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.
Mixing the generations
The cottages (left) face one of the parks in the center of the community, which includes a clubhouse with two swimming pools, two dog parks, basketball, tennis, bocce and volleyball courts, a children’s splash park and playground, and a large, open field.
Pat Neal was thinking about building a new golf-course community on 2,000 acres he owned in Venice, Fla. It made sense at the time, given that retirees and empty nesters have traditionally been the biggest buyers of new homes in Venice. Then Neal Communities took a closer look at how demographics were shifting in the south Sarasota County town, and decided to make it a multi-age community.
The Darling of architecture loversDarling Homes is all about symmetry and classic architecture. Knowing there is a segment of buyers who long for the nostalgic charm and character of older homes, the Dallas-based builder introduced its American Classic Series.“It’s a niche product, there’s no doubt about it,” says Mike Carter, vice president of marketing for Dallas-based Darling Homes. “But it’s a niche that really resonates well.”The American Classic Series includes eight floor plans, each available in three elevations. They range from 2,100 to 3,500 square feet, with prices starting in the $300,000s. Designed by Darling’s in-house architects, the homes have such details as wide front porches, painted front doors, square post columns, and louvered shutters. Transoms, wainscoting, beadboard, built-in bookshelves, and crown molding add character to the interiors. The series is aimed squarely at art and architecture buffs drawn to the type of home featured in Architectural Digest or Southern Living magazines.“We have people buying [them] that have very high net incomes, even though it’s not specific to a certain income or demographic,” says Carter. “It’s specific to people that love architecture, front-porch living, and that classic look.”Darling is offering the American Classic Series at multiple locations in Dallas and Houston—typically master-planned communities where buyers can take advantage of top-notch recreational amenities and services. Carter acknowledges that the rollout has been successful, but due to the acquisition of Darling Homes by Taylor Morrison in January, he couldn’t provide any specifics on sales.Suffice it to say that a select group of home buyers has embraced the American Classics because they offer the best of both worlds: timeless architecture executed with flair and sensitivity, and the efficiency and comfort of a new home.
When completed, Grand Palm will comprise approximately 2,000 homes, making it Neal’s largest community to date. More than 80 have been sold so far. Five different product lines are offered, ranging from 1,000 to 2,500 square feet and including attached villas and single-family homes on lots that are 45 to 57 feet wide. Prices range from the mid-$100,000s to the high $300,000s.
“Our goal was to make sure that we took advantage of the natural beauty of the property,” Boyd says. “We spent a lot of time [figuring out] how the entry sequence was going to work, and I think we pulled it off fairly successfully.”
Grand Palm, a Neal Community in Venice, Fla., will have nearly 2,000 lots and offer five different housing products, including villas and single-family homes, ranging from 1,000 to 2,500 square feet.
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