I like that first one out by Townsend and this last one. Obvious differences of quality vs quantity, and we both know the answer to that question. So with 40 acres and $885k how many folks will you need to make it do-able, and what do you get for your cash?
What follows goes against a lot of my thinking over the last few years, but it also makes a lot of sense to me, so I’m putting it out there.
$22,125/acre, and I don’t think you want to make it so everyone gets their own acre parcel. Probably better off with 1 or 2 areas sectioned for development (on my little 3k sq ft here in SD we’ve got enough for a garden and a workable yard/garage etc) and the rest left for single track or wilderness or whatever.
I mean fuck, how much space do you really need? You can build a 2,000 sq ft house on 1,000 sq ft, and anyone who wants more than a 2k sq ft house ain’t my kind of people.
An acre is 43,500 sq feet. At 5,000 sq ft/lot (which is small, but you’ve got the rest of the fucking property plus community facilities like a workshop & gym) then you can get about 8 homes on 1 acre. High density development is where it’s at for efficiencies to start really working (like community level greywater and solar and wind and all the rest of the cool green stuff) and for community itself. I don’t want to live in the middle of nowhere with no one around, I want to live close to nowhere with a good tribe of folks.
So, develop 2–5 acres for 16–40 homes and leave the other 35 or so acres open for wilderness stuff. 2 acres and 16 homes sounds way better to me; I don’t know 40 kick ass people who I’d be into living in that kind of arrangement with. That brings it to $55k per for the raw cost, then you’ve got to factor in building and whatever community bullshit on top of that. $55k is do-able. It’s plan the fuck ahead money, but it’s do-able.
Set aside another acre for “town-center” stuff like a gym and a restaurant-grade kitchen and a fully operational wood/metal workshop with plenty of parking space and a range you’re starting to get what I’m looking for.
Also, figure out how many people will live there full time (not me) and how many people want a place to go to and build a kick ass house and hang out with rad people at different times of the year (most definitely me) and make that info available to buyers-in. I don’t think that many people need to live there full-time for it to be awesome, and it’d be kind of cool to always have fresh blood rotating through with a couple of big ol’ potluck motherfucking dinners once or twice a year when everyone shows up.
Either way it’s the same price to get in. First right of refusal to the group when selling, and some kind of group fund that gets a little inflow every month to take care of buying back property and maintenance on the community backhoe etc. Maybe that’s only for the first 5 years, I don’t know. Wandering back and forth across that socialist/individualist line, leaning heavily to individualist when I come to my senses and heavily to socialist when I want to maximize efficiency of buying power.
How to gather that money together is the next question. Prob put out a list with a 2 month time requirement and the whole way it’ll go, at the end of which you say “I’m in” or “No thanks.” If you’ve got 16 folks, set up a bank account and give everyone a year (or two, whatever) to contribute their portion. At the end of which if you’ve got the money together we pull the trigger on a nice piece of property, and if we don’t everyone gets their money back and we drift away.
That’s my six cents.