Neal Communities has signed contracts on 25 of these cottages since sales started Feb. 22, despite several price increases, unique at a time when most builders are slashing prices and begging for buyers. These homes are at Forest Creek in Parrish, which is in Manatee County.
The one-story Rose, with two bedrooms and two baths in 1,200 square feet, started out last month at $122,900 and is now priced at $135,900.
The two-story Lake (two bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths in 1,419 square feet) is now $149,900, up from $136,900.
The two-story Gull (three bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths in 1,648 square feet) started out at $153,900 and is now $167,900.
The exterior designs, with front porches and detached rear garages, are reminiscent of the styles of Key West and New Orleans. Inside they feel like townhouses, but they are detached, single-family homes with small yards. The cottages are on home sites 27 feet wide. The prices include the homes and homesites.
For first-time buyers, singles or downsizers, these compact dwellings are very appealing. On a recent Friday afternoon, two retiree couples had settled into the living room as though they already lived there and were debating, as one of the men put it, what he wanted in "the last house I'll buy before I go into the nursing home."
To reach Forest Creek, take Interstate 75 to Exit 224 (the exit for Prime Outlets) and turn north on U.S. 301. Drive about 5 miles, cross Chin Road, and watch for the Forest Creek entrance on the right. Models are open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Information: (941) 776-2000.