BUSINESS PROFILE David and Katie Hay designed a community of custom-built manufactured homes with amenities unheard of in most rental housing.
Last summer, David and Katie Hay, owners of Central Coast Real Estate, LLC, announced the opening of some much-needed rental housing in the Santa Ynez Valley. Centrally located just a stone’s throw from El Rancho Marketplace, the cozy community features 35 brand new homes built with quality and comfort in mind.
Called Valley Gardens, the community stands on the site of a mobile home park built in the 1950s. Its gracious one- and two-bedroom homes were custom-designed expressly for the project and built in Arizona to precise specifications.
The Hays agree that creating efficient units to match the pre-existing footprint of the original home sites posed one of the project’s most vexing obstacles.
“It was a mathematical challenge to make the home fit the lot lines,” says Katie, “while leaving room for driveways alongside each home. We have eliminated street parking in Valley Gardens and it looks so much nicer.
“Every home has two spots for parking,” she adds, “and there’s a separate parking area for guests, too.”
Katie explains that she and her husband could have made the living areas larger if they had eliminated the porch that graces the entrance of each home, but they both agreed that “the porches add so much to the overall look.”
The renovation took 18 months and resulted in a finished product nothing short of magnificent. Each home offers comfort, beauty, and a raft of amenities, including GE Energy Star appliances such as a 22-cubic-foot side-by-side refrigerator/freezer with ice and water in the door, gas range, microwave oven, dishwasher, and stacked washer/dryer. “It’s often the washer and drier that most surprises prospective new tenants,” Katie smiles. “When we designed these homes to include the many expensive extras, we were thinking about how much we wanted to give a true home feel, even though they’re rentals.
“Our goal,” she adds, “was to make a place people could envision themselves living in, comfortably, and to avoid the transient feeling of so many rental houses.”
Central heating and air conditioning are standard, as are Rennai tankless hot water heaters, a space saving and energy efficient option. The thoughtful designs include hardwood cabinets throughout the homes, quartz counter tops in the kitchen and bathrooms, recessed lighting in living areas, and plantation-style blinds on every window.
Bathroom floors boast easy-to-clean tile, while the remaining rooms are clad with durable hardwood. According to Hay, since most rental homes have carpeting that can trigger allergies, the couple decided to create a cleaner environment by using bamboo flooring instead.
Two-by-six beams bolster exterior walls and additional insulation ensures a quiet environment within. Ceilings are a lofty 9-feet high, while double-pane windows measure more than six feet tall and look out onto a tidy landscape of trees, planted beds, new fencing, and freshly paved roads.
Unseen but undeniably welcome improvements have been installed underground. They include higher-capacity water, sewer, gas, electric, telephone, and cable services.
In addition to the proximity of a full-service market, there is a public transit stop conveniently located in front of the property. And the high school, as well as the Valley’s wonderful YMCA, are right across the street.
The Hays, who will provide ongoing management of the community, have met their goal to provide centrally located, quality work-force housing with aesthetic appeal and consummate livability.
“This was a senior-restricted property in the past and we felt that eliminated too much of the population,” Katie admits, “so we made Valley Gardens an all-ages community. We have retirees, working professionals, single parents, and we offer fully furnished corporate housing units. Small pets are even welcome.
“David and I are very proud of the work we have done at Valley Gardens,” she says, “and are so pleased with the results. Our hope is that this new rental community will provide housing benefits to the Valley for many years to come.”
INFO: Valley Gardens is located at 2950 Mission Drive, Solvang. For more information, call the rental office at 245-6170 or visit ValleyGardensHomes.com