When staff members at Fort Wayne Habitat for Humanity were looking for house plans for the agency’s first suburban development, Fuller’s Landing on West Cook Road, they landed on models with front porches.
Megan Hubartt, Habitat’s communications coordinator, says it’s hoped that the style will enhance the spirit of community among the addition’s future homeowners, all of whom will spend 100 volunteer hours building their own and others’ houses.
We had seen other Habitats using the home models that have the front porch, she says. People liked it. The idea about that is getting people out of their homes and having them live together as each other’s neighbors and watch out for one another.
The model homes, which include a two-story and two ranch styles, have porches that measure 6 by 20 feet – plenty of room, she says, for chairs or even a porch swing. The homes also will have a patio slab in the back.
Whether it’s the porches or the prices of the 120 houses that eventually will be built – homes range between $108,000 and $116,000 – prospective homeowners have been lining up since the subdivision’s groundbreaking last month.
The agency is currently working with about a dozen families who could qualify for the development, Hubartt says. But more than 200 more have applied, just through the website, she says, with more picking up applications in person.
This isn’t the first time front porches have served as a selling point in Fort Wayne area homes.
As early as 2005, Hamilton Meadows addition in Aboite Township, a conventional addition, was promoted as being a front-porch community by its builder, Delagrange Homes of Fort Wayne.
Renaissance Pointe, an urban in-fill redevelopment in the former Hanna-Creighton neighborhood south east of downtown Fort Wayne, also promoted front-porch styles in its new homes as a way of keeping the feel of the urban neighborhood surrounding it.