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Keeping Houses Small to Keep Prices Low in Carrboro

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CARRBORO — Home prices in the Triangle are going through the roof. That is great for people who already own a home but not so great for people looking for a home.

One Triangle town is considering a controversial approach to keep home prices more reasonable.

Alderman Allen Splat wants to see more homes in Carborro like the ones built at the turn of the century.

Splat wants builders to construct more smaller homes and few large homes.

"Only wealthy people can afford to buy them," said Splat.

Town leaders cannot control the cost of homes, but they can control the square footage. A proposed ordinance would require 40 percent of all new homes to be 1,100 square feet or less. The goal is to bring home prices down.

"There would be smaller houses like these that would be integrated into a development that would have larger houses," Splat said.

Homebuilder Glenn Greenstreet rents out a 750 square foot house, but he does not think someone would buy a new house that size.

"If there is someone out there that would pay $150,000 or $160,000, then that would be fine," said Greenstreet.

Greenstreet says land prices are so expensive in Carrboro that the size of the house will not matter much.

"They can't be built for a realistic price and sold to the people they are intended to serve," explained Greenstreet.

Realtor Linda Lloyd agrees.

"Most people today, even single people coming here, want to have more square footage. If they want 850 square feet, they can rent an apartment or a very small condo," said Lloyd.

There was a public hearing scheduled on the issue Tuesday night, but that has been moved to April 13 so that town leaders can review the ordinance.

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Ericka Lewis, Reporter
Rick Armstrong, Photographer
John Clark, Web Editor

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