Mission Homes Colorado Prioritizes Quality, Affordability, Community, Charity in Berthoud
While many groups – from state, county and local governments to private entities and non-profits – are working to address the ongoing challenge of housing affordability, Mission Homes Colorado, owned by David and Stephanie Gregg, has taken a front-line, grassroots approach to the homes it is now building in Berthoud in the PrairieStar master-planned community just northwest of where Berthoud Parkway meets U.S. Hwy. 287.
For some time, inadequate home inventory in Northern Colorado and builders’ inability to keep pace with our growing population have contributed significantly to rising home prices. Big, mainstream, tract home builders follow trends and primarily pursue profits, and that can produce a homogenous selection of new homes to choose from, in terms of style, size and price.
As baby boomers transition to empty nests, young professionals work to get established and newlyweds search for their first homes, they face difficult and expensive choices. For these groups, and many others, the standard home options don’t work when it comes to size and price. An average home price at or above $400,000 across most of the northern Front Range puts the bottom rung of the home price ladder out of reach for many. First-time homebuyers and those looking to downsize have few options.
Mission Homes Colorado’s motto is “Homes Built with Purpose.” The mission is to help rediscover affordability in the new-home market, while centering the business plan around charitable giving. They hope to give purchasing power to prospective buyers who don’t need or can’t afford the current average new home, while sharing profits with local and international charities that help those in need.
Why? “Because this is home for us,” David said. “I’ve been in the industry for 30 years, and all the production builders build the same thing and go after the same market – $300,000 to $500,000 – that appeals to families with children. No one was building a smaller home more appropriate for smaller families. It was partly a business decision, and partly a concern over how affordability has been disappearing.
“In the 1950s, the average American home was around 950 square feet. Today, it’s closer to 2,500 square feet. Many people spend a lot of brain power wondering where affordability went. A big part of that is size. We decided to create modestly sized, very-high-quality builds at a sales price no one else was touching.”
The Greggs brought together a group of Berthoud-area experts in the craft of homebuilding, dubbed the Hometown Team. The origin of Mission Homes Colorado Hometown Team goes back to when the Greggs bought their first Berthoud home, built by Berthoud Builders and sold by Maggi Town & Country Real Estate. The Mission Homes Colorado Cottages in Berthoud now are being built by that same hometown team of Berthoud Builders and the Kouns family, and are offered for sale by the mother-and-son team of Marian and Gary Maggi’s RE/MAX Town & Country.
Using all local labor, the Greggs and team offer built-with-purpose cottages that are right-sized (900-1,200 square feet) and right-priced (from the mid $200s). With a focus on high-quality craftsmanship and maximum efficiency, buyers are investing in Mission Homes’ cottages that are significantly more affordable than what the market typically offers, and, just as importantly, the homes are designed and built to be affordable to operate and maintain. For example, there are no HOAs – something which is becoming harder to find in new construction.
Your Right-Sized Choices
Buyers can choose from one of four cottage floorplans. Each is named in honor of a Christian missionary who inspires the Greggs.
The Elliot is the smallest and most popular two-story plan. At 928 square feet, the Elliot includes two bedrooms and one bath, with an option for a powder bath.
The Saint is a ranch home with two bedrooms and two baths in 992 square feet.
The Livingstone is a slightly larger plan with 1,056 square feet. The first floor can incorporate an optional powder room, with two bedrooms and a full bath upstairs.
At 1,184 square feet, the Taylor is their largest offering, featuring a main-floor powder room, along with a master suite and second bedroom and full bath on the upper floor.
“The quality really shows,” Gary Maggi said. “I’ve closed five cottages of the total sold. Through pre-closing inspections, no one has found any problems. There have been virtually zero repairs needed; not even minor touch-ups. It’s almost unbelievable, and so refreshing. This is not production building. It’s local folks who wake up in Berthoud and go to work here. We are your neighbors, and we’re here to stay. We’re not going away. We’re super proud of the product mix we have, and we’ve got the right people doing the right things for the right reasons, in every phase of this project.”
Mission Homes Colorado uses a few key strategies to help keep their homes more affordable. Lots and cottages are smaller. Garages are optional and can be added later, but even without, homeowners have dedicated off-street parking in the alley-loaded designs. Optional finishes include hardwood and tile floors, solid-surface counters and several cabinet styles. Additional windows and expanded front porches are available. Far from scrimping and cutting corners, all cottages include front-yard landscaping and fencing, as well as superior construction features such as 2×6 exterior walls, above-code insulation, tankless hot water heaters, pier foundations and rebar-reinforced slabs.
Each newly built cottage is tested for energy efficiency. Home energy modeling predicts an average cost per month of about $70 for all utilities. Using the HERS home energy rating system, the typical American home scores approximately 100, and net-zero, off-grid homes score 0. With HERS scores in the 50s, Mission Homes are nearly 50 percent more efficient than average.
These are designed with a variety of buyers in mind, including newlyweds, the newly single, single parents, single-income and fixed-income households, downsizers, downshifters, the eco-conscious and empty-nesters – anyone who wants to spend less money on their home and more time enjoying life. “We want teachers, first-responders, clergy, veterans, senior citizens and anyone whose only present option is to rent or live outside of Berthoud to be our neighbors,” Stephanie said. “If currently the only financial choice available to you is to rent or live outside of Berthoud, one of our Mission Homes Colorado Cottages may be a perfect fit.”
These quality-built, efficient homes have access to the PrairieStar neighborhood’s numerous amenities, including several neighborhood parks that include horseshoe pits and tennis, basketball and pickleball courts, open space, play areas, picnic tables, community gardens, a dog park, trails for hiking and biking, and meandering sidewalks. There’s also a community pool and clubhouse along Berthoud Parkway, and a planned village center, with retail, restaurants, banking, office space and a grocery store.
Phase one had 17 homes, with four Saint cottages and the rest a mix of the other three floor plans with three elevation choices and a variety of features. Currently, a total of 52 Mission Homes are planned, and 27 are currently under contract or closed. There are 22 under construction, with 20 more projected to start this summer.
Their mission, as they describe it, is “Homes Built with Purpose” to help rediscover affordability in the new home market.
The Mission Beyond Building
Beyond affordability, Mission Homes Colorado’s larger mission is built around charity. The Greggs donate 25 percent of profits to non-profits doing good works in NOCO and around the world. Every buyer’s purchase provides purposeful benefit to the community and the world at large.
One important choice buyers have, Stephanie emphasizes, is which of the Mission Homes Colorado charitable partners benefits from each home-buying experience. Buyers choose from a list of local non-profits that receive a designated portion of each sale’s proceeds. Home buyers also can apply for a Mission Homes scholarship to serve a one- or two-week mission or service opportunity.
Mission Homes Colorado’s charitable partners in the Berthoud area include Habitat for Humanity, Guided Hope, Meals on Wheels, Rescues Rescuing Veterans and House of Neighborly Service. NOCO partners include Royal Family Kids, Project Self Sufficiency and Harvest Farm. International partners include Life for the Innocent, Know-Love, and Compassion International.
For more information about Mission Homes Colorado, visit www.MissionHomesNOCO.com or find them on Facebook. For more information about current Mission Homes Colorado Cottages available for sale, contact Gary Maggi with RE/MAX Town & Country at 970.532.5096.