So it's time to start thinking about how much to spend on a cabin in Cloudcroft. While we bought the lot and planned to build with little regard for resale value (we plan to keep the cabin until we are incapacitated or die), it's still helpful to know what kind of money pit we're getting into (if, indeed, we are getting into a money pit). And you never know when plans change.
First off, the market in Cloudcroft isn't all that great. Many homes have been for sale the full three years we've been watching properties. Many (most?) homes are vacation homes. And the market seems to swing with the price of oil (many Texans from nearby Midland-Odessa buy and build in Cloudcroft). Although the price of oil is low at the moment, fracking continues to boom in West Texas. Nonetheless, the market seems slow.
The market is not exactly billowing in value either: the mean (and median) price per square foot is $130 ranging from $70 to $181 (note that the numbers I'm using are based on asking prices so they most certainly lean high). Mean square footage is 1,733 square-feet with a median of 1,555 square-feet (lower because of a number of smaller, true cabins). The mean and median property has three bedrooms. The mean asking price is $216,800 with a median of $185,000.
The chart at the top of this post plots square-feet against asking price. As would be expected, the more feets, the more dollars to get those feets. The range in price increases as the square footage increases: 100 to 200K for 1,000 square feet, 100 to 300K for 1,500 square-feet, 150 to 400K for 2,000 square-feet, and 150 to 500K for 2,500 square-feet.
The graph immediately above shows price related to number of bedrooms. Again, as expected, more bedrooms equal, in general, higher prices, although the price difference between three and four bedrooms is less notable.
I did not see a relationship between price per square foot and year built, price, or square footage. Interestingly, quality of the property (based on my personal assessment from 1 to 10 where I wouldn't live in anything less than a 7) didn't correlate to price per square foot (see below). Properties I rated a 10 ranged in price per square foot from $80 to $170.
So, what does all this suggest? It looks to me that a three-bedroom in the 1,500 to 1,700 square-foot range is the sweet spot where something really nice might pull off something close to $200 a square foot. However, we'd be looking at investing $300,000 to $340,000 to get there. That's a hell of a lot of scratch for a cabin.