Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview

Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview
Overview of Fayetteville, AR

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Affordable Housing May Still be Possible in NW Arkansas

Good news! Builders and cities are beginning to realize that the majority of people cannot afford a mansion to house their families.

I have maintained for considerable time now that there is a shortage of affordable homes. Land prices have increased dramatically while wages have not kept pace.

When builders have to pay more for land they generally build a more expensive home in order to recoup the cost. Fancy bathrooms, gigantic master bedrooms, granite counter tops, top-of-the-line appliances, and 3-car garages are all very nice – but not affordable for the average wage earner.

Three bedrooms, 2 baths, ceramic tile in the wet areas, and 1,000–1,200 square feet are perfectly serviceable homes for many people. These “starter homes” are more important now than ever before.

When homebuyers are forced farther away from the major municipalities to find a home on lower cost land, their cost of commuting to work increases. At the same time, infrastructure is strained and traffic congestion increases.

Now, I’m happy to say, some builders and cities are cooperating in an effort to create affordable housing. Homes can be built with smaller set backs and less space between homes.

One builder is planning to build 1,000 square foot homes in Rogers with an expected sales price of about $110,000.

Building on empty land where the infrastructure is already in place is another way to lower the overall cost of the home. This is called “in-filling” and helps reduce urban sprawl.

Each year NW Arkansas homebuilders showcase their homes in the Parade of Homes. The parade has traditionally featured homes for the more affluent buyer. This year, some builders may highlight less affordable homes, a trend I hope will continue.

The Parade of Homes is open to the public and will take place the weekend of June 22-24.

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