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Reaching for the Heights.

Exclusive Homes Sell Quickly in Older Little Rock Area

CHENAL VALLEY MAY BE ON its way to becoming the most elite subdivision in Little Rock, but the Heights still boasts some of the most expensive homes.

For years, one of the $1 million homes in the Heights might be sold without a "for sale" sign. Only the real estate agents would be aware of that information.

That changed last year, but in 1993 it has exploded again.

It is not uncommon for Heights homes in the $500,000-plus range to sell in less than a week, according to Janet Jones of The Janet Jones Co.

And some are sold the day they go on the market.

"The market has been wonderful lately," says Marcelline Giroir, the principal broker for Marcelline Giroir Ltd. "Everything is selling up here. It's a hot market to be in."

Defining the Heights area precisely is not possible. But it is generally considered to be an area north of Kavanaugh Boulevard and Cantrell Road, extending westward to University Avenue.

Some people consider parts of Kingwood to be in the Heights area, according to Tom Owens, a sales agent with Coldwell Banker McKinney & Co. Jones says some people also consider parts of Hillcrest, Cammack Village and Normandy to be in the Heights.

For at least the last year, The Janet Jones Co. has led the market in home sales in the Heights and Hillcrest, consistently being involved in more than 30 percent of the sales.

In last year's fourth quarter, Janet Jones was involved in 39.66 percent of the Heights and Hillcrest sales. In the third quarter, the agency had a hand in 35.72 percent of the sales.

"The market is moving so fast that we are getting a lot of those one-day or one-week sales again," Jones says.

She attributes the increased sales to low interest rates, an improvement in the economy and a pent-up demand for homes in the Heights. She notes that a $100,000 house today can be bought for the same monthly payment as a $60,000 house several years ago.

Many people moving into the Heights now grew up in those stately homes. They remember the large trees, the old settled neighborhood, the small-town atmosphere and the friendliness of the people, Jones says.

And they are so eager to return to that setting, they are willing to wait for the type of home they want. When it becomes available, it sells very quickly.

"At one time, of course, the Heights was the most exclusive area in Little Rock," Owens says. "But now with the homes being built in Pleasant Valley and Chenal, along Hinson Road and Napa Valley and the St. Charles area, you can't say that anymore."

$3 Million Home

There has been at least one home in the Heights that has listed for about $3 million. Those homes of $1 million-plus are in the Edgehill area, near the Country Club of Little Rock.

What is the difference between a $1 million home in Chenal Valley and a $1 million home in the Heights?

Jones says the $1 million-range home in Chenal Valley has more amenities -- more luxurious bathrooms, more "bells and whistles" in the kitchen -- than one in the Heights. There are probably more larger, expensive homes in Chenal Valley than the Heights, she says.

Owens notes that one of the reasons for the very high prices on the older homes in the Heights is the cost of renovation.

"It is more expensive to go back in and renovate one of those older homes a lot of times than to build a new home," Owens says.

Many of the homeowners leaving the Heights are moving west, Jones says.

"Chenal is very popular for people who want a new, luxurious home and who want to play golf on a wonderful golf course," Jones says. "But Little Rock has more options now than it has ever had."

Jones, who calls herself an eternal optimist, believes the Heights market will continue to boom in the next year.

"Our market has been incredibly good for the last year or year and a half," she says. "It's true we dominate in the Heights, but we have a lot of good business in western Little Rock, too. There was a pent-up demand for homes throughout Little Rock that has caused things to get better."
COPYRIGHT 1993 Journal Publishing, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:upscale residential community in Little Rock, Arkansas
Author:Smith, David (American novelist)
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Jun 7, 1993
Previous Article:M.D. manors.
Next Article:Sales up in NW Arkansas.

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