Villages at South Hill Buyers Praise Ramblers


Most of the gracious living space is on the main floor of the Spruce.

Phase II of the Villages at South Hill in Puyallup has seen unprecedented demand for homes since it opened just a few short weeks ago. The majority of pre-sale buyers there, those who pick their lot and design choices before the home is built, are people who were looking for a rambler-style home.

“Our rambler plans have attracted many empty nesters, retirees or those soon to be,” says Heather Keating, the Realtor who represents Rob Rice Homes at the community.

Responding to the huge demand for the rambler homes that were sold out in Phase I of the Villages community, Rob Rice offers the Juniper, McKinley, and Spruce in Phase II.

Also, there are the Poplar and Hazel, gorgeous two-story homes with bedrooms on the main floor.

The Spruce has been so popular that Rob Rice has just designed another “downstairs living” plan known as the Pine to ensure there is variety in the Villages’ streetscape and more options for buyers.


Many features like granite or quartz counter tops and hardwood floors are standard, not upgrades in Rob Rice Homes.

“In my communities, many of my homeowners are building their forever homes and want a plan that will give them the master bedroom on the main floor and open space on the second level,” says Rob Rice, the Best of South Sound builder. “I feel like I am responding by adding more and more of these plans.”

Buyers are willing to move south for those options; four out of the eight pre-sales in Phase 2 are couples from King County.

“These people don’t have to worry about commuting anymore and are venturing south,” says Heather. “They are amazed they get a brand new quality home that costs much less.”

Terri and her husband have started a new adventure with the purchase of their Rob Rice Home. Their daughter wanted them to live near the Villages at South Hill where she and her husband and 17-month-old baby will live after they sell their condo.

“We were thrilled to be asked to live near them,” says Terri who, with her husband, also made the choice to move south from Mill Creek because they could get much more of a home.

“While we were looking at Rob Rice Homes in Olympia we ran into a man who owned one,” says Terri. “He just praised his home. When you meet someone who has ‘been there, done that’ and who really loves it, that is convincing.”

The couple wanted a rambler and found amazing value at the Villages.


The master bedroom and bath are all on the first floor of the Spruce and other “main floor living” plans at the Villages.

“My husband is 71 and I am 64 and so we wanted a home with the master on the main level,” Terri explains. “Our current house is 2000 sq ft and we are selling it for just under $500K. We are buying the Spruce plan at Villages with 2000 sq ft on the main floor alone and another 400 sq ft upstairs and a 3-car garage and it is all in the upper $350,000 range. We are getting much, much more for our money.”

Retirement for Terri is in sight but she will commute for a while taking the Sounder train, which she can board minutes from their new home.

“This is an adventure for us,” she says. “We are going to uproot and move close to our kids and look forward to making new friends.”


Designer backsplash tile is standard in our homes.

Patty and her husband had been looking for a new home for more than two years. They found what they were looking for in the Spruce plan at the Villages.

“We have too much land where we have lived for 39 years and we don’t want to take care if it all anymore,” says Patty. “The Spruce is a bigger home on a smaller piece of property.”

They had tried working with a custom builder to get all of the features they desired in a home.

“It all ended up costing way too much,” explains Patty. “We never really knew what we were buying because we didn’t have figures. We went into it blind, without knowing what the bottom line was.”

Patty has a sister that lives in Phase 1 of the Villages so they were familiar with the quality of the homes.

“Rob Rice Homes is the best of both worlds,” she explains their choice. “I can’t really look at a floor plan and feel it. It was convenient to walk through the Spruce model see it. With the pre-sale, we were able to go to the design center pick out what we want in it.”

Patty said having those choices made it close to building a custom home.

“We looked at the list of features in this home and it had a lot of standard things that would be upgrades to most people, but didn’t add to the price.”

Mike and Leslie C. have lived in their Kent home for 28 years and wanted a change. Though her husband is retired, Leslie works for Valley Medical Center as a medical coder. She is able to work at home now, allowing them the freedom to move.

“We checked out Lacey and found Rob Rice Homes at Campus Highlands,” says Patty. “When we drove through the neighborhood I said, ‘wow these are really pretty’. I jumped out of the car to get the flyers and I really thought they would cost a lot more.”

They ended up at The Villages and decided the Spruce floor plan was ideal for their lifestyle.

“People in their 60s like us want ramblers, but we found most of them too small,” Leslie notes. “We are actually up-sizing because I need an office with a door to ensure confidentiality for my job; that will be in the extra bedroom upstairs. And, the bonus room upstairs will be the man cave. My husband has it all planned out.”

For more information about a Rob Rice Home in the Villages at South Hill, call Heather Keating (425) 442-5538 or email her at


Rob Rice is Thurston County’s largest local home builder and was voted the Best of South Sound for 2013 and 2014. He and his wife Helena live in Olympia with their two sons; Alex Michael and Carson. Rob is a graduate of Washington State University with degrees in construction management and architecture.

For more information about a Rob Rice Homes community please visit our website.