This morning, I read a post on the Charlotte Agenda that the Charlotte City Council is looking to crackdown on Charlotte’s first and only tiny house neighborhood, Keyo Park West. The tiny houses that are being developed and sold in the neighborhood in question are regular houses, just with 1 or 2 bedrooms and are affordably priced. The city council is being petitioned by residents from Charlotte’s Coulwood neighborhood to stop the project as they’ve been told the project will lower their home values.
For the record, neither myself or JANDA represent the Seller / Developer of Keyo Park West.
Okay, now that’s out the way, let’s address some of the concerns.
The tiny houses are a niche product and will lower neighboring home values.
This is laughable and completely false. While the tiny house movement may seem like a fad to some, they may be the last bastion of truly affordable home ownership. Unlike many of the tiny houses featured on tv shows, Keyo Park West units feature a real foundation just like any other permanent real estate. The entry level home features 1 bedroom, 1 bath, 493 sq ft, .20 acre lot and is priced at $89,995. That’s $182.54 per sq ft for a new house.
Within a 1 mile radius of this neighborhood, the average selling price per sq ft is $93.75, with sales prices ranging from $58,900 to $259,000. 601 Morningside Rd is a 1 bed, 1 bath 616 sq ft home that was built in 1963 and listed for sale for $58,900. The next smallest square footage wise is a 2 bed, 1 bath, 819 sq ft home on Merrily Lane that recently sold for $85,000.
So I ask of you: who’s dragging down property values: the new single family neighborhood or the existing homes?
Next Complaint: Tiny Houses are the Wrong Product at the Wrong Time.
I would argue that a tiny home neighborhood would be the EXACT RIGHT product for that neighborhood. The 28214 zip code was hit hard by the recession, resulting in many single family homes becoming converted to rental properties. Within the same 1 mile radius as mentioned before, there are a total of 504 minimum 1 bed 1 bath properties that are non-owner occupied (vs 1501 home showing owner occupied) and the rents are over $1,000 per month. The least expensive home available for rent in all of 28214 is a 2 bed townhouse for $1,150, while the mortgage on the entry level Keyo Park West home would run around $600 per month 30 year PITI.
Homeowners being able to afford the homes that they’re living in is a good thing and will lead to further investment in this part of Charlotte.
Final Complaint: The City Council Must Do Something.
I don’t hold much faith in the Charlotte City Council and I say that with respect. The decisions they have allowed in this city with regards to housing have been, at best lazy and at worst a dereliction of duty. For the better part of six years, apartment developers have had their way with the City Council with most rezoning approvals meeting little to no opposition. This resulted in many affordable housing options being eliminated for residents throughout Charlotte and many residents forced out.
A tiny house neighborhood creates a much more affordable option for residents and with available incentives from the NCHFA and VA, some can even obtain down payment assistance.
I applaud the developer for trying something different and, from all accounts, succeeding. The reality is that not everyone can afford a $250,000 house or even wants a $250,000 house. While the mortgage payments are equivalent to the amount some are paying in rent, saving the 5-6% for the down payment and closing costs can be difficult.
If the Charlotte City Council does ANYTHING to impede this and other similar developments like this, they should be promptly removed from office for incompetence. That’s just my 2 cents. Please reach out to members on the city council and express your opinion – hopefully in support of projects like Keyo Parkk West. I will be reaching out to my representative in the morning.