By Jennifer Von Ohlen
DASSEL, MN A new housing development is underway in Dassel, located north of town just passed Summit Cove.
Sunrise Circle is a 17-parcel lot development where husband and wife Justin and Kari Wendroth are working to build new one-level homes suited for older residents looking to downsize.
After the Wendroths moved to Dassel in 2014, the need for such homes came to their attention while Justin, who does drafting and design for Wendroth Planning & Design, served on the Dassel Economic Development Authority board (EDA).
“We realized there was a lack of housing for the 55-plus [community],” stated Justin, which he said likely factors into people’s decision to leave Dassel as their needs change.
The Wendroths’ homes, however, are meant to accommodate those needs.
Each home is attached to city sewer and water, and is designed for main-level living with the bed and bathrooms, laundry, and other essentials located on the first floor. They have no-step entryways, an attached garage, a basement (for storage or entertaining) and feature handicap accessible doorways in case the homeowners have a wheelchair or walker, or will need one in the future.
Sunrise Circle is also a homeowners association, which means lawn maintenance and snow removal will be provided for each resident.
“Our goal is to show there’s stuff happening in Dassel,” said Justin. “That they can be here and be taken care of. The goal of this is nice property, quality built, that’s reasonably priced and kinda sticks to the budget of what people are going for in Dassel.”
He noted, however, that these homes are not limited to the senior citizen age bracket. Younger buyers are also able to purchase them.
Three homes have been built at the development so far, all of which have already sold. The newest house was purchased within a week and a half of being on the market.
The second home to sell was actually pre-purchased, which allowed the buyer to be involved with the designing process. This is actually what the Wendroths prefer.
“The idea is that we would pre-sell [the homes] so that the buyer can customize the house however they want,” stated Kari. “However, just to keep things moving, we will be building two [houses] over the summer.”
Before she and Justin pursued this project, Kari worked more than 10 years as a music teacher at Ripley and Wagner elementary schools in Litchfield. In 2012, she became a stay-at-home mom to raise their two boys, William, 8, and Parker, 6.
Now that the kids are regularly in school, Kari is excited to be working alongside Justin as the realtor of Sunrise Circle.
“I am enthused to represent my husband and his building efforts while also making a career out of this,” she shared.
“It’s kind of been his dream,” she also commented. “A passion he got while working with clients looking for the one-level living, as well as [thinking about] his aging parents and grandmother, and wanting to provide for the community he lives in.”
Justin has also appreciates Kari’s involvement, saying “She’s the charismatic, outgoing one. That’s one thing that’s just worked out well, being a family together, doing it. She loves people, she likes to serve people, so it worked out pretty well for her to be doing what she’s doing.”
Parker and William have also provided some extra hands when they can, doing some light “kid” shoveling with their dad and visiting him when he’s working on the homes.
Just as the Wendroths have been making family memories while developing Sunrise Circle, Kari hopes to encourage future residents to continue making memories in their new homes.
“My philosophy is ‘bridging your memories from home to home to home,’” she explained. “I think as these generations we’re appealing to move from the home in which they raised their families, or they maybe lost a spouse and it becomes imperative for them to downsize that importance of bringing those memories with them as they leave the home is part of the journey I am committed to going on.”
She knows moving out of what has been one’s home for the past 30, 40, or 50 years can be a sad time for homeowners, but Kari wants to help them see the excitement that comes with being able to make new memories at a new address.
The Wendroths will be hosting an open house at the development’s newest house, located at 1007 Sunrise Circle. The open house is Saturday, March 3 and Sunday, March 4 from 1 to 3 p.m.
For more information, contact Kari Wendroth:
• mobile: (320) 291-5449
• office: (763) 682-2882
• website: KariWendroth.com
• Email: email@example.com