India Hoeschen-Stein

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January, 2018

India Hoeschen-Stein's projects

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Supported a comment by Brad Hubbard-Nelson on Envision Concord 1 year, 7 months ago
Brad Hubbard-Nelson
I agree with the statement that older homes are not necessarily 'fuel suckers', since in most cases one can improve home efficiency greatly (taking advantage of rebates from either MassSave or the Town of Concord to help pay for it). These smaller homes serve a wider, more diverse market which is not well served by the $1M+ new homes. I see nothing wrong with a home buyer deciding to add to or replace a home to suit their needs, but the trend of buying and demolishing small homes to build spec houses - essentially deciding what the market should be - does not serve this town well. Those spec houses, generally built to code-minimum standards, are not necessarily more energy efficient than a smaller home that has been upgraded.
Supported a comment by Brianne K on Envision Concord 1 year, 7 months ago
Brianne K
I also live on Elsinore Street (14 years as a renter, outbid on an offer I placed about three years ago on a home), and am seeing the change take place in this neighborhood as several houses over the past few years have sold to developers, who in turn build a "McMansion" that in no way complements Concord's history or historic vibe, while taking up a good deal of land, and driving up the cost of for all homes in the neighborhood significantly. The cost of a 1000 sq. foot home is now roughly 700,000, making it impossible for many (including myself) to own in this neighborhood, or Concord in general. Even rents are sky high. E.g., 1 bedroom 688 sq. foot apartment in W. Concord for $2,300 plus utilities! Concord is no longer affordable to the middle class (unless you earn so little income you qualify for affordable housing). On a happy note, the house next door to my building was torn down, as the owners are rebuilding with "green" in mind. :-)
Commented on Envision Concord 1 year, 7 months ago
Jessica - I don't agree that these 60 year old ranch houses are fuel suckers. I worked as an engineer in the energy industry for many years and most (if now all these houses) were insulated and retrofitted during the 90's under the demand-side management era. The gas utilities were offering huge subsidies for energy improvements for many years.
I definitely agree that for folks selling their house they will take the best offer. Unfortunately, small, affordable energy efficient houses are not being built in their place. Across the street from me a 960 sqft (3 bedrm, 1 bath) selling for $580,000 was replaced by a 4,600 sqft home with 4 bedrms and one bath costing $1.6 million. At the rate that this is happening across Town I can guarantee that Concord will see it's energy use (and cost) rise and age and income diversity will also disappear.
Supported a comment by Jeffrey Kerr on Envision Concord 1 year, 7 months ago
Jeffrey Kerr
In fact, in Conantum, a family sold to what they assumed was another family. It turned out to by a proxy buy which was then flipped into a McMansion. It was heartbreaking to the family who had participated in the founding of the neighborhood. It also signaled the first intrusion of an outsized house into an historical mid-century neighborhood.
The Boynton Company, along with Hills Bros, has been unwilling to talk about community-influence development and has referred concerned residence to property law.
Supported a comment by Judy Hill on Envision Concord 1 year, 7 months ago
Judy Hill
Thank you India H, for including Mr. Boynton,s response. The home-replacements projects he gives for examples seem to serve the opposite of diversity. The original seller of a ranch wins, the buyer (eg., Ms. Boynton), in order to put up a larger new home, wins when she sells the house, but the town does not win. Developers can't keep building bigger, $1m-plus homes and expect teachers and firemen to buy them. They will be bought, instead, by two and three-car commuter families making large incomes, and Concord becomes even more a bedroom community, adding citizens who aren't invested in local issues, other than being sure their children's schools remain great.
Commented on Envision Concord 1 year, 7 months ago
John Boynton, a CRLP committee member presented a response to the committee referencing my comment - you can find that response here: http://concordma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/12706. It concerns me that he did not provide that response here where everyone could see it. I only learned that I was being quoted in this document late the evening before the CRLP meeting when it was going to be discussed.