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Open-space designs, indoor courts and estate-style lots are items luxury home buyers want most

Open-space designs, indoor courts and estate-style lots are items luxury home buyers want most

Bob and Becky Grandpre were game to move from South Dakota to Omaha to be near their daughter and grandchildren.

They found a perfect lot in the same neighborhood, Windgate Ranch near 204th and Pacific Streets. With one of two prerequisites satisfied, the Grandpres began searching for a custom home builder who could give them a luxury ranch suited for aging in place.

“We’re getting older and want to be able to transition in this home and not leave,” Grandpre says.

In September, the Grandpres moved into a 4,000-square-foot custom ranch-style home by Thomas David Fine Homes. “I wanted a house in a certain neighborhood and ended up with my dream home,” Grandpre says.

“The most prevalent challenge for most custom home buyers is finding the best location and builder to create the design that fits them. Custom home builders are responding to the growing demand for high-quality luxury homes in neighborhoods with larger estate-style home sites,” says Aaron Aulner, a Realtor with Keller Williams Realty and new home adviser for Thomas David Fine Homes.

Buyers predominantly want quality construction from framing to finish, says Ryan Schwarz, a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador Real Estate. “They’re looking for homes that will stand the test of time.”

They’re also looking for features that complement their lifestyles, Aulner says. Outdoor grilling spaces and indoor sport courts are popular. Grilling spaces can even be fitted with rolling screens that keep insects out. Indoor courts provide year-round space for basketball, dodgeball, pickleball and more. Homes with an open-space design continue to be in demand.

Jenny and Jeff Kovar wanted a two-story home near their children’s school in the Elkhorn district. “Something family-oriented, a home with a warm feeling,” Jenny Kovar says. 

They found a floor plan they liked on Thomas David’s website and toured the model. 

The Kovars asked the builder for a modification to the floor plan: a second-floor loft area that could be used as a TV room for their children. “They made the modifications and stayed within our budget. We could see ourselves in this one.”

Grandview Ridge, where the Kovars are building, and a number of other new neighborhoods with estate-style and small acreage home sites are ready for homes, Aulner says. “Whether you're looking to build a two-story with a sport court, an executive ranch or something in between, there is a home site to match the need.”

Prospective home buyers can see the latest in Omaha custom home design this weekend in Thomas David’s Kingston Ranch II at 1707 S. 212th St. It will be open from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more information, visit or contact Aulner at 402-657-1229.

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