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Old 12-05-2017, 07:40 AM
 
375 posts, read 202,807 times
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A mental exercise this. I want your opinion if you think an idea like this would work.

Let's say you have a lot of about 10 acres. Heavily wooded, but fairly close to the town center. I am thinking of a prototype lot in one of the Wachusett towns in Central Mass, though this is more a concept than a specific case. Zoning normally prohibits small houses on small lots. But let's say for the sake of this experiment that you have a loophole around that, mostly because you are looking at affordable housing options. And we will assume for this argument that you have worked out a deal with the town, so normal zoning restrictions are not an issue here.

Lots are 1/4 acre
Obviously some tress will have to be cut down. However the goal is to limit as much tree cutting as possible to preserve the natural feel
Water, Electricity, and Sewer will be provided to the lots
Location is just within the commutable distance of Boston
Trains to Boston from the city next door are available
Land around the development will be protected
Walking paths and public space will be set aside (for instance playground, benches, etc.) for a social atmosphere
Home size will be limited to say 1000sq ft or less
The cost of building the home itself can't exceed $150k
The lots are $50k apiece with utilities provided
Houses must be permanent (i.e. no houses on trailers) but do not need basements


Do you think something like this will work? Would there be interest in something like this?
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Old 12-05-2017, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Raleigh NC
5,594 posts, read 4,682,274 times
Reputation: 4787
why would you need 1/4 acre lot for a 1,000 sqft home?

when you say "would it work"....are you asking "is there a market for it?" That's a question to ask in the local market, Boston or nearby.

In my very strong real estate market, there wouldn't be a rush of people to pay ~ $240K (50K lot + 150K build + 20% profit) for a 1,000 sqft house that was "just within the commutable distance".
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Old 12-05-2017, 08:00 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
26,023 posts, read 45,044,766 times
Reputation: 23765
For that price here (22 miles east of Seattle) they would sell like hotcakes at that price. We actually have a development of 16 new small "cottage" homes on small lots here in Sammamish WA that are starting at $500k, up to $700k.
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Old 12-05-2017, 09:25 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
18,701 posts, read 21,707,651 times
Reputation: 32249
How are you going to sell 1/4 acre lots easily commutable to Boston for $50,000? It would cost you that much just to split the lots and install all the utilities. Just putting in sewer lines can cost you $30,000 per lot. A subdividable 10 acre parcel commutable to Boston can't possibly be that cheap.
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Old 12-05-2017, 09:31 AM
 
4,766 posts, read 3,151,868 times
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There were tens of thousands of these built in the San Fernando Valley after WW2. A 1/4 acre is not terribly small, nor was 1000sf of living space.
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Old 12-05-2017, 10:13 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
18,701 posts, read 21,707,651 times
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But in answer to your question, in the middle of bend oregon is a very desirable location with many beautiful old forest trees and 1/4 acre lots. The CCR's do not allow frame built houses, manufactured only. Those lots with a 1970's manufactured home, all utilities in, driveways, mature
landscaping, are very hard to sell. They might bring $80,000 when the same size lot in the same sort of location, bare dirt with utitilities to the road but not hooked up, where you are allowed to build a house will go for double to triple that.

There are bare lots in Bend that have trees, hiking trails access to 3 different very nice parks and those go for a quarter million dollars.

So would a nice development where a large lot with all utilities installed for $50,000 sell when they were limited to tiny homes? Maybe. I think first comers would maybe buy and then not be able to resell.
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Old 12-05-2017, 10:37 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
18,701 posts, read 21,707,651 times
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1000 Sq ft can be OK for a starter home but starter home people generally do not have $50,000 in cash to buy a bare lot. Bare land is very difficult and expensive to finance so land buyers are cash buyers. Building a custom home is complicated and expensive so people generally don't try it until they are financially stable

Little starter homes tend to be built 10 or so to the acre so yards are tiny.

If a developer went in, OP, and did the subdivision and built the houses and offered to sell them for $200,000 in my area and maybe offered a financing package, they would sell well if first time buyers could get into them for a few thousand down.
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Old 12-05-2017, 10:38 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
18,701 posts, read 21,707,651 times
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At $200,000 in my area, they would be snapped up as rentals and in just a couple of years, the area would be trashed.
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Old 12-05-2017, 11:06 AM
 
Location: Minnesota
702 posts, read 183,077 times
Reputation: 1265
I have seen a neighborhood like that in Texas when I was looking for a house to rent. The yard I'm sure was less than 1/4 acre. They were kind of cute but wasn't for us. It had 1 full bath and 1/2 bath. Two bedrooms upstairs, privacy fences between homes. The small development was on a private road, not a city road. Iit appeared to be all done by same developer, all two story with similar styles. I had the feeling however that they were almost all rentals. Possibly because their resale was difficult for original owners. Yards didn't appear to be well kept. And private road in neighborhood looked to be in bad shape too.

My MIL had what was called a patio home. The small neighborhood with about 20 similar homes, SFH, detached with 3 b, 2bath with very small yard. They had a in ground pool, that's all there was room for in MIL yard. The front of houses are on a city road. All homes had garage in back accessed by a alley, which was part of the development, not city alley. There were small HOA fees for upkeep of alley and fences and such. Yards were the responsibility of each individual owner, but a bunch got together and hired service for whole neighborhood, those that wanted to participate, which was most. Then didn't have to maintain yard equipment for a 15 minute mowing job. It was a really nice neighborhood well kept. This is in Arkansas so no snow.

I know in my city there are a few "private" neighborhood roads that are not the correct size to be city roads. Issues with access for emergency vehicles and of course snow removal is not done by the city so issues with that. A few have wanted to "join" the city so they can get snow removal but because width of road not proper it has been declined by city. This has been an issue for 20 years or more and city has not let anymore private roads be built.

Last edited by Izzie1213; 12-05-2017 at 11:38 AM..
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Old 12-05-2017, 12:18 PM
Status: "Goldman Sachs Run Every fiscal branch of Trump's admin." (set 2 days ago)
 
7,346 posts, read 1,729,381 times
Reputation: 5611
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloudship View Post
A mental exercise this. I want your opinion if you think an idea like this would work.

Let's say you have a lot of about 10 acres. Heavily wooded, but fairly close to the town center. I am thinking of a prototype lot in one of the Wachusett towns in Central Mass, though this is more a concept than a specific case. Zoning normally prohibits small houses on small lots. But let's say for the sake of this experiment that you have a loophole around that, mostly because you are looking at affordable housing options. And we will assume for this argument that you have worked out a deal with the town, so normal zoning restrictions are not an issue here.

Lots are 1/4 acre
Obviously some tress will have to be cut down. However the goal is to limit as much tree cutting as possible to preserve the natural feel
Water, Electricity, and Sewer will be provided to the lots
Location is just within the commutable distance of Boston
Trains to Boston from the city next door are available
Land around the development will be protected
Walking paths and public space will be set aside (for instance playground, benches, etc.) for a social atmosphere
Home size will be limited to say 1000sq ft or less
The cost of building the home itself can't exceed $150k
The lots are $50k apiece with utilities provided
Houses must be permanent (i.e. no houses on trailers) but do not need basements


Do you think something like this will work? Would there be interest in something like this?
i am in WA, near seattle...

Locally two towns have given a variance for developers making small green communities... sounds like your idea is like theirs you should research Kirkland Redmond Bothell WA the communities are around there somewhere... i read about them a few times in local papers...
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