As a homebuyer, you may be wondering: “What is infill housing?” It doesn’t sound very livable, but infill housing is actually an attractive option for those who want to move into in-demand markets. That’s because infill housing refers to homes that are built in existing neighborhoods. You’ll learn more about it, as well as the pros and cons, in this article.
Infill housing typically refers to new houses built on vacant or underused lots. When someone moves into an established neighborhood and tears down an existing structure to construct a new home, that’s also infill housing. You might even hear the term used to describe massive renovations to older, existing properties. But, since we’re a new home builder, we’re going to focus on the new construction type of infill housing.
Urban infill housing has trended up as people look to return to the cities from the suburbs or further out. Also, as land prices are high, infill housing represents a way to get into an existing, older neighborhood while still getting to enjoy the luxury of a new home build.
You’ll see infill housing on an individual basis, where one homeowner buys land and builds their dream home. Or at a broader level in which older homes in an established neighborhood and perhaps even commercial properties are torn down in favor of a new, planned grouping of homes.
When done on an individual basis, the homebuilder simply needs to get the appropriate permits and ensure the neighborhood isn’t in a protected area. For larger projects, the city government may even be behind the infill housing initiative in an effort to promote growth and revitalize an area.
Convenience is a big advantage to infill housing says Saussy Burbank’s Kim Claxton, who handles infill properties in the Charlotte area. An infill property is an “in-town location with the surrounding areas already developed,” she said. “A closer commute to work is another plus. And, usually, it’s just a short walk or bike ride to shops and restaurants.”
By considering infill properties you also expand your neighborhood choices. You don’t have to select only from new developments to get a home that is just built. You can get a lot with old growth trees or one that is near a great school by building your custom home in the neighborhood you prefer.
Infill properties can also benefit the neighborhoods they are built in by increasing property values. In some neighborhoods, infill housing is even credited with helping to reduce problem properties and certain types of crimes as they replace vacant or empty lots.
When you buy infill housing, you can also feel better about your environmental impact. No new land needs to be developed for your land. You are recycling existing property, helping the area to replenish with new homes without more sprawl.
Sometimes the new construction homes are criticized for not matching the style of the existing homes. They may suit the design aesthetic of the new owner, but they stick out like a sore thumb. You can avoid this by working with your builder to achieve your vision without making choices that alienate your new neighbors.
Plus, infill lots are often smaller and/or irregularly shaped. Someone might be selling five lots where there was once one house. This can lead to some challenges for infill housing. You might need to build a narrower home with less square footage or build a taller, multi-story home. That’s why you work with an expert builder experienced in infill housing.
One other possible hurdle? Infill homes don’t always offer the same neighborhood amenities such as a pool or clubhouse, says Claxton. So, buyers may have to get on a waiting list to join nearby pools or clubs within the established neighborhood.
Enticed by the advantages of infill housing? We don’t blame you. Saussy Burbank brings its experience of crafting quality homes in the Carolinas to infill housing builds in Charleston and Charlotte.
In the Queen City, Saussy Burbank’s next project is at Heather Lane and Ashbrook Place near the Park Road Shopping Center. Our first home available is a 3,968 sq. ft. home with 4/5 bedrooms, 4 baths and owner’s bedroom on first floor. Please reach out to Saussy Burbank to learn more about these exciting opportunities!