Monday, July 02, 2007

Luxury Still Leads

Luxury Still Leads
North Vacaville Development Continues At Steady Pace
By Shelly Meron/Business Writer

Existing home sales may be down for the month of May, but sales of new, luxury homes in Vacaville don't seem to be slowing. The Cheyenne at Browns Valley development by builder D.R. Horton has sold 46 of its luxury homes since opening in December, and is beginning construction for the second phase of sales. So far, 37 of the total 221 homes planned for Cheyenne have been built.

"We've been fairly steady," said Steve Laird, sales representative at Cheyenne. He added that during the first phase of sales, "we were the fastest-selling community in Solano County."

The community offers eight different floor plans, ranging between 2,775 and 4,312 square feet. Cheyenne offers a three bedroom, three bathroom plan; a four bedroom, three bathroom plan; two four-bedroom, three and a half bath plans; a four bedroom, four bathroom plan; a five bedroom, three and a half bath plan; and two five-bedroom, four and a half bath plans.

The homes range in price from the mid $700,000s to the low $900,000.

Luxury homes like this are selling well at the Cheyenne development in Vacaville. (Joel Rosenbaum/The Reporter)

These are high-end homes, with 10,000 to 14,000 square foot lots, three- or four-car garages, and some with in-law units called "carriage units" built above the home's garage. Laird said the carriage units - which are 650 square feet and include a bedroom, a living area, a kitchen area, a bathroom, and a washer and dryer - have been surprisingly popular.

Cheyenne offered only one home with a carriage unit during the first phase of construction, a feature that garnered a lot of attention from potential buyers. Laird said Cheyenne will offer two more homes with carriage units in the second phase of construction.

Inside the homes, amenities include granite countertops in the kitchens, maple cabinetry, and Whirlpool appliances. Buyers even have the option of working with professional designers to customize their home down to the small details.

Laird said the expansion at Genentech Inc., and the construction of a new Kaiser hospital in Vacaville, has meant more people looking for higher-end homes in the area.

"Vacaville is really growing and this is a nice area," he said. "We see the market improving here with Genentech and Kaiser."

Laird said the homes available at Cheyenne are seen as "move-up luxury homes," and are typically bought by people looking for an upgrade from their first or second house. He said potential home-buyers are attracted to the neighborhood's rural, country feel, as well as the proximity to the Bay Area, Sacramento, freeways and Lake Berryessa.

There are still some obstacles to overcome, however, including prospective buyers who are concerned about selling their current home.

"People are still buying houses, but (sellers) aren't getting what they were getting last year," Laird explained. "They have to sell at the right price today."

This is why D.R. Horton offers a program that helps potential buyers sell the homes they are in, providing competitive marketing analysis and helping buyers price the house appropriately.

Laird said the company has also offered incentives, including covering closing costs, in the past, and did a price readjustment for the development in March of 2006.

Still, according to Laird sales are going well and people are excited about the second phase of construction at Cheyenne.

"A lot of people are coming in and looking," he said.

• The Cheyenne at Browns Valley sales office is located at 7065 Shelton Lane in Vacaville, and is open Tuesdays through Thursdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fridays through Sundays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Mondays by appointment. For more information, call 455-7128 or visit

The kitchen of the three-bedroom, three-bathroom model in the Cheyenne development features an open, modern look.

Shelly Meron can be reached at

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