image courtesy of tilaneseven
KB Home's recent announcement of plans to build smaller homes in community stirs up a lot of feelings.
KB Home decided to build some new floorplans in their community at Sundance Trails and Sundance Ridge recently and it has been causing a bit of a stir. The communities, located off Potranco outside the 1604, started with brick front homes and two or three car garages ranging from $125,000 and went up into the $200,000s. Now KB Home is moving in with floorplans starting at $93,995 that are smaller and may be built with siding instead of brick. KB Home says they are reacting to the marketplace and the economy, but residents feel their getting the short end of the stick. By building these new homes, the current residents fear that their home values will drop and the neighborhood they thought they would be living in (based on similar homes), will be no longer.
Builders have to watch their bottom line.
Builder are in business to make money. That's the prupose of just about any business I guess. In doing so, they sometimes have to make decisions like this to make sure they can continue. As the housing market has slowed (and KB Home isn't just here in TX, so they're dealing with their bottom line in many different markets), KB has had to make decisions to adjust.
Residents have to be concerned about their community.
When a buyer purchases a home in a community, they are buying more than just the home. They are buying into the community and quite often, it provides them with a certain sense of pride. They chose this community for their own specific reasons and when the community changes in a way they don't agree with, I can imagine their frustration. These homeowners expecting one thing and are now getting another.
What can you do?
The residents of Sundance Trails and Sundance Ridge have been meeting and protesting the changes. Some residents have even said they would move as soon as possible to get out of the neighborhood. When buying in a new neighborhood, the best advice I could give you is to ask to see the deed restrictions. By looking at these you will know what is and isn't allowable in the new community. Of course, you have to think outside of those restrictions. If it doesn't mention "no mobile homes," then there's always the chance that someone could build a mobile home there. If it says "no horses," then you can forget your daughter's dream of owning a pony - at least in that house. Deed restrictions are a great way to look at the vision for a community before its completely built. It won't answer all your questions, but it will give you some knowledge that might lead you to ask some of the questions.
You can read more about the homeowner's point of view and ideas to solve the problem at www.sundancefamily.com.