When a home is built, it has a ripple effect that may go on for decades. It goes beyond the home’s first owners, impacting generations of a family. Whether it is passed down through the family or sold to create wealth, that is the legacy of homeownership.
“There will always be a need for rental housing, and we’ll always do that,” said Fred Dodson, chief operating officer and executive vice president of real estate. “But homeownership is one of the most impactful things we do because we’re creating generational wealth for families.”
Over the past five years, home values in Charlotte have increased by more than 86 percent. In the past year alone, home values have surged 25 percent, and the median list price of a single-family home is around $375,000. These unprecedented increases are due to growing demand, lack of housing inventory and increased costs for building materials caused by supply chain issues. Homeownership may seem impossible for many, but DreamKey is committed to helping families see what’s possible through affordable housing, including buying their first home.
“Adopting the Aveline brand has allowed us to put a stamp on formally building single-family homes,” said Fred. “This is what we do and what we’ll continue to do – it’s part of our legacy. In the past, we relied on the market to provide affordable housing, but that’s not the case anymore, so we’ll do it ourselves.”
Aveline at Coulwood will serve buyers at various income levels and start in the high-$200s. The vision for Aveline neighborhoods is mixed-income – or healthy communities as Sammy Jackson, real estate development manager, refers to them – and targeted for the low- and moderate-income homebuyer.
“The homes in this community are high-quality, efficient in design and energy, and cost-effective,” Sammy shared. “We’ve worked to create a home buying experience future homeowners dream for.”
The realization of Aveline at Coulwood was made possible by a host of partners who worked in lockstep with DreamKey. Homebuilder JCB Urban, civil engineer LandDesign, site development contractor J.O. Flowe Grading and realtor Matt Stone Real Estate came together early in the development process to create a high-quality housing product that would be affordable and beautiful.
Matt Stone with Matt Stone Real Estate said, “Aveline at Coulwood is unique; it’s not like other track builders and products in the market. The homes have more customized features, higher upgrades, and a smaller footprint.” From the beginning, the team had to be nimble and willing to pivot when kinks in the supply chain arose to keep the timeline on schedule while preserving the integrity of the product.
The team came together to create design elements that would appeal to the market and stand out from the rest. Diane Long with JCB Urban said, “We developed a color palette that set us apart from the surrounding communities and incorporated cottage and craftsman features you wouldn’t necessarily find at this price point. It is about creating a beautiful home, whether for the market rate or affordable price points.”
In the second quarter of 2021, the first phase of Aveline at Coulwood homes hit the market, and within the first four hours, Matt Stone and his real estate team fielded around 80 calls from eager homebuyers. “The demand for the affordable single-family home product in Charlotte is unlimited,” said Matt. Each home receives between 15 to 30 offers. “We get a lot of buyers – like teachers, firefighters and healthcare workers – seeking an affordable, high-quality home like those in Aveline.”
As of May 2022, 12 homes in Aveline at Coulwood are fully constructed, with 18 homes either sold or under contract.
Additionally, DreamKey has developed a dozen scattered-site single-family homes in Druid Hills. The real estate team continues to look for land opportunities for more scattered site and Aveline homes in the Southeast. The Aveline housing product is just one-way DreamKey is working to close the homeownership gap between white and BIPOC communities.
Beyond the individual impact, the lack of affordable housing supply has a pervasive effect. “As Charlotte matures and people continue to move here to look for opportunities, if the affordable housing deficit continues, it will hamper the city’s growth and significantly impact local economies,” said Fred.
Fred and Sammy agree that the development process isn’t easy, but Fred noted that good things are often hard to do. “We will keep building, so everyone’s American dream is within reach for tomorrow and generations to come.”