The Sacramento, Calif., market has been hit hard by the downturn, but you wouldn’t know it at Denby Square, a Pulte Homes venture in the master planned community of WestPark. The magic formula involves a choice of two dwelling types for first-time and empty-nester buyers. The Cottages at Denby Square, which offers single-family living with a small footprint (units range from 1,829 to 2,180 square feet), opened for sale in February 2007. Out of 90 units total, just 12 are left. Topping that track record, the builder’s kindred Townes at Denby Square, a village of 48 townhomes ranging from 1,820 to 1,910 square feet, opened in April 2007 and completely sold out nine months later. “We sold the last house available and had our first homeowner move in the same day,” says Maggie Ayres, marketing coordinator for Pulte Homes’ Sacramento-Reno division.
While buyer interest was certainly piqued by each neighborhood’s walking proximity to a future village green with shops and cafés, location wasn’t the only sales driver. Punchy colors and varied elevation styles played a big role in creating curb appeal and, as a result, in catapulting contracts, according to Ward Harris, vice president of product development for Pulte Homes California.
“This market is depressed, meaning a lot of first-time buyers here are very educated,” he notes. “They are looking to jump in and get the most for their money, and they want something with character.” Enter the cottages. With their rhythmic blend of gabled and flat roof forms, box bays, and cladding textures, the charming little homes are “wrapped 360 degrees” with nice trim detailing, says Harris. And their alley-loaded configuration (with a detached two-car garage behind each unit) ensures that front elevations retain their good looks without being compromised by garage doors.
Learn more about markets featured in this article: Reno, NV.