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CONSTRUCTION TODAY: Warmington Group Strives To Do The Right Thing….At All Times

May-18-2012

True Blue

Warmington Group Strives To Do The Right Thing For Partners, Lenders and Homebuyers At All Times.

By Allen Dorich

With its family ownership, The Warmington Group enjoys many advantages over other homebuilders, President and CEO Jim Warmington Jr. says. Along with having the ability to make decisions quickly,“The family’s reputation has also allowed us to get access to many sellers and opportunities,” he says.

The Costa Mesa, Calif.-based firm has a history in construction going back more than 85 years, Warmington says. The Warmington group of companies began as a custom homebuilder in Los Angeles and constructed estate homes for many celebrities, including actors Claudette Colbert, Henry Fonda, Tyrone Power and Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

“The family’s reputation has also allowed us to get access to many sellers and opportunities.”

By the 1930s, that first Warmington company had earned a reputation as a “builder to the stars” and had constructed homes in Beverly Hills, Bel Air and Westwood, Calif. Since then, the companies have built more than 40,000 single- and multifamily homes in California and Nevada.

In addition, The Warmington Group has many years of experience in both building and managing apartments. “This broad knowledge has proved invaluable in obtaining underwriting and designing the site and architecture for each new deal,” Warmington says.

Looking Out for Others

Jim Warmington Jr. began working for the group’s Southern California division in 1989 while he attended classes at Stanford University. After graduating four years later, he began working full-time at the company as a superintendent.

Warmington says one of the key factors in the group’s success is its dedication to strong ethics and doing the right thing.

“We strive to [build] communities which provide good financial returns for ourselves and our financial partners, while carefully accounting for the risks in today’s market,“ he says. “Plus, we never forget how important the home and community are to those that live there.”

For instance, “In 2005, we started slowing our land purchases as the market was clearly slowing,” he recalls.

“We felt that it was not in our interest, nor our partners and lenders’, to be overly aggressive on purchases at that time, even though we would have benefited financially from the extra work,” he explains. “During the subsequent years of the downturn, we built out thousands of homes and focused exceedingly hard on getting our banks paid off and our equity partners out as clean as possible, even though our company would lose money.”

The Warmington Group structured deals so that its banks got out sooner and whole, even if the group itself suffered additional losses. “Because of our focus of looking out for the best interests of our partners and lenders, we have been able to continue getting financing from the same groups, in addition to new groups who know our reputation,” he says.

Additionally, experience across for-rent and other types of for-sale products and price ranges allowed the firm to take advantage of other opportunities. “Early on in the downturn, we began working as a consultant to a number of banking partners to help them underwrite and manage their REO/distressed residential properties,” he says.

Although it was not very profitable, “It helped us retain some great team members and cover overhead,” Warmington reports. “Based on our relationships with our equity partners, we ended up helping to fee-build over 600 homes in five projects in California and Las Vegas.”

On the Outside

The Warmington Group has begun to acquire properties that are outside of what public builders are interested in, Warmington says. In recent years, the group has seen a rush of public builder activity in finished lot properties.

But the Warmington Group has focused on deals that the other firms overlooked, such as projects with less than 40 units or properties with remaining entitlement or other issues. “We also have focused on larger entitlement and land development projects, since publics are focused on mostly finished lots only,” Warmington says.

This year, Warmington says the group will use several strategies to cope with resale and foreclosure issues. “This includes buying properties where job growth is occurring and avoiding any locations where there is likely to be the risk of oversupply of houses, either from distressed resales or new home projects,” he says.

Warmington reports the strategies are working so far. “Today, the group is seeking revenue-generating projects that fall within its entitlement, land development and home-building expertise and is aggressively looking for new acquisitions that allow it to get back into its primary business of entitling and developing land, and building homes to create beautiful residential communities,” he says.

The Warmington Group also has sought more apartment opportunities. “Our affiliate, Warmington Properties Inc., has been managing 1,100 apartment units in California for about 40 years and nearly 1,000 in Nevada, as well as a portfolio of properties totaling in excess of $600 million that includes office, retail and industrial projects in California, Nevada and Arizona,” Warmington says.

The company is preparing to start construction on a 24-unit student housing apartment complex near San Diego State University, as well as an entitlement process on a apartment 500-unit complex in Temecula, Calif. “This is in addition to a 320-unit apartment project in [Las Vegas] that is currently being graded, with construction set to start in May/June this year,” he says.

“Also integral to our business plan, the group has focused on providing excellent service to its existing fee management clients and is seeking new fee management opportunities,” Warmington says. “These fee management deals allow us to retain employees and cover overhead.”

For the future, Warmington says he wants the group to take advantage of more opportunities that come as the market improves and grow its focus on multifamily. “The group has established and [maintained] successful relationships with its lenders, has protected its new capital and retained an excellent team to manage any opportunity,” he says.

>>Click on the images to view the Construction Today cover feature and Management Today inside editorial feature.<<

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Builders highlight often-hidden costs of buying a foreclosed home

February-23-2012

Source: Los Angeles Times | February 19, 2012

Builders say the costs of their houses are built into the price, but fixing up a foreclosure can cost thousands of dollars extra.

Home builders are switching tactics and confronting head-on one of their biggest nemeses: foreclosed houses that not only lure buyers away with deeply discounted prices but simultaneously depress the appraisal values of newly built homes.

At a packed session at the International Builders’ Show expo Feb. 8-11 in Orlando, consultants and builders said that with gluts of foreclosures in major markets around the country — and more forecast to arrive in the next two years — the time has come to stop being passive and to begin aggressively educating buyers about the often hidden costs of buying foreclosures.

Among the key arguments builders are using in their campaigns:

• New homes are far more energy-efficient and “green,” with highly rated windows, roofs, insulation and appliances. They also come with the wiring and spaces needed for most consumers’ high-tech information and entertainment preferences. The vast majority of foreclosures offer little or none of this.

• Newly constructed homes allow the buyer to “choose what you want” in floor plans, equipment, landscaping and amenities, “rather than inheriting someone else’s choices.”

• Closing-cost and upgrade incentives. Most builders are willing to help with settlement costs, unlike banks unloading foreclosures.

• Financing is almost always easier, since a large percentage of builders either have their own mortgage subsidiaries or are affiliated with a lender.

So what should you make of marketing pitches like these? To begin with, if you’re seriously thinking about buying a foreclosure to live in, take the time to check out the potential risks.

The builders have a point: The costs of their houses are all built into the price. You often have no idea what your final expenses will be with a foreclosure because you buy it “as is,” typically with no professional inspection, and you can’t be totally sure where that might take you. [Read the article.]

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The Opportunity to ‘Enjoy Life More’ is Now Bigger and Better Than Ever Before Within 3 New Warmington Neighborhoods in Las Vegas

February-17-2012

Introducing 8 New Plans and 3 Enhanced Plans at Warmington’s Northern Terrace in Providence

Warmington’s Northern Terrace in Providence is well-known for offering its residents a tremendous opportunity to “Enjoy Life More” because of its incredible recreation-based lifestyle. With automatic membership to The Club at Northern Terrace for all residents, an active lifestyle is part of the fabric of this one-of-kind Providence community.

Now with the introduction of eight brand new plans and three enhanced plans, new home buyers have more choices than ever before to enjoy life more at Northern Terrace. The selection is larger, the homes are bigger and the opportunities for finding the ideal new home have never been greater. There are now 16 floor plans that range in size from 1,529 to 3,410 square feet with pricing from the low-$100,000’s up to the low-$200,000’s.

“With the introduction of these eight new plans and three enhanced plans, we are responding to what we believe buyers want most in a new home today,” said Amy Thill, vice president of sales and marketing for Warmington Residential Nevada. “Our experience in Northern Terrace, working with thousands of new home shoppers over the past few years, has honed our understanding of what is most important to buyers and these new and improved plans reflect what we’ve learned.”

These plans have been streamlined, enhanced, and made larger in some cases, but the overriding idea was to create a new selection of plans at Northern Terrace that get to the heart of what buyers today want – spacious, flexible, affordable homes that include an array of lifestyle and energy-saving features, more bedrooms, great rooms, a lower-level bedroom option, and more, Thill explained.

Within Northern Terrace, Warmington is selling new homes within three neighborhoods: Claremont, Westcott and Emery. Each of these has added one or more new floor plans to its offerings.

Claremont, where prices begin from the low $100,000’s, has introduced four new plans that range in size from 1,627 to 1,980 square feet.

Westcott, where prices begin from the mid $100,000s, also has added four new plans. These range in size from 1,842 to 2,619 square feet.

Emery, a gated neighborhood where prices begin from the low $200,000’s, one new plan has been introduced, offering approximately 3,365 square feet, the largest home available.

Among 16 floor plans that are now selling at Warmington’s Northern Terrace, buyers may choose from a selection of both single-level and two-story homes, three to six bedrooms, and two- and three-space garages, per plan.

The new and enhanced plans will be available for occupancy in June. Buyers who are looking to move to Northern Terrace even sooner can choose from a selection of move-in ready homes at Westcott and Emery as well as the former model homes at Claremont.

The model homes are turnkey and include many designer selected upgrades and options including window coverings, and some of the most desirable room options.

Every move-in ready home at Northern Terrace is offered with special financing, and incentives of up to $14,000 that can be used toward buydowns, design center upgrades, and closings costs. Plus, for buyers working with a real estate agent, Warmington is offering a generous 4% commission.

Those who purchase a new or enhance plan, have the advantage of meeting with an on-site designer from Chateau Interiors & Design to make standard and optional interior design selections for their new home, including selecting their choice of flooring.

As members of The Club at Northern Terrace, all residents of all ages enjoy unlimited use of this impressive and spacious multi-million dollar recreational facility that has a full-time staff, three pools, a spa, on-site fitness center, entertainment room with big screen television, play areas for children as well a year round calendar of community social events and classes.

Access to The Club and these at-home recreational opportunities are unique to Warmington’s Northern Terrace neighborhoods and set this community apart from others within Providence.

Learn more about Warmington’s Northern Terrace in Providence now.

Get a map and contact information.

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