In a bold move virtually unseen in the new home market during the last four years, Rodrock Homes is expanding its inventory of furnished models for buyers to browse.
With up to ten furnished homes open for viewing in Overland Park, Olathe, and Lenexa, the company is using its financial strength to give new home seekers what they want most in a home: see-it-and-believe-it proof of the builder’s quality, selection, and value.
“Rodrock has always been a frontrunner,” says Kathy Koehler, CEO of Reece & Nichols’ Koehler Bortnick Team. “Most builders pulled back on their spec and model home inventory back in 2008, but Rodrock understands you have to spend money to earn a buyer’s trust.”
The builder says expanding its number of furnished homes in communities like Overland Park’s Wyngate and Olathe’s Prairie Point is well worth the cost. It’s a strategy backed by realtors and real estate experts alike.
“People want to see what kind of refinements have occurred since the last home the builder built,” says Dan Whitney, President and Owner of Landmarketing, an independent new home market research company. “For buyers who might be hesitant about coming back into the market, it gives them that extra bit of reassurance,” says Whitney.
And because buyers have withheld from the marketplace over the last several years, Whitney cites a “tremendous pent-up demand” for new homes that he predicts will continue to grow throughout 2012. “We’re already seeing that the number of new home permits in January and February is twice what it was last year,” says Whitney.
Koehler also notes her team’s transactions have doubled since last year. She expects the lowest interest rates in 40 years coupled with unseasonably warm weather in March to push those numbers even higher. “Because of the weather, the spring home market is beginning about 40 days earlier this year,” she says.
For new home seekers, that means shopping time is now. “It’s a good thing we’ve readied our homes early,” says Rodrock Homes’ Chief Marketing Officer Jeff Reglin, who notes that shoppers can see the most furnished new models in one place in Rodrock Homes’ Wyngate community. “We’ve got three new homes in Wyngate’s model row plus additional furnished homes open for viewing throughout the neighborhood,” says Reglin.
Located in Overland Park near the intersection of 159th and Grant, Wyngate’s model row is impressing shoppers in terms of both quantity and quality. Placed one after another, its models showcase highly evolved versions of the builder’s best homes, featuring carefully crafted luxuries like custom crown moldings, stone and stucco exteriors, designer-tile double European showers, and covered decks and patios with fireplaces.
In addition to top-notch quality, Wyngate model-row visitors are seeing something unexpected in the homes they tour: inspired, innovative interior design. Thanks to a partnership with Kansas City’s award-winning design firm Twigs’ Interiors, shoppers are walking away with fresh ideas in décor.
“We try to push the envelope as much as we can,” says Lisa Mermis, Owner of Twigs Interiors. “Visitors will see things like more trim detail than ever before, stone walls, iron newel posts plus spindles, and items influenced by travel.”
Case in point is Wyngate’s Lancaster III, a traditional 2-story where modern luxury reigns.
Described as “collected and unafraid,” the home’s interior design is a meld of styles, says Mermis. While the kitchen’s mosaic Mexican tile archway and turquoise beaded chandelier are inspired by exotic locales, touches like crisp-white wainscoting and lamp-shaded sconces reflect a more buttoned-up glamour. Other elements like floor-to-ceiling stone walls and river rock entry floors incorporate the textural beauty of nature.
“We’re fortunate to have a developer in Rodrock Homes who’s willing to bring a fresh design perspective to Kansas City,” says Mermis, who recently incorporated 2012’s hottest color, Tangerine, into one of the homes on Wyngate’s model row.
“People want to see our model row,” says Reglin, “because it’s a traditional row with some non-traditional decor mixed in.”
But even if buyers don’t find the design of their dreams amidst the furnished models and in-process homes awaiting them at Overland Park’s Wyngate, Olathe’s Prairie Point and Maple Brook Park, or Lenexa’s Bristol Ridge and The Reserve, Rodrock Homes’ Chief Operating Officer Jeff Gifford says there are still more options.
“We’ll sit down with you and redraw an existing home plan to meet your needs,” says Gifford.
Yet chances are, most buyers will discover what Maple Brook Park homeowner David Everett did when he first walked into the model that would ultimately become his home. “This place just bit us,” recalls Everett, “we knew we had to have it.”