New development priced for households making $75K or less

December 6, 2018

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A Tacoma neighborhood under development aims to stay affordable by limiting buyers to households that make $75,000 or less.

Co-founders Bill Rehe and Michael Pressnall are planning 50 to 70 two- and three-bedroom cottages in the residential development called The Preserve, The News Tribune reported .

This is the first project for Rehe, a fisheries biologist, and Pressnall, vice president of industry relations at realtor.com.

“This started with our two families, Rehe said. “I had this utopian idea about affordable, sustainable housing. I took Mike to lunch and he pulled out similar plans of his own.”

The developers bought land from Tacoma Public Schools for $427,500. They plan preserve 22 acres (8 hectares) of wetlands at the site and build on the other 8 acres (3 hectares).

Rehe said they initially floated the idea with Gig Harbor but it went nowhere. They had a friend who knew about the Tacoma schools property, he said.

“Tacoma Public Schools could project no long-term school use for that site,” said Dan Voelpel, executive director of communications for the school system. “So we were pleased to find a buyer who will put the property to a positive use for the neighborhood that will be compatible with the community park next door.”

The owner-occupied homes will have a homeowners association lease hold to lock down the purchase terms in an effort keep the homes affordable. The association signs a 99-year lease with the homeowner with an automatic renewal for another 99 years. This essentially locks down the purchase terms to keep the homes affordable.

A 950-square-foot (88-square-meter) home will cost between $230,000 and $240,000 while a 1,250-square-foot (116-square-meter) house will be between $250,000 and $265,000.

“There will not be bidding between buyers for a location or home, Rehe said. “It will be first qualified, first buy for as long as we have inventory. This is just another tool to keep prices down.”

Another goal the developers have is to become the first privately developed housing community in Tacoma to meet LEED-Platinum standards for energy conservation and sustainability and the first LEED-Platinum certified housing community of single-family detached homes in the city.

The official groundbreaking was Dec. 1 and construction is set to begin in January.


Information from: The News Tribune, http://www.thenewstribune.com

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