Friday, July 25, 2014
PSW Homes thinks small and urban with its new Dallas communities
An Austin-based homebuilder that’s expanding to the Dallas area is kicking off construction on its first five projects.
But don’t expect PSW Homes’ new communities to be anything like what you’ll find in typical suburban subdivisions.
While other builders are focused on high-end houses with up-sized prices, PSW is building smaller, more affordable homes in older Dallas neighborhoods.
“We are a true urban developer and builder,” said Adam Stetson, who heads the company’s Dallas operations. “All of our projects are designed for the urban market.”
PSW is building two neighborhoods in North Oak Cliff and two more near White Rock Lake.
The company has another building site in North Dallas and is looking at land near Fort Worth Avenue in West Dallas.
PSW has projects in the works for more than 150 houses.
The single-family homes will range in size from 1,700 to 2,700 square feet and have three and four bedrooms. Prices start near $350,000 and rise to over $500,000.
The size is smaller and the price point lower than what most custom builders are doing in close-in neighborhoods in East and North Dallas.
Stetson said PSW’s houses are targeted at young professionals and owners of older homes who want to upgrade.
“A lot of people who live in Oak Cliff are tired of their old-house problems and choppy floor plans,” Stetson said. “We have open floor plan concepts that focus on the livability of the house.”
PSW’s Oak Cliff projects are on the edge of Kidd Springs Park and on Kings Highway near Stevens Park Golf Course. The two-story houses will be designed in Craftsman architecture.
The two neighborhoods planned near White Rock Lake — one on Lovers Lane and the other just off Garland Road — will have more contemporary styles, Stetson said. “They will be a little more modern and clean-lined,” he said.
The houses use low-maintenance exterior materials and energy-efficient operating systems. All of them come with solar panels on the roof to generate electricity.
PSW’s single-family homes come with small front and back yards — a big selling point with most of the buyers, Stetson said.
He said the small outdoor spaces are “enough to enjoy your dogs and a barbecue but not so much that you are maintaining the lawn every weekend.”
“We think there is an underserved niche out there at price points we can offer,” Stetson said. “A lot of builders are building large custom homes that are going for $650,000 and above.”
Dallas housing analyst Ted Wilson said PSW’s houses should appeal to buyers who want new housing without heading to the suburbs.
“I’m thrilled to see builders coming back to town with product like this,” said Wilson, a principal with Residential Strategies Inc. “We are seeing a lot of other builders taking a look at higher-density products.
“That’s what the buyer wants down there — something new that doesn’t have the hassles and maintenance of an older house,” he said. “They are going into some trendy neighborhoods that are on the cutting edge.”
PSW sales exec Meridith Brewer said her firm so far has been marketing its planned houses by networking with real estate agents and through word of mouth with potential buyers.
“We have a diverse consumer — everything from young professionals to empty nesters who may have lived in the suburbs and want to come back in to the city,” Brewer said. “A lot of folks that have lived in condos are looking for something with a yard.”
PSW began building houses in Austin in 2006. The firm has done about a dozen Austin-area projects and has 10 more in the works there.
The builder is also shopping opportunities in San Antonio, Houston and the Pacific Northwest.
“We are looking to get to 200 to 250-plus closings a year in Dallas,” Stetson said.
Steve Brown- Dallas News