By BUILDER Magazine Staff. Why it worked: Dilsheimer Communities revved up a sleepy market, where sales were averaging just three per month, with an attractive, affordable, no-nonsense, entry-level product.

  • The builder provides very few options and upgrades, but the "Yes, it's included!" approach offers a full basement, two-car garage, gas fireplace, and vaulted ceiling in the master bedroom, standard. "We will move an outlet or change a light, but we draw the line at structural changes," says company executive president Tom Dilsheimer.
  • Dilsheimer determined the market position through in-house shops of the competition and research from the Meyers Group.
  • Sixty-five percent of sales are to first-time buyers, 25 percent are to first-time move-ups, and 10 percent to empty-nesters.
  • Lakeshore Village is in the state capital and close to a major air force base, so there is a constant influx of new buyers coming for government and military jobs.
  • The builder implemented an aggressive sales management and marketing plan that includes print advertising, radio spots, direct mail, and a Web site.
  • Project Credits

    Project: Lakeshore Village, Dover, Del.; Sales started: July 2001; Sales through June 2002: 123; Units planned: 451; Price: $141,900 to $189,900; Unit size: 1,362 to 2,534 square feet; Developer: Lakeshore Village Development Corp., Bala Cynwyd, Pa.; Builder: Dilsheimer Communities, Bala Cynwyd; Architect: Cadre Development, Milford, Del.; Landscape architect: Davis, Bowen and Friedel, Milford

    Photo: Courtesy Delsheimer Communities

    Value added: The best-selling, 2,036-square-foot Monroe model features four bedrooms and two and one half baths and sells for the nice price of only $171,900.