Housing Evolves to Meet the Times in California’s Housing Market

By Tom Baine, Southern California Division President, Landsea Homes

When it comes to housing and homebuilding, the headlines in the Southern California housing market all read the same, prices are inflated, home buying is unattainable, and most people can’t get everything they want in a home without sacrificing how far they’ll have to commute.

But what if I told you this isn’t the reality, and in fact homebuilders are getting smarter, home prices in Southern California are fluctuating and opportunities for California first-time home buyers continue to be created. And not only are new homes being developed every day, but homes are being made to fit the different stages of home buyer demographics.

From retirees looking to downsize, families looking to expand, and young professionals seeking that first place to call home – home buying has changed, but homebuilders are meeting the challenge.

I am often asked how the homebuilding process has changed in the last 30 years and how it has affected the way homes are being constructed today.

There are many layers to this question, and it starts with land scarcity, especially in Southern California. Without a doubt, open space and land has become less and less available and much more expensive over the years. Southern California’s reputation as the land of milk and honey, beautiful beaches, great weather, and a year-round summer feeling has contributed to this low supply, but high demand.

Over the years, this has forced homebuilders to work smarter, find more efficient ways to keep home prices reasonable, all the while not forgoing quality.

The action plan at Landsea Homes for years now has been to create new communities that are a bit denser, to allow for more homes. Typical infill sites these days are 25 to 30 homes per acre, versus in the 1990s when it would have been 6 to 8 units per acre.

We’ve also turned to building vertically, creating new three-story townhomes in Southern California, which allow for the space to create beautiful floorplans with living rooms on the second floor, bedrooms on the third floor and rooftop decks that provide expansive views and an updated version of outdoor living.

Outdoor space has been a point of pride for Californian’s, as we all enjoy an abundance of pleasant weather. We make sure to take this into consideration when creating our new communities. Sometimes buyers want a bigger home, but then realize what they really want is more space. A beautiful outdoor area that easily connects from the great room can create that spacious feeling. We provide connectivity with large sliding doors, balconies that allow for places to sit and watch the sunrise or set, and bi-fold doors that make switching from indoor to outdoor effortless.

As a homebuilder, Landsea Homes has been at the forefront of varying the configurations of townhomes and making designs more efficient. We have eliminated living rooms and dining rooms, which people rarely use these days, and extended kitchen islands to make them a focal point.

Flex space has also become an important part of designs. Our designers create floorplans that utilize space and make rooms cross functional — home offices in a hallway, next to the laundry room, guest bedrooms, and playrooms that are close to the primary bedroom. The key is designing a room with more than one function. The home has changed, and is now often the office, childcare and even school, all in one place.

With more families working from home, creating community has become an instrumental part of the design process for a new neighborhood. Our focus is honed in on including a myriad of amenities, extra details, innovative designs, and ideas to fit the challenges of the region, but still make home buying accessible.

Examples include one-of-a-kind resort pools, fire pits ideal for summer s’mores, onsite playgrounds and dog parks that make it easy for families to go on walks together without having to get in the car.

At the end of the day, yes, we build houses. But we are also building communities with the ultimate goal of creating great memories for residents.

Our new homes for in Southern California are the perfect fit for all lifestyles. Whether you are a first-time homebuyer, downsizing, looking for retirement communities in Southern California or just looking for a place to put down roots, your future awaits. Click to explore our new homes now selling in Southern California.  Prices start in the mid $500,000s.