Four homes left on Walker Farm Lane

The developer of Walker Farm Lane wanted a $123,000 grant to off-set a drop in house prices, but the council denied that request Tuesday night. The developer of Walker Farm Lane wanted a $123,000 grant to off-set a drop in house prices, but the council denied that request Tuesday night.

The West Elmwood Development Corporation is looking to sell the final four properties on Walker Farm Lane about one year after the affordable housing project’s homes first hit the market.

Within the last month, West Elmwood has reportedly contracted with a real estate agent to help sell the remaining units. A trio of Coldwell Banker signs were recently placed along Wampanoag Trail advertising the homes, which were constructed under a partnership between West Elmwood and the town. A total of 12 units were built, 11 of which are single family houses.

West Elmwood Executive Director Sharon Conard-Wells said that while none of the previous properties have been sold utilizing a real estate agent, the decision to contract a firm for the yet-to-be-sold homes frees up time for agency staff and also presents an opportunity to reach a broader population of potential buyers.

Ms. Conard-Wells also said that although the homes have been on the market since autumn of 2011, there has been no shortage of interest. The difficulty has come in finding potential buyers that meet the income and credit requirements necessary.

All of the neighborhood’s homes are deed restricted. The remaining lots have a price of $210,000 and those looking to buy cannot earn more than 100 percent of the town’s median income. The development also features homes restricted to those at 80 percent of the town’s median income though Ms. Conard-Wells said all of these units have been sold.

Potential buyers, however, must also qualify for a mortgage. This has reportedly played a role in the remaining units not being sold, something that Ms. Conard-Wells said isn’t unique to the neighborhood.

“Of course you want them all to go in the first six months, but that’s not the industry right now. Peoples’ houses are not selling in three months and we shouldn’t expect to be different than the rest of the industry,” Ms. Conard-Wells said.

Ms. Conard-Wells said a number of properties have received interest from numerous potential buyers that represent “hard working families” and, in some cases, retirees. The homes are not restricted to first time home buyers.

Barrington Housing Board of Trustees Chairman Steve Martin said that work began on the project in 2007 and given the market shift since that time, he is pleased with the sale of homes thus far.

“We always kind of assumed it would be 18 month sell off based on where the market was,” Mr. Martin said.

“I think we’re right on track.”

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