Trends change through the years. For decades we have been told that the "American Dream" is home ownership and all that entails. What comes with this dream? Lawn care, exterior maintenance, larger costs for maintaining larger pieces of land. The responsibilities of a home with a subdivision sized lot, or larger lot are endless. As a Realtor, I believe in this dream.
Studies suggest that there is an uptick in the popularity of what are called "patio homes". These homes have small lots and often include a monthly maintenance fee. Americans spend hours a week mowing, weed eating, mulching, landscaping and maintaining their lawns. Often they don't enjoy the yards as much as the interior of the home. Why? Because we are busy. Life is busy. Children, school, homework, volunteer work, relationships with friends, and long work hours all contribute to a lifestyle that is not always in line with hours of extra maintenance a week.
I have not always been a fan of the patio home myself. Driving by these, often you see rows of homes with almost nothing to distinguish them from each other. In Fayetteville we have several developments of these homes, which appeal to college students, first time home buyers, and are also often used as rentals. Because of this, I have not been a huge fan, but have appreciated that they have a place in our Real Estate Market in Northwest Arkansas. Recently, I changed my mind about their importance.
One of my favorite builders started a small development of these patio homes. When he first told me about these, I didn't really pay attention properly. He told me they would be upscale and in my mind I thought: "Right. Upscale patio home. OK." Then I toured one.
These homes are fancy. Modern and practical. They hit a lot of needs. Some have three car garages. Say what? The plans are smart and designed with space in mind. Open floor plans with built in offices or lofts. The high end features are really impressive.
But for me the most impressive part of these homes is that they fit a lot of needs. Retiring? This is for you. Small family? Yes also for you.
Do you just want to spend less time in the yard and more time enjoying life or traveling? Also for you! One of the most striking things to me: People who are wanting a smaller home than they may traditionally have shopped for, but want upper end finishes and less maintenance, now have options that did not exist in the past. I fit into this category as do many others. These also offer a location that is less than a half mile to interstate access. They are on the public bus route as well.
Are you familiar with "urban" living? Because of the location of these, and the walk-ability of the area, you can walk to grocery, school, and restaurants. There are churches within walking distance. Bonus points: this subdivision also offers a pool, play area, and a possible future clubhouse with ponds and walking trails. More on that coming later.
Imagine this: you arrive home from work. You walk to the pool with the children for an hour or two of fun before dinner. Don't feel like cooking? Walk or ride your bike to one of the close restaurants. Walk home again. The open floor plans encourage family togetherness. Help with homework then spend some more quality time together. Do you see what is missing from this picture? Yard work. There isn't anything else taking up your time.
Does this mean there is no yard? Absolutely not! The yards on these homes are beyond beautiful, each has its own little 'oasis' in the plan. Not the typical matching landscaping house to house.
Want to spend two weeks on vacation in the summer? You won't have to worry if your scheduled yard service is being performed, and you won't have 'catching up' mowing and weed eating happening the very moment you get home from your trip. You are freed from these tedious responsibilities.
I believe that these homes truly fit a huge need in Fayetteville Arkansas. Bentonville Arkansas could also really benefit from these types of developments with the new Urban feel that downtown Bentonville has developed. Need more information? These homes are available in two or three bedrooms plans with two or three car garages. Call me with any questions. 479-236-0607
Rene Guin is a Realtor in NWA, that's Northwest Arkansas to all who don't know it as such.
Rene Guin Realtor