Monday, July 03, 2006

Transience Has Its Advantages

Preface: My Ride the Rockies soliloquy is a couple posts down. Click on the link at left, or you can click here.

This photo of a custom home's private deck off the master suite shows a hint of the majestic views. I oriented the house to take advantage of those views.

In Our Town, there are practically no unbuilt lots available anywhere within city limits, and the small handful remaining are grossly overpriced and unsold. So all new mass construction occurs on recently developed and annexed farmland far from the city core, while all the custom homes are typically built on another side of town where the hills and views are plentyful, and the costs of the 2+ acre sites reflect this exclusivity -- also, far from the city core. The price of gas is an ever-growing factor for everyone but the wealthy who can afford to disregard rising energy costs due to future scarcities.

This homeowner bought his site 18 months ago for $175K and he received subsequent unsolicited offers for $250K before his own construction began.

The real estate bubble in Our Town is quite real. High-end homes are not selling, nor are the lower-end homes which are most commonly investment properties and rentals. Interestingly enough, mid-range homes are still moving at a reassuring pace, keeping the armies of ever-aggressive real estate agents financially solvent. Overall prices are not yet tumbling, though the only houses selling in the two price range extremes are those being re-priced by desperately motivated sellers.

Unless a homeowner plans to stay in their home for the long haul, it's a terrific time in Our Town to be a renter, if one can overcome the shame and stigma of perceived transience. It's also a nervous time to be an Architect.


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