AllState Homes' backyard bungalow fills need for area families
After nearly 60 years of building new homes in the greater Tampa Bay area, one would expect AllState Homes to be on top of the latest housing trends. According to Dan Larson, AllState sales manager, the rest of the housing industry is just catching up to a trend his company recognized four years ago. Citing an article called "Housing Shifts Our Habits," in The Tampa Tribune on June 18, Larson says his company is way ahead of the curve. "The story was about predictions in housing trends that were made by three economists at the National Association of Real Estate Editors in San Antonio, Texas," Larson explains. "One of the economists, Stan Humphries with Zillow.com, was quoted as saying, 'More grown children are moving in with their parents, and more elderly people are moving in with their children.' " It is a prediction that AllState Homes not only made four years ago, but one that the company has pursued in earnest."We began working on new ideas and rethinking the housing needs of the future," Larson says. "AllState Homes developed a backyard bungalow that has become a mother-in law suite or a family cottage, depending on which family member has the need for it. More than a third of our build-on-your-lot business is for the bungalow." AllState Homes began developing the bungalow cottages when company leaders began to anticipate families coming together to weather a tough economy, "Americans have a way of rallying together and helping others, especially family members, when times get tough," Larson adds. "Our new products help families come together yet still keep their independent living options." Larson points out that nearly every county and municipality has recognized the need for extended family situations by permitting homeowners to build an auxiliary structure in their back yards to accommodate family members in need. "There are certain restrictions," Larson admits. "But AllState Homes has created a niche by specializing in meeting those code requirements." Customers are quick to express their satisfaction with the backyard bungalow. "We have built two homes with AllState. The second was just completed on the same property as the first home," says Plant City's Patti Craddock, who praises the company's staff for helping her family "fully complete our dream with the addition of our in-law suite for our family." Delisa Hooper of South Tampa is just as pleased with her bungalow. "This house is absolutely perfect," she says. "Everyone in the neighborhood has stopped and complimented the house, and commented on the speed and courtesy of the construction workers. I am so glad to have chosen AllState to do the work. It has been an easy and comforting process." Another quote from Stan Humphries in the aforementioned Tampa Tribune article caught Larson's attention as well. "He stated that, 'People want to live closer to cities and in smaller homes. A lot of the housing stock in the suburbs doesn't speak to that demand. That may mean more redevelopment near downtown cores,'" Larson says. "That has always been our business. We build on people's lots, whether it is a new home, an infill home, or replacing an old inefficient home in one of our well-established neighborhoods. We have built hundreds of replacement homes in areas like Seminole Heights, South Tampa, Ballast Point and other neighborhoods. In the more rural areas, many of the replacements are for mobile homes. In fact, our most popular promotion this year has been 'Free Demolition.' " Whether it is adding one of their new back yard bungalows or building a new, full-size home, AllState Homes has built more than 15,000 homes on owners' lots in the Tampa Bay area during the last 56 years. The company specializes in building concrete block, energy-efficient homes, with more than 100 floor plans available. Also, AllState Homes offers customers services such as designing and building, plus pricing and value engineering of lot owners' plans, and free site evaluations. "We are one of the last builders to experience a slowdown in sales during a falling market, and one of the first to enjoy increased sales when the market begins to rise, simply because we have experience in weathering change and the innovative abilities to provide for new demands," Larson adds. The AllState Homes corporate offices at 11300 N. Central Ave. in Tampa (near the intersection of I-275 and Fowler Ave.) are open seven days a week. For information, visit www.allstatehomes.com, or call (813) 935-2111.