As the entry-level market struggles to gain footing, the top-end of the housing market continues to provide opportunities to entice builders. More evidence of this trend came this week when Nelson Homes, part of the an independently owned and operated Arthur Rutenberg Homes franchise, premiered two new models in Florida. The models, each priced at over $2 million, came in at 6,500 square feet and 4,228 square feet (and offered room for further expanson). Here are more details on the homes, which are being built by Derek Nelson, a former Arthur Rutenberg Homes building company president:

LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla.Nelson Homes, Inc., an independently owned and operated Arthur Rutenberg Homes franchise, has opened two models over $2 million in the last 90 days. The Ravenna, the company’s newest model, was unveiled this week at The Lake Club. 

The Ravenna model features four bedrooms, four and a half bathrooms plus a den and clubroom with wet bar. Totaling over 6,500 square feet, the home boasts a 400-square-foot casita, large lanai/cabana, resort-style pool and spa with phantom roll-down screens and a spacious great room and dining area on an estate-size home site with panoramic lake views.

“Arthur Rutenberg Homes strives to create quality, cutting-edge design with the finest architectural detail and upscale features,” said Derek Nelson, president of the Lakewood Ranch-based franchise. “I’m excited about our current and future models, which have a lot of memory points and wow moments. Whether it’s the Hickory-lined barrel ceiling in the kitchen, under-the-stairs brick-lined wine storage area or additional, hidden outdoor shower space off the master suite bathroom, the attention to detail in the Ravenna model is unmatched.”

The Modena model, which opened in May at The Concession, sits on a one-acre home site and has four bedrooms, four and half bathrooms with a den. The model has 4,228 square feet of space with an optional casita that adds an additional 1,262 square feet, a home management center, an entry courtyard and a putting green.

“The unveiling of these models is a direct response to the uptick of the luxury custom home market,” said Nelson. “Discerning buyers are coming to the area looking for premium homes with luxury features, and the Ravenna and Modena definitely deliver.”

Currently, there are 39 franchises in the Arthur Rutenberg Homes network. Nelson Homes has been honored with the Model of the Year award three consecutive times from the franchisor. The Amalfi was this year’s victor with the Marbella and Bermuda winning previous years.

The Lakewood Ranch-based builder had a sales volume of more than $25 million in 2013, with 30 homes sold at an average price of $850,780. To date, the builder has sold 16 homes, with a sales volume of $18,509,490 and an average price of $1,156,843.

About Arthur Rutenberg Homes
Arthur Rutenberg Homes is celebrating more than 60 years in the homebuilding industry and has been a respected name in Florida homebuilding since 1953, when he built his first home upon the four “cornerstones” that would make him legendary: design, craftsmanship, service and responsibility. Today, Arthur Rutenberg Homes, Inc. is one of the largest networks of independently owned and operated homebuilding companies in the nation, with franchised homebuilders throughout Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

About Derek Nelson
Derek Nelson, a former Arthur Rutenberg Homes building company president and highly regarded second-generation builder, now operates Nelson Homes, Inc., an independently owned and operated Arthur Rutenberg Homes franchise. Nelson started with Arthur Rutenberg Homes in 1989 as a building supervisor, working his way up to building company president in 1997. Under Nelson's leadership, the franchise won the prestigious Builder of the Year award four times and twice won The Gold Cup, an award presented annually to the Arthur Rutenberg Homes franchise with the highest customer satisfaction rating based solely on customer surveys. Nelson Homes, Inc. was presented the Builder of the Year award for 2012 based on quality of company and financial management, marketing strategy, customer satisfaction, the contribution to the strength and quality of the Arthur Rutenberg Homes franchise system and the building of people and organization. Nelson Homes builds at Lakewood Ranch, The Concession, Longboat Key, Siesta Key, Lido Key and on customer-owned home sites. For more information, please visit


Learn more about markets featured in this article: Orlando, FL.