Development feauture: Fairway Villas
Although the temptation to delay any real estate decisions until better times return is strong, there is no doubt that there are incredible opportunities for those who are bold enough to wheel and deal now. Fairway Villas, a 46-lot subdivision that first came on the market more than a year ago, is one of those opportunities.
“Prices have dropped,” says Cliff Anson, the developer of the project. “The location is one of the best in town. This is the best value in town for a golf course location.”
The development, which sits adjacent to the 10th hole at Tiara Rado Golf Course, was a victim of bad timing. When Anson bought the land, it was zoned for 12 units per acre. In such a prime setting, Anson wanted less density. Petitioning the city to change the density took longer than a year, and in that year, the economy took a huge downturn. Prices that were appropriate for 2007 were no longer sustainable at the end of 2008, and the development sat vacant while Anson negotiated with his bank to adjust the prices for the current market.
“American National Bank has been cooperative in turning this around,” says Anson. Even if local prices see additional declines, Anson is confident that declines will not be significant. “We’ve taken the big hit this year.”
To help stimulate sales and construction, those who close on a lot in 2009 will receive a 20 percent discount off the list price, making lot prices start around $76,000 through the end of 2009. The list prices on most lots are already 25 percent lower than what they were a year ago when the project was initially brought to market.
While the effectiveness of the government’s stimulus may continue to be debated well into the next century, the 20 percent discount has been wildly successful.
“Right now, this is the most successful project in town,” says Anson, noting that six lots have gone under contract in two months.
The development as it’s currently being marketed represents the new reality in real estate sales. Anson has listed 10 lots with John Duffy and Steve Schiff with Coldwell Banker and has listed 10 additional lots with Hal Heath with Heath & Co. Four different builders have purchased lots for building spec homes, and Anson is encouraging all the builders to become involved in the architectural control committee.
“In order to be successful, you all have to pull together,” says Anson, who hopes that some homes will be up and out of the ground before the end of the year.
“We’re going to try to stay below the $300,000 price range,” says Rob Griffin with Griffin Concepts, who will be building a 1,700 square foot home in the subdivision.
Damien Loy, Nate Porter and Randy Scott will also be building homes in the neighborhood, and like Griffin, they hope to build homes near that $300,000 price range.
“People will be getting a golf course location for a subdivision price,” says Scott.
Covenants for the subdivision require that homes have a stucco and stone exterior, with a minimum of 1,500 square feet and a two-car garage. Two-story homes will be allowed on only seven lots, so that the views of the golf course and the monument are preserved at all lots. The average size for the lots is around 7,900 square feet, although there are a few lots with more than 10,000 square feet. The architectural committee will consider both the front and the back of the home and wants to make sure that both get landscaping done in a reasonable amount of time. The goal is not to be draconian, but to protect and preserve every homeowner’s value.
“If any of us aren’t successful, it’s not good for the subdivision,” says Griffin, who says that buyers today aren’t looking for McMansions, but for smaller, well-constructed homes.
Although all four builders have plans for the lots they’ve purchased, they’d also be willing to work with buyers who have plans or dreams. Several banks are also trying to be creative with buyers, offering a one-time close option on construction loans for owner occupants.
Although the subdivision used to sit as a great target for those aiming for the 10th Hole, one of the conditions of approval for the development included a payment of $10,000 to help pay for a redesign of the 10th hole so homeowners wouldn’t have to worry about their windows. Tiara Rado will also be adding ponds to improve water storage at the course, which is not connected with the subdivision. Construction of the improvements should start by mid-November.
For more information about the subdivision, call John Duffy or Steve Schiff with Coldwell Banker at 243-0456, or Hal Heath at 243-3376. Those who’d prefer to take a look before calling a realtor are welcome to take South Broadway to the driving range at Tiara Rado. The subdivision sits across the street to the south.