By Cameron Sullivan
Couples, singles and families looking to buy new homes in the Bay Area and Northern California can have confidence that builders in the area are listening. Builders and developers are not only doing everything in their power to add communities across the Bay Area; they are taking to heart the feedback from prospective new-home buyers when designing their plans.
“We have some new projects where we’re digging out and starting models this year, including Brighton Landing in Vacaville,” said Kevin Carson, president of the Northern California division of The New Home Company. “And when we do a master-plan community, we offer different price points and housing styles to meet the needs of a variety of buyers.”
In its Vacaville community at Brighton Landing, for instance, rather than sticking with building only 2,000-square-foot, two-story homes, New Home is careful not to leave out entire segments of the market, such as younger first-time buyers. At Brighton Landing, the three- to five-bedroom homes provide great value in a relaxed setting. Meanwhile, Vacaville has become a commute-friendly area to major employers in both the East Bay and Sacramento.
The buyer profile for much of the Bay Area has changed, Carson said. He appreciates the opportunity to meet people’s changing requirements during the planning phases of a community so that families will not need to relocate or undergo renovations at a later date.
“Lock-off units are becoming more and more popular, for example,” he said. Many families now buy homes expecting to live under the same roof as their college-age and older children or their in-laws who are retired.
Building homes to meet the expectations of a variety of different types of buyers is a trend seen across the industry, including with smaller, privately held builders such as Walnut Creek-based Davidon Homes. While Davidon may be known in one sense for its stunning, 5,000-square-foot luxury homes in upscale locations such as Wilder in Orinda, where lock-off units and main-level living are common, the builder also caters to the changing needs of buyers.
Those who are looking for quality custom craftsmanship at below-median prices for the Bay Area can find more than expected at Davidon’s Park Ridge community in the heart of Antioch. The community features eight plans of single-story and two-story designs, each with its own set of elevations, ranging in size from around 2,000 square feet to 3,500 square feet. Floor plans include an optional fifth en suite bedroom on the main level in some elevations, allowing a nook of privacy apart from the main living areas for grown children or seniors.
Priced from the mid-$500,000 range, these homes by Davidon appeal to a variety of Bay Area and Northern California families. Plus, the community is located minutes from Highway 4 and the Antioch BART Station — locking in convenience and long-term value.
Davidon Homes also recently announced its Woodbury Highlands community in Lafayette. Coming in summer 2019, Woodbury Highlands’ luxury condominium homes will feature two- and three-plus bedrooms with a range of approximately 1,149 square feet to 2,737 square feet in size.
Giving back and growing community
In addition to the fact that any for-profit company wanting to develop in certain jurisdictions must provide a certain number of units at prices that meet affordable housing programs’ needs, many builders go above and beyond.
“We as a company have partnered with HomeAid Northern California,” Carson said. Among other activities, The New Home Company hosts an annual charitable golf outing to raise money for the organization. “We’re also a builder captain for HomeAid, to help with renovations and construction,” he said. HomeAid is a nonprofit organization that works to end homelessness by providing safe havens and transitional housing for women, children and families who find themselves without a home.
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