Ashton Woods Homes officials are excited about the company's rising sales figures and growth, especially in light of the slumping economy.
"We've had two grand openings in the last 45 days, our sales are up and we've hired more people," says Michael Roche, regional vice president of sales and marketing for the Atlanta-based company. "Each month has been better than the last. It may be baby steps, but in this market it's growth.
Roche credits the company's success to location, quality of construction, product design and customer service.
"Our product is called the powerhouse," he says. "It's different from others because of our focus. We stress energy efficiency, health aspects and quality of construction. And customer service is paramount.
"We're currently looking for land in the Bay area to continue building,'' he says. "We're here to stay and we're actively growing.''
The builder of semi-custom, single-family homes has created several communities in the Bay area, including in Wesley Chapel, Riverview and Seffner. Recently opened communities include Fern Grove in Valrico and the Landings at Port Tampa in South Tampa.
The Landings at Port Tampa is Ashton Woods' first all-green community and part of the Green Builder Coalition, Roche says.
"That maintains not only the integrity of an historical community such as Port Tampa, but also preserves and protects the environment in which our homeowners will be residing," he says.
Roche says Ashton Woods homes are built with the environment in mind.
"Our homes are above and beyond the competitive designs," he says. "Our homes feature Energy Star certified appliances [and low-emissivity] dual paned, vinyl windows, which can save people up to 20 percent on their heating and cooling bills as well as protect carpeting and fabrics that could otherwise fade or be damaged from the constant exposure to the sun," he says.
Roche adds that thicker insulation and tighter construction help keep allergens out so allergy-prone buyers aren't sniffling and sneezing in their homes. The thicker insulation also helps keep temperatures inside at a comfortable level even while outside temperatures are spiking, he says.
"Our standard fresh air ventilation helps to keep people who have breathing problems more comfortable as well since clean air continuously enters the home," he says. "All of this helps to enhance the performance of our homes and to provide our homeowners with a healthy and comfortable home year-round.''
Roche says the builder's homes generally provide 1,712 to 3,435 square feet of living space and are priced from the $180,000s to the $300,000s.
"We custom create the designs for each community so they aren't carbon copies of each other,'' he says. "We want each community to have a separate sense of place.''
The company offers many standard features, including 10-foot ceilings on the first floor, wide hallways and "the innovative use of natural lighting to help make the homes feel wide open,'' Roche says. Other standard features include tile in wet areas and solid surface countertops.
"We offer different elevations to our homes so buyers have an opportunity to make sure their home is uniquely their own and different from their neighbor's," he says. "Our communities aren't cookie-cutter.''
Visit www.ashtonwoods.com or call (813) 918-2176 to learn more about its communities.