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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A new neighborhood in West Lafayette will feature dozens of “low-maintenance living” luxury ranch homes with a starting price in the mid $300,000s.
Essential Homes, an Epcon Communities builder, will host a grand opening of its model home in The Courtyards at Belle Terra, a new neighborhood-in-the-making.
The Courtyards at Belle Terra will feature 79 luxury ranch homes of “low-maintenance living,” where the home owners association will provide maintenance work on lawn care, irrigation, landscaping, common area lighting, trash services, street care, snow removal and community amenities.
Essential Homes was co-founded by Bob Hockema and Ryan Kennedy in 2020. The Courtyards at Belle Terra will be their first completed neighborhood under Essential Homes. However, the two have 40 years of real-estate business experience between them.
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“We just thought that there was a need in Tippecanoe County to be able to offer a luxury ranch, maintenance-free lifestyle,” Hockema said, “with the higher-end finishes. So people aren’t sacrificing. We don’t really say it’s downsizing, they’re right-sizing.”
Cost of homes for sale, floor plans
The mid-$300,000 starting price falls 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 of the ranches will be two-bedroom, two-bath with a den. There are optional additions such as an upstairs bonus suite or a master bedroom seating area. Of the 79 planned homes, 13 are currently under construction. From initial ground-breaking on their model home in late 2021 to finishing all 79 residential homes, Hockema expects the neighborhood to be finished by 2025.
“We offer six different floor plans,” Hockema said, “and then there’s different structural options. So (buyers) can add like, a master bedroom sitting area, screen-in porch…So they can totally come in and pick from one of our six plans. They can add what structural additions they want to the plans, and then they make all their selections at our design center.”
Essential Homes’ design center is located at 525 Main St. in Lafayette.
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Grand opening and home tours
While the grand opening will be held from noon to 5 p.m. – with the ribbon cutting ceremony at 1 p.m. – on April 29 at the model home, prospective buyers are welcome to tour the home and explore their options now.
“The model home is open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.,” Hockema said, “and so we have a sales staff always here. People can come walk through the house, get ideas and then make their selections.”
Appointments for walk throughs are available at Essential Homes’ website, by calling 765-766-0004 or by walking in during business hours. The model homes’ address is 6100 Gilwell Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47906. Should that address not appear on GPS systems, the address 660 Hazelwood Drive in West Lafayette will also lead to the neighborhood.
“The ribbon cutting 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 features that we have that separate us from other communities in Tippecanoe County.”
Hockema explained that the standard included features in Essential Homes’ ranches are usually what are considered upgrades for other home builders.
“The key features are, obviously the luxury ranch homes, our floor plans are open (and) modern floor plans, they include abundant natural light…Everything you need is on one floor. The kitchen, living space, bedroom, laundry room and storage.”
While The Courtyards at Belle Terra is not an age-restricted neighborhood, it is geared towards a low-maintenance lifestyle with homes that are popular with 55+ buyers.
With the model home having just been opened for tours since early April, response from potential buyers has been positive already.
“There’s been great reception from people who come in and who have driven by over the last several months,” Hockema said. “But then they come in and are like ‘Wow, these are really nice houses. I didn’t realize you could customize and do all the options that are available.’ Most people are very surprised just by the open layouts and the light.”
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The smallest square footage available in the homes is 1,416 square feet while the largest goes up to 3,000. An 80th plot will finish out the neighborhood, consisting of a community clubhouse with a featured pool, pickleball court and fitness facility. The neighborhood will also feature private courtyards, two community ponds and a one-year membership to nearby Coyote Crossing Golf Club.
Essential Homes invites the public to enjoy light refreshments and a tour of the model home at the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony from noon to 5 p.m. on April 29 at the model home, 6100 Gilwell Dr. in West Lafayette.
Margaret Christopherson is a reporter for the Journal & Courier. Email her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @MargaretJC2.