In Fayetteville home can be sweet indeed, whether a century-old bungalow, a cool modern apartment or an avant-garde contemporary mansion atop a hill. During the recent recession, the housing market in Fayetteville stayed comparatively stable and diverse, and nowadays it's bustling, with choices galore.
"Housing is very strong here," says Christine Cook, senior vice president and executive broker with Lindsey & Associates realtors. "We are an eclectic community, with students, professionals, middle-class working people and housing to fit all their needs."
Homes that bring the city's past to life are in much demand, Cook says. Remodeled large Victorian homes and smaller bungalows in the Washington-Willow Historic District command as much as $250 per square foot, and unrenovated 19th- and early 20th-century homes there and in the Wilson Park Historic District and Mount Sequoyah are quickly snapped up.
Around the square, old buildings have been turned into pricey condos that appeal to University of Arkansas alumni, professors and professionals, drawn to the area's restaurants, shops and entertainment.
The south part of town, once considered somewhat less desirable, is being revitalized in response to the growing number of young couples and families entering the housing market. Brightly colored, contemporary townhomes are being built in the Block Avenue area, such as architect Albert Skiles'attractive zero-lot-line, low-maintenance homes, Cook says. The west side of town is also growing, with starter homes in the $139,000-$159,000 range.
Unique Contemporary Homes
Eclectic ranch homes of the '50s and '60s, are popular in the desirable Mount Sequoyah area, where dramatic views are the norm. Contemporary homes, such as those on Mount Sequoyah, enjoy great popularity in Fayetteville, thanks in part to the highly respected University of Arkansas architecture school. Its namesake first dean, Fay Jones, is a local legend for his dramatic homes, evocative of the designs of Frank Lloyd Wright, Jones' teacher.
"The homes were done with natural material, stone and wood, bringing the outside indoors," Cook says. "They're very special."
Fay Jones' Buckley House and architect Marlon Blackwell's L-Stack House were among seven striking contemporary homes spotlighted on the first Modern Homes Tour in Fayetteville in 2012. More than 300 people visited the homes during the one-day tour, meeting architects and owners.
"When we looked at Fayetteville as a possibility for a tour, we were surprised to find there was an incredible modern architecture movement there," says Modern Homes Tour co-founder James Leasure. "The tour was a huge success, so much so that we are doing another tour in October 2013, which will feature a home by Edward Durrell Stone."
Renters, too, enjoy a variety of housing options, as builders scramble to meet demands of the university's booming student population. Modern apartments, many of them as luxurious as upscale condos, have sprung up near campus. Eco Modern Flats, the first LEED-certified multifamily property in Arkansas, boasts such sustainable, green building practices as solar-heated water, no-VOC paint, landscaping with native plants, rainwater reuse and the complex's walkability.
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