Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Mobile homes, version 2.0

Earlier this week I was telling a friend that I'm suspicious of Pasadena's affordability cred, considering just how schmancy and expensive it has become since my youth, when it was kinda garbage and "in transition." I have been thinking about affordable housing of late, because I can't fathom how to find it in a city like DC. I've always had a personal aversion to high rent, choosing to have a roommate, to live in a cheaper area, or to expend intense energy looking for something in my personally acceptable budget rather than pay high rent. For this reason, my view of the value of housing may be somewhat distorted. However, I haven't had to live in a junky place since college, nor a bad neighborhood.

So, it's possible, within reason. But what if I wanted to own something? Certainly I don't have the means at the moment, but things can change rapidly. I've lamented the cost and the permanence of purchasing a house, and mused at the potential for more co-operative ownership that could be distributed, like a timeshare, across multiple properties, allowing for house-swapping amongst already-vetted potential residents. I haven't worked out the details, I just know that the idea of having to stay somewhere simply because I own a hunk of wood, concrete, glass and wires (like, for instance, a condo) is lame and that it would be cool to trade with someone else and not lose my investment.

But what would be even more awesome is if I could buy a pre-fab modular apartment and stick it into and take it out of various buildings at will. I'm sure this design doesn't work in exactly that manner, but these are modular units that can be stacked like legos, anywhere, and potentially in Seattle and Portland.

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