Archive for the ‘Real Estate’ Category

Firethorne Sets All-Time High Sales Record in 2012 with 280 New Home Sales: 55.5% Increase Over 2011 Sales

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

firethorne_logoKaty/Fulshear – Jan. 16, 2013. . . . Firethorne sold an all-time high of 280 new homes in 2012, recording a whopping 55.5 percent increase in new home sales over 2011 for the Katy/Fulshear master-planned community.

“This is quite a milestone for Firethorne,” said Firethorne General Manager Wayne Meyer. “We’re proud of our steady growth, with home values appreciating.” He credits Firethorne’s success to the continued strength of the Katy/Fulshear/West Houston economy, highlighted by the Energy Corridor and the Texas Medical Center-West, outstanding public schools and the ongoing support from the local Realtor® community. Realtors® have been a cornerstone to Firethorne’s growth, generating more than 79 percent of its new home sales.” The industry norm in a new community such as Firethorne is 60 percent Realtor®-generated home sales.

The Jimmy Franklin Team of RE/MAX Grand Realty and The Joe Rothchild Team of Keller Williams Signature Realty, ranked as Firethorne’s Top Two Producing Realtors, respectively in 2012.

Firethorne’s previous sales record high of 254 new homes was set in 2010, when short-term federal tax credits were in effect for first-time homebuyers.

Project-to-date, Firethorne has sold 1,630 new homes. Its builder team includes such premiere homebuilders as Ashton Woods Homes, M/I Homes, Perry Homes, Highland Homes, Coventry Homes, and Plantation Homes. New home prices range from the high $100s to the mid-$800s.

In terms of growth, energy companies have relocated employees to the Katy area, plus three major Houston hospitals, Texas Children’s Hospital, Memorial Hermann and The Methodist Hospital, have expanded there. Firethorne is located 10 and 15 miles west of the Texas Medical Center-West Campus and Houston’s Energy Corridor, respectively.

Firethorne is also attractive to the Houston relocation market with its location in the top-ranked Katy Independent School District and Lamar Consolidated Independent School District, and availability of lots typically found in the country with all of conveniences of master-designed recreational amenities, such as state-of-the-art technology and nearby shopping, retail, dining, entertainment, schools and medical facilities. The 1,400-acre community features 150 acres devoted to parks and recreational amenities, a 12-acre lake with surrounding greenbelt, resort-style and competitive swim centers, sports fields, hike/bike trails, parks and playgrounds, discovery-rich wildlife observation area and a natural bird habitat. It’s where the vibrancy of West Houston meets the small-town charm of Katy/Fulshear.

To visit Firethorne, take I-10 west and exit Pin Oak to FM 1463, go to www.firethorne.info, or call 281-693-1011.
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M/I Homes Joins Firethorne Builder Team

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Katy/Fulshear – July 12, 2011. . . M/I Homes is the newest homebuilder to join the builder team at Firethorne, a 1,400-acre master-designed residential community located in Katy/Fulshear. The builder’s 60-foot lot model home will be constructed in the new Firethorne West Model Park. Firethorne is situated 10 and 15 miles west of the Texas Medical Center-West Campus and Houston’s Energy Corridor, respectively.

“We are excited about our opportunity to partner with an established developer in a premier community like Firethorne. This coveted area of Houston with easy access to I-10, beautiful amenities and nearby shopping has all the attributes that today’s homebuyers are seeking to satisfy their quality of life needs,” said Craig Westmoreland Area President, M/I Homes, Houston Division. “It is our privilege to offer M/I quality built homes in Firethorne, along with other renowned builders. We seek to complement the integrity of the Firethorne community,” he added.

M/I Homes’ one- and two-story homes, available in brick, stone and stucco exterior elevations, will range from 2,000 to 3,400 square feet and priced from the $220,000s. The builder’s signature features include soaring windows, rotundas, structural and designer options and a 30-year transferable structural warranty.

“We hand-select each of our builders based upon their high standards for design, quality, customer satisfaction and reputation,” said Firethorne General Manager Wayne Meyer. Currently completing the Firethorne builder team are: Ashton Woods Homes, Coventry Homes, Highland Homes, Partners in Building, Perry Homes, Plantation Homes and David Weekley Homes.

M/I Homes offers a 3%/4%/5% graduated Realtor commission on all 2011 closings. The Columbus, Ohio-based company, publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange, has built more than 78,000 homes since 1976 in the Midwest, mid-Atlantic, the Carolinas and in Florida. M/I Homes now builds in both Houston and San Antonio in Texas.

Firethorne, located in the top-ranked Katy Independent School District and Lamar Consolidated Independent School District, features 150 acres devoted to parks and recreational amenities, a 12-acre lake with surrounding greenbelt, resort-style swim center, new competitive swim center, sports fields, hike/bike trails, parks and playgrounds, discovery-rich wildlife observation area and a natural bird habitat. It’s where the vibrancy of West Houston meets the small-town charm of Katy/Fulshear.

To visit Firethorne, 28100 North Firethorne Road, take I-10 west and exit Pin Oak to FM 1463, or go to www.firethorne.info.

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Contact: Susan Farb Morris, 713.661.7377; 713.805.2608 (cell); susan@farbulous.com

M/I Homes Joins the Firethorne Builder Team

M/I Homes Joins the Firethorne Builder Team

Katy, Texas Tops Gadberry Group list of ten most notable high-growth areas in U.S. from 2010

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

LITTLE ROCK, AR – January, 2011 – Gadberry Group announced its list of the ten most notable high-growth areas in the U.S. last year – Gadberry Group’s 10 from 2010 and Katy, Texas topped the list. It’s no wonder, then, that the 1,400-acre Firethorne master-designed community located in Katy/Fulshear posted record-breaking new home sales in 2010.

According to the Gadberry Group news release, ten selected places in this year’s list had average household growth of 150% from 2000 to 2010, compared to last year’s list average of 170% from 2000 to 2009. The company noted that despite of the economic challenges of the past few years, there continue to be pockets of growth in the most resilient areas of the country.

Texas appears to once again be bucking national economic trends by capturing four of this year’s slots. The Lone Star State claimed four spots on the 2009 list, as well. Industry research indicates that 1.8% job growth over the last year is likely a contributing factor.

Katy was one of the top 25 candidates in 2008, took the number-five position on the 9 from 2009 list, and occupies the #1 position on the 2010 list. This Houston suburb has added 17,641 households since 2000, increasing 8.7% from 2009 to 2010. Overall, Katy was the fourth fastest growing area of the ten since 2000, with a 267.0% growth rate.

Katy’s average household income grew over 21% since 2000 to end the decade at $85,810. Average household net worth for 2010 was $250,498, while average length of residence was 4.7 years. The oil industry draws some of the area’s largest employers, including companies such as Exxon, BP & Conoco. The rebound in oil prices has undoubtedly helped the growth of this community and Texas as a whole.

In 2010, Firethorne sold 254 new homes, an all-time high for the five-year-old Katy/Fulshear residential development. This represents a 6.7 percent increase in new home sales over 2009, when the 1,400-acre master-designed community marked its previous record-breaking 238 homes sold.

“The continued growth of the Katy/Fulshear/West Houston economy, the Federal tax credits for first-time homebuyers (offered earlier in the year), our outstanding public schools and ongoing support from the local Realtor ® community have fueled the success we achieved in 2010,” said Firethorne General Manager Wayne Meyer. “Realtors® have been instrumental to our growth, generating more than 80 percent of our 2010 new home sales.” The industry norm in a new community such as Firethorne is 60 percent Realtor®-generated home sales.
Project-to-date, Firethorne has sold 1,132 new homes. The Firethorne homebuilders are Coventry Homes, Highland Homes, Partners in Building, Perry Homes, Plantation Homes and David Weekley Homes.

In terms of growth, energy companies have relocated employees to the area, plus three major Houston hospitals are expanding in the Katy/West Houston areas, including Texas Children’s Hospital-Katy, Memorial Hermann-Katy and The Methodist Hospital-Katy. Firethorne is attractive to the Houston relocation market with its proximity to the Energy Corridor, location in the top-ranked Katy Independent School District and Lamar Consolidated Independent School District, and availability of lots typically found in the country with all of conveniences of master-designed recreational amenities, such as state-of-the-art technology and nearby shopping, retail, dining, entertainment, schools and medical facilities. The community features 150 acres devoted to parks and recreational amenities, a 12-acre lake with surrounding greenbelt, resort-style swim center, sports fields, hike/bike trails, parks and playgrounds, discovery-rich wildlife observation area and a natural bird habitat. It’s where the vibrancy of West Houston meets the small-town charm of Katy/Fulshear. Located 15 miles west of Houston’s Energy Corridor, take I-10 west and exit Pin Oak to FM 1463, go to www.firethorne.info, or call 281-693-1011.

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Branding and Promoting a Basic HOA Seminar: AMI Boot Camp

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

Earlier this spring, Association Management Inc. (AMI), a Houston-based homeowners association (HOA) management company, retained Susan Farb Public Relations to promote a free seminar the company was planning to do in Kingwood, Texas. The goal was to help build AMI name recognition in the Kingwood market and generate new business opportunities in the north Houston suburb. The plan was to host a series of free seminars directed to individuals who currently serve as board members of their homeowners associations, starting with “The Rules & Regulations of Being a Director of the Board of a Homeowners Association (HOA).”

What a mouthful of a title!

Susan Farb Public Relations’ initial response was that name wasn’t going to fly; it was too cumbersome and sounded like a tedious continuing education class. Another strike against the initial plan was that the series of courses would be held at an airport hotel.

AMI charged Susan Farb Public Relations with branding the seminar in a way that would garner Kingwood-area publicity and, in turn, generate interest amongst area HOA board members to attend. AMI’s attendance goal was 30 HOA board members, which included existing client communities, as well as board members from prospective communities.

Action plan: Susan Farb Public Relations took the HOA “basic training” theme and recommended naming the sessions the “AMI-Kingwood HOA Boot Camp.” AMI upgraded the venue to a country club and custom-designed an invitation with military camouflage as the background to carry out the boot camp theme. (graphic designer: Uri Kelman.) Invitations were mailed to existing client board members.

Results: Advance publicity included articles and listings in Kingwood-area newspapers and Kingwood-specific websites as well as in the Houston Chronicle business section. Susan Farb Public Relations optimized the release and posted it online.

Surpassing the Goal – The AMI Boot Camp signed up a legion of 38 attendees for the company’s first-ever Kingwood seminar, led by AMI Chairman/CEO David Regenbaum. Of those 38, 23 were new prospects. Three communities represented at the event requested proposals from AMI with regard to managing their communities.

Susan Farb Public Relations coverage from the local Kingwood newspaper. The reporter attended the Boot Camp and wrote a positive news article about the AMI Boot Camp that was published in print and online. The article announced there would be additional seminars, which generated phone calls by additional HOA board members who wanted to sign up. The AMI Kingwood office is now “on the map” in the homeowners association management business in its home community.

AMI now plans to expand the Boot Camp concept into its other offices, such as The Woodlands, starting this summer, and Susan Farb Public Relations AMI Logoplans to apply its PR Fairy “magic” to these new markets as well.

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Positive Real Estate News from Houston-Area Residential Home Front: Firethorne Celebrates Third Anniversary with 772 Home Sales to Date

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

Katy/Fulshear – June 11, 2009. . . . With 772 home sales in its first three years, including 92 in 2009 (to date), celebrated its third anniversary in May with some positive residential real estate news from the Houston-area home front. The 1,400-acre master-designed community is located in Katy/Fulshear, 15 miles west of Houston’s Energy Corridor.

“Firethorne has been holding its own in today’s real estate market thanks to continued growth in the Katy and Fulshear areas and for being part of one of the greatest school districts in the state. There are three major Houston hospitals expanding in this area — two under construction and one on the drawing board — plus BP America and Conoco/Phillips relocating employees here,” said Firethorne General Manager Wayne Meyer.

Thanks to this business activity, Firethorne continues to lay the infrastructure for new home sections and has begun work on the North Firethorne Road extension. In addition, Firethorne builders Perry Homes, David Weekley Homes, Coventry Homes and Partners In Building are building a total of four new homes for the new Model Park I set to open in September 2009. Highland Homes currently has a model in Model Park I.

“The Katy area in general is running counter to what the rest of the city and nation is doing (in home sales),” observed Partners In Building-Firethorne Sales Consultant Scott Wilson, based at Firethorne since June 2007. “While one may think the (sales) numbers should be down, the reality is, we’re picking up a larger portion of the market share compared to other areas of town because of what value Firethorne offers.  This year Partners In Building came out of January with a bang at Firethorne,” he said. He notes an influx of relocation buyers, from out-of-town and from more seasoned Katy area residents looking to escape the traffic congestion of Mason and Fry Roads.  “Interest rates will never be as low as they are now and homebuyers are finding their monthly house payments won’t go up that much,” he explained.

Firethorne sold 204 homes in 2008 and 218 homes in 2007. According to Plantation Homes-Firethorne sales consultant Charlie Russo, his office is on pace to meet or exceed 2008 sales. “Business has been brisk this spring,” said Russo, who has sold 17 homes this year. The homes, priced from the $170,000s to the $270,000s, are attracting more first-time homebuyers thanks to the tax credits available, he said.

“I believe Firethorne is just now coming of age,” said David Weekley Homes-Firethorne Sales Consultant Sandee Horton, awarded David Weekley Homes Sales Consultant of the Year in 2007 and 2008. Horton also is seeing activity from top oil company executives relocating to the area.  “I have clients who have referred me to friends and family, which speaks volumes about Firethorne,” she said, noting one David Weekley Homes homeowner who transferred here from Brazil, referred her two other Brazilian families who bought homes in Firethorne.

Firethorne blends with the best nature has to offer: 150 acres devoted to parks and recreational amenities, a 12-acre lake with surrounding greenbelt, hike/bike trails, parks and playgrounds, discovery-rich wildlife observation area and a natural bird habitat. Firethorne combines the vibrancy of West Houston with the small-town charm of Katy/Fulshear. Served by the award-winning Katy Independent School District, the community is strategically located on FM 1463 near the crossroads of the 1-10 West corridor, the Westpark Tollway and the Grand Parkway. To tour Firethorne, take I-10 West and exit Pin Oak to FM 1463, call 281-395-1440 or visit www.firethorne.info.

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