Last night's HOA meeting was, overall, a gentler meeting than we've experienced in the past. Questions and strong opinions were exchanged and a few new voices were heard. If we could continue to meet in this manner, we might eventually establish a bedrock of facts that we could all stand on confidently.
In the meantime though, we still seem to be focused primarily on opinion, fear and speculation. Large, public meetings do not give us enough time to explore thoroughly the facts that these complex questions require.
I believe we all want the same thing … reliable information that will help us make our own decisions, an understanding of our rights and protections and a sense that we are being treated fairly. We want to know that none of our neighbors are going to be hurt by the conversion and that we will not lose value in our homes or have our space rents go up beyond the annual increases called for in our leases.
With the hope that we can all begin to separate fact from fallacy, I'm starting a series focused on some of the issues we seem to talk about most and each issue will be a separate post for easy reading. Please feel free to comment … together we're smarter than any one of us.
FALLACY: "We're buying 18 inches of dirt."
Words can sometimes lead us astray … this molehill of fact is used to distract us from a mountain of truth.
Mesa Dunes is a 50-acre mobile home park where almost 40% of the park is devoted to common space, including 2 clubhouses, 2 pools, a BBQ picnic area (with a fabulous view), a playground, green space, walking trails, guest and RV parking space, a laundromat, roads, water system, sewer system and all those "substandard" lights Jeff mentioned last night.
FACT: Details of the 19.01 acres of common space is spelled out in The Department of Planning and Building New Project Referral document which was posted some time ago on the blog for your review. Click here to view - page 4.
FACT: The "18 inches of dirt" is actually the depth marker of our individual lots … under that 18" lies not only more dirt but also the underground utilities that we all own in common.Rumor has it that Jeff thinks the price for our "18 inches of dirt" should be in the $60-65K range. He didn't mention that number last night but did allude to "much lower prices." Just to be clear, I would gladly vote for him for King if he could pull that price off.
So far, I have not been able to find even one data point that would let me believe that the reality of lot prices could be anywhere near $60,000. While fantasy is a wonderful thing, when it comes to financial dealings, I prefer reality. And, here's the reality I've found:
- Sunrise Terrace … shares (roughly equivalent to lots) $200,000 … years ago the shares started at about $30,000 … land, or a share in land, tends to go up in value, especially when it's California Coastal real estate.
- Bolsa Chica (on 227) … land values average $150,000.
- Rancho Colinga (Morro Bay) … recent corner lot for sale $185,000.
- Knollwood (Santa Maria) … lots are in the $120,000 - $140,000 range.
- Pismo Beach (across from beach) … $250,000 for share price, again equivalent to a lot.
Let's negotiate the best prices we can get … but expecting the owners to sell lots for 1/3 of their actual market value just doesn't make sense.