Local company gets creative

Filed under: News | Tags:

Classic Homes is both a builder and, in communities like Barnstormers Landing, Soaring Eagles and Flying Horse, a residential developer.

As such, the company — now operating with a 15-person staff, compared to a work force of more than 100 people two years ago — looks at the market from two points of view, said Dan Winter, executive vice president of Classic Cos.

Classic has recorded 175 closings this year — off its former peak of 500-plus, but not bad. With 14 models, its homes start in the low $200s at places like Banning Lewis Ranch, Indigo at Stetson Ridge Highlands and Cumbre Vista, but can extend to multi-million luxury homes at Flying Horse.

But custom homes are not a focus right now, Winter said.

Rather than depend solely on the winds of fate, the builder is venturing into new buyer-attractive territory with the introduction of its new Freedom Series homes.

Under the Classic Secure umbrella and underwritten by the Rainy Day Foundation, if owners qualify with the right type of loan and are not self-employed or active duty military, they can apply for job loss protection coverage up to $1,800 for six months.

If an active duty soldier or airman has a working spouse, however, the couple might qualify.

“My view of the current market is that existing homes are selling,” he said. “The market’s stabilizing, though new home sales are much lower than during past years. It’s starting to firm up.”

Some of the company’s communities are beginning to see regular incremental sales.

“In Mesa Ridge, for example, we’re selling two to three houses a week,” Winter said. “That’s progress. And they’re not just military. I think some Fountain residents who lived in older homes are beginning to want the newer amenities and designs.”

Higher-priced Flying Horse, however, is a pony of a different color.

“We’re still seeing one or two sales a month in the $350,000 to $450,000 range,” Winter said, adding that Classic Homes has high hopes for its latest product, the Encore active-living community near the entrance to Flying Horse.

The emerging mature adult market is one that Winter said he believes will continue to grow, despite periodic economic downturns.