walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

Acton teardown (not my house)

I stumbled across this:


Describing 80 Hammond as unsafe to live in, being sold as a tear down. The asking price proved to be optimistic at $325K; it ultimately sold in 2009 for $261K (to our builder), who built a house on it, and turned around and sold the house for $820K the following year.


I haven't bothered to check Mass Land Records, so who knows if this is accurate or not. On the old house, the town was getting a little over $5K in property taxes a year. On the new house, they're getting a little over $15K. Thus, the 3X rule is satisfied not only for the purchase of the land and the sale of the resulting house, but even for the town's benefit through the increase in the tax rolls. It's a big lot -- over 2 acres -- and the house is about 3500 square feet (4/3.5), with a Wolf range.

People trying to understand why affordable housing in this town winds up being for-rent units in new, high-density developments rather than aging, deteriorating for-sale single family stock need look no further: aging housing stock (or, rather, the land it sits on) has a "higher better use" in this town (you don't even need to produce a McMansion to make the numbers work, either; 50% bigger than an average new house gets it done), and there are enterprising developers making steady work out of converting the aging single family stock into that "higher better use". (<-- That's a term of art; that's why it is in quotes, so as to disambiguate where the value judgment is coming from.)

The one route to stopping this process -- legally allowable -- has been constrained by 40B for a long time, and the most recent effort to overcome that was a rousing failure.


I'm still trying to come up with an illustrative case for the but-you're-exploiting-40B-to-get-density-for-luxury-units complaint. Maybe tomorrow.

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