Vista Serena, the newest community to be developed in Tierra Contenta, offers houses starting at $275,000.

The 50 houses are expected to go fast.

“There is not a lot of inventory of homes in the high $200,000s and the $300,000s,” said Daniel Slavin, director of real estate development for Homewise, Inc. “It’s definitely needed in Santa Fe.”

A community launch party event for Vista Serena will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Plaza Central and Vista Serena Loop. The site is at the west end of Tierra Contenta, a half-mile northeast of the new intersection of N.M. 599 and Jaguar Drive.

More than 2,500 houses and apartments have gone up in Tierra Contenta since sales in the giant subdivision on Santa Fe’s south side began in 1996.

Residents always have had plenty of room to stretch their legs, thanks to the extensive trail system. But Vista Serena also abuts a large arroyo and is only 400 yards from the city’s Swan Park.

The Vista Serena parcel is 12 acres, and more than a third of that will be left as open space. Utilities, including city water and sewer, are in the ground, and construction is about to start.

Homewise is building eight floorplans, both single story and two story. Each is available in a “southern” style (flat roof) or “northern” style (pitched roof). The models are two-, three- or four-bedroom and range from 1,143 to 2,035 square feet.

Thirty-four of the 50 houses will be sold at market-rate prices. The other 16 are available to families with incomes under 100 percent of the area median income. Those homes will be priced below $200,000.

Slavin said Homewise builds to New Mexico and Santa Fe green codes, using blown-in cellulose for high insulation values in the frame walls. Photovoltaic panels are an upgrade option for buyers. So are stainless-steel appliances.

Standard features include energy-efficient appliances (in white or black), granite countertops, maple cabinets, vinyl tile flooring, ceiling fans and coyote fences outside. There are no fireplaces.

The first model home should be ready in the spring, and Vista Serena likely will be sold out and completed in a year. Slavin said 95 percent of Homewise homes are purchased before they’re finished.

Homewise recently expanded its office on Siler Road by 6,600 square feet, and the organization now has more than 90 employees in Santa Fe and Albuquerque.

Homewise is building and selling houses in three other Santa Fe subdivisions:

• At Oshara Village on Richards Avenue, the last eight of the company’s 40 lots are under construction and available, for about $315,000.

• All of the single-family homes at El Camino Crossing (Agua Fría Street and Harrison Road) are finished, but Homewise is now doing 13 residential condominiums starting at $199,000.

• The most expensive offerings are in Tessera, which is on the north side of N.M. 599, near Camino La Tierra. “We have 10 lots left,” Slavin said. “The average there is about $535,600, but we have an affordable percentage. It’s obviously a different price point, but we also have 16 affordable homes there. All our communities are mixed-income.”

By the time Vista Serena is built out, Homewise will be working on 22 live-work units in El Camino Crossing and will build 82 houses in Desert Sage, a new subdivision on Richards Avenue, just north of Interstate 25.

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