The Lakewood Ranch master-planned development in Manatee County has brought significant attention to the promising Southwest Florida housing market. Lakewood Ranch has been a boon for local builders such as John Cannon Homes and Anchor Builders, and they have set the high standards that home buyers have come to expect when they arrive in Lakewood Ranch.
Due to the national attention that Lakewood Ranch has been getting in the last few years, local builders are now in direct competition with names such as D.R. Horton, Lennar and Taylor Morrison. Whereas local builders injected their own architectural style and custom details to their Lakewood Ranch homes over the years, the national builders are reaching into their diverse catalog of award-winning floor plans.
According to a recent news article by Harold Bubil of the Herald-Tribune, Lakewood Ranch neighbors will soon witness innovative home models in their neighborhoods. Lennar, for example, is introducing a Manor-style of floor plan that takes maximum advantage of space to fit four bedrooms in 2,245 square feet; this is essentially a McMansion that starts at $299,990.
Another interesting floor plan to be developed by Lennar in Lakewood Ranch is the Next-Gen home, which can accommodate multiple generations under one roof with five bedrooms and an interior guest home. The Next-Gen model will start at $399,990.
Home builder D.R. Horton has taken advantage of the downturn in the local housing market from a few years ago to acquire home sites at fire-sale prices. These lots usually form part of local banks’ real estate-owned (REO) portfolios of distressed properties. A builder such as D.R. Horton acts as a major player with the ability to acquire many lots and offer its popular floor plans therein.
The arrival of major home builders is good news for Lakewood Ranch homeowners since it brings confidence to the real estate market. Local builders will now have to get creative and ensure that the newcomers do not take too much market share from them. When this type of business competition develops, homeowners tend to come away winning.