It's been a successful summer for Highland Homes in Hillsborough and Pasco counties.
The company has been selling homes in its newest community in Hillsborough — Southwinds — even before the model home was started.
Southwinds' location — in Gibsonton at the corner of Symmes Road and East Bay, with great visibility from Interstate 75 — is a great one for commuters to Tampa, says Kathie McDaniel, vice president of sales and marketing for Highland Homes.
"People driving on the interstate have noticed the signs and flags and several have come by to discuss building their new homes," says McDaniel.
"Highland Homes has always specialized in financing for its buyers and we expect to see a lot of people from MacDill Air Force Base become homeowners in Southwinds," she adds.
With more than 60 home sites — some on a conservation pond or pie-shaped cul de sac — the community will feature one- and two-story homes. Houses will range from 1,200 square feet in size to more than 2,500 square feet. A variety of floor plans include three to five bedrooms, two to 3½ bathrooms and two- or three-car garages.
Prices start at $129,900 and features include double-pane windows, 14 SEER air-conditioning units, programmable thermostats, Whirlpool appliances, mica countertops and Delta faucets.
"Highland Homes believes that every buyer should have a choice of which home site and floor plan he or she wants, and buyers will visit the selection studio to choose everything from the exterior paint to the kitchen faucet,'' McDaniel says.
"Buyers love to design their own homes and with our interior design team they always have fun designing based on their own wants and needs."
McDaniel says that the success in sales even before the model home was erected spurred the company to bring an RV to house the sales team until the model could be completed.
"We've had so much interest in Southwinds, we needed to react quickly to handle the demand," she says.
The company also is excited about the rapid home sales it has had in the Plant City community of Trapnell Ridge and hopes that its newest community in the area — Tower Grove — will prove to be as successful.
"The success of Trapnell Ridge has spurred a waiting line for homes in Tower Grove,'' McDaniel says. "The community has not been publicly announced yet, and we already have four sales."
"Tower Grove is unusual in that lots are more than a half-acre in size, so buyers get a rural location that is close to everything,'' she says. "With our list of interested buyers, we expect sales to be fast and furious."
Prices will start in the $130,000s and floor plans will be similar to what was offered in Trapnell, but with the addition of several large floor plans. With the larger lots, buyers can build larger homes, McDaniel says.
Tower Grove is located near State Road 39 and Kilgore Road in Plant City, in a rural setting yet close to all the city conveniences.
Buyers in Pasco County have found what they needed and wanted in Highland's community of Sunset Hills of Dade City. Highland has already sold eight homes in Sunset Hills, with its attractive down-payment assistance program, McDaniel notes.
"This community offers over $50,000 down-payment assistance for each buyer and buyers can have payments starting from about $700 a month,'' she explains. "Buyers — who have seen what is available by visiting the model home — are amazed that they can live in a brand new home for less than what they spend in rent.
"So many interested buyers are in college or have just graduated and have thousands of dollars owed in student loans,'' she says. "With the down-payment assistance program they can afford the student loans and a new home."
Houses in Sunset Hills range in size from 1,100 to 2,300 square feet and feature three to five bedrooms, two to three bathrooms and one-, two- or three-car garages. Sunset Hills is just outside of historic Dade City.
"We love being part of the down-payment assistance program and helping people achieve the dream of homeownership," says McDaniel.
For more information on any of the communities or on any other Highland Homes' community in the Bay area, check the website at www.highlandhomes.org or call the main office at (813) 619-7103.