Power Shoppers Practice Patience at Sausalito

It's hard to believe that home buyers would camp out in front of model homes for a chance to purchase production homes priced at $1 million or more.
By By Dan McLeister | May 31, 1999
It's hard to believe that home buyers would camp out in front of model homes for a chance to purchase production houses priced at $1 million or more. But the line of buyers in Porsches and Lexus's were the lawyers and stockbrokers waiting for the 16 houses at Sausalito that went on sale Saturday, March 20.

Comments Nancy Thompson, who sat in her black Porsche Monday through Friday to keep her place at the front of the line of prospective buyers: "Aren't I ridiculous?"

The 39-year-old lawyer took turns in line throughout the week with her husband, various relatives and even her husband's secretary. Other hopeful buyers hired people to wait in line for them. Fifteen cars were lined up by Thursday and that number had grown to 21 by Saturday.

Builder Greystone Homes was blown away by the response, according to Julie Hutchinson, vice president of sales and marketing. While the hill top location in Newport Coast is highly desirable, no one at Greystone expected campers.

Before the models opened, the company's advertising campaign teased shoppers with lines such as "When a plateau is not the destination to which you aspire...A preferential lifestyle of gated luxury residences." The first ad showed no house at all. The follow-up page in March included a rendering and the words, "Above Newport, Beyond Expectations."

The builder had pre-qualified 100 potential buyers, however the 16 houses were sold first-come, first-serve to those people with a down payment in hand. "It's the fairest way,'' Hutchinson said.

Greystone is building 61 homes in the gated community, which is part of Newport Coast; a master planned community where half of the planned 2600 homes have been built. The location and views have made it one of the fastest-selling communities in the state.

Greystone Homes' three models range from 3745 square feet to 4096 square feet. Prices range from $966,000 to $1.2 million. All have four bedrooms and either 3.5 baths or 4.5 baths.

Custom-level amenities throughout the interior are part of Greystone Homes' "Everything Included" program. At no extra charge are items such as European-designed cabinetry, granite countertops in the kitchen, imported tile bathroom vanities and custom-designed fireplaces.

-Dan McLeister


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PB-Sales,PB-New Home Sales