Minto Communities becoming formidable presence in housing market
At a time when the housing market and many homebuilders have been struggling, the Canadian-based Minto Communities has been expanding operations into Florida's west coast, according to Michael Belmont, president. Beginning with its acquisition of Harbour Isle in July 2009 and its recent acquisition Sun City Center, Minto Communities has become a formidable presence in the Tampa Bay housing market. Since Canada has not experienced a housing crisis as deep as that in the U.S., Minto's financial stability allowed the company to purchase both land approved for development and established communities. "We were able to take advantage of a great opportunity in the acquisition of Sun City Center," Belmont said. "It's always been a vibrant and successful community, and we were able to purchase the community at a price which allows us to offer today's active adult home buyer with one of the best home values in all of Florida, with an incredible lifestyle included. "It's the same situation with Harbour Isle on Anna Maria Sound in Bradenton," Belmont said. "We were able to acquire a waterfront property at a price well below market value, which allows us to build homes of impeccable quality and sell them at prices below current market prices."Minto is having success with both communities, according to Belmont. The company had its grand opening at Sun City Center in December, with nine new decorated model homes, and it recently opened six new model homes at Harbour Isle. "At Sun City Center, we continue to see a tremendous amount of activity in our sales center, and hundreds of people visit our models each week," Belmont explained. "The reaction to our home designs, quality standard features and pricing in the community has been very favorable. People are definitely taking advantage of the great value we are offering. "Harbour Isle is less than a mile from the Gulf of Mexico; it is a very special community. It has beautiful scenic views and some of the most unique and well-designed homes that the market has ever seen. There has been very little new construction in the northwest Bradenton area, and we feel there is definitely some pent up demand. We had more than 750 people show up for the grand opening; so we are pretty excited about the future of Harbour Isle." In Sun City Center, Minto is offering single-family homes ranging in size from 1,544 to 3,086 square feet of living space, with prices starting in the $170,000s, while the paired villas, which range in size from 1,360 to 1,862 square feet of living space, are priced from the $140,000s. At Harbour Isle, Minto's new homes range in size from 1,621 to 2,960 square feet of living space, and are priced from the $320,000s. "Our commitment to quality and value, world-class customer service and our exceptional reputation are what I believe helps to differentiate Minto from other builders in the marketplace," Belmont said. "Because we include so many standard features in our homes, it really helps to simplify the buying process. When people come in and look at our models, they don't have to spend an excessive amount of money to individualize the home to their needs." Minto Communities' homes are built to be energy efficient and to meet ENERGY STAR standards. The homes at Harbour Isle are being built to LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification, which Belmont notes, "is the highest standard of building construction and sustainability." Some potential homebuyers may be wary of purchasing a new home, considering the falling home values during the past couple of years, but Belmont says that Minto's favorable acquisition deals have allowed the company to be able to offer new homes that are priced properly for today's market. "The homes are a tremendous value," he said. Minto Communities has been in business for more than 55 years, and despite the challenges in the market, Belmont said he is very optimistic about the company's future on the west coast of Florida. "We are very excited to be involved in home building in the Tampa Bay and Manatee County market areas," he said. For information, visit www.mintofla.com, or call 1-877-816-4626.