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Home, sweet condo 

San Luis Obispo

Perhaps Ms. [Odile] Ayral should reconsider her harsh assessment of Bella Montana (“Build better faculty housing,” Letters, July 17, 2008).

As a new resident of Bella Montana and a fledgling member of the Cal Poly administration, I can say that I am very pleased with my new condominium. My wife and I relocated from a “real house” in Fresno, so living “on top of” other people was not our first choice, but it has proven to be a good situation for a number of reasons.

First, after delving into the local housing market, it quickly became clear that if we wanted to live anywhere near Poly or downtown, the best a young couple like us could hope for was to find a plus-or-minus 1,000-square-foot “fixer-upper” for somewhere around $600 K. Given the current lending climate, particularly for jumbo loans, this was untenable. As an incentive, and through their relationship with Rabobank, Bella Montana offered us a zero down loan at a below-market fixed rate. The $378 K we paid for our 1,372- square-foot condo was 20 percent below appraised value.

Second, we have found that high-density living is actually a benefit when the people you are “crammed” together with are all very interesting, highly social folks. We have a far better sense of community here than we ever had in our previous neighborhood.

Lastly, while we are indeed located along Highway 1 (right across from Poly),

I consider this to be Bella Montana’s greatest amenity, as it allows me to ride my bike to work.

-- Dru Zachmeyer - Contracts Manager, California Polytechnic State University

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