheapest!! and best way to come to m o r e efficient buildings. In Table 37 a t a b u l a t i o n is m a d e of the amount of improvements w h i c h were among


farm dwellings) higher



made d u r i n g It a p p e a r s

that most activity


the y e a r s again

(as w e

took place

Forty-six percent

1947 and 1948




t he



farmers w i t h

$3,000 a n d m o r e n e t I n c o m e h a d m a d e some t y p e of i m p r o v e ­ ment pared

of w h i c h to


cost amounted

to m o r e






33 p e r c e n t f o r the I n c o m e g r o u p of $1500 - $3,000

120 and to only 36 percent of the income group below $1500 of net income. Table 37.

For a percentage distribution of' improvements

Improvements to Service buildings in 1947 and 1948 by Income Groups 1949 Size of Net Income

Amount of Improvements in dollars

$500 - $1,500 $1,501 -$3,000 $3,000 more Percent of total 73.7



50 - 124




125 - 224




225 - 324




325 - 424




425 and more







All classes

among areas.


See Apnendix C, Table 24,

This and many other

observations throughout this study leads to the conclusion that the problem of low standard buildings, as well as low standard housing Is above all a problem of lack of income in certain sectors of Agriculture.

121 Chapter VI Summary and Conclusions: 1.

The structural level of farm houses and their conditions

are classified in this study in a strictly objective

way accord­

ing to certain characteristics of the major exterior parts of the dwelling*

As determined by these characteristics farm

houses are divided into three classes: a*

Acceptable houses;

These are houses which are generally

considered to be decent, safe and sanitary and which do not need more than minor repairs of particular elements* b*

Passable houses;

These are houses which require con­

siderable reconstruction, and repair to make them decent and to prevent them from becoming unacceptable. c*

Unacceptable houses;

These are houses which are

dilapidated, hazardous, too small for occupancy by two people or not sufficiently weathertight* 2*

In order to test the above described methods, a sample of

216 farm houses was taken In three Michigan areas; Eaton county, South Tuscola, and North Tuscola.

Data were collected through

Interviews, not only concerning the farm house but also other buildings,

the land, and the farm family*


therefore certain relationships were established between physical and economic factors of the farm buildings and certain characteristics of the farm and the farm family*



the study it is found that the classification of farm houses as obtained with the rating method, used here, leads to reliable results*

This is tested by the correlation between the given

ratings and data concerning present value of the house, availability of facilities and net family income* 3«

The medium size farm house in Eaton County is 6*5 rooms

as compared to 5 North Tuscola*

rooms for South Tuscola and 7*7 rooms for

Most farm houses are one family detached units

with an adequate number of rooms for all stages of the family cycle*

Farm houses are generally old,

being built before 1920*

In all three areas

Forty-three percent have a dining

room and living room while the rest have either one or the other* The medium number of bedrooms In Eaton County Is 3®& as compared to 2.6 for South Tuscola or 3* 6 for North Tuscola* Twenty-four percent of the farm houses in North Tuscola have a. bathroom as compared for I|.l percent In South Tuscola and 50 percent in Eaton County* Approximately half of the houses have an attic while more than 3/U °f them have a basement*

More that 90 percent have

at least one porch* 1|.

About 90 percent of all house included Ln this study have

a frame type of construction the rest being masoning*


percent of the houses In Eaton County are of the frame board type as are 75 percent in South Tuscola and 63 percent in

North Tuscola*

Frame composition Is second In importance with

approximately 16 percent In all three areas*

Ten percent of

the houses in North Tuscola are built with masonry material as compared to 3 percent In Eaton County and less than one percent in South Tuscola*

Ninety-five percent of the farm

houses in Eaton County and North Tuscola have a solid masonry continuous type of foundation while 86 percent have this type of foundation in South Tuscola*

Approximately 1+0 percent of

the Eaton County farm houses are now using asphalt shingle or roll roofing, increasing in North Tuscola to $0 percent and to 60 percent in South Tuscola*

Second In Importance as a

form of roof covering are woodshingles, followed by asbestos shingles* 5*

In South Tuscola the poorestof the three surveyed areas,

l|-7 *l percent of the farm houses are rated acceptable, 31 *3 percent passable and 17*6 percent unacceptable*

The respective

figures for Eaton County, -a medium good farming area - are 5 6 *5, 32*5 and 11 percent, for North Tuscola -the best farming area -61f*9> 2 8 * 1 and 7 percent* All of the houses which are classified as unacceptable are either of the frame board or frame composition construction type.

Passable houses are found among all types of construction.

The one single part of the house which has the greatest bearing on the rating of a structure is the foundation.


percent of all farm houses have some deficiency in this part

of the house*

Next In importance comes the roof with 31

percent followed by the walls with 27 percent*


percent of the houses which were rated unacceptable had such poor foundations that this factor alone was sufficient to place the house in the lowest structural group*


half of these later houses could also be rated unacceptable on account of the condition of the walls alone and one fourth of them on account of the condition of the roof alone*


other words serious deficiencies In major parts of a structure often appear simultaneously* passable structures*

This same trend holds true for

Two thirds of the passable houses have

some kind of deficiency to their foundation* however,

At the same time,

5$ percent of all the passable houses either had

defective roofs, walls or porches* 6*

Families in the higher income groups, which appeared to

have the largest families have also the greatest number of bedrooms* The medium number of bedrooms for the three areas is 3*2*

Measured b y the standard for bedrooms requirements used

In this study, only 3*1| percent of the farm houses are lacking bedroom space.

Measured with a requirement of 1 room per

person 9*6 percent of the farm houses appeared to be over­ crowded; however, if a requirement of 100 square feet of living space per person is assumed only

percent of ell

farm houses in this study are overcrowded.

The last figure

corresponds very closely with that obtained from the number of bedrooms.

Overcrowdedness and low structural level or

poor condition of the houses, occur simultaneously. 7.

Ninety-five percent of the farmhouses covered in this

study have eLectricity.

Eighty and seven-tenths percent of the

houses In North Tuscola have running water as compared to 71.96 percent in Eaton County and 56.86 percent in South Tuscola.

Warm water is found in 73 percent of the farm hous es

in North Tuscola as compared to 48.6 and 41.2 percent for Eaton County and South Tuscola respectively.

Bathtubs or

showers are generally f ound in the same houses where warm runn­ ing water is available.

Of the farm houses in ^orth Tuscola

52.6 percent have central heating as compared to 54.2 percent for Eaton and 33.3 for South Tuscola. Electrical, heating, plumbing facilities are more often found In dwellings with good structural conditions than In structural units with low ratings.


acceptable to passable to unacceptable houses.

decreases from Consequently

the average value of unacceptable houses is found to be $1,714, of passable houses $2,729, and acceptable houses $4,646. 8.

The need for improved housing seems to be most influenced

by lack of income,

More than one-fourth of the houses on

farms with less than $1,500 of income are unacceptable as

126 compared to 3 percent for those with more than $ 3,000 of net income*

People in the higher income groups have also

made many more Improvements to their houses in the five year period from

than the lower income groups*


average value of the dwellings on farms with a net income of less than $1,500 is $1,780 as compared for $ 3 > W U T®1? ^k® income group $1,500 - $3,000, and $I|.,233 for farmers with income above $3>000* With increasing size of farms and increasing value per acre, farm dwellings tend to improve in structural level and condition,

tend to possess more and better facilities

and tend to Increase in value*

In spite of this relation­

ship farm dwellings occupy a maximum relative position on the smallest farms*

The dwelling represents 1+5 percent of

the total real estate value on farms with approximately 20 acres of cropland* When the size of the farm Increases from 20 to 60 acres the relative position decreases from I4.5 "to 25 percent*

60 acres only a slight decrease is observable*


For farms

below 175 acres of cropland the dwelling represents more than half of the value of all buildings, becoming more Important when the size of the farm decreases*

Identical observations

are made for relationships between the value of the dwelling and the value per acre of tillable land* According to relationships established between total land

value and the value of the dwelling, farms with a minimum of $8,500 Invested in the land have a high probability of acceptable housing, 9*

Full-time farm operators live in the best houses, while

part-time farmers who receive less than half of their income from outside employment live In better houses than those who receive more than half of their income in off the farm em­ ployment • 10.

Share tenants are housed as well or better than owners

in the cases reported In this study.

The average value of a

share tenants dwelling in North Tuscola is $5,778 as compared to $4,756 for owners. 11.

All service buildings on farms in this study are adopted

for the general type of farming although many buildings are obsolete and not used anymore.

The proportion of the total

farm value that service buildings represent amounts to 20 percent in Eaton County as compared to 17.5 percent In South Tuscola and 13.06 percent in North Tuscola.

The average values

are $2,442, $1,683, and $3,028 respectively. Farms with the poorest houses have a relative higher proportion of their total farm value invested in service buildings than those with the better houses.

However, the

actual values are directly associated with values of the dwelli

126 12*

Farms with the higher net incomes have also higher

amounts Invested in their buildings*

However, no significant

difference was found among different income groups in the proportion that service buildings represent of the total farm value* 13*

The value of service buildings Increases directly with

size of the farm and value per tillable acre under conditions of increasing total farm value but decreases if expressed as a percentage of the total farm value or total land value* However, if a certain amount is invested in land the proportion that service buildings represent of the total land value increases with Increasing acreage or decreasing value per acre*

For instance, a farmer having 60 acres of

tillable land with a value o f $100 per acre has relatively less Invested in his buildings than a farmer who has 100 acres valued at $60 per acre. II4..

Part time farmers who earn more than half of their net

income In off-farm employment have less Invested In service buildings than parttime farmers who earn more than half of their income from the farm*

These latter again have less

Invested than full time farmers.

As to the proportion that

service buildings represent of the total farm value no significant difference is found* 15*

The value of service buildings on tenant occupied farms

Is not less than that on owner occupied farms*

129 l6 *

Improvements to farm service buildings took place mostly

among farmers with higher Incomes*

Forty-six percent of the

farmers with $3* 000 and more Income made some type of im­ provement, amounting to more than $50 during 19ij7 or 19I4.8 as compared to 33 percent for the Income group of $1,500 $3> 000 and to only 16 percent of the income group below $1 , 5 0 0 of net income* In conclusion It can be said that most of the need for improved housing and service buildings comes from the Inadequacy of income, which is the direct result of the Inadequacy of the farm business*

This inadequacy on the other hand may be caused

partially by poor buildings on the farm*

The Housing Act

of 1914.9 provides financial and technical assistance to farmers, which provisions aim at the Improvement of service buildings as well as housing*

The financial assistance

offered b y the act is of two types - loans and grants. loans are remedial in character.


They are designed to en­

courage those who have limited resources but at least a small equity In a reasonably adequate farm, in improving their housing or farm buildings*

Or else to make a poten­

tially adequate farm sufficiently profitable to support a good house* Grants are temporary expedients to aid families until something more fundamental can be done.

The Farmers Home

Administration of the Department of Agriculture will administer

the program of loans and grants.

It will also administer

the provision of technical assistance to its borrowers under the Housing Act. Under the Housing Act also a national survey Is presently being conducted to get adequate data about the condition of farm houses throughout the United States, which will Indicate the necessary amount of help, required to provide American agriculture with as good housing as other sectors of the economy*



RATING OF THE ELEMENTS OF A STRUCTURE (Mainly to be observed by enumerator) ELEMENT FOUNDATION Low rating (a) Rotted wooden piers (b) Sills laid on ground (c) Wooden skids (d) Masonry piers or masonry foundations under the living quarters that are so badly settled or broken as to require replacement or abandonment* (e) Open piers (wooden or masonry) without weathertlght "curtain" or "apron” of per­ manent material ("not tar-paper") located in severe climates where they are not generally used* (f) Loose stones without mortar either as rim all around periphery of structure or as piers* (Some large flat stones may not require mortar*) (g) Other (describe) Intermediate rating (a) Sills or plates of frame construction in general less than 6 inches off ground* (b) Floors (concrete, wooden or other) in general less than 6 inches above ground level* (c) Wooden piers In mild climates, sills on ground but not rotted or skids in good con­ dition* (d) Open piers without weathertlght curtain locat­ ed in moderately cool climates where they are not customary for houses of middle income groups*


1 APPENDIX A (e) Masonry piers or foundations under living quarters that are cracked or deteriorated in some places or with uneven degree of settling and heaving or deterioration at the hearing points where the house is supported and requiring repairs to effect even support to the building. (f) Foundations under attached sheds on porches badly settled, or broken so as to require major repair or replacement to give even support• (g) Foundation without mortar but solid (h) Other (describe) Highest rating

(a) Masonry piers or foundations without apparent settling but with some cracks or other deterioration that do not affect the support o f the structure. (b) Foundation without observable deficiencies. (c) Other (describe) 2.

OUTSIDE WALLS AND OPENINGS Low rating (a) Any room used as living quarters or a bath­ room without at least one outside glassed window or else a door with glass pane. (Ask if necessary) (b) Rotted or loose or warped siding covering more than one-fourth of any side of a structure * (c) Missing siding resulting from general decay or other deterioration. (d) Walls that are out of plumb or not square due to settling. (e) Tar paper siding. (f) Masonry walls that obviously have open cracks.

APPENDIX A (g) Masonry walls from which one-fourth or more of the mortar of any side is missing. (h) Masonry walls from which bricks or stones have fallen out. (i) Window or door frames with large cracks that are rotted or dislodged from place, worn partially or totally or missing* (j) Pillars of porch, supporting roof of main structure which are rotted loose or deterio­ rated so as to endanger support of roof* (k) Other (describe) Intermediate rating (a) Trim that is rotted or missing (b) Rotted,loose, or warped siding covering less than one-fourth of any side* (c) Masonry walls with minor closed or cemented cracks. (d) Masonry walls from which mortar Is beginning to fall out. (e) Window and door frames that have slight cracks or are rotted and loosened but In place* (f) Pillars of porch supporting roof of main structure which are rotted, loose or deterio­ rated but not sufficiently to endanger support of roof* (g) Semi-Durable siding, such as asphalt com­ position shingles or roll, either singly or over a deteriorated permanent siding. (Asbest cement shingles are considered durable.) (h) Vertical instead of horizontal siding* (I) Other (describe) High rating (1) Walls and openings which require nothing more than (check which) (1) paint (2) More maintenance repairs^ (5) caulking (U) puttying (5) nothing •


ROOF Low rating (a) Any portion of th© roof noticeably open to the weather as observed from the outside* (b) Ridge pole or roof area sags noticeably and to such an extent as to force the roof surface materials out of place* (c) Tar paper covering any portion of roof (except when used over an original roof of permanent material) (d) Other (describe) Intermediate rating (a) Ridge pole or roof area sags noticeably but not sufficiently to force roof surface" materials out of place* (b) Shingles curling or loosening* 25 -1+9# ; 5Q-7lt% ; 75-100%__ . (c) Tar paper used to cover or patch an original roof of permanent material* (d) Roof over porches or attached sheds (not living quarters) open to weather* (e) Other (describe) High rating (a) No evident deficiencies*


CHIMNEYS* PORCHES* ATTACHED SHEDS Low rating (a) Metal pipes protruding from walls or roof of non-masonry material without a thimble, that i 3, so constructed as to protect wooden parts from hot pipes by a double wall ventilating shield 12 inches larger than the pipe or by at least U inches of brickwork or other in­ combustible material* (b) Masonry chimneys that are fallen down to with­ in l8 inches or so of a wooden or other in­ flammable roof*



(c) Other (describe) Intermediate rating (a

Masonry chimneys that lean noticeably


Metal pipes protruding from walls or roof In which surrounding construction is of masonry or with adequate thimble as defined in (a) above under ttlow rating*"


Chimneys that merely require pointing up.


Chimneys with missing bricks* stones or mortar but with no opening within lo inches of roof*


Fireproof makeshift chimney, such as soil pipes.


Porches and attached sheds with rotted floor boardsf broken steps, or other eondtlons in­ dicating hazard to limb or possibility of fire hazard.


Other (describe)

High rating (a

Masonry chimneys with mortar In good condition*


Porches and sheds in good repair and without hazards.


Porches and steps and dieds that are settled or otherwise deteriorated but not such as to constitute a hazard*


Other (describe)

INTERIOR (as observed from doorway, kitchen, or other point of observation.) If necessary ask if you may look at the character of the floors. Low rating (a) Wooden floors that are not double or at least with single matched construction and without a basement underneath, located in a climate where such open construction Is not customary.

APPENDIX A (b) Wooden floors with hazardous holes or seriously rotted, (c) Earthen floor* (d) Walls and ceilings without plaster, tongue and groove C e l l i n g 11 lumber, wall board or other interior,finish* (e) Missing or loose plaster and holes in ceiling or missing walls finish covering a square yard or more* (f) Other (describe) In termed! ate rating (a) Wooden floors that are not double or at least with single matched construction and without a basement underneath, but located In a mild climate where such open construction is customary. (b) Wooden floors that are deteriorated but not to the point of constituting a hazard. (c) Missing or loose plaster or other missing In­ terior finish covering less than a square yard (d) Evidence of moisture on ceiling under a second story bathroom* (©) Other (describe) High rating (a) Floors that are In good condition, and either protected by a basement underneath, or If wooden, having double or single matched construction* (b) Interior finish of walls Intact and with no evidence of seepage from bathroom to ceiling beneath* (c) Other (describe)







2 . County


OperatorTs name_______


Street or route number


Name of interviewer


Post office _________ _


Date of interview




Time interview began




Person interviewed: Husband______________ Wife_________________ Other{specify)______


Segment number


Farm number

"My name Is ______ _________ ________ and I am of Michigan State College and cooperating with the L. s. Department of Agriculture. We are doing a farm housing study in some areas of Michigan. We want to find out something about the conditicn of houses and other buildings in relation to the rest condition of the farm. All the answers you will give are only going to be used for this study and not for any other purpose.

You see, you are just one

of the farms that happen tofaXX in our selected sampXe." "WouXd you he wiXXing to talk with me for a while right now?"

lh 0


fara°and your family!"

Wlth 3°me qu*8tlons about ?our


Are you operating this farm? I* for yourself 2. _in a partnership ?• a3 & cash tenant U* as a share tenant ___(a) 1/3-2 /3 (b) 1/2- 1/2 (0 ) 2 / 3-I/ 3 5* _ag a hired manager * aa a hired man who gets all instructions from employer 7* Just live here and work elsewhere


How many acres of land do you operate on this farm now? acres


How many of the acres you operate do you own?



How many do you rent from someone else?


17* Do you rent any land to others? 18♦


Do you own any land which you rent to others and which may be part or whole of another farm unit?



How many people are there in your household?


What are the ages of your boys? 1* Veterans; » * * 2. Non-Veterans: , ,




What are the ages of your girls? 1* Veterans: u _____ » » 2* Non-Veterans: , ____ >


What other members are there in your household (as r e l a t e d to the head of the main household)? What are their ages? (a )



_________ Y e a r s

llll APPENDIX B (b) What other people are there living In this house not belonging to your household? (belonging to secondary household)

Mist are their

husband wife sons

years it

it t» it

n ■it it it

daughters others (as related to the head of the secondary household)


Were your parents farmers? 1. ______ Yes 2. No If No^ what profession did your father have?


How old are you now?


How long have you been farming on this farm? to Ag< 1 . In a partnership (father and son) From a g e t» .. . tt tf tt 2* Owner Operator n it it it Cash tenant Share tenant » tt it tt (a) 1/3-2/3 ---Tt i t i t — t i (b) 1/2-1/2 ... w it it — tt (o) 2/3-1/3 it "" it It n Hired manager --- t» it it *1 I: As a hired man 7* Working for spending money on home 11 tl tt it farm

_ _ _ _ _ years*



Have you been In farming your whole life? 1# _ Yes 2* No What other occupation(s} __ _


Have you X, ____ 2* 5. Ij.* ____ 5* 6*

ever been: Partner (In partnership) Owner Cash tenant Share tenant Hired man Working for spending money an farm t Working in non-farming, employment In a n y "non-farming experiences w such as school$ Army etc*

age tt it ■ it — — tt it tt “ — — _ tt

to n it

age n



u ----11 ■ ■-

tt ti n

it it — ft


1hZ APPEi'iDj. X B


What was ^ ^ ^ ^ g r a d e or year that you completed In school No schooling 2 Some grammer school Completion of grammar school Some high school ? Completion of high school 5 6 Some college Completion of four years of college Graduate or professional training Business school


Americans come from all over the world. Where would you say are the following persons born: Name of Country 1 . Yourself 2 Your father Your mother Your grandfather (from your father's side) 1 Your grandmother (from your father* s side) Your grandfather (from your motherfs side) 7. Your grandmother (from your mother's side)




Were her parents farmers? !• Yes What occupation did her father have? 2 No



Did she spend her whole life on the farm? 1 • _ _ _ Y© s 2. No How old was she when she came on the farm? _ ___ years#


How old Is sh© now?


What was the last grade or year that she completed In school? No schooling Some grammar school Completion of grammar school Some high school Completion of high school Some college Completion of four years of college Graduate or professional training Business school Where would you say the following persons were b o m : Name of Country 1. She herself — — — --- — 2. Her father------------------------------------— --- -3 . Her mother fj,, Her grandfather (from father's side) 5. Her grandmother (from father's side) 6 . Her grandfather (from mother's side) 7* Her grandmother (from mother's side)





VI. V A L U E OF FARM STRUCTURE? In studies of these kind, it is of ^reat value to us, if we get some data on the value of the farm and the size of your yearly income* All this information Is completely confidential so you can certainly speak without any reservation*" 35*

What in your opinion would the farm sell time, that is land and buildings?

for at the present #__________ •


What would


What would the farm sell for, If there were no houses or livin quarters on it, but the other buildings were the same as now?

the farm sell for, If therewere no buildings &

on it •

"Now we come to your Income* You see this information Is needed, to give an idea, what people with different size income do and can do as far as the improvement and upkeep of their houses and other buildings is concerned Operator1s share 38.

To begin with, what was the value of crops sold in 19i|-9?


Value of livestock and live­ stock products sold in 19U 9


Value of other products sold in 19U 9


Value of fruits and vegetables sold in 19i+9



Landlord 1s share

Total &


Value of products used In household on this farm In!9l*,9 (such as garden products, meat, firewood, eggs, etc*)



Government’s payments In 19^9 for soil conservation, for the production of sugar beets,etc*$>b



1* .

Did you have any other family ^ income from work off this farm^


Other outside income (from outside investments,property, business, pensions, etc* not associated with this farm)

14.6 *

What were the operating expenses In 19U9? ®—


What do you say was your total family net Income last year?




How many dwellings were on this farm 1*

Occupied (a) Year-round (b) Seasonal


Unoccupied l a ) Temporarily (b) Permanently

Jan*l, 1949 Number ------

Jan.l, 19 Number

Are there any houses destroyed since January 1, 1949 ^y Number 1* 2.

Fire Water Wind Because of old age



Have there been any new houses built (completed), houses moved onto this farm and other buildings converted for use as dwellings in 1949?


Are there any new houses under construction as of January 1, 1950?


Specific Information to this Dwelling 52*

Is this dwelling used throughout the year , or only seasons 11 y?~_________ ,




Who 1. 2. 3* 4* 5* 6. 7*

an ordinary house describe _____________________ ■ I 3 living in this house now? ___ Operator*s family (owner) Partner ___ Hired help Share tenant Cash tenant Other ___ Vacant

If vacant, when was it last occupied (month)_ By whom: 35*

, (year) ________

What is the age of the oldest part of house being used living quarters? 1 . ___Built since Jan* 1* 1940* Year built • 2. 1920-1939 ^Before 1920 Don *t know 1


General Information

Ik 5


Have additions been built in the last 5 years? 1* _____ Y e s What wher/ '



No Do n 11 know

5. 57*

Has structure been remodeled in past five years? What When 1* Yes 2. 5•





___ No Don *t know

If the structure was originally built during the past five Ye ars, what was the reason for building? 1 Because the existing house was destroyed by fire tii w a t e r ~ « » « ft « n t 2 "

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