|The $200,000 invisible wall||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Rob Sandelin (Floriferousclassic.msn.com)|
|Date: Sun, 17 May 1998 20:13:52 -0500|
It costs $200,000 on average, to buy a house at Sharingwood. Last 3 resales were $190K, $325K, $240K. This forms an income wall that obviously excludes anyone of lesser means. Granted, we have some rental spaces so there are a few opportunities to live here as a renter. You can of course build a home here much less expensively than that, but once built, the homes sell at the full market rate, thus continuing the trend. Nobody has yet built anything small and inexpensive, and I see little interest in the current crop of lot owners to do so. One of the tragedies of Sharingwood is that although we could have a vibrant mixture of housing types, we do not, we mostly have typical, three bedroom homes, none of which are very affordable. Particularly on resale. Several people who originally wanted to build less expensive homes in our second phase have left and so I suspect little change will come in the next 12 homes. The house plans that have been proposed so far maintain the status quo. We do have 1 alternative home here, an artist-traveller type who was an original member, and who lives in a shack, who recycles wood and lives very simply and cheaply. But he is pretty marginalized and the upper middle class people in the community really are not very comfortable with him or his housing scene. There is very much a strong but invisable push to not allow alternative, small structures here, we ran off people who wanted to build a dome. Mention a Yurt and the middle class uncomfortableness begins to show. With bank mortgages, home equity values, and County inspectors, we play the middle class home game to the rules that we are given. And the large, expensive homes that have been built attracts people who want a nice comfortable middle class haven, and filters out alternative and low income types. So we have built a $200,000 wall of middle classism around ourselves, keeping out any others who don't have lots of money. Of course this is NOT unique to Sharingwood, in fact, almost all cohousing units require incomes of $60,000 or greater to purchase the mortgage. Rob Sandelin Sharingwood Cedar Village Permaculture Retreat Center (forming)
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