The CrossRoads at Benders Landing featured in the Houston Chronicle
Trendmaker Homes is expanding the offerings in Benders Landing Estates, which has traditionally been a community where individuals buy acre-plus parcels of land and hire their own builders.
Trendmaker Homes has started construction on the first dozen or so of a planned 104 high-end traditional family homes and zero-lot line patio homes in The Crossroads at Benders Landing Estates, which is in Montgomery County.
Two model homes are open to showcase the designs in the new community, which will be part of the 2,800-acre Benders Landing Estates off of Rayford Road south of the planned Grand Parkway. The community, which is about 5 miles east of the Exxon Mobil campus north of Houston, will consist of four gated sections near the intersection of Whispering Maple Way and Rayford Road. Completion is targeted for 2016.
“We came to know that community through all the contracts we had done on the estate lots,” said Will Holder, president of Trendmaker Homes, which specializes in homes for move-up buyers and builds in 20 Houston area neighborhoods. “We saw people coming out of Benders Landing that like the area, but large lots can be quite a commitment.”
rendmaker is building two kinds of houses in the community on lots averaging 11,000 square feet. The traditional single-family homes will consist of one- and two-story plans on 70-foot-wide or 80-foot-wide lots. The 75 homes will range from about 3,000 to 5,000 square feet and start around $470,000. The houses will feature four or five bedrooms, media rooms with game rooms, closet organization systems, covered patios and outdoor fireplaces.
The 29 Villas patio homes will offer one- and two-story plans with tile roofs and three-car garages. Two- and three-bedroom plans will contain from 2,700 to 3,100 square feet with features such as covered porches, summer kitchens and outdoor fireplaces. The patio homes start around $450,000.
The patio homes are geared toward residents of Spring and The Woodlands who are ready to downsize but want to have plenty of amenities in a gated community.
“People want to live in that area. They’re fond of it, but they want a different lifestyle,” Holder said. “They don’t need a game room and a media room and all these other rooms that are best designed around family living.”
Some of the patio homes are centered on a courtyard and feature all of the living areas on the first floor with an open floor plan suited for entertaining. Some plans come with a bedroom upstairs for visiting children and grandchildren.
Both of the model homes display features that come standard in Trendmaker Homes. After selecting a plan, a buyer can select finishes from the design center and move into the house after a typical construction period of six or seven months.
In the large lot area of the community, by comparison, the process can take a year and a half for a homeowner to develop plans and contract with a builder to complete the home, Holder said. Homeowners often find the costs are higher than expected, and the choices for all of the finishes can be overwhelming.
“It’s very difficult. Choosing every light fixture, plumbing fixture, towel bars, windows, floors. It goes on and on and on,” Holder said. “With us, we’ve got a model showing you. If you like these towel bars, then you’re good.”
The Crossroads at Benders Landing Estates is part of the Conroe Independent School District and has no municipal utility district taxes. Residents will be able to use the master-planned community’s pool, athletic fields, basketball court, tennis courts, banquet hall, park and fitness center. Annual homeowners association dues are $1,350.
The community is just west of Woodson’s Reserve, a 692-acre community being developed by Toll Brothers along Riley Fuzzel Road, which is the future Grand Parkway. That community is planned for 1,050 homes with a broad selection of housing.
Much of the demand for homes in the region has been generated by the relocation of more than 10,000 employees who will work at the Exxon Mobil campus in Springwoods Village.
In The Woodlands, where about 1,000 new houses typically sell each year, home building is nearing completion, Holder said.
Trendmaker Homes, which has been building homes in Houston for 43 years and is a division of TRI Pointe, has no plans to slow down despite the fall of oil prices.
“Six months ago, the price of oil was double. Six months from now, it might double again,” Holder said. “It’s a fluctuating market. You can’t really time your business around it.”
Holder projects that 60,000 jobs will be added in Houston next year, generating plenty of demand in a market where the supply of new houses has been constrained.
Builders are expected to complete about 30,000 houses in the Houston area in 2014 and are forecast to build 32,500 in 2015, according to Metrostudy, a housing consulting firm. There’s demand for about 35,000 houses.