January 28, 2020

Meritage Homes makes sense for Babcock Ranch

By: Vicki Parsons - IT

January 15, 2020 BY RUSTY PRAY
Babcock Ranch Telegraph Correspondent


At 2,185 square feet, the Osprey is Meritage Homes’ largest one-story model. BABCOCK RANCH TELEGRAPH COURTESY IMAGES

It’s a natural fit.

Meritage Homes, a builder with an eye toward conservation and sustainability, found a home in May 2019 when it purchased 81 lots at Babcock Ranch, the solar-powered town that embraces those same environmentally friendly attributes.

Founded in 1985, Meritage Homes constructs single-family detached homes across the United States along with active adult communities and luxury real estate in Arizona. Publicly traded and headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., it is the seventh-largest builder in the country. Meritage is in 21 markets nationally, including Orlando, Tampa and South Florida.

The builder prides itself on homes that feature smart technology, advanced building techniques and energy-savings packages that includes everything from the water pouring from the kitchen faucet to the sunshine pouring through UV-blocking windows.

Babcock Ranch has followed the environmentally friendly vision of developer Syd Kitson, who bought the 18,000 acres Babcock Ranch sits on in 2006. Sustainability is built into the Babcock Ranch plan. From Florida Power & Light’s solar farm to the water treatment system, to autonomous electric vehicles — all the elements for environmental endurance are in place.


“You pair our energy efficiency and healthy living technologies with the vision of Syd Kitson and Babcock Ranch,” said Mr. Cook. “The two fit well together.”

He goes on to explain the spray-foam insulation Meritage uses in attics to “seal the envelope of the home.”

“It keeps the outside, outside,” he says. “Typically, insulation is just above your ceiling, and so all of your attic is outside air. With our houses, everything is sealed. There’s no outside air. It keeps the air inside the house cleaner and fresher. And healthier.”

That’s one of the features you don’t see.

>What about what you do see?

Each of the half-dozen models Meritage offers at Babcock Ranch is bright, airy and welcoming. The homes feature big, scenic windows, 8-foot door standards, 9-foot-4-inch ceilings, high-impact insulated windows and open floor plans that invite creativity. At about 1,500 square feet, the Sanderling model is the smallest. The largest is the two-story Kingfisher, with more than 3,000 square feet. With prices ranging from about $250,000 to about $350,000, they’re ideal for first-time buyers as well as for homeowners looking to downsize.

Front porches form one of the signature designs of houses at Babcock Ranch, and Meritage Homes is no exception.

“The big thing here is quaint neighborhoods where neighbors know neighbors and everybody is involved in the community,” Mr. Cook said. Adding 70 percent of the company’s homes in Babcock Ranch have a front porch. “From a builder’s standpoint, it costs more to have a front porch,” he said.

Another nice touch is Meritage’s approach to amenities. The kitchen you see in the model you tour is the kitchen you will have if you purchase the home.

“What you see is what you get,” Mr. Cook said. “There’s no hidden fees or costs. We’re not hiding anything from you. Everything you see from when you step in the door is what’s in our houses.”

So, Meritage offers economical, energy-efficient and healthy homes at reasonable prices. It has decided to offer those homes at Babcock Ranch, an economical, energy-efficient, healthy place on the cusp of becoming a thriving, self-sustaining community.

Like puzzle pieces, they fit together perfectly.

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