Hearth Home Communities’ three rental communities in Northern Kentucky have all the benefits of a home without the responsibilities, says Todd Hignite, vice president of Hearth Home Communities.

“The concept behind it was to appeal towards the demographic that does not want the responsibility of owning a home any longer,” says Hignite. Couples whose children had left home, known as empty nesters, were the original target market for Hearth Home Communities, he says.

But the apartment communities, which are built in multiple single-story buildings consisting of three to nine units in each building, have become so popular that they now draw all kinds of people, says Hignite.

“For example, at Florence and Burlington and Independence … you’ve got single people, you’ve got couples, you’ve got families, you’ve got seniors, I mean you literally have everything,” he says. “I mean, it’s just been fantastic, it’s been so well received.”

Although they are rental apartments, Hignite says the units are more like ranch-style homes because there’s no noise associated with people living above or below like a multistory apartment building and because there are no steps.

They are also convenient because there’s no mortgage, no maintenance costs, no homeowner’s association fees and no hassle of trying to sell a home when its time to move on, he says.

“It’s definitely advantageous for those people that just want convenience and don’t want to be tied down to the house or the mortgage or having to sell a home after being in town for two or three years on assignment for their careers,” says Hignite.

All the units in Hearth Home Communities are furnished with stainless steel Whirlpool appliances, granite counters, upscale cabinetry, wood-style flooring throughout the main living areas, carpeted bedrooms, a utility room and at least one patio with a privacy fence, he says.

All the units are also certified energy efficient and incorporate Andersen windows, says Hignite. “We use 2-by-6 construction, which is superior. It’s just a lot of good stuff there,” he says.

The units are available in one-, two- and three-bedroom configurations and all come standard with an attached two-car garage, says Hignite. Rent for a two-bedroom unit range from $1,495 to $1,645 a month and rent for a three-bedroom unit range from $1,895 to $1,995 a month, he says.

That rental fee covers everything, says Hignite. “We take care of all the landscaping, there’s no HOA fee and there’s no maintenance fee. Everything is included in your rental payment.”

The size of the units is around 1,376 square feet for two bedrooms and the three-bedroom units range anywhere from 1,676 up to 1,776 square feet, says Hignite.

The Hearth Home Communities in Northern Kentucky include the Villages of Independence with 106 units and the Villages of Burlington with 115 units.

Hearth Home Communities’ newest project, Villages of Florence, will have 171 units when it’s completely finished, he says. “We expect to have Phase I done by October,” says Hignite. “We expect to have Phase II completed in 2019.”

The units at the Villages of Florence are being leased quickly, he says. “Our three-bedrooms are currently all leased or lived in currently in Phase I at Florence,” he says.

The three-bedroom, three-bathroom design in the Florence location has a sliding door in the master bedroom that opens to its own patio, in addition to another patio off the main living space, says Hignite.

Although the original concept was to appeal to the empty-nester demographic, Hignite says many of the original design details—such as step-in showers in the master suites as opposed to a tub, wide hallways and 9-foot ceilings—remain in all the new units.

And the lack of steps; a walk-in, two-car garage; and no maintenance requirements are amenities that all generations can appreciate, says Hignite.

One tweak that has been made to the newer communities because of their popularity by a younger demographic is that USB port chargers are being added to the power outlets in each unit, he says. “It’s a little bit of a techie thing to go in that direction, but we’re finding that we’re marketing to all the local businesses and the biggest industries in each market and we’ve been very well received.”

It’s just one more way that Hearth Home Communities is giving people the benefits of a home without the responsibilities.


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