The leaders of the city of St. Petersburg are considering a unique option for more affordable housing with the area. Multiple articles have cited the Housing Service Committee speaking about bringing "skinny" homes to certain parts of St. Pete. These homes would allow for a lower price point making the city a bit more budget-friendly for some home buyers.
What are Skinny Homes?
Skinny homes are just what they sound like. They are home built up narrowly instead of built wide. They cover about 1,300 to 2,000 square feet and include three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Often, these homes come in the price range of about $150K to $300K.
These homes are a bit like townhomes, which have become rather hot in the St. Pete area. Many believe these homes are a great idea since they would provide the ability for more home buyers to move into the city.
How Would Skinny Homes Make it to St. Pete?
City leaders have discussed offering up properties including vacant lots and foreclosed lots for non-profit and for-profit companies to build these homes on. No current lots or areas have been chosen for a project of this type. However, Bartlett Park may be an area discusses, along with a few other vacant lots. There are several empty spaces in need of something to be built.
Moving Forward with Skinny Homes
Before skinny homes will come to St. Pete, members of the Development Review Commission will need to approve the concept. It will be presented in April to the city council for a vote.
If the vote goes well, it will still need to go through a public hearing, which could be as soon as May. A similar concept was developed in the West Tampa area before the recession by a Tampa councilman. It was proven to be a successful project.
Zillow's most recent report shows St. Pete home values around $173K, on average. However, it can be very difficult to find a home for sale under the $300K mark. The bidding wars are driving up prices and making it harder on middle income buyers.
Many would like to see new homes show up in the vacant lots. If skinny homes come to the area, it could help the economy and help make these areas of St. Pete look better as they prosper.