Saturday, July 21, 2018

Tales from a Wine Country Homestead: Touring a Connect Home

July 21, 2018
Orinda, CA

Interior of the Connect 8 model in Orinda (photo borrowed from
Today we visited a model of a home by a modern pre-fab home company that we are interested in, Connect Homes.  The home, located in the East Bay town of Orinda, is actually a private dwelling, owned by an employee of Connect Homes, which is a primary factory-built homes company of interest to us.  The owner and his family live in the ultra-modern, two-story home but periodically, they offer tours in the name of marketing, I guess.  

Scott has had multiple conversations with a salesperson at Connect, who happens to live on Willowside near Piner, a stone's throw from our land. We had already gotten a preliminary quote for a model we liked online, including the $26,300 delivery fee (the company is headquartered in Los Angeles). Before adding it to our shopping cart :-), we thought we should go see one in person.

Although the home we toured (the Connect 8) is a larger version of anything we would be purchasing, including being a 2-story (which we adamantly do not want), it provided a good example, allowing us to get an idea of the quality and design features offered by Connect Homes.  We liked the home; it had many design features we favor, including front and back, triple-panel sliding glass doors and a generally open floor plan.  The fact that the interiors look a bit like they fell out of an Ikea catalog might be distasteful to some, but I quite like that modern aesthetic for the price.

Another photo borrowed from the connect-homes website, but look! the "model" in the photo is the actual homeowner that toured us around this very same house!
However, the smaller model that is a more appropriate size for us (the Connect 6) lacks the walk-in closet(s) we desire and has a generally less desirable floor plan, including all the bedrooms being clumped together on one side of the home. Furthermore, the finishes and general quality just don't seem as good as in the homes done by BluHomes that we've seen in the past.  A northern California-based factory-built homes company, we have been following BluHomes for over a decade now and have long dreamed of one day owning one ourselves.  We have toured two BluHomes over the years: one in Healdsburg just north of where we currently live and also a Disney Family-owned property located in Joshua Tree Park in the Southern California desert outside of Palm Springs.  

In addition to the perceived interior flaws of the model that would work for us, the exterior of the Connect Home didn't seem to be wearing very well on the three-year-old home we toured.  Based on commentary from the owner, it is possible that he just isn't doing any preventative maintenance to take care of it properly, but the dry-looking wood siding, warping deck and rough edges at the perimeter were somewhat troubling.  While none of the modern pre-fabs we like could be considered inexpensive by any stretch, the Connect Home price tag is significantly more palatable than a comparable BluHome, hence our consideration.

Another interior shot, borrowed from
Apparently, we failed to take any photos during the tour. How this happened I am not quite sure since typically we (meaning largely, me, Caroline) take pictures of ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING!!!  We've added some photos downloaded from their website, and if you're interested in checking out more photos and floor plans, their website is rather well-done, clearly documenting exterior elevations as well as interiors.

If you're interested, you can click here for more info. Connect Homes Elevations and Plans The home we toured was the Connect 8, featured on the scrolling banner at the top of the website.  The model we are considering is the slightly smaller, single-story Connect 6.

The Connect 6 is a little more our speed
The Connect 8 we visited in Orinda was beautiful, but we'd prefer a single-story home (with single-story price-tag)

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