For many aspiring homeowners, the American dream is drifting further out of reach.
The median sales price for a single-family home in Denver was $632,000 in September — down 2% from August but up 9.7% from last year.
Unfortunately, starter homes selling for $300,000 or less are few and far between.
Small, detached houses are rapidly disappearing from new construction across the nation. Where once nearly 70% of new homes were 1,400 square feet or less, today that number has shrunk to a mere 8%.
These starter homes took many forms over the years — cottages, shotgun homes, bungalows, split-levels, and two-bedroom tract homes — but they were affordable for American families looking to buy their first home.
However, today the economics of the housing market — combined with local rules and regulations — have replaced smaller, more affordable homes with McMansions.
A new option
But Oakwood Homes wants to change that. The company launched On2 Homes its new stand-alone starter home line in Green Valley Ranch this summer.
Prices start in the low $300,000s for 1,100-1,200 square feet of living space, including two- and three-bedroom layouts. The homes are energy efficient, offer high-end finishes like granite countertops and upgraded vinyl flooring in the kitchen, and the purchase price includes appliances and window treatments.
Detached garages cost extra, but eventually, three-story models will be available with an attached garage on the first floor.
“Our customers have been stuck,” says Kristen Nelson, president of the On2 Homes division for Oakwood Homes.
“They want to get their foot in the door of the Denver housing market, but steep entry prices keep them trapped in the renting cycle. With On2 Homes, we’re launching a product that delivers the quality of a traditional single-family home at a uniquely affordable price point.”
Oakwood Homes initially offered 96 homes for sale with an eventual goal to provide 1,000 or more of the low-cost homes per year.
On2 Homes will start in master-planned communities but could eventually drop into small parcels in existing neighborhoods and in-fill areas.
How it works
On2’s efficient production process creates high-quality, factory-made single-family homes with customization options to make each home unique.
The company uses cutting-edge technology, including virtual reality goggles that allow buyers to explore their future homes before signing a contract.
Oakwood Homes has created a new division called Precision Building Systems (PBS) to focus on pre-building components for entry-level homes. PBS assembles entire floors at its facility near Interstates 25 and 70.
Flatbed carriers transport the floors to the building site, where a crane places the first floor on the foundation before setting the second floor, with the shingled roof already attached. The floors include all electrical, plumbing, HVAC systems, windows, insulation, and drywall.
Workers install stairs and siding on-site and complete drywall taping, painting, and other finishing work. Depending on inspections, a handful of workers can assemble and finish a home in just a few weeks.
Colorado has one of the worst housing shortages in the United States and needs to build more than 50,000 new homes each year for the next five years to meet population growth.
By utilizing efficiencies in off-site home building and modular construction, the home building industry can help answer the demand for more affordable housing, says Pat Hamill, chairman and CEO of Oakwood Homes.
“At Oakwood Homes, we’re committed to making homeownership accessible for everyone,” Hamill says.
“Our On2 Homes initiative provides quality and affordable homes that families can enjoy for years to come.”
The news and editorial staffs of The Denver Post had no role in this post’s preparation.
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