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Old 12-07-2017, 12:28 AM
 
2,432 posts, read 1,300,182 times
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I'm all for small home development. As another poster here said, the cost per sqft for smaller homes is > than that of larger homes. That means profit for the builders. Of course, because it's a smaller sqft, the total price is more attractive than that of a larger sqft.


Another way to put it, I don't mind paying higher $/sqft as long as my total $ is lower.
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Old 12-07-2017, 02:08 AM
 
Location: Washington state
3,324 posts, read 1,617,128 times
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There are tons of single people in their 50s and 60s, and many more couples that want to shed the 4 and 5 bedroom house for something smaller. A lot of them are downsizing because the kids have left home and they don't want or they're too old to keep up a big yard.

Personally, though, I'd kill to have a small home (about 500 to 700 sq ft) on about 5 acres. I've seen a lot of little house communities, but they all seem to be nice houses with postage stamp front yards and one communal lot for everyone to enjoy. For me, no thank you. Why do so many people think that because you have a small house, you have to have a small yard, too? I want a LARGE lot so I can have a dog, a pool, a shed, and a garden. I also want privacy and a LOT of separation from my neighbors.

So little house communities that are simply putting three feet between their condo houses and have a central area instead of yards won't be getting my attention at all. But that's just me.
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:45 AM
 
378 posts, read 204,754 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emm74 View Post
The original post described the land as close to the town center. That doesn't mean "living out in the country" to me, it implies an in town location.

As for living close to neighbors, that's what living in a city means, and that is why people choose to live in my neighborhood. We want to interact with our neighbors - we have front porches we actually use, we have lots of neighborhood activities, we have kids running tame through the neighborhood and in our local pocket park playing together, kids walking to the neighborhood school.

You're obviously envisioning a very different environment but at least to me, that was not at all clear from your original post. I wasn't picturing a city but I was envisioning an in town location, where houses are typically on the closer side.

But in any case, it still remains a fact that a land developer maximizes their investment by building larger houses on smaller lots, and I have a hard time envisioning one who is willing to build small/tiny homes on small lots and make far less profit. When you add in all of the required infrastructure development, I tend to doubt that your concept could ever be realized financially
Yeah, I think many people on here are thinking of something in a small city. That is not what I am talking about. I am taking about town on the end of one of the commuter lines (again, this is theoretical, not a specific site). Say, one of the Wachusett Towns. Or maybe one of the Montachusett towns around Fitchburg. We are not taking about one of the Boston suburbs. A place where there is still land available. Anything smaller than 1/4 Acre is considered dense, and not what people want.

I agree that most developers will only build large homes in high density. That is exactly why I am trying to figure out how many people would be interested in smaller homes at a bit lower density.
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:59 AM
 
146 posts, read 48,367 times
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Interesting post, we are actually considering the same with property we own in the mountains of western N Carolina. In addition to a tiny home they would also be passive solar. Permitting is always a factor so depends on what the parcel is zoned. You might want to talk to a few contractors who would do a pkg deal if they build the tiny spec house and everyone takes their proceeds when the house sells. This saves the builder who doesn't have to front the funds for the lot and he/she can then focus on building costs. Of course a good contract is critical here. Keeps us posted on what you decide.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:58 PM
 
7,480 posts, read 6,354,265 times
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Yes there would be a market for the homes he is suggesting at the price he is suggesting, but no one can possibly produce those homes at a price anywhere near what OP is suggesting.

And 1/4 acre lots, are reduced by roads/streets, utility easements, etc., so really are not those large lots so many on this thread are referring to. A 1/4th acre is normally a lot that is 52 feet by 104 feet. Take off the length of half the road and any sidewalk, and it is much shorter. Another 10 feet is about normal across the back of the lot for utility easement. Room for a double driveway and maybe a walk to front door, and a double garage is required if you want to sell those custom homes.

The OP makes it sound like a 1/4 acre lot is large. It is not. And small building lots like those, do not have room for all the forest the OP is considering. One reason that trees are removed on small lots like that, is danger from being toppled when the wind blows hard. The home owner does not want to loose their home due to falling trees, and neither do the neighbors. Another reason the trees are removed and converted to lawn, is fire danger. Most cities will require that forest be cut and converted to lawn and landscaping, for safety purposes. It can also be difficult to get insurance on a home where it is forested around the houses. And it can be expensive.

The OP still does not get it. What he is suggesting, is impossible to develop and build today in an area like where he lives. 1,000 sq. ft. homes are not tiny homes. They are common even today for starter homes and retirement homes. But you are not going to build 1,000 sq. ft. custom homes on 1/4 acre lots, for any where near the price he is suggesting within commuting distance of Boston.

OP wants builders to build at $150 sq. Ft. When the reality is in that part of the country homes are selling at $275 sq. ft. or nearly twice the OP target. And smaller custom homes can cost more to build than large homes on a per sq. ft. basis.

Lot price including all streets and utilities, are going to be nearer twice his estimate of $50,000. Lets look at a realistic price.

Lot with streets and utilities stubbed in-----------------------------------$100,000 (or more).
Building 1,000 sq. ft. home using $275 sq. ft. normal for that area-----$275,000
___________

Minimum home price--------------------------------------------------------$375,000 to $400,000

And this does not cover all the engineering, and work to get such a plan approved by the local government, cost to clear the land, and prepare for building, etc.

What you are proposing would be impossible to accomplish. If you can guarantee you can develop and build those homes for that price, there are people like I was when in the business, that would give you a contract to take every home. You could sell them to one buyer, which would be the way to go as it would eliminate all the marketing and selling cost which can be considerable. They would all be used as rentals.
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Old 12-07-2017, 04:30 PM
 
7,480 posts, read 6,354,265 times
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Yes there would be a market for the homes he is suggesting at the price he is suggesting, but no one can possibly produce those homes at a price anywhere near what OP is suggesting.

And 1/4 acre lots, are reduced by roads/streets, utility easements, etc., so really are not those large lots so many on this thread are referring to. A 1/4th acre is normally a lot that is 52 feet by 104 feet. Take off the length of half the road and any sidewalk, and it is much shorter. Another 10 feet is about normal across the back of the lot for utility easement. Room for a double driveway and maybe a walk to front door, and a double garage is required if you want to sell those custom homes.

The OP makes it sound like a 1/4 acre lot is large. It is not. And small building lots like those, do not have room for all the forest the OP is considering. One reason that trees are removed on small lots like that, is danger from being toppled when the wind blows hard. The home owner does not want to loose their home due to falling trees, and neither do the neighbors. Another reason the trees are removed and converted to lawn, is fire danger. Most cities will require that forest be cut and converted to lawn and landscaping, for safety purposes. It can also be difficult to get insurance on a home where it is forested around the houses. And it can be expensive.

The OP still does not get it. What he is suggesting, is impossible to develop and build today in an area like where he lives. 1,000 sq. ft. homes are not tiny homes. They are common even today for starter homes and retirement homes. But you are not going to build 1,000 sq. ft. custom homes on 1/4 acre lots, for any where near the price he is suggesting within commuting distance of Boston.

OP wants builders to build at $150 sq. Ft. When the reality is in that part of the country homes are selling at $275 sq. ft. or nearly twice the OP target. And smaller custom homes can cost more to build than large homes on a per sq. ft. basis.

Lot price including all streets and utilities, are going to be nearer twice his estimate of $50,000. Lets look at a realistic price.

Lot with streets and utilities stubbed in-----------------------------------$100,000 (or more).
Building 1,000 sq. ft. home using $275 sq. ft. normal for that area-----$275,000
___________

Minimum home price--------------------------------------------------------$375,000 to $400,000

Double your dream estimate price, and get realistic if you want to really know what would happen.
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Old 12-07-2017, 04:43 PM
 
Location: Raleigh NC
5,628 posts, read 4,705,187 times
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I wonder what would happen if you made 70% of the lots "tiny" and the other 30% larger so folks had their "own" yard. Of course, when you have the common areas, everyone has to pay in through an HOA, and if CD is any reflection of the US, the large-lot owners would whine and moan about that.
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Old 12-08-2017, 08:02 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
26,077 posts, read 45,147,830 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoBromhal View Post
I wonder what would happen if you made 70% of the lots "tiny" and the other 30% larger so folks had their "own" yard. Of course, when you have the common areas, everyone has to pay in through an HOA, and if CD is any reflection of the US, the large-lot owners would whine and moan about that.
That's correct, so developers will not try it. Look at any new developments and you will find them mostly to be similar-sized homes. The largest near us for example is 300+ homes 4,000-4,700 sf. In another with 100 smaller homes they are all in the 2,000-2,700 sf range. Even in the so-called "urban village" not far from us the apartments, condos, and SF homes are all separated from each other. All of them are on minimum sized lots of about 5,000 sf however, because the current crop of buyers are not into yard maintenance, they want just a patio for summer relaxing, and the kids can use the community parks.
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Old 12-08-2017, 06:21 PM
 
378 posts, read 204,754 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
That's correct, so developers will not try it. Look at any new developments and you will find them mostly to be similar-sized homes. The largest near us for example is 300+ homes 4,000-4,700 sf. In another with 100 smaller homes they are all in the 2,000-2,700 sf range. Even in the so-called "urban village" not far from us the apartments, condos, and SF homes are all separated from each other. All of them are on minimum sized lots of about 5,000 sf however, because the current crop of buyers are not into yard maintenance, they want just a patio for summer relaxing, and the kids can use the community parks.
I still think a lot of people just don't get the idea of non-development living. The more I read, the more I realize this is really a New England thing, and for that matter a Not Boston New England thing. It's understandable I guess, many people have only really experienced neighborhoods that were all built as part of a big development. Clear cut everything, install a grid of roads, la out neat rectangular lots, and fill it with cookie cutter houses. Even the term Custom built homes means something very different - I think most of you - probably most people not from around here, think custom means fancy materials and fancy design. Here we are talking custom - I designed this myself, had a builder fix the engineering flaws, and was my own GC to save a few bucks. It may not be fancy, but the place is all mine. Maintenance isn't mowing yards, it's cleaning up after snow and ice storms have knocked down a bunch of branches. Which really isn't so bad because that is you firewood for next year.

I will say, you people have convinced me that there is a huge hole in the market that the conventional home industry is really ignoring.
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Old 12-08-2017, 08:29 PM
 
Location: Raleigh NC
5,628 posts, read 4,705,187 times
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years ago, HOA (non-discriminatory restrictive covenants) neighborhoods didn't exist. Today they do. In many places, they're written as required by law.

Most HOA's I see don't require a RANGE of homes, they only require a minimum size, and oftentimes exterior cladding restrictions.

You could have "all" 700-1,100 square foot small homes, and draw up larger lots (and thus more expensive homes). And most condo HOA's charge different rates by sqaure footage tiers - so you could have someone pay more upfront AND pay a higher HOA (if you wanted) for the larger lots.
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