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Thread: Value of housing studies in smaller towns

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    Cyburbian Hawkeye66's avatar
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    Value of housing studies in smaller towns

    We are in the early phases of a housing study. We keep hearing that developers don't want to do anything here without it. I find that a little hard to believe. We have an area identified and it will likely take some investment by the city. I am fine with chip seal and ditch type drainage as I dont like the idea of more concrete that would need replacing in the long run. We have too much of that to try and replace already. Anyway, do these studies really help? I guess I am skeptical a little.

    We are an exurban small town. We may have some modest growth in the coming years as the 4 lane highway that connects us to the larger cities 30 miles away is completed.

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    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    They are helpful to see what your existing housing stock is, what the affordability index is, what the growth rate might be in the future and other market factors - I do them for my Maine small towns.
    Kim Wexler: Either you fit the jacket... or the jacket fits you.

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    Cyburbian Hawkeye66's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian View post
    They are helpful to see what your existing housing stock is, what the affordability index is, what the growth rate might be in the future and other market factors - I do them for my Maine small towns.
    Do builders and developers really use those studies to "right-size" development in a town when you have done them? I keep hearing that they cant make any money building what I would call middle class housing; 2000 or so sq ft, 3 bedroom, 2 bath house. They all say the inputs cost is almost the same for the 300K+ so they might as well build those.

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    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    I think they use the market analysis for their own due diligence - but the price of the house is pretty set at land plus utilities plus road plus house - you can modify the size of the house to bring costs down and the house amenities but as they say, it is what it is!

    I think without subsidies or density bonuses, it is really hard for builders to develop traditional suburban homes
    Kim Wexler: Either you fit the jacket... or the jacket fits you.

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    Cyburbian Hawkeye66's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian View post
    I think they use the market analysis for their own due diligence - but the price of the house is pretty set at land plus utilities plus road plus house - you can modify the size of the house to bring costs down and the house amenities but as they say, it is what it is!

    I think without subsidies or density bonuses, it is really hard for builders to develop traditional suburban homes
    Our community, before I was there, allowed a subdivision on the edge of town, not in town that has 10 or so 300K houses. There is a market for those here it appears.Just cant believe it was ever allowed.

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    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    zoning and subdivision can't control the market except to determine highest and best use through its regulations - so it's a tough balance to try to be affordable without the community being over developed or sprawled out
    Kim Wexler: Either you fit the jacket... or the jacket fits you.

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