COLORDO SPRINGS – With construction costs soaring and demand at an all time high, many people are choosing to build what home builders are calling “single row houses.”
The homes, which have grown in Colorado Springs in recent years, are built like townhouses. They are tall and narrow, taking a small imprint. The difference is that these houses are isolated, giving owners more privacy and independence.
When it comes to the new home market, not much has changed from what people have been asking since Joe Loidolt started at Classic Homes over 30 years ago.
âMuch of it is pretty much the same,â said Loidolt, who is the president of Colorado Springs-based Classic Homes. âMainly, people are still looking for that suburban type house. Three bedrooms, two bathrooms, with a courtyard.
But one thing has changed, and it has changed a lot.
âNow people are looking more for that part of affordability,â Loidolt said.
Based on national house price averages from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a house that cost you $ 100,000 in 1990 would now cost you around $ 215,000 on average in the United States.
But with Colorado Springs cost of living much higher than the country, you’ll be hard pressed to find a new home under $ 300,000- $ 400,000 here these days.
âThe demand for new homes is really high right now,â he said.
What you will find is a new type of house.
âThey’re like detached row houses,â he says.
In our area, two builders, Classic Homes and Oakwood Homes, are innovating in communities filled with these tiny homes, but still full-sized.
Loidolt says the average Midtown Collection lot size is just over half the size of a typical suburban residential lot. The homes have limited to no yard space, instead with expansive patios to serve as outdoor gathering space.
They are on two levels, ranging from two to three floors. But they have the same amenities as those offered in traditional homes. Two to three bedrooms and bathrooms, a garage, a full kitchen and flexible space. The largest model measures over 2,000 square feet.
The same goes for the American Dream and Oakwood Carriage House concepts. Some Carriage House models solve the no-yard problem by adding a roof terrace at the top of the house.
It is a pioneering solution in other rapidly growing markets where the cost of living is increasing.
âThere is a project in Denver that was similar,â Loidolt said. âThere’s another one in Austin.
And it pays off for home builders.
âThese have been very popular,â Loidolt said.
This brings a larger clientele than expected.
âWe thought there would be more millennials,â he said. âBut we see everything from first-time buyers to empty nesters.â
This has its drawbacks. Higher population density means more infrastructure needs to be built in a smaller area for cities.
And while it’s cheaper than most products out there, the base model from Classic’s Midtown Collection is still priced at over $ 300,000. Oakwood’s American Dream Concept is slightly cheaper, with its most affordable floor plan starting in the high $ 200,000 range, and it’s only offered in Oakwood’s Banning Lewis Ranch development at this time.
But in this market, buyers are always eager to make those sacrifices.
“In fact, in this [Hannah Ridge] project and Wolf Ranch, we actually had to temporarily halt sales so we could be caught up, âLoidolt said.