The Possible Dream: You Can Buy A New Home in Dallas County For Under $100K

One of two new model homes at The Crossings in Wilmer, Texas

One of two new model homes at The Crossings in Wilmer, Texas (Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography)

There’s been a lot of talk lately about affordable and low-income housing in Dallas, and we are happy to share that’s it’s still a possible dream to own a new home in Dallas County for under $100,000.  You just have to be open to a housing resource that has been around for years, but is having a resurgence as a viable form of affordable homeownership. As a Lifestylist®, I’ve been visiting some of these communities to do some mythbusting about how the “American Dream” can still be affordable.

The Crossings will be adding 150 homes to their community. Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography

The Crossings will be adding 150 homes to their community. Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography

Anyone who has looked at apartments lately knows how expensive renting has become in Dallas , and if you want to live anywhere near our urban areas, it’s going to cost you. Builder Magazine shared a study today that finds there is a massive shortage of affordable housing, and Texas is ranked as having one of the largest shortages. I hate that they always lump low-income and affordable housing together — what if you just don’t want to spend all of your money on a home but have a reasonable income or savings like many of our seniors and retirees have?

Land lease communities are offering a new option to consumers looking for affordable housing, and these cost savings are made possible by letting you own your home, but leasing the land.

An award winning clubbhouse at Eagle Creek Ranch - a YES! Community. Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography

An award-winning clubhouse at Eagle Creek Ranch – a YES! Community. Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography

These communities have everything from just the basic amenities to some that offer resort-style living with pools, lakes, dog parks, clubhouses, fitness centers, and even after-school activities for the kids. The communities offer factory-built housing that is constructed to the federal building code overseen by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). And what will really surprise you is how beautiful and well constructed these homes are.

YES! Communities have over 30 communities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, many in highly sought after school districts such as Plano and Coppell. Their Golden Triangle community is right across from the elementary school, and has a community pool and playground – it’s hard to believe you can still own or rent a home in this location and have it considered affordable.

The kitchen in the Pinehurst Model at The Crossings features lots of cabinets, countertops and storage. Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography

The kitchen in the Pinehurst Model at The Crossings features lots of cabinets, countertops, and storage. Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography

Until this week I had no idea that Wilmer was not only in Dallas County, but amazingly close to downtown Dallas. We went to the grand reopening of The Crossings — a community that is owned by Four Leaf Properties. They purchased the community in 2015 and are in the process of adding 150 home sites and offering brand new homes starting at $67,000, where you own your home but lease the land.

When we asked Matt Nelson, Managing Partner at Four Leaf Communities why someone would choose this type of ownership he shared:

“At The Crossings, we are targeting families and others who would benefit from homeownership and have a desire for options beyond renting.  Housing is scarce in the Dallas Metroplex, and many are paying high rent in a low-quality home or apartment building that offers no benefit. Our communities, and the homes within them, offer a totally different option that can be a game-changer for many. Our residents can own their own home for less than renting in a safe, tight-knit community with amenities and perks.  Amenities include community events, an outdoor pool and even a summer lunch and activity program that is offered at no charge to our residents.”

Pool and playground area at The Crossings Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography

Pool and playground area at The Crossings Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography

With rents in the Dallas area for a three-bedroom apartment are averaging $1,500 a month, living in a land lease community gives you the chance to own your own home and paint the walls any color you want, have a yard, garden, and maybe a four-legged friend while you can build equity and work towards your future. It sounds like the American Dream to us.

5 Comment

  • But what are the locations? You’d think they would make homes with the short side to the front which can be “urbanized.”

    • Hi Eric- locations are all over Dallas county – YES has a community off of I-30 in DeSoto that you can see downtown Dallas from, The Four Leaf Properties Crossings community is right off of I-45 in Wilmer, again an easy direct drive to downtown Dallas. The YES! Plano community is less than a mile from the public golf course, and has lots of trees and mature landscaping as well as a pool and clubhouse for residents to enjoy. The “short side” is to the front in these photos – these offer fairly spacious side yards so you might miss that in the images.

      These homes would be great for infill in some of the abandoned lots we have in Dallas – imagine being able to have a home ready to be lived in – many times in less than 2 weeks! I know that you share my love of prefab and factory-built housing – hoping that we can get the word out about what a solution this can be for our affordable housing crisis.

  • Land Lease is something I would be leery or at least be VERY informed about it. I wonder if a first time homebuyer would understand the complexities of a land lease purchase vs a traditional home purchase. I would imagine finding a lender for a land lease property would be much harder than a traditional one. Other questions i would ask is: 1. How much time until the current Land Lease contract expires? 2. What are the terms when the Land Lease expires? 3. Do you anticipate living in the home when the Land Lease will expire in less than 15-20 years? 4. yes DFW rents are high but is owning a land lease home superior to renting? The two arent that much different as your costs are are determined by another party.

    • ArgoSanct consumers need to be educated and informed on any type of home purchase or rental. It’s a big purchase and it’s in your best interest to do your homework and understand what you are signing up for. The Manufactured Housing Institute is a great resource for information on what we discussed – their website is at http://www.manufacturedhousing.org
      In regards to your questions, most communities offer an annual lease. With a home in this type of community, the loan for the home is not tied to the land so you always have the option of moving or selling the home. The difference in owning a home like these vs renting is that you own your home – you are building equity instead of just saying goodbye to that rent payment every month. In some ways it’s almost a hybrid when you might not want to or can’t afford owning the home and the land – at least you are building equity in the home every month. Finding financing is easier than you might think – there are a lot of loan resources (including one owned by Warren Buffett) that understand this type of housing and can get you the best loan for your situation.

  • My only issue with this is that these type of homes depreciate, rather than appreciate. As soon as you purchase one, there it is!
    Then on top of that, if you don’t own any land, and you lease land, what happens after the lease expires? Is that just like renting? The only difference now is that you are leasing land instead of an apartment or a home.

    I would not even pursue this type of housing unless I had some land. At least you know the land is yours! If you purchase the home and default, you still own the land, but if you lease the land rather than purchase, you lose both! Not too good, right? Moving these type of homes is VERY expensive too.