Subdivision Broker Thinks New Home Prices Will Go Up - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Subdivision Broker Thinks New Home Prices Will Go Up

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KALISPELL -

Monday, Kalispell city council passed an increase that more than doubled the wastewater impact fee.

Who's going to end up footing the bill for this latest increase in impact fees? It's probably going to be people who are looking to actually buy homes. That means Silverbrook Estates, a subdivision in Kalispell, might not be seeing a lot more sales in the near future.

"Our home prices will have to go up the amount of the increase," said Larry Sartain, the Broker of Silverbrook Estates, "I mean, we have to cover the increase. Again, there's not a huge profit margin in home building nowadays."

An average household now has to pay about $5,700 for the wastewater hook up fee alone.

That's a lot of money when you find out that Silverbrook Estates has 485 home sites and only about 40 of those have been built out, with plans for another 15 to 18 in the works.

"I think it affects all housing in general, I mean if someone can't afford a home obviously you can't build them, you can't buy them, can't sell them," said Sartain.

Sartain says impact fee increases slow his work way down and are only bandages for a growing problem.

"It seems like we're kicking the can down the road and this will rear it's ugly head again in a few years," said Sartain.

Sartain says he hopes council looks at other ways to pay for infrastructure. He suggests finding a way to divert property taxes on empty lots that don't cost the city anything in terms of public services.

This latest increase is largely seen as a way to pay for the 2009 expansion of the wastewater treatment plant.

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