Meanwhile, the number of traditional households with children dropped 15 percent from 1960 to 2000, resulting in a 13 percent rise in the number of single-person households, according to a study by the Urban Affairs & Planning Department of Virginia Tech?s Alexandria campus. Another 6 percent drop is expected by 2040.
These two factors indicated an increase in the target market for affordable, yet well-appointed homes without excess space or upkeep.
What?s Hot in Town Homes
The key to reaching this growing target market, said the Walthalls, is making people feel pampered within a budget. They put their theory to the test by developing a 64-building community of four-unit town homes near Kansas City. The two- and three-bedroom units have been selling briskly, particularly among people with active lifestyles?young professionals, empty-nesters, couples without children and others looking for the flexibility and maintenance-free living afforded by a town home.
Buyers looking for affordable luxury are responding to the upscale touches at Tuscany Hills. Details such as:
n Exterior finishes that marry stone accents and maintenance-free vinyl siding that mimics the look of hand-stained wood, like warm, rich Timber Oak Ascent vinyl siding.
n Storm doors and dusk-to-dawn lighting outside homes.
n Interior details such as crown molding, bronze lighting fixtures, Hunter Douglas blinds, fireplaces and, in some cases, custom cabinets and flat-screen TVs.
n Fiber-optic networks that allow users to connect quickly to the outside world, making it easier than ever for retirees, career-changers, entrepreneurs and others to work from home.
Empty nesters? nest well feathered
That magic combination of style and structure is what appealed to empty nesters Doug and Marilyn Blauser, who recently moved from Colorado and purchased a two-bedroom, single-story town home in the Walthalls? Tuscany Hills development. They feel they got a great value.
?Twice before, we?ve purchased newly constructed homes,? Marilyn said. ?In those homes, we had to paint, put up trim and install shelves ourselves. In this case, we liked that all the details were taken care of. We have 1,071 gorgeous square feet. It feels like they took the amenities of a $400,000 home and put them in an affordable house. It?s perfect for us.?
The Walthalls predict that the trend of affordable luxury will continue, even beyond the current economic downturn. As Vickee said, ?Downsizing doesn?t have to mean downgrading anymore.?
For more information about Tuscany Hills, visit www.tuscanyhills.info. For more information about Timber Oak Ascent, visit www.variform.com.