I'm wondering why more people don't buy small lots in Marin and stick prefab cottages there. The cottages are often cheap (if you buy local

Asked by Summer, Sausalito, CA Sun Sep 6, 2009

rather than ship them across the country). I don't think foundation would cost that much if the land grade isn't steep. Is it just that people in Marin tend to have children and want a large house? I know it can be hard to get a construction loan right now, but all I want is a little cottage, and since those are in short supply in Marin, I'm thinking I may just have to buy land and build my own. Has anyone else tried this or have any advice for me? Thanks!

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Kelley Eling’s answer
Kelley Eling, Agent, Palm Desert, CA
Tue Nov 10, 2009
I have a really good listing at 6 Meadowcroft in San Anselmo that we just reduced the price on. Could be perfect for you:

0 votes
Victoria Wel…, Agent, Kentfield, CA
Mon Sep 7, 2009
What an awesome question. I've always thought the same thing, buying a nice lot and building a home I would love to live in and many people do. The problem in Marin -- is mainly: Marin is generally an unti-growth community. Only less than 5 % of Marin's land is designated residential+ commercial; the rest is dedicated open space. The land is expensive too. Good luck in finding build-able lot that is also relatively cheep. Even if you find a decent lot, there are many governmental laws and regulations that you will need to comply with. Another element is time. It takes longer to get permits on a brand new construction than the older home you are strictly remodeling. The idea of a prefab homes is an excellent one and you can get totally green prefab "green" construction and it's do-able if you are prepared to wait and follow the county and (city , if it's in the city) guidelines. Also if you are buying a lot in West Marin, the water, utilities and septic are an issue. So if you plan to go this route you'll need to research lot's build-ability and issue of bringing the utilities there and the local laws and requirements. Despite all this, it's possible and doable. Best wishes, victoria wells/broker assciate, bradley real estate, san rafael office.
1 vote
Bob Georgiou, Agent, Danville, CA
Sun Sep 6, 2009
The "problem" to the extent there is one is with the governing agencies. IN order to put a home like this on small lots the area first has to be zoned properly. Then improvements are required which cost money (Fire hydrants, water, sewer, streets, etc.) all of which have to be borne by either the developer or the homeowner. Then these cottages have to be built to meet earthquake and building codes.

All of these expenses are figured into the cost of new construction in addition to a builders profit margin. It's just more cost effective to build fewer bigger homes than a lot of small homes.
Web Reference:  http://bob2sell.com
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