With an innovative "on your lot'' program and the opening of several new communities, Highland Homes is expanding its presence throughout Pasco County.
"Based on our success in selling in Zephyrhills the past two years, we've decided to venture into other areas of Pasco County, '' said Kathie McDaniel, vice president of sales and marketing for the Lakeland-based homebuilder. "And with our $99 moves-you-in program, people can find that, in many instances, it's cheaper to own a home than it is to rent one.''
In the "on your lot'' program, Highland Homes will build a house based on their own or a buyer's floor plan, with prices starting in the low $100,000s.
"Buyers who own their lot and are interested in building a new home can now build one with Highland Homes," she said. "Or they can also choose to buy a lot in another subdivision and have Highland Homes build on that lot as part of their contract process. Now buyers have several options when choosing Highland Homes as their builder, and as usual, it's still $99 down.''
Highland's latest venture is in the new community of Sunset Hills in Dade City. Part of Pasco County's efforts for neighborhood stabilization, Sunset Hills will feature homes in size that range from 1,100 square feet to up to 2,000 square feet. Each home will have at least three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a two-car garage, along with blinds throughout the house, a microwave over the range, a 21-cubic-foot refrigerator and a washer and dryer.
Prices start in the low $100,000s, and eligible buyers can receive up to $50,000 of down payment assistance, McDaniel said.
"Additionally, there will be no closing costs for these homes," she added, noting that house payments start around $600 a month, and buyers need just $99 down to buy.
"We're excited about this community,'' McDaniel said. "It just opened the first of October, and already we have two sales.''
The company also is highlighting homes in the neo-traditional community of Ten Oaks in Zephyrhillls. Houses there feature concrete siding and some also have front porches. Additional features include quality cabinets in several stains, Mohawk carpet, Delta faucets, contemporary light fixtures and Whirlpool appliances.
"Choosing everything from the perfect lot with the perfect view to your favorite floor plan and everything inside the home is what makes Highland Homes special,'' McDaniel said. "Our buyers choose everything rather than selecting a home that a builder has for sale or a resale that someone else already owned. Buyers can determine their choices by their own wants, needs and budget and create their own custom interiors at the personal selection studio.''
Cheryl Gonzalez, community sales manager, said buyers seem to love the look of the homes built in Ten Oaks.
"It's a nice throwback to homes that were built in the '50s and '60s, but with all the modern conveniences,'' she explained.
Highland Homes offers several floor plans in the community, with prices starting in the $130,000s and sizes ranging from 1,100 to 2,200 square feet.
The response to Ten Oaks has been very favorable, according to McDaniel. The grand opening was in September and more than 10 homes were sold by mid-October. The community features hiking trails, sidewalks, a community gazebo and several ponds.
It is located off Eiland Boulevard, which is an extension of Morris Bridge and is just minutes away from The Shoppes at Wiregrass and the Groves shopping center in Wesley Chapel.
However, the community has a serene and rural feel with surrounding properties that have open spaces along with grazing cows, McDaniel said.
Ten Oaks is located in a USDA area which allows 100 percent financing to qualified buyers.
"Combine our $99 down moves-you-in special with the USDA financing and our low interest rate and buyers will find it's cheaper to buy than rent," she said. "Highland Homes prides itself on helping buyers who have less than perfect credit purchase a new home."
The first community that Highland opened this summer in West Pasco, The Reserve at Meadow Oaks, is a golf course community that is designed to offer homeowners a country club lifestyle with affordable pricing.
Meadow Oaks features homes with living space from 1,450 square feet to more than 2,600 square feet. Houses are one or two stories, feature three to five bedrooms, two to three and half bathrooms, and two-and three-car garages.
Houses feature quality cabinets in kitchens and bathrooms, Whirlpool appliances, Delta faucets, R-30 insulation, 14 SEER air conditioning units, steel/ceramic bathtubs with tile surrounds, Mohawk carpeting and Armstrong flooring.
"Two things that separate us from the other builders in the area are our foundations – they are higher than most so that the homes are not affected by flooding – and our deposit requirement,'' McDaniel said. "The $99 down to purchase a home has been a big hit for our company.''
Sales counselor Phil Wainio added, "Even buyers who pay cash love the fact that they only need $99 down to purchase a home."
The community also offers a large swimming pool, tennis courts and a clubhouse. It is located off Highway 52 in Hudson and is minutes away from the Gulf of Mexico for owners who love the beach, yet close enough to the Suncoast Parkway for buyers who need to commute to Tampa, McDaniel said.
For more information on any of the communities, or Highland Homes' $99 down program, visit highlandhomes.org or call (863) 529-5628.