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Affordable housing: scale or quality?

In a conversation this morning, an associate offered a good observation on one of my pet peeves--cheaply built housing.  Brad pointed out that, once upon a time, folks with lesser means bought a smaller house.  Now, entry-level production builders push big houses that are simply built to a lesser standard of quality. 

In other words, a poor person can buy the same size home as a wealthy person, with the only difference being quality of materials, level of detail, and distance from the regional center.

Of course, the big problem with this is that those homes will require constant maintenance, and not endure until even the first mortgage is paid off. 

(Speaking of affordable housing, check out one of my favorite "affordable" designers on the West Coast: Michael Pyatok. Who says affordable can't be beautiful?  www.pyatok.com)

Looking for an architect to develop a unique project?  The author, Jeremy Fretts, works at Niles Bolton Associates, the second largest housing design firm in the United States. 

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