When Dallas-based Dunhill Homes moved into the Las Vegas market last spring, it did so mainly as a contractor completing homes for a bank. For its expansion into the Houston market earlier this month, Dunhill acquired 57 homesites within the Fall Creek community in Humble, Texas, from a bank. But the townhouse products it builds will be its own to sell.
“Just as we did in Dallas, we’re starting from scratch in Houston,” says Matt Burke, Dunhill’s vice president of sales and marketing. Burke and his partner John Mann—a 36-year housing vet who most recently had been president of Meritage Homes’ Dallas-Fort Worth division—have lines of credit in place from various banks, and are “looking for some opportunistic deals” in Texas.
Its current project in Humble, called Amberwood at Fall Creek, has two models built, and generated its first sale within a week of opening. (Burke told the Houston Business Journal that Dunhill expects to sell out Amberwood within 18 months.) This neighborhood features four styles of townhomes, ranging from 1,550 to 2,500 square feet and priced from $125,000 to $200,000. The townhomes are targeting move-up and active-adult buyers, two groups which Burke says continue to be underserved in Dallas and Houston.
Dunhill, a subsidiary of the real estate holding company Winchester Carlisle Companies, is introducing itself to Houston buyers with some help from Wisenbaker Builder Services, which provides the builder and its customers with access to its design center for flooring, kitchens, and window coverings. (BUILDER was unable to reach sources at Wisenbaker for comment at presstime about its relationship with Dunhill.) Amberwood also has a full spectrum of amenities, including proximity to Redstone Golf Club.
In Las Vegas, buyers still need to be pushed off the fence, and Dunhill recently completed its largest sales incentive program to date there for its move-in homes. The incentives, valued at up to $25,000, included financing and upgrade options. Burke tells BUILDER that Dunhill’s immediate growth strategy is to focus on expanding its presence in Dallas and Houston. But he also says he would not be surprised if the company picked up land in another Texas market like San Antonio.
JohnCaulfield is senior editor for BUILDER magazine.