|Re: Affordability -- House and lot costs||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Rob Sandelin (robsanmicrosoft.com)|
|Date: Tue, 30 Aug 94 10:36 CDT|
At Sharingwood we called 6 local Realtors in the area and asked about building lot prices. The criteria we were looking for was 1/3 to 1/2 acre building lots in our area which had utilities available. The price ranged from $55 -$90,000. We are selling our building lots, which include a huge greenbelt, a commonhouse, all the amenities of the community, plus all utilities to the lot for $35,000. In our situation of dealing with raw land, we are 37% below the current market rate. According to the real estate section of the Seattle Times the average home sale price in our area is $190,000. The last 2 houses which were built at Sharingwood cost just under $150,000. Now, it those houses had been in a typically development, they would have probably sold for 20% profit which would have edged them up closer to the average home sale price. So by removing the original sale profit of 20% our houses are cheaper. The first time. The only house we have ever had for sale sold at about a 20% profit by the owner, not the builder and sold for, you guessed it, 190,000. I had a discussion once with a Danish neighbor who knew of cohousing just down the road from where she grew up. Her take on Danish Cohousing as a cultural thing was that Cohousing was viewed as middle and upper class living. The people who lived in cohousing were managers and professional types. Her view was that if you lived in Cohousing you must be doing pretty good financially and in her view there was a bit of status involved, almost snobbery. This is only one perspective and I would like to hear more of people who have had contact with Danes about their observations and feelings about cohousing in cultural contexts. It may very well be shaping up that Cohousing in America is a upper-middle class phenomena. In the large (20 units or more) cohousing developments this certainly seems to be the class thus far. The average Cohousing unit price between Winslow, Sharingwood, Puget Ridge is over $150,000 and I have not seen a resale of a unit for under $120,000 from those groups. To qualify for a mortgage of $150,000 you need an income of $50-60,000 a year. That is pretty upper middle class numbers. Is this bad? I used to think so, I don't anymore. I have discovered that there is a whole world of housing cooperatives, communes, intentional communities which are accessible to community interested people with incomes of $10,000 or less a year. So without sounding horribly rigid and elitist about it, maybe Cohousing is community training for the upper middle class. Yuppies, Beamers, Dinks, Profs, suits, live in community in Cohousing, Slackers, baggers, serfs, lights, live in community in housing coops and communes. (I just know I gunna get flamed for this). The difference I see between cohousers and other types of communities is that cohousers hire other people to do their building for them, other communities build it themselves. And that is one of the keys to affordablity. If labor is not a cost, then the price of a house goes way way down. That is why Habitat for humanity can build a 2000 sq foot, three bedroom house for $50,000. (they did exactly that just down the road from me last year.) So in the search for Affordability maybe cohousing is not the right place to be looking. It may be mutually exclusive to have a designed and built out by professionals 30 unit development be affordable to less than middle class incomes. Rob Sandelin Sharingwood
- Re: Affordability -- House and lot costs Rob Sandelin, August 30 1994
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