The idea of building single-family homes to rent (SFB2R) has existed for a number of years, but really began to draw attention near the end of the Great Recession, fueled by consumers unable to afford the down payment for a for-sale home.
As with auto leasing, homes for rent suffered a period of stigma. But, like cars, SFB2R now fills a crucial void in our housing supply. It’s also becoming an option for Baby Boomers looking to downsize and for Millennials not yet ready (or willing) to make long-term commitments.
This growing segment also is an opportunity for smaller builders to deliver cozy neighborhoods with a level of design indistinguishable from for-sale communities. After all, that BMW in the driveway looks the same whether it’s leased or owned. Why should our rental neighborhoods be any different?
- Are You Ready for Build to Rent?
- Momentum Builds for Build-to-Rent
- Solutions to Housing Affordability
Detached and Duet For-Rent Prototypes
ARCHITECT: Jeff Addison, Kevin L. Crook Architect, 949.660.1587
Detached: Width: 50 feet / Depth: 28 feet / 896 total sf
Duet: Width: 76 feet / Depth: 28 feet / 1,400 total sf
This single-family built-to-rent community offers three lifestyle-based residence types. One- and two-bedroom plans are attached to create a duet, while a three-bedroom plan is a standalone unit. All homes are accessible from a common paseo that connects to shared community amenities.
The exterior elevations offer a mid-century modern feel suited for a southwestern desert community. With an estimated density of eight units to the acre, this product mix will not only work for renters but also for 55-plus buyers.
The floor plans for all units feature a great room oriented to a generous private rear yard—a welcome amenity, as more than 60% of SFB2R tenants have pets.
A A community of single-story homes
B Common paseo
D Single-family detached unit
DESIGNERS: GMD Design Group, Scott Gardner, 919.320.3022
Donnie McGrath, 770.375.7351
DIMENSIONS: Width: 40 feet / Depth: 74 feet / Living area: 2,063 sf
This example of a single-family for-rent home targeted to upmarket buyers includes features usually found in high-end for-sale homes. All homes offer single-story living, a covered rear outdoor living space, a gourmet kitchen with scullery, and a walk-in pantry—all unexpected amenities in a rental home.
A Front entry porch
B Attached full-sized, two-car garage
C Entry foyer with adjacent office/study
D Family entry from garage with drop zone
E Gourmet kitchen with scullery and walk-in pantry
F Secondary bedroom wing, separated from the primary suite
G Open-concept living, dining, and kitchen, with abundant natural light
H Primary bathroom with separate vanities and large walk-in closet
I Large primary bedroom
J Rear covered outdoor living area
ARCHITECT: Donald F. Evans, AIA, The Evans Group, 407.650.8770
DIMENSIONS: Width: 30 feet / Depth: 77 feet, 8 inches / Living area: 1,581 sf
A Clubhouses and pools
E Gourmet kitchen with large island
G Owner’s suite
H Secondary bedrooms
ARCHITECT: Todd Hallett, AIA, TK Design & Associates, 248.446.1960
DIMENSIONS: Width: 35 feet / Depth: 56 feet / Living area: 1,400 sf
The key with built-to-rent homes is to create an effective, lean design that is efficient but also offers numerous amenities you would find in for-sale homes, including single-level living, an open floor plan, outdoor living opportunities, and garages that are set back.
A Single-level living creates the opportunity for a diverse range of renters
B Open floor plan with interconnected spaces makes the home feel larger than it is
C Long vistas from the foyer bring the outside in
D Efficient outdoor living is created by “completing the square”
E Recessed garage de-emphasizes the presence of the automobile
Outdoor Living Takes Center Stage in These Multifunctional Spaces
These well-designed outdoor living spaces serve multiple uses, increasing homeowner's enjoyment of the outdoors year round
Down Payments Are Shrinking, but Not in These Pricey Metros
The typical down payment is 10% smaller than it was a year ago, but buyers in these costly metros are still dishing out the big bucks for home purchases
Fresh Takes on the Family Entry to Meet the Needs of Today's Homeowners
A “family entry” from the garage or driveway provides a practical solution for today's families, acting as both a transition space and drop zone