Saturday, December 30, 2017

Tiny Homes in the Bay Area?

I like to read about the progress of the "Tiny Homes" movement in the Bay Area.  It is such a fascinating concept to allow more people to have a home, even if it is a small one, since the alternative for many is often to have none at all.

There have been several newspaper articles written recently on the subject as the concept applies to the homeless population of San Jose.  This is a movement that tries to mitigate the scarcity of land in this part of the Country and allow more people to have a home, albeit a small one, instead of living on the streets.

The latest articles I read were in the San Jose Mercury News by Barbara Marshman, recounting the back and forth in the movement at the level of the San Jose City Council.  Many forces at are work here, among them a concern and push back from local residents, afraid of the proximity of new neighbors living in this kind of housing arrangement, but also a quest to find a solution to the homeless situation in the County.  A follow up article on 12/13/17 by Ramona Giwargis reports that the City Council voted 9-2 to build one tiny home village of 40 units.
Another push back is from people advocating that faster results can be had for the benefit of homeless residents, with the money allocated to the project, in the form of a program to lease existing apartments (to house some of the homeless people).

Even if it is not for the homeless population, Tiny Homes can be such an attractive concept for reducing one's carbon footprint and simplifying one's life, or for vacationing.  I believe there is a lot of future for this concept in an environment like the Bay Area where there is so little land to build new housing.  With some zoning changes, I can see that whole developments could be built for tiny homes: cheaper homes to buy, with smaller land, allowing home ownership to a whole range of population currently coping with the cost of housing, with the possibility to create interesting forms of new residential neighborhood arrangements.  It is very easy to imagine that smaller homes can present various advantages to several subsets of the population.

More information can be found on several web sites, among which: Tumbleweed Tiny Houses, Architecture Art Design, and for the Bay Area, Delta Bay Tiny Houses, claiming to be the only Tiny House Community in Northern California.

Thankyou for reading.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

LASD to expand? - And create a new school close to the San Antonio Center?

Will LASD be successful in its bid to create a new school at the site of the old Old Mill shopping center?  The location is right next to the Parc Crossings complex and a stone's throw to the Old Mill complex of homes.

This 12/12/17 article from Kevin Forestieri of the Mountain View Voice goes into the complexities of the proposition, some historical perspective and future possibilities that it opens.  The comments below give an idea of how controversial the various use choices for the location will be (should the project come to fruition).

Thanks for reading,


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Friday, December 8, 2017

College Debt is Postponing Homeownership

This is not new news, and I already wrote about this earlier on this blog, but it is worth noting it again: college debt is a factor in postponing homeownership and a lot of other life decisions.

I just read this article from RISMedia, written by Suzanne De Vita (online news editor) which reiterates with fresh figures this pressing problem facing our youngest generation.  The National Association of Realtors is actively supporting efforts to find solutions and educate students as they take on new debt.  See the following NAR report on student debt.  As a result a majority of millenials are postponing several significant aspects of their life, such as marriage, starting a family, or starting any retirement savings.

Do you think getting a loan for your education should be more expensive than getting a loan for a car or a house?

Thank you for reading,

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A worthy local non-profit to remember: Community Services Agency in Mountain View