Re: The "lot" development model
From: Martin Tracy (
Date: Wed, 26 Apr 95 14:57 CDT
><Pablo and Martin continue a discussion on pricing the "lot" model>

>I don't think your particularly dense. In theory we could sell lots for the 
>mid-priced houses, if we put restrictions on how big a house and how many 
>bedrooms you could build on that lot, so that people don't use it as a way 
>of buying a mid-priced lot and building a high-priced house on it, the 
>circumventing our cost-distribution system. The operative term that you used 
>is "easily." No, it could not be done easily because:
>1) I doubt there are any houses in New View that are "just right," neither 
>   generating a profit nor a loss.
>2) The household buying lots instead of houses would have a great deal more
>   flexibility in their house design than every one else. This would not be 
>   fair to the rest of the group, especially those paying more for their
>   houses.
>3) The bank wants to see all plans and have a construction schedule before 
>   granting a construction loan. This dramatically reduces the advantages
>   of the Lot Development Model. It means that owner-building is all but
>   eliminated. This problem would be easier to surmount if we didn't have
>   to pay so much just to hold on to some land and build a septic field, 
>   etc.
>4) Our budget is so tight that I doubt many people could afford their houses
>   if we totally lost the economy of scale.
>5) Our house-pricing policy was so hard to achieve that I don't thing there 
>   is the stomach in the group to hash out policies to make this all fair
>   so that the people buying lots aren't taking advantage of the rest of
>   the group.
>As you can see, there is no one thing that makes your suggestion impossible 
>to implement. In our case it was a preponderance of interrelated problems. 
>If a group made selling lots a high priority item, it probably could be 
>done. But not "easily." The least difficult thing is probably 100% LDM. If 
>that is impossible, the next least difficult thing is 0% LDM.

Good God!  I finally understand you.  I imagine it would be very hard to change 
course, once New View had these issues hammered out.

For my own education, though, why would a bank balk at lots specified as 
<pre-sold and currently undeveloped>?  It seems to me there are possibilities 
a 50% LDM, too, although I don't know of any cohousing built this way.

Martin Tracy, Los Angeles
mtracy [at]

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