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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Renting In Daybreak

In an earlier post I talked about how apartments are an integral part of new urban communities. In my opinion if they are integrated properly into a community they can bring diversity and allow people that could not otherwise afford to buy a home a chance to live in Daybreak. How do Daybreak residents feel about apartments being built? According to a Daybreak Daily website poll most Daybreak residents do not like the idea. In fact, 62.5% of the 115 respondents indicated that they were not happy with the decision to build apartments in Daybreak. (May 13) They are not alone. Most owners of single-family homes or condos in the United States do not want to live near rental housing. They see them as high-crime areas that put extraordinary burdens on local schools and civil services. However this has been proven completely false. Numerous studies conducted by Harvard, NYU, and numerous government entities prove that these claims are false. Per unit crime in apartments is almost equal to that of single family homes. As for property values, "Between 1987 and 1995, single-family houses located within 300 feet of apartment communities appreciated at roughly the same rate as those not near an apartment property, 3.12 percent compared to 3.19 percent."

On the other hand I feel that there is something to be said about the habits that tend to be exhibited by renters. People frequently moving in and out result in noise and create an environment of impermanence and of a transitory lifestyle. Property managers report a higher incidence of rule violations by tenants. Examples include noise disturbances, illegal parking and overburdening of the Association recreational facilities. These rules are broken because many tenants are ignorant of these community restrictions. Rental occupancies tend to be shorter than owner occupancies and do not facilitate long-term relationships among neighbors. Resident owners are more likely to carefully maintain exclusive use common areas than are tenants. However, most of these negative attributes apply to homes and condos that are rented out. These are properties that are integrated into the community with the purpose of being owner occupied. The condos and homes in Daybreak that are being leased are more likely to exhibit these problems. With the proper planning the negative impacts can be minimized.

From what I understand Kennecott intends to build many apartments in or within close proximity to the village center. This is good planning, but the devil is in the details. How exactly will they integrate it with the predominant architecture in Daybreak? Exactly how close will these apartments be to single family homes? I would not want to walk out of my front door and stare at a massive facade of a 5 story concrete apartment building. Kennecott Land seems to have a penchant for surprising stake holders by withholding details until the last minute. I would urge them to be a little more forthcoming with residents. Especially those on Topcrest.

Many aspects of the community hinge on the successful integration of higher density housing. Take TRAX for example. You cannot justify having a line run into daybreak without a certain amount of residents in the immediate area of the stations. This calls for density. To truly be a walkable community a development must have a higher density for all essentials to be in close proximity to all homes in a community. From a business standpoint, it makes sense to build these apartments now. It is good timing that they are ready to build the village center and apartments right when the market for rental properties has become much more attractive and commercial entities are still expanding. In all practicality I feel that these apartments can be a great addition to the community if they are done properly. I just hope the planners use the successful attributes of other new urban communities.


Anonymous said...

Hi Daybreak man!!

Your blog is the best source of info on Daybreak. I have a question, and would be much obliged if you could answer it for me. What do you think the price appreciation rate will be for a $350k house in Daybreak / yr or say in 3 - 5 years.

Thanks much!!

Daybreak Man said...

Thank you for commenting! As for your appreciation question, nobody can really predict specifically what the market will do (actual percentage appreciation). However, the price range you mentioned is where the majority of home inventory exists. I would not purchase now. I would wait awhile. I am guessing that the appreciation for homes in Daybreak will be fairly moderate in the years to come. No huge increases. If your in it for the long-term, then I think you will do quite well as Daybreak will appreciate faster than the surrounding real estate.