Your construction budget may be smaller than it once was, but that doesn’t mean your house can’t be big on style.  In today’s market, the new homes that are selling on margin (not at fire-sale prices) are those that offer something unique--be it an unusual front entry, a clever built-in storage solution, a one-of-a-kind accent piece, or a feature that makes a small space infinitely more functional. Putting that extra something into a house doesn’t have to cost a fortune. And even if it costs a little more than vanilla, it can often yield a significant return on investment. BUILDER went out bargain-hunting and found these examples.

Break the Mold
Dixon Kirby Homes and designer David Kenoyer threw caution to the wind and began experimenting with transitional architectural styles. A competitor in the area referred to this modern farmhouse as a “chicken coop” but later ate his words. Seven potential buyers toured the spec house the first day it opened, and Dixon Kirby Homes sold it within two weeks. Kirby says the standing seam metal roof cost about $20,000 more than standard asphalt shingles, but was an investment that quickly paid for itself.
“If there are any spec builders left in the U.S., here’s something else that worked for us,” Kirby also advises.  “Instead of listing the house on MLS at the foundation stage, we waited until it was totally punched and the pictures were good. That way it hadn’t been listed on the market for 180 days by the time we were ready to show it.”

Photo: Courtesy Dixon Kirby Homes

Learn more about markets featured in this article: San Francisco, CA, Austin, TX.