Update at the bottom…
I’ve noticed a few items in the news recently regarding builders in Loudoun County, obviously feeling the effects of the slowdown. Wanted to share…please comment with anything you have noticed with regards to builders here and their reaction to the market climate!
First, KB Home announced that they are pulling out of the mid Atlantic region based on “poor market performance.” The Gazette reported on this yesterday, you can read it here. A local Realtor and friend of mine, Danilo Bogdanovic, spoke with someone at the company yesterday to get the scoop, and they told him they have closed their sales center at Martin’s Chase in Loudoun, and plan to sell out the homes already finished or currently under construction, but will not break ground on any more homes. You can read his blog post here.
Second, I noticed that the inventory homes for Equity Homes, a builder with communities under construction in Purcellville and Round Hill, were now listed as owned by a trustee, including the model home at the Highlands in Round Hill. I did some digging but could only come up with a news article regarding the builder pulling out of a community in Westmoreland County, saying that they had ceased business operations. The link to that article is here. Equity’s website doesn’t reflect that they have stopped selling homes, and a call to the community in Round Hill led me to an answering machine that said they would have the model home open Thursdays to Sundays. This is sad news, as I am a huge fan of their design team; in my experience I’ve seen nothing but quality construction from them. I’ll keep an eye on this for more news. (The photo above, taken on April 30th, shows the Equity Homes name and logo blacked out of the sign at the Highlands.)
Third, an ad in the Leesburg Today caught my eye, Basheer & Edgemoore, a luxury home builder working on a community called Park Meadows just outside of Leesburg, is now selling 3 to 9 acre lots within the community from $325,000. I’m not sure how many finished homes they have there, but they were certainly billing it as an exclusive community (only 17 home sites) when they started marketing it; I’m hoping there are some restrictions on what can be built on those lots so that the folks that have already moved in there are living in a community that reflects what they thought they were purchasing. (Actually, I’m not sure if there are any finished homes there yet? I’ll take a drive later and see for certain.)
There are plenty of other builders in our community that seem to be weathering the market change more smoothly; but I’m sure we will see a few more stories like these in the coming months. My thoughts are with the folks that work for these companies!
UPDATE: Since I wrote this post, WUSA 9 News has picked up on the story and done some digging to find out what is happening with Equity Homes. They are reporting that some homeowners who purchased new homes from Equity are reporting construction defects that haven’t been fixed, and at least one homeowner was served papers from a subcontractor that was not paid for the work they did completing their home. You can view the story here. Also, I took a closer look at the Park Meadows community and posted an update on that as well.
UPDATE on KB Home and Lennar: Both have now reopened at Martin’s Chase…