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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, June 12, 2015

How Long Will Age-Restricted Community Stay That Way?

Traditions of America is planning a 256-home development next to the environmentally sensitive Green Pond Marsh. The cheapest Traditions home I've seen is $254,000, with the highest going for $472,000. As a matter of simple math, the developer will gross between $65 and $120 million from home sales. In the final analysis, it's there to make money. Lots of money. Planners got upset with opponent Jack Glagola when he reminded them that Traditions' primary goal is to maximize profit, but that's the reality.

For as long as this development remains age-restricted, it should add to school district coffers. But how long will that be?  The reality is that 55+ seniors are going to have a difficult time unloading these large homes. In New Jersey, legislation adopted in 2009 enables developers like K. Hovnanian to convert age-restricted housing into homes for one and all. If that happens here, these homes will become a drain on the school districts.


Anonymous said...

A citizens spoke at a recent government meeting about this very topic. How many 55+ people will spend their life savings to purchase a 400K home only to live in it X number of years before heading off to personal care living? The citizen did the math and the township officials had little to say.

Anonymous said...

Well at least those homes have less of a chance of turning into section 8 than do the apartments going up next to Shop Rite.

Anonymous said...

Stay in your home for as long as you can. The over 55 homes for 400 thousand dollars are very tough to sell. Just because you did good in life doesn't mean others are in the same boat. If you are retiring today with an extra 400,000 to invest in a senior facility, you are the exception to the rule. Proceed with caution. When one spouse dies, your income is cut considerably. Most seniors cannot afford the luxury of a senior living facility. I know I can't and my retired income (jointly with wife)is 60,000 annually.again....proceed with extreme caution.

Anonymous said...

Is that rendering of the actual plan? I'm not seeing the current roadways or Green Pond for that matter. That pond cannot be accurate otherwise they'd be building homes on Moravian Academy's land.

Bernie O'Hare said...

That is NOT a rendering of the actuasl plan. It is an aerial photograph of a gated community in another state.

Anonymous said...

"Mixed use" that is really just strip mall commercial and high density apartments slammed next to each other and continuing +55 over saturation are the two biggest scams local officials fall for. Yes, Jersey's legislation is a warning. But PA communities aren't heeding it.

What local suburban officials should be concentrating on is drafting strong conservation cluster development ordinances and attracting actual mixed use infill projects.

Anonymous said...

I looked online and at Bridle Path in Hanover the cheapest was $324,900 and the most expensive was $619,900. TOA told the commissioners that they work hard to make these economical homes for the retiree on a fixed income.! Don't see how they can say that with a straight face.

Bernie O'Hare said...

At $324,000, they will gross $82 million.

Anonymous said...

TOA isn't limiting the units because they're "nice guys." Because they've decided not to put any units on the golf course property, and because so much of the land is wetland or must be used to handle all of the storm water for the project, they are jamming the remaining property with as many units as they can get. They could never get 350 units on that property no matter how they tried.
As TOA says, it's a win-win!!!!Let all the Bethlehem Township residents who care about green issues, open space, birds, traffic, congestion come drink from the cup of materialism. Oh and by the way perhaps John Daub can sell more cars to the congested streets of the Green Pond development.
These 55+ grandparents are the ones who buy 40% of the worlds toys for the 3.4% of the worlds kids who live in this country.

c said...

Please take heed Lehigh Township as you work through the development process with David Jaindl on the Mary Immaculate Center.

Frank Baran said...

I have questions about Traditions of America's tax revenue estimates. I'm not an expert. I hope a real estate or assessment specialist might supply some guidance.

For instance, is the developer saying that an average sales price of $470,000 per unit will be the sole determinant of the assessed valuation of the home? That's crucial to understanding how much revenue the development will generate in taxes.

It's my understanding that the sales price is not the last word. The county assessor's office applies a number of additional factors in making an assessment. The assessment must reflect the market for properties of similar kind and location. If TOA sells the homes at an overpriced level and the county thinks they are not worth that amount, then the assessment (and tax revenue) would be less.

On whom would the assessment be imposed? The developer? Or the individual homeowner who buys the property? If it is the former, will the developer honor whatever assessment the county applies? The developer has an incentive to file an appeal for a lower assessment in hope of making the townhouses more salable. Back in the day, I've seen developers come in touting the wonderful amount of tax revenue that the local governments will receive, only to have them turn around later and appeal the assessment for a lower amount (and thus a reduced amount of tax revenue).

Finally, if the property owner has any smarts, he or she will pay the tax bill during the discount period, saving them 2% on the tax bill. That would reduce the amount of taxes owed to the county, school district and township. Not by much, but by a little. Does Traditions of America take that into its calculations?