By DENNIS WYATT
Managing editor of the
Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin
Amidst the gloom and doom Atherton Homes is selling a steady number of homes in the Summit Collection at Union Ranch.
In recent months there have been 10 closings, 13 homes enter escrow and one lot reserved. It’s not the go-go pace at the start of the decade but it is a surprisingly strong pace for today’s market.
How are they doing it?
The answer is simple – affordable style that has a definite feel of luxury plus four single-story floor plans ranging from 2,128 square feet to 3,011 square feet.
The buyers they are appealing to include a number of discriminating ones – they’re folks who plan to make this their “final” home.
“We’ve gotten a number of buyers who had looked at Del Webb but prefer it here,” noted sales manager Kathy Hammons.
While many other builders are cutting back to basic packages, Atherton Homes has strived to put together options and standards that have a higher level of style. The result is starting prices that are slightly higher than many other tract neighborhoods including Del Webb. Even so, they are selling the second amount of new homes in Manteca today behind Del Webb. That underscores who is powering the new home market sales in Manteca today – older buyers.
Another part of the appeal of the Union Ranch neighborhood that ultimately will have 425 homes that is a true pocket neighborhood. The only two access points are from Union Road. It is also along the Tidewater Bikeway’s future link connecting two finished segments.
Currently, orchards surround the neighborhood on two sides. Ultimately, when they develop down the road, there will be no through streets.
Atherton Homes has homes — there are seven floor plans available in the neighborhood just east of Del Webb at Woodbridge — that are a different take on bigger tract homes.
It starts with the four distinctive exterior architectural styles — Spanish, Italianate, California Cottage, and French Eclectic. Some models have turrets with front doors at an angle to the street. Another has a recessed private front courtyard complete with a Casitas option — separate living area complete with fireplace, bedroom, and bathroom with separate access off courtyard. Another has a deep setback on the front door with a protected front patio area with a design that puts secondary bedrooms on one side of the home and the master suite on another.
Then there is one with a traditional flush entry along the front façade line.
Mix the model plans up and you have a neighborhood that looks more custom than production.
The interiors are designed to give a sense of roominess while still being cozy. It is done by creating a sense of warmth with recessed ceilings, recessed wall boxes perfect for paintings and other touches, deep window sill, and a number of built-in options such as bookshelves on landings that help to break up walls. The two-tone interior paint as standard goes a long way.
The 8-foot high doors enhance the sense of space throughout and not just here and there. The common areas don’t just have a fireplace and an adjoining built-in entertainment center. Instead they may have a raised hearth that sweep across two walls or one that adorns an entire wall.
You can get an outdoor built-in fireplace that is incorporated into the roofline of some models that have huge covered patios.
No longer can you film “Gone With the Wind” on staircases. Instead of dominating the first floor living area, it is tucked to one side to create a sense of scale and subtle elegance.
The options are also planned much better. There is a wine room that can actually be used as a wine room and isn’t simply a converted pantry. On one plan, if you want a tandem garage converted into a room it isn’t simply slapping on more square feet on to the family room or putting in place another wall. It is designed in such a manner that it flows into the floor plan. and can be used as a bonus room, a den or a bedroom
The garages are different. They have intentionally been designed with additional room in front of the vehicles or to the side. One model even has an area large enough for a workshop that an option package will put in place.
They also have tossed in rear landscaping and solar energy options plus standards that few others do such as having 1-inch metal window blinds throughout. That eliminates having to come up with the money for window coverings.
The three single story plans start at $324,990 while the two stories start at $354,990 with the largest among the base prices starting at $449,990 for a 4,157-square-foot model that can expand to 4,343 square feet. Incentives and tax credits bring the price of the $324,990 base model down closer to $300,000.
The sales office is open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 2517 Edgebrook Lane. To reach the office, take Union Road north of Lathrop Road to the first traffic signal. Turn right at the signal — across from the entrance to Del Webb Woodbridge — and travel to the first left turn. (The models in front are Woodside Homes, not Atherton Homes.) Turn left and follow the signs.
The office number is 824-2081.
For more information go to www.atherton-homes.com