When Brookfield Homes first laid the groundwork for Mystic Point, a suburban village of 252 attached homes just around the bend from the acclaimed white sand beaches of Carlsbad, Calif., the plan was to target small, first-time buyer families. But when 23 percent of the homes were snapped up by single women (including a handful of single moms), the builder knew it was on to something. Security was a big deal for this buyer group, and one of the features that proved most pivotal was that every three-story unit enjoyed direct access from a two-car garage, “specifically from garage to kitchen,” notes Steve Doyle, president of Brookfield Homes' San Diego division.
Buyers' safety and security fears were also assuaged by the site plan layout,” notes sales agent Kira Heramb. The neighborhood's assorted three-, six- and nineplex buildings are organized in two clusters, one of which wraps around a cul-de-sac, meaning there is only one way in and one way out.
“The second cluster of homes sits along a canyon with mountain and lake views, so there's nobody looking in on you,” Heramb says. “Plus, the whole neighborhood has been designed so it's convenient to get around. If you are walking to the pool, for example, you don't feel susceptible. Shortcuts and walkways get you there as quickly as possible.” With their ample windows and balconies, the three-story units are designed to ensure there are plenty of eyes on neighborhood streets and sidewalks.
Interior features that resonated with women buyers included walk-in closets, expanded utility and laundry areas, and upgraded finishes such as granite slab counters, stainless steel sinks, full-height kitchen back-splashes, and decorator paint colors. “I think women are a lot more concerned with aesthetics,” Heramb observes.
Single mom buyers were most likely to choose Plan 3, which offered a small yard out front, a large kitchen with an eat-in bar, and an upstairs laundry room close to the bedrooms. Meanwhile, the most popular plan among single women without kids was Plan 1, a configuration offering dual master suites, two baths, and a home office—suggesting that increasing numbers of unmarried women are taking on roommates or entering “mortgage marriages” with friends or family members to make housing costs more manageable without missing out on the opportunity to build equity.
Project: Mystic Point, Carlsbad, Calif.; Project size: 25 acres; Price: $400,000s; Unit size: 1,363 to 1,535 square feet; Builder: Brookfield Homes, San Diego; Architect: Starck Architecture + Planning, San Diego; Interior designer: Design Line Interiors, San Diego; Landscape designer: Howard Associates, San Diego
Learn more about markets featured in this article: San Diego, CA.