flexiblefullpage - default
Currently Reading

Housing as Fashion

billboard - default

Housing as Fashion

Houses are a lot like fashion.

By Dan McLeister May 31, 1999
This article first appeared in the PB June 1999 issue of Pro Builder.

Houses are a lot like fashion. When it looks good, is priced right and is in the right spot, shoppers buy. Such is the case with Amador by Bill Davidson where home shoppers purchased 10 houses in the first weekend of sales.


Spanish Colonial Revival house in San Diego (photo near headline) features rich earth tones and wrought iron decorative details at the windows and balcony. A study loft over front door is the crowning touch to this volume space in a 4065 square-foot plan at Amador in San Diego.

Amador, which is priced from $639,900 to $779,900, is the latest in a distinctive line of housing designs by a man who has established a reputation as a boutique builder. Davidson has worked to establish a brand name within the competitive Southern California housing market for both small and large projects. Even the name of his current project has an elegant feel to it; Amador means loving or fond in Spanish.

To keep on the cutting edge of housing design, Davidson looks beyond the residential industry to study trends and styles in clothing, automobiles and coffee. "I follow these industries because they are traditional and they provide information about how to establish a brand name, which is a key in housing."

Amador has what Davidson calls a Spanish Colonial Revival style. Though there are Mediterranean and Craftsman design elements, the exteriors are dominated by a look that has been fostered in California since the 1920 and '30s. Colored with rich earth tones like golds and greens, the houses look like an inspiration from the land itself, according to Davidson. "I do not like to get into the mustard and tomato soup colors."

Most noticeable in the architecture is the attention to detail. The use of wrought iron, tile, cement and even wood, glass and stucco is eye catching. Elaborately designed wrought iron graces the entry gates to plans one and two. Ceramic tiles are embedded in the front steps to plan one. The walkway to plan three is red cement. Other highlights include a cozy front porch along the path to a courtyard entry.in plan one. A circular stairway and a second-story study/computer loft stand out in plan two. Plan three includes a courtyard off the main hall.

Davidson combined fine architecture by Douglas Mansfield of Laguna Beach, Calif., with a desirable location to complete the buyer list of "must-haves." Carmel Valley, an area east of Del Mar, Calif. has what concerns Davidson's buyers most: top-rated schools.

Davidson thought he would draw people from older sections of San Diego. But most of his buyers have been transferees from the East Coast. Families with children make up the majority of home buyers at Amador, but there are couples without children buying the houses as well, which range from 3760 square feet to 4325 square feet. Plans include six or seven bedrooms and 41/2 or 5 baths. Hard construction costs were $55 a square foot, which he said was $5 to $7 higher than other production builders.

Word of mouth has been the number one generator of traffic and buyers to this site, according to Davidson. The company ran one preview ad in the local community weekly before the models opened on November 11, 1998. Davidson ran another ad just three times in the San Diego Union-Tribune. To keep the momentum going until all 62 houses are sold, Davidson plans to send a direct mail piece to older, more affluent communities. From November to April of this year, Davidson sold 31 houses. The timing of releases now are driven by how fast he can build the houses (five to six months).

Major Products Used U.S. Tile roof, Merlex stucco walls, Built Best windows, Holmes garage door and Superior Fireplace.

Also See:

Fine-Tuning Sarasota

Variety is the Spice of Life Forms
Selling Community

Fruitful Vineyards

Don't Fence Me In

Style Sells

Rustling Up Sales at Cinco Ranch

Neotraditional Success

leaderboard2 - default

Related Stories


2023 BALA Winners: The Best of the Best

You'll find plenty of inspiration in these four award-winning projects from the Best in American Living Awards


What Gen-Z Buyers Really Want in a Home

The fervor of planning for Millennials in the home building industry has now pivoted to Gen Z. So, what does this new generation want?


4 Luxury Production Home Designs to Inspire

Yes, these are designs for production homes, but you won't find any cookie-cutter repetitive elements in this high-end selection

boombox1 -
native1 - default
halfpage2 -

More in Category

Delaware-based Schell Brothers, our 2023 Builder of the Year, brings a refreshing approach to delivering homes and measuring success with an overriding mission of happiness

NAHB Chairman's Message: In a challenging business environment for home builders, and with higher housing costs for families, the National Association of Home Builders is working to help home builders better meet the nation's housing needs

Sure there are challenges, but overall, Pro Builder's annual Housing Forecast Survey finds home builders are optimistic about the coming year

native2 - default
halfpage1 -

Create an account

By creating an account, you agree to Pro Builder's terms of service and privacy policy.

Daily Feed Newsletter

Get Pro Builder in your inbox

Each day, Pro Builder's editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.

Save the stories you care about

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.

The bookmark icon allows you to save any story to your account to read it later
Tap it once to save, and tap it again to unsave

It looks like you’re using an ad-blocker!

Pro Builder is an advertisting supported site and we noticed you have ad-blocking enabled in your browser. There are two ways you can keep reading:

Disable your ad-blocker
Disable now
Subscribe to Pro Builder
Already a member? Sign in
Become a Member

Subscribe to Pro Builder for unlimited access

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.