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Builders Faltering, Pulling Back in Loudoun County

Highlands at Round Hill, Equity Homes What’s Happening with the Builders in Loudoun?

I’ve noticed a few items in the news recently regarding builders in Loudoun County, obviously feeling the effects of the real estate market 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. A local Realtor 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.

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. 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.  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…

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9 Responses to “Builders Faltering, Pulling Back in Loudoun County”

  • That area has built up so fast over the last few years. I used to make the trip from Frederick to Manassas often and look at all the horse pastures. Then it turned to orange construction fencing for house locations.

    It always amazed me, I would see Community Signs advertising Building lots “from the low $800s” with a banner across it saying SOLD OUT. They didn’t even break ground!!!

  • heatherelias
    Written on

    Bob…I remember when folks would sleep in their cars, lined up for the opening of a new community, hoping to get a lot. Any lot! That wasn’t that long ago…I’d love to see some balance between that, and this…

  • ibex67
    Written on

    Only tangentially related, but points to the same general trend. Our home equity line was closed recently by our lender. They were very clear that it was not because of us or our payment record. It was simply because house values have declined so dramatically in our area…

  • heatherelias
    Written on

    I’ve heard this from other folks living in the area, too. Hopefully we will turn a corner soon and see the prices stabilize, then with time the lenders will gain some confidence back for our region.

  • […] I was perusing the ‘legals’ section of the Leesburg Today from January 30th (the Leesburg Today is the ‘paper of record’ where all legal notices must be published for this area) and came across a substitute trustees sale for three parcels, containing about 163 acres. From the looks of it,  there are three parcels of land that were being held by Equity Homes that are going up for public auction on February 18, 2009, at 11 in the morning. Equity Homes was a builder that ‘ceased business operations’ last year, leaving several subdivisions in various stages of not finished.  (I wrote about it at the time.) […]

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Michael and Heather Elias are full time real estate professionals and licensed REALTORS at Century 21 Redwood Realty. They sincerely hope you enjoy reading this blog, and would love the opportunity to work with you.

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