New housing developments springing up on the prairie around Lawton aren’t new, but South Plains Estates offers a new wrinkle: None of the homes are for sale.
All of the 31 homes completed or under construction will be available for lease, typically for one-year terms.
Ryan Otten, construction manager for the development — which is south of Lee Boulevard west of the Goodyear tire plant — said the developer has had the land for several years and began work on the property about a year ago when it became clear that there would be demand for “high-quality rentals for families.”
Construction was slowed by supply chain problems that followed the COVID-19 pandemic, Otten said, and by the labor shortage all builders have seen. But four homes are now on the market and the development is a beehive of activity on the rest of the houses.
There are several floor plans available for the three- and four-bedroom homes, with leases starting at $1,650 a month. White Glove Realty, which is handling leasing, began accepting applications last week.
Brenda Spencer-Ragland of White Glove said it’s the first time she can remember that a single-family home development has been dedicated to leasing, not selling, homes. She’s a former housing manager at Fort Sill and has more than 30 years experience with the local housing market.
Carrie Austin, who is handling leasing with Spencer-Ragland, said the rental units are attractive because many people aren’t ready to jump into a home purchase or can’t afford the payments with mortgage interest rates rising.
Spencer-Ragland said the standard lease term will be a year but White Glove will be “very fluid supporting the community.”
She said the developer asked for input on the project and listened to the needs expressed. The homes sit on a half-acre lot and are pet friendly, and have access for schools, work, health care and shopping.
In addition, she said, the home builder “didn’t cut quality because it was for lease,” with each kitchen featuring stainless steel appliances and other amenities. Each home has a two-car garage.
The developer said, “If we’re going to do this, let’s do this right,” she said.
The development is in the Cache school district and has rural water and power from Cotton Electric Cooperative. Otten said there is plenty of room to expand to “several hundred homes,” but the water distribution system would have to expand to handle additional units.