Re: [C-L] How to develop a group for 50+ without family
From: Brian Bartholomew (
Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2007 22:59:40 -0700 (PDT)
Stuart Joseph <stuart [at]> writes:

| Once you decide to take some land and parcel it out for homes, you
| have a "sub division," in my area, building attached homes would
| fall into another category.

What I've tentatively concluded is that in my area, it costs too much
to subdivide, and only existing plats(?) are affordable.  I believe
the local "subdivision" rules kick in at either the 4th or 5th home.
Further, existing declared zoning and platting are not binding on the
city, so every permit risks the possibility of a complete
renegotiation.  I'm sure I've got the details wrong, but every evening
spent learning the details is another evening lost from erecting a house.

| Here in Rockingham VT, anyone can do their own building, and I think
| that there are a lot of places that allow it all over the
| country. Of course, you still have to meet the zoning regulations
| and city and state codes.

In my area, the city and county zoning regulations and codes are where
they make the demands that increases building costs 4X.  Once the
project meets the criteria of being a subdivision, you will only be
given permits if your plan looks like suburbia.  To make the
construction loan -> home sales -> mortgage finance numbers work, you
have to buildout the entire project completely in less than two years.

Those of us who wanted to build their own homes slower and cheaper
spent some time looking at this, and concluded this area's system
interlocks sufficiently that the choices for new construction are
either suburbia at $225K+/each or nothing.  Now we are looking a bit
farther away from town.


> The costs of a weathertight box to live in that contains a shower,
> stove, sink, and bed are negligible.  For instance, I hear FEMA
> trailers are being auctioned for $700.

| Where did you hear that?

One of our coho-interest group is a fisheries biologist who has been
out in the Gulf tagging and counting fish.  A couple weeks ago he said
somebody in the Katrina area has been auctioning off trailers on a
u-tow-it basis.  He's hard to reach, so you'd probably find contact
info on your own faster than I could get it from him.


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