Duplexes and ‘duet homes’ might be another answer in the quest for affordable housing

The kitchen in the Evia model home in Trilogy at Tehaleh. There is an open house to view the models March 16 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The kitchen in the Evia model home in Trilogy at Tehaleh. There is an open house to view the models March 16 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Trilogy by Shea Homes

Duplexes, triplexes, “duet homes” or townhomes could enjoy new popularity amid rising home prices in the Puget Sound area.

Pierce County’s median closed home sale price in February was at $355,000, up 9.23 percent from February 2018. At the same time, affordable housing remains challenging for buyers not earning top dollars, or those downsizing, entering retirement or trying to purchase for the first time.

Tacoma’s Affordable Housing Action Strategy makes mention of duplexes, along with accessory dwelling units, as a way to increase affordable housing in the city.

The state Legislature also has considered bills this session geared toward encouraging duplex development, along with triplexes, accessory dwellings and courtyard apartments, to increase affordable housing inventory.

In Pierce County, new duplex-style units are coming to a portion of Tehaleh, the residential development south of Bonney Lake and Lake Tapps.

Even though “duplex” comes to mind as a way to describe them, they are officially considered attached single-family homes with zero lot line — each side can have a different owner. Duplexes typically come under single ownership.

Tehaleh/Trilogy’s website refers to them as townhomes. “Duet homes” is another term sometimes used by agents.

No matter the description, the goal is to offer smaller spaces at lower cost in a challenging market.

Two model units will be on display Saturday in the Resort Collection in Trilogy at Tehaleh, a community for those 55 and older.

“The (Resort) Collection delivers more functional, livable spaces in a smaller design at attractive price points,” said Mark Gray, Washington Area President of Shea Homes’ Trilogy communities in its news release. “Our objective was to meet the desired functional needs homebuyers’ wish for downsizing while making easier than ever before to live at this lifestyle-driven community.”

The floor plan for each unit includes two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a den.

Its Resort Collection will have three model types for buyers to choose from: Muros (1,342 square feet) starting at $344,900, Evia (1,552 square feet) starting at $364,900 and Valletta (1,678 square feet) starting at $379,900.

Double those amounts if you want ownership of both units.

Thirteen of the structures are planned, for a total of 26 units, with possibly more added in the future depending on demand.

Open house

When: Saturday, March 16, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Trilogy at Tehaleh, 14218 Knoll Park Dr. E., Bonney Lake.

Information: https://bit.ly/2DxFqAQ