A new development in Northwest Houston is hoping to nab the coveted millennial buyer with a unique mix of design, community and — crucially — affordability.
Oak Forest at La Sierra — which isn't actually in Oak Forest; rather, it's nearby, off Tidwell between TC Jester and Shepherd — is a new gated community which will include 80 modern homes around a large central pond. The three- and four-bedroom, two-story homes, which start at $315,000, are distinctly modern, with clean lines inside and out and open floorplans.
"If you wanted this house inside the loop," says developer David Bohorquez, "It'd have three stories, no outdoor space and start at $600,000."
Bohorquez hails from Venezuela, and has been flipping and building homes in Houston with his company, Contempo Builders, since 2003. Contempo began developing townhomes at the $125,000-and-up price point across the street from La Sierra in 2009, and he said they were receiving more attention than expected from those willing to pay more but looking for higher-end finishes. "I always like modern architecture," he says, "but when I got here, I saw what was going on here" — i.e. the traditional-style, brick-fronted homes — "and said, when in Rome ... we can do that."
Since breaking ground on La Sierra, which is a departure in style both for Contempo and for the area, a hodgepodge mix of single-family homes and industrial buildings, about 20 homes are built and occupied; they'll be building the rest of the 80 homes in phases. They're currently seeing a diverse mix of millennial young families, older couples and empty nesters moving in — the location is close enough to the heart of the city, including Garden Oaks/Oak Forest and the Heights, to be desirable, but far enough out that the number of homes can offset the construction cost of the modern buildings and finishes.
"The ultimate goal behind La Sierra," Bohorquez says, "is to change the way people think about the modern home."