Triangle Life Trends: Choosing a home to fit your Life Stage and Lifestyle
Posted August 4, 2011
By Rebecca R. Newsome, MIRM
For New Homes & Ideas, Jodi Sauerbier, Publisher
With an abundance of accolades ranging from #1 Smartest City to #1 Quality of Life and #1 Best Place to Retire, the Triangle has long been nationally touted as an excellent place to call home. A central location between our state’s magnificent mountains and breath-taking beaches, a mild climate, an ever-expanding workforce, top-rated universities, and a world-renowned research center are among the leading contributors to our area’s popularity. Another key component? Housing. The Triangle’s housing market ranks amongst the best in the country, due primarily to affordability and quality life stage and lifestyle choices available.
Housing options in the Triangle include single family homes and townhomes designed for first-time buyers, spacious homes in amenity-laden communities for growing families, and an array of choices for empty nesters and active adults. Chapel Hill, Durham, and Raleigh all offer trendy downtown lofts for busy professionals and empty nesters who enjoy an urban lifestyle. All three cities also offer housing choices allowing residents to embrace the trifecta concept of “live–work–play.” Neighborhoods in this category offer the ability to walk or bike to work, school, shops, restaurants, and recreational facilities, all within the confines of a specified community. Other Triangle communities provide green, eco-friendly homes for those attuned to minimalizing their carbon footprint on the environment. Whatever your life stage or lifestyle, the Triangle has you covered in terms of choices for your perfect home. Let’s take a look at a few of the opportunities currently available in the Triangle.
Buying a home for the very first time is quite an exciting time. Although in most cases, price-driven buyers in this category aren’t necessarily looking for lots of bells and whistles, they are frequently surprised by the multitude of features Triangle builders include in entry-level homes. Features vary per builder and neighborhood; however, many Triangle homes for first-time buyers include low maintenance exteriors, thoughtfully planned interiors, brand name kitchen appliances, and energy efficient systems designed to keep utility costs low.
“All of our homes are Energy Star Certified,” says Dawn Redick, Design Coordinator for Impact Design-Build, Inc. and Impact Properties Group, Inc. “In today’s economy, everyone appreciates low utility bills. We build tight, high performance, energy efficient homes in all of our price ranges… Our first-time buyers are especially pleased with the care we take in this area.”
Another pleasant surprise for many first-time buyers are homes that “live big,” as Rich Ohmann, Timberstone Homes Division President puts it. “We provide homes that feel spacious regardless of their square footage,” says Rich. “Planning for exceptional value per square foot with little to no wasted space allows this to take place.”
As families expand and the need for larger homes increases, a plethora of options abound in the realm of Triangle lifestyle neighborhoods. Swim and tennis communities are found in a variety of price ranges, as well as communities centered around golf. Triangle developers have done a commendable job of offering these communities not just for the high end buyer, but for buyers from all walks of life, with homes ranging from the low $100s to over $1,000,000. A unique lifestyle community well-received by Triangle home buyers is Portofino, an equestrian-themed property located adjacent to the Neuse River in Clayton.
“We’ve found that many of our home owners don’t actually own horses, but they like being around them,” says Portofino Developer Norwood Thompson of the Walthom Group. “They like the serenity of horses, pastures, and nature.”
In addition to its equestrian facilities, Portofino includes trails alongside the Neuse River, a pond stocked with fish, a pool, and a clubhouse. Other amenities underway include a kayak launch and a horse barn that will allow for social events such as weddings and receptions.
According to Thompson, many people appreciate wooded settings and the “breathing room” afforded...