Thursday, September 15, 2005

Affordable Schmafordable

This Re-Modern movement is not about affordability - its about Availability You know, several years ago I used to respond to the question of affordability whenever it came up on the messageboards, but it never sank in, the message never caught on, so I just stopped doing it. I think back on the old Dwell boards I started a thread once called "Affordable Schmafordable" just to emphasize the point, and so I revived the title here for the blog entry. People continually enter these online communities, LiveModern and FabPreFab, with the expectation that prefab will make houses less expensive. So let me repeat it one more time, and lets see if it will stick. PreFab, and this whole new modern movement for that matter, is all about Making Modern Houses AVAILABLE where none were before. Not affordable - AVAILABLE. Not as sexy, not as enticing, but closer to the truth. Prefab plays into that because we can find a factory willing to build a modern house in one locale that can service an entire region and enjoy some economy of scale, where as to find a developer to build a modern house in any specific locale - slim to none, to find a builder to build a one of a kind modern house in a specific locale - possible, but without overcharging? - slim. So, yes, prefab can make it affordable if you define affordable as a lack of being gouged, but if you think you are going to get more house for less because its prefab, or because its modern and devoid of traditional detail - forget it. What prefab is going to get you is the opportunity to buy a modern house where no opportunity existed before - in other words: AVAILABLE!

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