WEST LAFAYETTE, Indiana — A new neighborhood in West Lafayette will feature dozens of “low-maintenance” luxury ranch homes with starting prices in the mid-$300,000s.
Essential Homes, a developer of Epcon Communities, will host a grand opening of its show home in The Courtyards at Belle Terra, a new neighborhood in the making.
The Courtyards at Belle Terra will feature 79 luxury “low maintenance housing” ranch homes where the Homeowners Association will perform maintenance in the areas of lawn care, irrigation, landscaping, common area lighting, garbage disposal, road maintenance, snow removal and community amenities.
Essential Homes was co-founded by Bob Hockema and Ryan Kennedy in 2020. Courtyards at Belle Terra will be their first completed Essential Homes neighborhood. However, the two have a combined 40 years of experience in the real estate business.
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“We just thought there was a need in Tippecanoe County to offer a no-maintenance luxury ranch lifestyle,” Hockema said, “with the high-end finishes. So people don’t sacrifice. We don’t really say it’s downsizing, they’re the right size.”
Cost of selling houses, floor plans
The starting price of $300,000 is close to the typical cost of a home in West Lafayette. According to www.zillow.com, the typical home value of homes in West Lafayette is $324,806.
All ranches will have two bedrooms, two baths and a den. There are optional additions like an upstairs bonus suite or a sitting area in the master bedroom. Of the 79 planned apartments, 13 are currently under construction. From breaking ground on their show home in late 2021 to completing all 79 homes, Hockema expects the neighborhood to be complete by 2025.
“We offer six different floor plans,” Hockema said, “and then there are different structural options. So (buyers) can add a sitting area in the master bedroom or a porch with privacy screens… So they can come all the way in and choose one of our six plans. You can add any structural additions you want to the plans and then make your selections in our design center.”
The Essential Homes Design Center is located at 525 Main St. in Lafayette.
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Grand opening and house tours
While the grand opening will take place on April 29 from 12pm to 5pm – with the ribbon cutting ceremony at 1pm – in the show home, potential buyers are invited to tour the home and explore their options now.
“The model house is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.,” said Hockema, “and that’s why we always have a sales person here. People can go through the house, get ideas and then make their selection.”
Appointments to view are available on the Essential Homes website, by calling 765-766-0004 or during business hours. The address of the show homes is 6100 Gilwell Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47906. If this address does not appear on GPS systems, the address 660 Hazelwood Drive, West Lafayette also leads to the neighborhood.
“The band average with the Chamber of Commerce is (April) 29,” Hockema said. “(It will) show the community (the model home) and announce that we’re open. (To) show all the characteristics we have that set us apart from other communities in Tippecanoe County.”
Hockema explained that the features included as standard in Essential Homes ranches are usually seen as upgrades for other builders.
“The key features are of course the luxury ranch homes, our floor plans are open (and) modern, they include plenty of natural light…everything you need is on one floor. The kitchen, living area, bedroom, laundry room and storage.”
While The Courtyards at Belle Terra isn’t an age-restricted neighborhood, it caters to a low-maintenance lifestyle with homes popular with buyers over 55.
Since the show home has only been open for viewing since the beginning of April, the response from potential buyers has already been positive.
“There’s been a great reception from people who have been coming in and driving by over the past few months,” Hockema said. “But then they come in and they’re like, ‘Wow, those are really nice houses. Most people are already very surprised by the open floor plans and the light.”
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The smallest square footage available in homes is 1,416 square feet while the largest is up to 3,000. An 80th lot will complete the neighborhood, consisting of a community clubhouse with a signature pool, pickleball court and fitness facility. The neighborhood will also feature private courtyards, two community ponds and a year-long membership to the nearby Coyote Crossing Golf Club.
Essential Homes invites the public to enjoy light refreshments and a tour of the show home at the Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on April 29 from 12-5pm at the Show Home, 6100 Gilwell Dr. in West Lafayette.
Margaret Christopherson is a reporter for the Journal & Courier. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @MargaretJC2.