Sunday, November 06, 2005

Cluster Housing on Large Acreages and APPRECIATION 

of Property in the Greater Asheville Area

Recently one long-time client wrote:

"We have enjoyed working with you as our REALTOR on a project that eventually may adjoin greenways in the Asheville area. As you know, we think that building greenways is not only beneficial for two-legged folks like us, but helps to keep crucial paths for the animals that migrate and need 1000's of acres in order to survive (The black bear need many, many acres to live and yes we still have black bears in the Greater Asheville area.)

Thanks for pointing us in the direction of Asheville's town plan of conservation and development. It is exciting to see what the community vision is. Many citizens it seems want to retain the "rural" character of the parts of Western North Carolina. Yet, depending on the make up of the commissioners on the Planning and Zoning and Inland Wetland Commissions...retaining the rural character can be seen very differently.

One idea that you brought to our attention, cluster housing, is very attractive to us. Would you write a bit about that at your BLOG?"

.. cluster housing...

A cluster housing development on let's say a 50 acre parcel will site healthy-bulit homes on smaller parcels of land, while the additional land that would have been allocated to individual lots is converted to common shared open space for the subdivision residents. Road frontage, lot size, setbacks, and other regulations are redefined to permit the folks who develop that acreage to preserve ecologically sensitive areas, historical sites, or other unique characteristics of the land being subdivided.

The idea is to not have large tracks of farm land (or forest) covered with zillions of houses. Instead you group the houses on smaller parcels and the people and animals can enjoy the open/wild space. Plus there is far less pollution from pesticides and artificial fertilizers, mowing on the good ol' sit upon mowers....surface of roads and drives are reduced...and this helps with sustainability.

more details at: http://ohioline.osu.edu/cd-fact/1270.html

and it pays off!

ONE ASHEVILLE AREA CO-HOUSING DEVELOPMENTa Planned Unit Development (PUD), which allows for clustered buildings and preservation of commons green space http://westwoodcoho.home.mindspring.com/westwood.html WESTWOOD, A PUD is on an urban edge softened by a small orchard and grove of trees in urban West Asheville.

Nearby are schools, a city park, shops and services of all kinds, and public transportation. Downtown Asheville, the Farmers' Market and Pisgah National Forest are short drives away.Westwood includes 23 energy-efficient dwellings and the original farmhouse clustered around pedestrian commons and central common house.

The common house is used for shared suppers, which are held twice a week, meetings and recreation. It has a playroom, lounge, laundry and guest rooms. Parking is kept at the perimeter. This leaves much of the land free for trees, gardens and play areas.Westwood used Permaculture principles for the site design and early landscaping. Permaculture applies knowledge of natural ecosystems to design and maintain a harmonious integration of landscape and people.

Westwood utilizes passive solar design, tight building envelopes for energy efficiency, centrally supplied hot water and radiant floor heating, landscaping for light and shade and multiple functions.Westwood welcomes people of different ages, family types, races, occupations, income levels, sexual orientations, religious beliefs. And common facilities and some dwellings are wheelchair-accessible.

Priorities include a wholesome environment for young people, efficient utilization of resources, and ample opportunities for members to learn skills that enhance community life.

The community is organized as a Planned Unit Development (PUD), which allows for clustered buildings and preservation of commons green space. Our dwellings are townhouses; each unit is privately owned by a Westwood member. Residents are members of a Homeowners Association, which owns the common house and the common property and manages the community. We manage ourselves and do most of the work ourselves, and members are expected to work one to two hours a week.

~Real Estate Investors' NOTE:

The purchase of the average home in the open-space community, according to research, will yield a higher rate of return on investment than one in the conventional development, despite the nearly 2:1 lot-size differential...

In the Greater Asheville area, home-buyers, speaking in dollar-terms through the marketplace, appear to have demonstrated a greater desire for a home with less land-consumptive attributes than for one located on a bigger lot....and this trend may continue for the next 5 years...

Real estate transactions have proven that the City of Asheville continues to be one of the best communities in which to live and work.

Named # 1 for investing in Second and Vacation homes, Asheville sees property sales continuing to be strong during calendar year 2005...so the likelihood of the trend working in your favor is excellent.

TWO EXAMPLES of appreciation in the Asheville market.. 1) http://netscape.homestore.com/Finance/HousePriceIndex/yearly/14.asp#projectioncalc2) http://netscape.homestore.com/Finance/HousePriceIndex/yearly/14.asp#projectioncalc

CONTACT ME to talk about creative ways to preserve your money AND our beautiful Appalachians.


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