Homebuilders Katherine and Rachel Bardis continue to delight millennial homebuyers in Sacramento, California.
KATHERINE BARDIS, principal and cofounder of Bardis Homes, launched a homebuilding firm with her cousin Rachel Bardis in 2012 – building on a family legacy in master-planned community developments but aiming to become a distinct modern homebuilder serving Sacramento, California.
That aim remains as their projects grow in number and scope, with each home – no matter whether it’s under 600 square feet our four times that size – offering updated technology, efficiency and graceful, functional living spaces and a transparent homebuying process.
“We’re not the big, bad builder,” Katherine says. “We love what we do, love the communities and homes we build and make sure families who move in feel that same level of comfort.”
From working on site development and interfacing with municipal representatives to being part of the design drawings for homes and hands-on during construction to making clients feel comfortable and sending handwritten thank-you notes, the cousins stay involved through each step of a home or development’s incarnation.
“We have a lot of input in every little detail of the plan and the layout,” Katherine says.
The company’s work in urban infill – a distinction from other homebuilders comparable in size to Bardis – ensures the cousins’ vision runs from beginning to end of each project, Rachel says.
“We are hands-on with everything – from working with a municipality’s planning department on down,” she says. “We want to be building strong communities and building strong relationships. This is our hometown, and we love it. In every aspect, we try to be a valuable team member.”
From Lumber to Love
Urban infill projects align well with the founders’ goals and provide an opportunity to put exciting, new product on the market, Rachel says.
“It’s part of natural fabric of existing community and we get weave into that with the new product,” she says. “We look for communities that we would want to live in, those that are walkable and next to arts and culture and entertainment. There is a strong desire for that – in both boomers and millennials. Those are two of the largest populations, and they are seeking similar things.”
With upscale finishes and thoughtful designs, Bardis Homes is applying its unique approach to each new home in the first development phase – 282 homes – of the Mill on Broadway, a new development on the site of a former lumber mill located a short distance from downtown Sacramento.
Bardis Homes is the master builder behind the new selection of homes in a development with a 4-acre park, bicycle trails, a renovated public market building and a festival street.
The total build-out is 1,000 homes, and Bardis Homes’ opened the first models in October 2015, with about 70 sales since. Prices start at $200,000 – affordable for their market.
“We saw the Mill as an opportunity to provide something different,” Katherine says. “The marketplace really wasn’t delivering to this [millennial] generation of homebuyers. We feel they are really high quality and priced affordably.”
Homebuyers can enjoy luxury touches like high-end vinyl plank floors and quartz countertops in efficient spaces. Multiple interior designers provide a spectrum of choices, and buyers can tailor to their tastes.
“Within all that, you have selections of different colors,” Katherine says. “You can still feel like you’re customizing your home without spending additional money.”
With a strong reception in the market, Bardis Homes now is projected to build about 100 homes a year, primarily aimed at millennials.
The homes come in 12 floor plans of 2- or 3-story homes, ranging from 553 to 1,500 square feet.
They also come equipped with the technology individuals under 35 years old desire, Rachel says.
“We implement USB plugs into our homes and security systems you can access from your phone, with a camera for interior or exterior,” she says. “Even the smaller homes are very well laid out. They still have a kitchen and living area, with the bathroom and bedroom tucked away behind the wall for privacy.”
Along with work at the Mill project, Bardis Homes also has partnered with Next Generation Capital to bring the Good Project to reality. The high-density residential project in West Sacramento includes seven single-family detached homes in 2- and 3-story structures, with garages on a ground floor and elevated front stoops along an internal lane – a look that mimics the historic alley of a surrounding neighborhood.
The development also features a community garden and shared open space around four heritage oak trees and an urban park.
Serving as a gateway to an established neighborhood, the homes will offer a modern and contemporary aesthetic but still honor the area’s heritage.
The homes also are to be built to offer high energy efficiency, with solar capabilities and other green features, such as Nest thermostats.
“We are really excited about the project because it’s in a really cool, up-and-coming area of West Sacramento that we are really dedicated to,” Katherine says. “It has great accessibility to downtown as well as surrounding neighborhoods.”
The homes are to be ready in November of this year, and Katherine and Rachel already are in the land-planning phase of another development, Azores, with seven thoughtfully designed homes to be built in the “pocket” area of Sacramento.
Keeping it Clear
As the company maintains a rate of around 100 new homes a year, the common thread through all the projects, the founders say, is transparency. One example is that thecompany’s model homes don’t include expensive furniture or upgrades – so buyers don’t fall in love with something far out of their price range.
“It’s really important now in the marketplace, no matter what age you are,” Katherine says. “Because of the significant downturn in the last market crash, people were hesitant to buy homes. We just try to always think of what would we want from our builder if we were buying a home.”