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Raleigh Neighborhood Offers Maintenance-Free Yard Work

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Condominiums and townhomes have been an attractive option for people who want to own a home, but they want to leave out the yard work. A new community in Raleigh will offer the convenience of maintenance-free yard work in an unattached setting.

Buyers who move to Daltons Ridge will never have to pick up a mower or a rake again.

"The homeowners' dues will take care of the entire yard, edging, mowing, seeing, aerating, pruning, putting mulch down as needed and cleaning gutters," Daltons Ridge sales agent Sue Ellen Banko said.

Homeowners will pay $235 a month for that convenience. Real estate agent Mary Biathrow said, so far, two clients seem willing to pay.

"I think they find it most effecient, not necessarily in terms of money, but not having to worry about what to do if the person doesn't show up to mow the lawn or what to do if the gutters are overflowing and they're out of town," she said.

Daltons Ridge sales agent Sue Ellen Banko said the target demographic is older people.

"We're getting a lot of interest from empty nesters whose children have left and they want more spare time for recreation and also from young professionals who are busy," she said.

Ed Dunnavant, director of American Metro/Study, a real estate research firm, said the concept is intriguing.

"It's carrying the concept of bundling, which a lot of the retailers are doing like the wireless companies, where they try to put all the house phone, computer and all of that together," he said.

Dunnavant said only time will tell whether this type of housing will work.

"If the buyer sees value in the bundle as opposed to separating each item separately and doing them himself or herself then the possibility of that being sustainable is yes," he said.

Many luxury townhomes have been popping up in the Triangle and this type of housing might very well be a formidable competitor. Daltons Ridge is due to open by the end of this week.

The homes start at $300,000 and go up to the mid-$400,000.


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