Special Features

Outdoor living on a Colorado scale: Final Parade weekend offers dramatic outdoor entertaining at Pradera in Parker

By Mark Samuelson

AronPhoto.comUmbria model at Pradera open for final weekend of the Parade of Homes.When veteran builders Dan Verdoorn and Kurt Miller brought luxury homes to some city-sized lots in Lone Tree's Heritage Hills six years ago, Colorado's housing market was headed for the tank - but Celebrity Custom Homes, all with dramatic outdoor-living spaces, sold well anyway, right through the downturn. Now the market is vastly better, and Verdoorn, Miller and award-winning architect Mike Woodley have applied those same concepts to the expansive terrain around the private Jim Engh-design golf course at Pradera, near Parker. And you can come see how great those work on this final weekend of the Parade of Homes.

"The city grew up around Lone Tree, and now we're seeing some of our buyers who look for more privacy," Miller said, showing off the two homes you'll see - each with wide-open settings where outdoor living unfolds from the home's interior, seamlessly into the rolling panorama. There's room for a 'casita' that could be an added guest suite; or a party room that unfolds from a giant pool and terrace.

"This is the line," Miller said as he traced an imaginary divide that Woodley has created between the entertaining spaces and the functional areas like bedroom suites. The latter are also decked out, showing creative uses of light and color to complement the outdoors.

All of this is an add-on to a private golf club setting that offers plenty of value in its amenities, says Verdoorn. "It's a nice, family-styled club with an amazing social membership," he added. $94 a month gets you the inviting clubhouse and its gym and grill (great chef, Verdoorn notes) along with four foursomes a year on the course, and a calendar of activities with your neighbors.

"A lot of value in a custom purchase ends up being about who's doing it," notes Craig Penn, sales manager at Pradera, who has already seen six sales of these homes this year. "This is a custom builder at a semi-custom price. You won't find this quality anywhere around."

Prices start under $900,000. Tour the homes, and then Penn can tell you about home sites at Pradera - some ready for you to go to work on a custom version of these right away. Celebrity also has one home set for early delivery: an Avila 3-bedroom-plus-study plan on track to be ready this year. You still have time to have that personalized, from a price including lot premium estimated at $1.1 million.

Penn adds that Pradera has the new connectivity offered by the west side of Parker, with its Hess Road and Ridgegate Parkway connections to Southeast office campuses. You can get there by heading south on Parker Road past the town of Parker; but Penn recommends you take the I-25 route: south to the first Castle Rock exit, Founders Parkway, then east a mile to Crowfoot Valley Road, north three miles to Pradera Parkway, and right a half mile to Wildgrass Place.

WHERE: Parade of Homes featuring Celebrity Custom Homes at Pradera, final Parade weekend; two designer-furnished custom homes, attractively priced sites, some on private Jim Engh designed golf course. Take I-25 south to first Castle Rock exit, Founders Pkwy, east 1 mi. to Crowfoot Valley Rd., turn north 3 mi. to Pradera Pkwy, then right ½ mi to Wildgrass Pl.

PRICE: From $835,000 to $1.5 million, ready soon $1.1 million

PHONE: 720-851-9411

WEB: CelebrityCommunities.com

Mark Samuelson writes on real estate and business; you can email him atmark@samuelsonassoc.com. You can see all of Mark Samuelson's columns online atDenverPostHomes.com

  • Colorado Springs becomes tiny house “capital of America”

    Colorado Springs is home to the largest manufacturer of tiny homes in the country, Tumbleweed Tiny House Co. The city will host the national Tiny House Jamboree on Aug. 5-7 at the Western Museum of Mining and Industry.Courtesy of Tumbleweed Tiny House Company
    As the real estate market takes off in Colorado Springs, some local builders aren’t thinking big. They’re thinking tiny.
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    Colorado Springs was host to the 2015 national Tiny House Jamboree, which organizers say brought 40,000 visitors to the area. The city will host the national jamboree Aug. 5-7 at the Western Museum of Mining and Industry.
    Read the full story at Gazette.com.

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  • Herman Group-led real estate brokerage files for Chapter 11

    A Denver real estate company that recently adopted the Shorewood Real Estate brand has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
    LBH National Corp., which does business under several Shorewood entities, filed the voluntary petition on Thursday, listing upward of $5.9 million of liabilities.
    LBH National Corp. is headed by Roger Herman, whose Denver-based The Herman Group acquired Manhattan Beach, Calif.-based Shorewood Realtors in 2014. Earlier this year, the Herman Group rolled its real estate brands under the Shorewood name.
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  • Average US 30-year mortgage edges up to 3.56 percent

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  • Home sales hit strongest pace nationally since 2007

    WASHINGTON — Americans snapped up houses in May almost as soon as properties were listed, fueling the strongest sales rate in nearly a decade.
    Sales of existing homes rose 1.8 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.53 million, the highest level since February 2007, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday.
    People remain intent on buying homes, despite the low inventory of properties on the market that has caused prices to rise. The elevated demand likely stems from low mortgage rates and a relatively healthy jobs picture with unemployment at 4.7 percent, even with a recent slowdown in hiring.
    “May’s existing home sales numbers suggest that healthy demand continues to support a recovering housing market, but that inventory woes are preventing a full recovery to pre-recession levels,” said Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist at online real estate firm Trulia.
    Homes sold in May after just 32 days on the market, the fastest pace ever measured by the Realtors since they began tracking the figure in 2011. Homes stayed on the market on average for 40 days a year ago.
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    In metro Denver, new listings spent 30 days on the market on average in May, according to the Denver Metro Association of Realtors. The median price of a single-family home sold in the metro area in May reached $398,000, a 10.7 percent jump from a year earlier.
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    The sales gains have failed to persuade more current homeowners to list their properties. Many are still recovering equity lost during the crash. For some of them, a sale would fail to generate enough of a profit to cover the expense of buying a new home. The number of listings has fallen 5.7 percent from a year ago, meaning homebuyers have fewer and fewer options.
    Home ownership rates have yet to improve despite the sales growth since the housing bust triggered a recession in late 2007. The national rate is close to a 48-year low of 63.5 percent.
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    First-time buyers accounted for 30 percent of sales last month, well below the historic average of 40 percent.
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    Low mortgage rates have helped boost demand. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dipped to 3.54 percent last week from 4 percent a year ago.
    The Denver Post contributed to this report.

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