Louisville Area Community Autumn Leaf Estates Doubles Number of Homesites
Autumn Leaf Estates south of Louisville in Shepherdsville, Ky., last year doubled in size and is selling homes in a high-demand area to buyers who are overjoyed to move their family into a new home of their own.
Brothers Tony and Brad Wilcox own Autumn Leaf, as well as the neighboring community, Hickory Acres, with a third partner, Mike Whobrey.
“Autumn Leaf was originally approved as a 231-lot community,” Tony Wilcox said. “The original developer in 2000 only developed the front half of the property and stopped.”
When the Wilcox brothers were able to acquire the community in 2016, they took a two staged approach. First, they needed to make several hundred thousand dollars in improvements to the developed portion of the property. The manufactured home community was stabilized and brought to 100% occupancy. Next, they set out to complete the development in 2019.
In addition to doubling the number of homesites, new sewer lines, waterlines, power, roads, and 115 driveways need to be completed.
The second section developed in 2019 is about 40% occupied.
“It wasn’t planned as a phase one and phase two, but it just worked out that way,” Brad Wilcox said. “We figured there would be about a three- to five-year absorption rate, and we now think it will be closer to three years than five.”
‘There is active management and support in ensuring that everything looks great and everyone is safe and proud to be here’
New Homes for Sale
Autumn Leaf Estates primarily sells Fleetwood and Clayton Maynardville but also sells Champion Homes out of Kentucky and Tennessee as well as Hamilton from Alabama. Autumn Leaf has overflow parking and will get a pair of upgraded bus stop facilities for the school children, as well as a community park that will include a playground, picnic tables, grills and open spaces.
Kristee Fuhrman is the general manager for both of the Wilcox’s properties. She said landscape design has been top of mind through the expansion.
“We really want to provide the view our residents and prospects want to see,” Fuhrman said. “By far the biggest compliment we receive is that we are the nicest community in the area. We are constantly upgrading and improving the community.”
Selling Homes During the Pandemic
Demand for affordable housing is at an all-time high, yet the pandemic and COVID-19 protocols and restrictions continue to make home availability a challenge. The office takes appointments now rather than allowing walk-ins, for instance.
“We spent a lot more time uploading photos and sharing website links with customers to reduce the foot traffic,” Fuhrman said. “We have relied more on virtual tours and using those MHVillage home sales leads.
“It hasn’t slowed down in terms of home sales, we’ve stayed very steady,” she said.
Fuhrman said residents in both communities have been able to deal admirably with the challenges of 2020.
While rent must be collected, we have been extra conscious about working with and helping people, especially residents who communicate and make a plan with us. There has been very little turnover during this difficult time which is somewhat unique.
Brad Wilcox said he and his brother, along with Fuhrman and two full time maintenance professionals, consistently walk the properties to look for and address issues as well as opportunities to improve the resident experience.
“There is a constant eye on the properties as we have employees who live with their families in each of our communities,” Brad Wilcox said. “There is active management and support in ensuring that everything looks great and everyone is safe and proud to be here.”
‘A Great Place to Be’
Jessica True and her family have lived at Autumn Leaf for about three years.
“The community is a great place to be and our neighbors are all great people,” True said. “Everyone helps each other out. Our neighbor across the street from us mowed our yard because my husband and I have been working crazy hours.
“Whenever we have any issues with our home or anything of that matter, Kristee has been helpful and gets it all taken care of in a quick amount of time. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else,” she said.