By Iris Richmond.

BYOL: Private Home Portfolio, a division of New-Jersey-based K. Hovnanian Cos., builds Hovnanian homes on homeowners' lots. The 3,600-square-foot Hartford is the most popular plan. If successful, the company will expand the program to more markets. New Jersey's largest home builder has a new tactic. In response to a shortage of land in the state, K. Hovnanian Cos. launched Private Home Portfolio, a division that builds homes for customers on their own lots. Diverging from its typical production practice has been painless, says Joe Riggs, Northeast regional president. He says on-your-lot building is a niche opportunity that other builders may well pursue. In fact, Centex's Wayne Homes, in Ohio, has done well for years with this business in the Midwest. Customers choose from one of the builder's existing floor plans. The average home size has been 3,600 square feet. Because the builder doesn't own the land, it acts as a building contractor throughout the process, which normally takes 10 to 12 months.

The division should deliver 30 homes this year and bring in more than $1 million in profit. Any extra production costs Hovnanian will incur should be offset by the lack of regulatory costs, Riggs says.

Published in BIG BUILDER Magazine, October 2002