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Lennar’s ‘home within a home’

New Lexington at RiverVillage homes, built by Lennar Corp., available in the SCV starting May

Posted: April 28, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: April 28, 2012 2:00 a.m.
This Lexington home at RiverVillage, built by the Lennar Corp., is a 3,487-square-foot model. This Lexington home at RiverVillage, built by the Lennar Corp., is a 3,487-square-foot model.
This Lexington home at RiverVillage, built by the Lennar Corp., is a 3,487-square-foot model.

New Lexington at RiverVillage homes, built by Lennar Corp., will be available starting May 5, according to company officials.

“We’re seeing some stabilization in California, and it’s becoming a very strong market,” said Greg McGuff, division president for Lennar.

Another change in the re-emerging homebuilding industry is the way homes are designed.

Lennar’s multigenerational homes literally contain a “home within a home,” he said, complete with a full living suite and, separate entrances to the home, yard and in some cases, even the garage. An interior door also allows passage between the two homes.

“Response has been overwhelming,” McGuff said. “Over 20 percent of Americans are living multigenerational, but the homes aren’t built to suit it. These new flexible homes are giving folks the opportunity to live together, but independently at the same time.”

Floor plans range from 4 bedrooms, 3 baths and 3,073 square feet to 5 bedrooms, 3.5 baths and 3,625 square feet. One of the models offers buyers a three-car garage.

What was once considered upgrades now come as standard features for price of the homes, which also include some energy-saving additions, such as radiant barrier roof sheeting, according to Lennar officials.

Financing is available from the builder’s in-house mortgage company.

“The new multigeneration home allows families to live together in a more thoughtful manner,” McGuff said.

Lennar has been building these homes across the country for about six months, he said, but this is the first multigenerational home they’ve built in Valencia.

“Cities and counties love it, too,” he said. “So many people are working today that can just tell their kids ‘go see your grandparents’ because they’re living in the same home, next door.”

It also saves time for busy parents who typically drive to and from their own parents homes to pick them up to take them to appointments. Now, they’re right at the house. And grandparents or other family members don’t have to give up their own privacy, McGuff said. 

The “home within a home” concept is also great for out-of-town visitors, he said. It gives them a separate suite in the home in which  to stay.

Innovative design aside, the fact that builders are building is a statement about the improving economy.

Increased demand

Like all homebuilders, it has been greatly impacted by the recession.

“We’re building 80 percent fewer homes than we once did,” McGuff said.

The Lexington homes represent more square footage for the move-up market, he said.

Lennar is seeing an increase demand in the larger home, McGuff said. It has a lot to do with lower interest rate, but people who have the means to buy are taking advantage of situation.

“We’re building on land we owned since 2006,” he said. “We were just waiting for a market recovery to bring out the larger homes.”

Lennar’s first-quarter results reflect the improving market for the homebuilder, as well. The company recorded its strongest first quarter sales since 2008, said Stuart Miller, chief executive officer at Lennar.

New orders on homes are up 33 percent over first quarter 2011, and delivery of homes up 29 percent, and backlog of orders are up 39 percent. Lennar sold 569 more homes in the first quarter of this year over the same period in 2011.

The company also reported increased average sales prices of homes and said it is starting to see reduced sales incentives to buy in some of its communities.

The positive numbers drove revenues up 30 percent to $724.9 million as the company reports its eighth consecutive quarter of profitability and strongest first-quarter homebuilding operating margins in six years.

“We’ve definitely been seeing a strengthening market, both in absorptions as well as pricing,” McGuff said.

First quarter operating earnings for Lennar Financial Services, the in-house mortgage lending unit, reported earnings of $8.3 million, compared to $1.2 million in 2011.

Lennar stock hit a new 52-week high Friday, closing $28.41 per share, up $1.03 from start of trading. The 52-week low was $12.14.

The grand opening for the new multigenerational homes located at 22469 Flatwater Court in Valencia is Saturday, May 5. 


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