Homes on smaller lot sizes coming on the market in Leander and Cedar Park

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A growing trend in the area is how many houses are being built on smaller lot sizes in the Cedar Park and Leander real estate market, said Vaike O’Grady, the regional director of Metrostudy, a company that provides data on residential construction and the housing market.

She said what would be considered typical starter homes were once built on a 50-foot lot, while Matt Menard, a broker and co-owner of Austin Real Estate Experts, said 60-foot lots were previously considered traditional.

“That has now changed; now it’s a 40-foot lot or a 35-foot lot,” O’Grady said. “The homes are getting narrower and smaller, and that’s coming from builders trying to keep the price point down.”

The bulk of the market is still constructing new homes on lots above a width of 50 or 60 feet, but she said developers are starting to build more what she calls “skinny homes” with smaller lot widths.

According to data from Metrostudy, in 2015 there were 41 projects in Leander and Cedar Park under construction by developers with lot widths above 60 feet, while only 10 projects were below 60 feet. The number of smaller lots increased by 180 percent by the end of 2017, while the percentage of lots greater than 60 feet increased by about 68 percent in the same timeframe.

Menard said these projects are attracting buyers to the area by providing houses with less upkeep.

“They don’t have someone living above or below them; they don’t need all of that [yard]space; and they want to have their own space and own versus rent,” he said. “I think [houses with smaller lots]have answered the call for a lot of the growth in the area.”

More local real estate trends:

High home construction, sales help meet housing market demand in Leander and Cedar Park

Buyers in Cedar Park and Leander see competition for starter homes

Increase in apartment options led to flat rental rates in Cedar Park and Leander

More existing homes available in Cedar Park; New home construction in Leander prevails

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  1. Cedar Park and Leander need to amend their development codes to prohibit these tiny lots! It’s all so the developers can make more money, they paid next to nothing for land compared to what they get for building a house on it.

    • Why? If there is a demand and people want homes on smaller lots, why should government dictate that consumers should not have them? As for home builders making more money even though you get less land, well, remember, no matter how much or how little land you own, in real estate it’s all about the location, not so much the mass of the dirt. Want more land for the money? Move to Waco. But in any case, if you think about it, unless you’re a farmer or rancher, who really needs land these days in a post-industrial world like we live in? Especially since we’re all so busy working more hours, some of us two or three jobs anyway, who has time to water and cut massive amounts of grass (which requires lots of water in our often drought-stricken climate here)? What’s that you say? You need room for the kids and the dogs to play? Just about every neighborhood has parks, or you can go to the city or county park (or state park). When my son was little, he hardly ever played in the back yard, even after I’d slaved building him his swing set.

      I’d go one step further to say that, as a homeowner, if my wife would let me, I’d sell the house and go back to apartment living. I don’t miss the noisy neighbors living on top of me, but I never had to deal with a yard, let alone major appliances and other things costing thousands of dollars which *I* have to pay to repair when it breaks down in a house I own. The whole romantic notion of owning a home is a crock. It’s a money pit. You never make a profit when it comes to your primary residence, because when you sell it, unless you move downward into a poverty-stricken armpit of an area, you’ll always have to pay more for the next house, because property values in good areas always go up. Not to mention the costs of moving itself. And property taxes.

  2. Personally, I love detached homes on smaller lots. I don’t want to be connected to my neighbors, but also want the lesser maintenance of a small yard and home. There are so many HUGE homes and HUGE lots in Cedar Park and Leander already.

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Caitlin covers Cedar Park and Leander city councils and reports on education, transportation, government and business news. She is an alumnus of The University of Texas at Austin. Most recently, Caitlin produced a large-scale investigative project with The Dallas Morning News and led education coverage in the Brazos Valley at The Bryan-College Station Eagle. After interning with Community Impact Newspaper for two summers, she joined the staff as a reporter in 2015.
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