If the backdrop for your neighbor–hood is the purple mountain majesty of the Rockies, it’s sort of a crime to go drab with your color scheme. At least that’s what Capstone Builders principals Justin Williams and Dave Rossmeier were thinking when they mapped out the plan for Capstone Condos, a 36-unit jewel of a project in their hometown of Bozeman, Mont.
With its bright paintbox colors, crisp white trim, green sod, and breathtaking scenery, this fresh bouquet of modest homes paints a veritable travel postcard. Four three-plex buildings and six four-plexes are neatly clustered together and surrounded by a circular drive. The entire project was built and sold in one year—despite some tricky construction sequencing needed to stay on track during the cold season.
Were it not for paving issues, eager buyers might have moved in even sooner. “In winter, you can’t put in asphalt around here,” Williams explains. “We generally anticipate that we are going to have at least four or five months of snow in a given year and plan accordingly. As long as we have the foundations in and sales contracts on the product, we can build right through the winter. So in this case, we tried to have everything else close to being done and sold so that when the asphalt plant opened up in the spring we were ready to go. Putting the road in was the last step.” The first owners took up residence in March 2007.
For the singles and young couples who snapped up the majority of the units, color was undoubtedly a draw. So were plan layouts that placed garages between units to serve as sound buffers. What initially felt like a gamble for Capstone, which has always done more traditional single-family and larger attached homes, turned out to be a winning bet.
“You don’t hear the neighbors, so you have your privacy, but there is also a camaraderie that has developed there,” Williams observes, noting that almost all of the units are owner-occupied, and nearly every resident has turned out to be a dog owner.
“For single people who want to live in the company of others, there is a safety factor here as well,” he says. “They all kind of look out for each other.”
Cost efficiencies were achieved by limiting the offerings to two basic floor plans. “The end units on the four-plexes have fireplaces, but the middle units do not,” Williams says. “We gave people the option of different interior paint and trim choices, but otherwise we kept it simple.”
Modest though they may be in size (the larger end units are just 1,130 square feet), the homes are nicely appointed with features such as granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, wood trim, Trex decking, and bamboo and tile floors. “We don’t ever put linoleum in any of our products,” Williams says.
Situated in prime territory for skiers and outdoorsmen, Bozeman has its fair share of vacation homes, but the overwhelming majority of buyers here were locals who use the units as their primary residences.
“These condos hit a niche market of buyers who were looking for high quality but not a lot of square footage,” notes Jody Hester, a Realtor with America West Realty. And the mountain view is a freebie.
Community: Capstone Condos
Total acreage: 2.5
Date opened for presales: Dec. 1, 2006
Product: Condos from 1,050 square feet to 1,130 square feet
Price range: $159,900 to $187,900
Total number of units at build-out: 36
Sales to date: 36
Builder: Capstone Builders, Bozeman
Architect: Justin Harmon, Bozeman