There is a veritable geyser of data tracking housing today. From existing-home sales, to house prices, to new-home permits, to starts—housing metrics abound.
Single-family homes positioned for success
Single-family detached homes are a perennial buyer favorite, but with the housing market still in recovery, builders have to make sure the location, design, and pricing are absolutely right.
Single-family detached homes are a perennial buyer favorite, but with the housing market still in recovery, builders have to make sure the location, design, and pricing are absolutely right. Of the four successful examples profiled in this article, three are in master-planned communities and one is an infill project strategically located inside the Washington, D.C., Capital Beltway.
Selling the detached lifestyle
Condominium sales were going well for Brookfield Homes at Windingwalk in Chula Vista, Calif., until market conditions caused buyers to lose their appetite for attached housing. From 2007 to 2012, Brookfield sold 108 of 180 homes planned for its Cordova neighborhood. Then it was time for a change.
“It’s still a condominium, but it lives like a single-family detached home with a private yard,” Tracy says. “It’s like a zero-lot-line situation where the wall of one home is actually the fence of your side yard.” The yard space is something the Cordova condominiums didn’t offer, adds architect Jamie Starck: “They had either a small patio or no outdoor space at all.”
Large windows in the living room bring light into the home from the courtyard.
The red-hot sales pace is reflected in two price increases since the November opening. At press time, base prices ranged from $369,370 and topped out at $417,960—an increase of 5 percent since November. By mid-May, Tracy says, prices will have increased another 4 percent. “We’ve also been able to reduce our incentives,” he says.
All of the homes have a great room on the first floor and a supersized family loft on the second floor. An optional first-floor den/bedroom is offered in some plans. “The idea was to get the living space to orient directly out to the yard, which is on the side of the house,” Starck says.
The supersized family loft on the second floor can be can be used as a playroom, media room, study or extra bedroom. Comparable detached homes on the market don’t offer this feature, says Brookfield’s Rocky Tracy.
To further differentiate Haven from competing products, Brookfield focused on storage, making the closets as large as possible and included walk-in closets in some of the secondary bedrooms. Space under the stairs was turned into a closet or pantry. The two-car garages have room for a workbench and overhead storage.
Haven has attracted a significant number of Mexican nationals desiring a second home in the United States (Chula Vista is about five miles from Tijuana). A large percentage of buyers are in the military.
The Haven floor plan by Brookfield Homes at Windingwalk in Chula Vista, Calif., features a great room on the first floor and a supersized family loft on the second.
This scheme offers large storage space, even walk-in closets for some secondary bedrooms. “The idea was to get the living space to orient directly out to the yard, which is on the side of the house,” says architect Jamie Starck.
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