Everything old is new again. Most of those reading this blog post are too young to remember the Sears catalog house kit that could be ordered and delivered right to one’s door! The kit came complete with all the materials needed to assemble the home, plus a set of blue prints illustrating how to put it together. These were really quite decent homes. Modest, simple but very well designed. As long as one had some know how and a little bit of moxie, you were in business.
For a mere $850 (and a whole lot of effort) a home like the image below could be obtained. This enabled so many to have homes that otherwise could not have afforded one. In essence, it democratized home ownership for many. What a grand idea!
So, whatever happened to those homes? The last Sears catalog to offer these kits was in 1942. I suspect WWII had something to do with their demise. Meanwhile, living in the Bay Area in 2021 and having just purchased my own home 4 months ago, I kinda wish they still were around…….
But wait, they kind of are! Enter: Blu Homes. A modern, smartly designed, and decidedly NOT a DIY home kit that can be customized from a variety of styles and sizes, and delivered to your plot of land in 10 weeks! It takes longer to go through escrow these days than it does to order and receive a Blu Home.
The process is seamless and there are folks to offer assistance for everything from budgeting, site preparation, floor plan development and process. Here’s how it works:
Customize Your Blu Home
In less than 10 minutes, you can choose one of their homes and create a custom look book featuring exterior and interior finishing packages. And if you answer a few questions about your build site, they can even provide an estimated budget.
Home Design & Budget Finalization
Together, with the clients, they will review the build site, finalize your design agreement, and lock in the budget for home production, installation and finishing.
Home Production & Work Site:
Home production at their facility and site work, including the home’s foundation, are done simultaneously. By doing these two things at the same time instead of one after the other, they are able to save a significant amount of time compared to traditional builders.
While the home will probably cost more than $850, because well, have you looked at the cost of homes in the Bay Area in the last, I don’t know, 30 years? It still looks to come in under what buying an already built home would cost, AND you get to have it just the way you want it. Plus, they are just so HIP looking!
There is a wide variety in style and size, but the main feature that I find most appealing (besides the fact that they are made right here in the Bay Area) is that they really do support the California lifestyle of merging the indoor/outdoor living we all enjoy due to so much of the year being really so pleasant in terms of weather. Rainy day? Not that often these days, but when it happens, no problem, just slide those glass doors closed and viola! You now have an enclosed room where once there was an outdoor space. Need to utilize the temperate California climate to cool your home? Slide those doors open and catch that breeze as it runs through your entire space.
Speaking of California climate: the folks over at Blu Homes have even spent considerable resources sourcing materials that have a much higher fire rating than any currently built home. Sadly, we all know too well that fires and the fallout that they inflict on our communities are here to stay in California. The same can be said for earthquake safety. This sort of thoughtfulness towards the evolving needs of construction is what sets BluHome apart from so many other house kits on the market.
My conclusion? This concept of kit homes is a back to the future kind of idea that I think will be more and more relevant as prices continue to climb and the need for more homes to be built in a safe and sustainable way increases. I know I am a fan. Maybe you will become one too!
Until Next Time,