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Sunday, February 12, 2006

Dumpy 'Hoods & "Risky" Plots = Cheap!

Two local architects take a look at ways to reduce the costs of new home development, and suggest a number of interesting methods.

[Columnist Larry] Cheek takes the $380,000 median-price figure for a house in King County, which includes new and existing stock, and wants that to be a model for all new single-family construction in Seattle. In order to even begin to approach that price goal for a new house, some strategies have to be used to bring costs down.

One method is to look for the ways to obtain land more cheaply, including building in less popular ("up and coming") neighborhoods, looking at riskier sites (with steep slopes) and buying smaller than standard, but still buildable lots.

Another is to find ways to build more cheaply, including reducing the square footage, minimizing (or eliminating) the garage, building more than one house on a lot, eliminating underused rooms, designing an efficient plan, etc.
Gotta love the euphemism "up and coming" for "just plain dumpy." If those are the only options, I think I'll just continue to rent, thank you.

(Jim Burton & Tim Rhodes, Seattle P-I, 02.08.2006)

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