Editor's Note: Since the City of Cumberland's plan to engage in commercial development in the Rolling Mill neighborhood broke in September, the AppIndie has run a number of stories on the issue. Those will continue and we invite residents of the Rolling Mill Community to share their thoughts and concerns. The reflections provided below are my own Editorial Comments on the issue.
More of my reflections on Rolling Mill.
According to the National Association of realtors, the median cost for a single family home in Cumberland is $82,400. I'd argue that if this is true, $82,400 should be the minimum offered to Rolling Mill residents for their homes. How about using this figure as the starting point? Of course then issues such as sentiment and attachment to place, inconvenience, and potentially hours lost or opportunity cost covering the hours these residents will spend seeking new homes and packing up 40 plus years of memories will need to be negotiated. For some there could also be transfer or hookup fees for utilities, including phone and cable. Conservatively then I'd think $93,000 should be the starting point. After all, City leaders say they hope these residents will want to stay in Cumberland. And with that funding they could be decent clients for the area's real estate professionals.
Of course, that should be the base offer, so there are likely some properties that should fetch much more. If residents have invested substantially in home improvements, they should be able to negotiate for a higher price. For example, in my last home we replaced the roof, redid all the electric, and replaced the furnace, which probably cost us more than $25,000. We now live in a home we love, but we know that within the next few years we'll probably need to do all the same in our new home. For us, it was a choice. For the residents of Rolling Mill, choice isn't part of the transaction. Given the age of Cumberland homes, they'll likely be making those types of investments and updates anywhere they move, so there should be an additional fee offered to cover such expenses for property owners that have a good track record for maintenance. Reasonably then, shouldn't something like $116,000 be the starting point for some? This would be fair and just.