Sherry and Sandy Wilson moved from the suburbs of Chicago to Twin Cities last year to get closer to the Cottage Grove family. They weren’t ready to buy in the competitive real estate market, but wanted their own four walls.
“We’re completely miniaturized,” said Sherry Wilson in her early 60s. “Everyone was paying for everything …. I didn’t want to play the game.”
Wilsons sold a larger single-family home and leased a 1,500-square-foot home in Canvas at Woodbury. This is a new luxury residential area for single-family rental housing arranged in a “modern farmhouse” style. These are part of a new wave of suburban development in the metro and are a larger national trend in high-end rental-only communities with rent payments of up to $ 4,500 and a list of luxury equipment.
“This place suits our needs,” said Sherry Wilson, adding that the pair had a dog and needed a yard. “First, we are not in the apartment.”
At least 6 communities are open or under construction by multiple builders, another community is in the land development stage. The big metro player is the Chicago-based Watermark Equity Group. The group is building or opening five projects at Maple Grove, Plymouth, Inver Grove Heights and Woodbury. They built about 400 homes in Twin Cities.
Ian Peterson, owner of Integrate Properties, is also working on a “rental” community in Albertville and Victoria, featuring 1,300-3,000 square feet of homes.
“This is a horizontal Class A Plus apartment,” he said, adding that 180 homes are planned between the two locations.
Nikki Longyi, Regional Real Estate Manager at Lincoln Property, which manages the watermark community, said residents are older downsizing couples selling off family homes, young families with children wanting a good school district, and renting. Said it’s a mix of people who choose to do, but no apartment is needed. She said they could be contract workers, executives, or even athletes here temporarily.
“There is a lot of demand for it — we fit into a niche for many different people,” Longie said. “We want to tell people that it is the best of both worlds.”
Clubhouse, pool, dog run
Regardless of the developer, the house is almost 1,500 to 3,000 square feet, but the Inver Grove Heights canvas has a small option of 842 square feet. The largest house has 5 bedrooms, 4 baths and about 3,000 square feet.
Katrin Clark, Watermark’s marketing and communications specialist, said the homes are “highly maintained.” In Watermark homes, lawn care, snow removal, and home maintenance are all done by the management company. There is an outdoor pool, clubhouse, gym and area for playing on the lawn.
According to Peterson, his home has similar facilities, but some also have dog runs and fire pits. He said residents value their time and want to spend more time exercising than, for example, mowing the lawn.
Almost every home is equipped with “smart technology.” According to Clark, this includes a ring doorbell, a smart lock that residents can enter using a code, and even a sensor to monitor for leaks.
“You can manage everything from your phone,” Clark said.
Watermark Associate Kylie Duarte said the build-to-rent concept began and is still strong at Sunbelt.
However, in some cities, it is uncertain when the build-to-rent community proposal was first encountered, Duarte said.
“When you hear’lessee’, most people think of something negative,” Duarte said. “Everyone who borrows from us is a borrower of choice.”
According to Peterson, there is a lot of “pre-education” by some stakeholders about what a community is.
Heatherland, director of community development at Inver Grove Heights, said her discussions in the city were primarily about smaller plots than typical single-family home development.
Of the 120 homes built in Inver Grove Heights, 69 are on a 30-foot-wide site, Rand said.
Is it a trend or a fad?
Nick Ericsson, head of research and regulatory issues at Housing First Minnesota, an industry group representing local homebuilders, said developments featuring single-family homes built for rent are on the rise. ..
Ericsson said it was because many people had a “strong desire” to live in a single-family suburban home, but not everyone can afford it.
Twin Cities also said that single-family homes for sale are low in stock and most of the homes under construction are not starter homes. As a result, some people rent it instead, including luxury development, he said.
Trends have potential downsides, such as restrictions on the choice of interior and outdoor decoration. According to Clark, this means that there is no interior or exterior painting or fence installation.
Sherry Wilson said she really missed gardening, but Longyi said residents could put a garden or flowerpot in the garden. Extras such as entry-side chairs and welcome mats are also OK.
Residents should leave the house with them moving, Longy said.
“It’s all at the discretion of the landlord … but we want people to feel at home,” Longyi said.
Peterson said he believes more such communities will be on the market.
Watermark officials said they were looking for suitable land to build more “construction-to-rent” districts in Twin Cities. The company is building more than 1,500 homes nationwide, including several town homes.
“People are really paying attention … and it will continue to grow,” Clark said. “I think this is a trend, not a fad.”