This is just too bizarre; KB Martha Stewart homes. Of all the decisions you need to make when purchasing a home, does the fact that it was 'designed' in part by a woman on TV living somewhere on the east coast fall under a high priority?
"I love all her things," says Menyon Green, a 42-year-old nurse who recently bought a Martha Stewart-KB Home in the Atlanta suburb of Fairburn, Ga. "I just knew this was going to be a good subdivision."
What? How do you know it's going to be a good subdivision? I'll admit it, I own a Martha Stewart frying pan. It was on sale and it looked nice. But a house? Whether or not you have a door knocker with Martha Stewart's face molded in bronze on your house doesn't change the fact that it's a KB home - not exactly a builder known for its high quality.
"Right now it's a unique type of offering," says Rita Rodriguez, chief executive of Enterprise IG in the U.S., a brand and design agency. "You can invite someone to your home and say, 'This is a Martha Stewart home.' But if it's replicated and stamped across too many odd markets, the uniqueness can be gone. That cachet and aspiration isn't there, and you just become like everybody else."
Maybe I'm old fashioned, but has it occurred to these builders that instead of signing up celebrities in cross-marketing schemes, they should just offer more than 6-7 floorplans? All the new subdivisions going up are full of houses that look exactly the same, with the exception of some trim there or a colored brick here. They also all use the same "style", brick faces with hardiplank siding. The garage is always on the front, the walkway leading along the side right to the front door, and to the side of it a flat or bay window. Some have brick all around, but none of the two story has all brick (the upper half sides/back are ALWAYS hardiplank) until you start getting into the custom or $750k+ homes.
open kitchens and dining rooms suited for entertaining, plentiful windows to capture natural light and an exterior trim available on some homes that supposedly matches the color of Paul Newman's eyes.
Some buyers say they are attracted to the Martha homes because they suggest quality, functionality and class. Others say they expect the homes will have a better resale value than other homes.
Sorry, but the quality of your home is going to depend on the builder, not the designer. This partnership looks like McDonald's selling knockoff prada bags in happy meals. Resale value? How is tying the "designer" aspect of your home to a woman who probably won't be remember 30 years from now help your resale value? Remember, this is supposedly a home that should last 100 years. Do you think anyone then is going to care that it was designed by some celebrity? Martha Stewart never even saw your home, or set foot inside of it. She brainstormed floorplan ideas and color schemes with some team that pulled up 64 plans and started mass producing them.
"It's our version of the iPhone. It illustrates the power of something different with a brand tied to it,"
We're turning whole houses into fads now. Unfortunately, fad and trendy designs tend to hurt resale value in the long run, not help it. Remember all those $100k commercial/industrial stainless steel 800 sq ft kitchens that were all the rage? They're darn hard to sell now. That's what following a fad gets you.
So what ever happened to personal creativity and adding your own personality to your home?
"If I could afford to do it, I would do the whole thing Martha Stewart style," she says. "Matter of fact, I would like her to come to my house and show me how to do it."