It looked like a giant shed in the backyard. My boyfriend had just taken me to see his dream home in Erie, Colorado, and after driving through what felt like half an hour of farmland, I was pretty confused since neither of us was really the agriculturally-knowledgeable kind.
But when our real estate agent opened the door to the shed, what lay inside was nothing short of incredible. It was basically a garage for a small Cessna 182 single-engine airplane. We were in the Parkland Estates Airpark, one of two hangar homes neighborhoods in Erie, CO alone where homeowners could park and fly their planes from their backyards.
Niche ultra-luxury properties can cater to a variety of unique tastes and hobbies. Some people seek ski-in-ski-out, docks or a short walk to a fairway. But when it comes to ultimate lifestyle indulgence, being able to fly off into the sunset from your very own airstrip is truly a world apart.
A Chance to Dream
What many people don’t realize is that homes with their own airspace and hangars are not that rare or limited to the ultra-wealthy. Most states in the U.S. have many fly-in communities dedicated to airplane enthusiasts—with properties ranging anywhere from the $500k to the “as much as you want to pay”.
Many consider the 1950’s and 1960’s the golden age of aviation in the U.S. With competition from other recreational activities, technology and declines in population there was a decreased emphasis on the sport. However, aviation is increasing thanks in part to the experimental aircraft space, with the highest growth in the sport and recreational plus kit-built, according to General Aviation News. Many starting pilots opt for plane-sharing arrangements or memberships to local flight clubs.
Many planes from the golden era are still in good working order and make their way into hangar homes, especially since small regional airports often have multi-year hangar wait lists.
But if you do have a plane and a dream and have decided a hangar home is right for you—here are a few key things to think about:
- When buying a home in an ultra-niche area, consider
that opportunities don’t come up that often and are only appealing to very
specific demographics. That could affect your ability to find the perfect home and
in turn,the sale when ready to move.
- Hangar architecture varies. Do you want a simple shed or a decked-out structure attached to your home? How many vehicles do you need to fit? Do you like farmhouse or modern? The sky is the limit—literally.
- Make sure you ask about Homeowners Association fees
related to special requirements like a community maintaining a gas station or a
runway. HOAs in airplane communities have to adhere to Federal Aviation
Administration rules and regulations.
- There are also insurance specifications to consider related to niche ownership.
Consider the noise and potential traffic a neighborhood airstrip may cause. While a hanger home does not appeal to everyone, it is accessible. If you’re ready to find your niche dream home—connect with a Neat Homes real estate agent to help your dream come true.