While much of the real estate industry seems to have been treading water these past few years, holding out until the economy comes back around, one Tampa Bay builder has used the down time as an opportunity to make strategic moves and expand its offerings.
K. Hovnanian Homes is unveiling six new home designs and two new communities this summer, a sign of progress and "old fashioned business planning," said George Schulmeyer, president for the Tampa Division of K. Hovnanian Homes.
"In the last few years, there are not many builders who have purchased raw land and started developing it," Schulmeyer said. "Many builders stretched themselves too thin and have had to bail out. But at K. Hovnanian, we understand how markets change and were prepared for when the market turned. In fact, in the past 12 months, our sales have increased 30 percent."
Schulmeyer and his team at K. Hovnanian seem to have used the slower time wisely by designing new greener homes and investing in new communities: Valterra in Valrico and Parsons Woods in Seffner.
"Both are brand new properties but have the advantage of being in-fill communities and are, therefore, closer to well-established employment and commercial areas, and accessible to major highways," Schulmeyer said.
In Valterra, home sites are a bit larger than typical communities, he said, with most lots measuring 67 by 110 feet and nine lots measuring 85 by 140.
"Our nine larger home sites are about a quarter acre, fairly large lots by new construction neighborhood standards," he said.
The sales gallery at Valterra is scheduled to open in mid-July. Buyers will have the opportunity to choose from 11 different home designs, including six new offerings from K. Hovnanian Homes. The new floor plans are open and have large rooms, come with a three-car garage as standard, and both one- or two-story designs are available. Home designs at Valterra range from approximately 1,800 to 3,400 square feet and are priced starting from the $170,000s. A fully decorated model will open in early fall.
Parsons Woods is set to open this fall and will feature the same six new home designs. Prices here also start from the $170,000s.
"Parsons Woods is being built on the pretty much the last piece of land available in the Parsons Avenue corridor," Schulmeyer said.
As with all of K. Hovnanian's offerings, the six new designs are ENERGY STAR certified and built with energy efficiency in mind, he said. Families buying these homes can learn about the benefits of owning a K. Hovnanian Home from Nate, the spokesperson K. Hovnanian introduced last fall to help homeowners understand the money they could be saving, as well as the natural resources they could be conserving in a new energy-efficient K. Hovnanian High Performance Home.
Nate (Nature, Technology and Efficiency) puts a fun and friendly face on living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and saving money in the process. Nate has his own Facebook page, Twitter feed, YouTube channel, blog, and website (NateKHOV.com) stocked with videos and more interactive content.
"Nate has been hugely successful and helped us sell many homes," Schulmeyer said.
"The information Nate provides educates current homeowners, as well as prospective homebuyers, on how to get the most from the energy efficient features in a K. Hovnanian High Performance Home. Consumers who take advantage of these great features will notice significant savings in their energy bills."
Already a leader in building energy-efficient homes in the Tampa Bay area, K. Hovnanian Homes has taken additional steps for reducing energy and water consumption by introducing its High Performance Homes, which offer more comfort, higher efficiency and lower monthly costs, Schulmeyer said.
Every High Performance Home comes with the following features: Low-E glass windows; an energy monitor; high-efficiency ENERGY STAR appliances; low-flow toilets, showerheads, and faucets; Florida friendly landscaping features; and high-R insulation for maximum comfort and savings.
Valterra is located in Valrico. From Interstate 75, take the exit for State Road 60 (exit #257). Drive east five miles to Valrico Road. Turn left and drive north about one and a half miles. Valterra is located on the east side of Valrico Road.
Parsons Woods is located in Seffner. From Interstate 75, take the exit for State Road 60 (exit #257). Drive east about four miles to North Parsons Avenue. Turn left and drive north approximately two miles. Parsons Woods is located on the east side of Parsons Avenue.
K. Hovnanian Homes builds in 11 communities throughout the Tampa Bay area. In addition to Valterra and the upcoming Parsons Woods, communities include: Highland Park in Westchase, Evergreen at Trinity East in Pasco County, Tampa Bay Golf and Country Club (active adult community) in San Antonio in Pasco County, Meadow Oaks in Hudson, Bay Breeze in MiraBay in Apollo Beach, Ballymore in Panther Trace in Riverview, The Estates in Harbour Isles in Apollo Beach, Lakeshore Ranch in Land O'Lakes and The Garden District in FishHawk Ranch in Lithia.
K. Hovnanian Homes was founded in 1959 and today is the sixth largest homebuilder in the United States, having delivered more than 287,000 homes since its inception. K. Hovnanian currently builds and sells in 198 active communities in 18 states with total revenues of $1.9 billion as of July 31, 2009. As the developer of K. Hovnanian's® Four Seasons communities, the company is also one of the nation's largest builders of active adult homes.
For more information on K. Hovnanian, visit www.khov.com/tampa or call 1-877-669-5468 (NOW-KHOV).