- There is no way to “rank” builders – different builders and neighborhoods have different advantages depending on your needs.
- The best way to find a builder who will best suit you is with a local Realtor.
- The list below gives a basic starting point on narrowing down builders by quality, price and size
The Fort Hood area has a lot of builders. Killeen’s population of barely 80,000 in 2000 has grown over 50% to an estimated 130,000 today. And the builders have worked overtime to keep up with new home inventory. The new building has kept Killeen’s housing market young.
Buying a brand new home can be an extremely rewarding experience if done right, especially in the Fort Hood market where your money goes a long way. Many people are familiar with some of the major builder brands, but don’t limit yourself! Reading this article and then talking to a Realtor like myself is an excellent way to get to know all your options in the Fort Hood market. Leave no stone unturned when finding the perfect home!
How are they ranked?
A while ago, I learned that the Bell County tax appraisal district recently began keeping records of homes by builder. Not only that, but when they initially add a home to the tax record, they also assign a classification rating between 1 and 8 (including minuses, e.g., “6-“, which I represent as a 5.5). The classification is based on the “quality” of the home in terms of construction and finishings, and does impact the tax value of a the home. You can view each classification’s criteria here.
This is an awesome asset as a Realtor because many builders do not put their homes on the MLS where I normally get my data from.
Below is a list of many of the main builders in the Fort Hood area that I put together from the County’s tax record. This list is just those homes in the Killeen Independent School District (Killeen, Harker Heights, and Nolanville), and does not include Copperas Cove (because it is in Coryell County). I’ll get to Coryell County in another article at another time.
Ranked by $ / Sq. Ft.
|Builder||AVG Sq. Ft.||AVG $/Sq. Ft**||AVG Class||Range|
|Manning||2170||$117.86||6.6||6.0 – 7.0|
|Diamond*||2385||$114.23||6.5||6.0 – 7.0|
|Salado Premier||2145||$112.31||6.4||6.0 – 7.0|
|Carothers||2354||$111.00||6.3||5.0 – 7.5|
|Symphony||3004||$109.32||6.4||5.5 – 7.5|
|Cameo||2382||$107.08||6.1||5.0 – 7.0|
|Casa Bonita||2307||$106.21||5.8||5.0 – 6.5|
|A&G||1760||$102.84||6.0||6.0 – 6.0|
|Park Quality*||2235||$102.75||5.9||5.0 – 7.0|
|Vale-Irvin||2502||$100.93||6.0||5.0 – 8.0|
|Lackmeyer||2057||$100.37||5.8||4.5 – 7.0|
|Shanandoah*||2005||$98.30||5.7||5.0 – 6.5|
|Eagle*||2037||$96.28||5.7||5.0 – 6.5|
|Purser||1901||$96.04||5.3||5.0 – 6.5|
|B A Emmons||2103||$94.91||5.6||5.0 – 7.0|
|B&W||2261||$92.23||5.7||5.5 – 6.5|
|Jubilee||1751||$87.90||5.0||4.5 – 6.0|
|Tippit Homes||1907||$87.21||5.5||5.0 – 6.0|
|Lennar||2408||$86.16||5.2||4.5 – 6.5|
|Jerry Wright||1913||$85.51||5.2||5.0 – 6.0|
|All Star||1944||$84.84||5.0||4.5 – 6.5|
|Stylecraft||2411||$84.12||5.0||4.5 – 6.0|
|Saratoga||1996||$83.84||4.9||4.0 – 6.5|
|JWC||2025||$83.83||4.7||4.0 – 6.0|
|D R Horton||2431||$81.89||5.0||4.0 – 6.0|
|Lagan*||1858||$81.52||4.7||4.5 – 5.0|
|Ashton Woods*||2756||$80.83||5.2||4.5 – 6.0|
|Victory||1726||$80.66||4.2||4.0 – 5.0|
|LTD Homes*||2063||$78.78||4.9||4.5 – 5.0|
|Precision Value||1830||$77.38||4.1||4.0 – 5.0|
|Ashford||2037||$76.38||4.1||3.5 – 6.0|
|Majestic*||1856||$73.72||4.4||4.0 – 5.0|
|Centex||2664||$73.35||4.9||3.5 – 6.0|
|Barnes||1988||$72.93||4.1||4.0 – 5.0|
*builders that are no longer active in the area
**$/sq. ft. is based off of tax record values, not current sales prices
Manning Homes tops the list and boasts some of the nicest homes in the area.
Interestingly, only one builder received a max classification of 8 – Vale-Irvin homes. And it was only for one home – a $480,000 home in The Ridge.
Keep in mind that some builders keep to a certain size, price and style – like A&G homes who only builds “6s”, while others build a wider range of homes, like All Star (my own home’s builder) who builds modest “4.5s” but also high end custom “6.5” homes. Production builders like D R Horton and Saratoga are going to have a wider variety of homes, depending on the neighborhood. Saratoga, for example, builds affordable homes in Trimmier Estates for under $200,000, while also building only higher end $250,000 homes in Purser Crossing and White Rock Estates.
I included builders who are no longer active for homeowners who bought from that builder. These numbers will give you a sense of where you home stands! Ashton Woods, for example, recently pulled up shop in Killeen to focus on the Austin market – previously having been one of the top 5 biggest builders in our area.
This list is not comprehensive! For example, refer to my article about the area’s high end custom builders, some of whom didn’t make this list (either too few homes or not in KISD).
- The Most Expensive NEW Homes For Sale in the Fort Hood, TX Area
- Find the Right Builder for Your Needs with the Hood Homes Blog Builder Search Tool
For example, Centex is ranked at the “bottom”, but that is only because they build big homes for low prices, keeping the $/sq. ft. affordable. You can see that they build homes as high as the 6.0 classification – awesome “move-up buyer” premium homes in Tuscany Meadows. And their cheaper, big homes are not “bad”, but great options for buyers needing affordable space.
Also, the price per square foot ($/sq. ft.) is based on the tax assessment value. Every Realtor reading this is cringing right now, but remember, this data is not complete or widely available in the MLS, so this is the best I got. Just remember that the tax appraisal is a poor approximation of your home’s actual value.
Also, these classifications are just the tax appraiser’s opinion based on predetermined criteria. If you are offended that your home or builder is a lower classification, you can certainly appeal to the appraiser! And, if successful, your taxes will go up. I recommend against being offended.
Who Builds the Largest Homes?
|Builder||AVG Sq. Ft.||Min Sq. Ft.||Max Sq. Ft.|
|D R Horton||2431||1234||4024|
These are ranked by the largest homes that each builder has built, not the average.
As I mentioned above, Centex is one of my favorite options for buyers who want a lot of space on a budget. Most of these builders are the bigger production builders in the area.
- Don’t Sign a Contract with a Builder Until You’ve Done These 5 Things!
- More Information on Buying From a Builder from the Hood Homes Blog
Who Builds the Most?
|D R Horton||843|
D R Horton has been the most prolific builder in the past few years (these records go back to 2012), which makes sense when they are in most of the major new subdivisions like Bridgewood, Spanish Oaks, White Rock Estates, Yowell Ranch, The Landing, Tuscany Meadows, Savannah Heights, Heartwood Park, House Creek North, Quail Estates, and Splawn Ranch. No other builder has so wide a selection of neighborhoods to choose from.
This is a very big picture look at builders in the Fort Hood area. I don’t recommend making judgments about which builder is right for you without talking to a Realtor. Different builders have different attributes that aren’t reflected here. For example, Precision Value can be a great choice if you are looking for 3 car garages on a budget. Carothers in The Grove can be a great option if you are looking for a lot of square footage in a single story on an oversized lot. None of these take into account all important school districts.
Builders are also always changing – always changing neighborhoods, floor plans, and prices. Talk to a Realtor!
Be sure to visit my builder page for more information about Fort Hood area builders if you haven’t already.
What have your experiences been with any of these builders? Please comment below so everyone can read and get feedback!