Thursday, July 27, 2006

Honey, the home builders shrunk the backyard!

From the Sacramento Bee:

Amid a confluence of economic factors, homes on lots smaller than 4,000 square feet have become, along with condominiums, a new standard in El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties. As land values have soared -- in some cases developers are paying up to $1 million an acre -- and home prices have sailed past many incomes, builders and buyers are increasingly finding refuge in homes that occupy slivers of expensive land.

About 40 percent of new-home sales this year in the six-county region involve houses on lots smaller than 4,000 square feet, according to the Gregory Group, a research firm and home-builder consultant in Folsom. Five years ago in El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties it was a mere 1.5 percent.

Fast-growing Natomas, north of downtown Sacramento, especially has become rife with large homes packed onto less than a 10th of an acre. Increasingly, such smaller-lot homes have become the price of admission for first-time homebuyers in the capital region.

"As funny as it sounds, you can get a 3,000-square-foot home on a 4,000-square-foot lot," says Barry Grant, territory president of KB Homes North Bay division, which includes Sacramento. Nearly all the homes at the firm's Hamptons subdivision in Natomas are under 4,000 square feet...

"It's all about what you can afford," said Wil Mar, a first-time homebuyer who has only a "strip of dirt" behind his new home in Natomas' Hamptons subdivision. A technical support specialist for a cellular phone company, Mar says he's happy to be a homeowner in Sacramento. But he sometimes longs for the bigger home lots he says are selling in New Mexico. "Here," Mar said, "everybody is being crushed into little tiny spaces."


rocklin renter said...

"Here," Mar said, "everybody is being crushed into little tiny spaces."

No, you decided to buy a crackerbox for a home, and you got what you pai...

err... got what you grossly overpaid for.

Enjoy your crackerbox for the next 10+, IF you can afford it through the next 5. Damned if you do and damned if you don't.

I just don't understand how people allow themselves to get pigeonholed like that, and I probably never will.

Happy in SF said...

"Here," Mar said, "everybody is being crushed into little tiny spaces."

3000sf is a McMansion. But yeah, personally, I would rather have a nice 1200sf bungalow with a yard.

Rob Dawg said...

toaiuEveryone would prefer a 1200sf with yard to start. Planners will not allow it. Make no mistake, this is not about best outcomes. Planners already know from 90 years of datas about best outcomes. They reject what people want.

Do the math. 10/acre is high density even if planners call it medium density. What planners like is more people under their control.

tom stone said...

thank you robert cote'.so,how many of these homes are affected by the downgrading of the levee's by fema? i seem to recall a lot of crappy homes going up in natomas,and i seem to recall that being a flood plain years ago until contributions changed the geology.coverage of the levee problems are spotty here,but i would think it might affect insurance rates.