K. Hovnanian's Hunters's Brook Development Celebrates One Year By Hitting Halfway Point

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K. Hovnanian's Hunter's Brook community of 101 suburban single-family homes in Hackettstown, NJ, is celebrating its first anniversary by passing the halfway point in sales. The development held its grand opening on May 5, 2007. The community has since sold 54 homes and, like most new-home communities in New Jersey, is seeing an increase in visitors. Hunter's Brook joins several other K. Hovnanian communities in hitting significant numbers this year, underscoring the notion that national real estate trends don't necessarily reflect what's happening locally.

Those things really are happening, but there's still a lot of interest in All-American suburban homes with nice yards. That's us.

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A community of 101 suburban single-family homes in Hackettstown is celebrating its first anniversary by passing the halfway point in sales. K. Hovnanian's Hunter's Brook held its grand opening on May 5, 2007. The community has since sold 54 homes and, like most new-home communities in New Jersey, is seeing an increase in visitors. Hunter's Brook joins several other K. Hovnanian communities in hitting significant numbers this year, underscoring the notion that national real estate trends don't necessarily reflect what's happening locally.

"It's nice to thumb your nose at the national sales trends by selling 50 homes in one community in one year," said Michael Villane, area vice president. "The facts are these homes are special, those national sales trends are irrelevant in New Jersey and many people are beginning to realize that the best time to buy a new home is right now."

Hunter's Brook offers eight different home styles, each on a home site big enough for a family ball game. Homes here range from 2,500 to 3,500 square feet and offer four or five bedrooms including a luxurious master suite, designer kitchens and two-car garages. Prices start in the low $400s.

"There's a lot of interest in living closer to cities and in mixed-use communities where you can walk everywhere," said Villane. "Those things really are happening, but there's still a lot of interest in All-American suburban homes with nice yards. That's us."

Villane offered three reasons these homes are selling so well: Proximity to shopping and transportation, the value seen in the homes' features and buyers' comfort level with the homebuilder.

First, Hunter's Brook is just a few minutes away from the shops and restaurants of Hackettstown's business district. The community is close to main roads and the Hackettstown train station, which links directly with N.J. Transit's Midtown Direct. A study from Columbia University found that homes within two miles of the Midtown Direct appreciated almost 20 percent more than normal during the years of the study.

"That study looked at 1993 to 2003, and we all know the real estate market is vastly different today," said Villane. "But it shows the value of living close to train transportation to New York. We're seeing a lot of people who are making that commute."

Second, according to Villane, is the mix of features in the homes, which include a variety of features often found in more expensive homes. Homebuyers also get to select from many upgrades and options. He also pointed out that Hunter's Brook homes, like most of K. Hovnanian's single-family homes, are independently certified as New Jersey Energy Star homes. That means these homes use about one-third less energy than a comparable standard-build home.

Finally, homebuyers need to know their builder will be here to back up the home. As a publicly held builder, Villane said it's easy to keep track of how the company is doing financially, and to know that the statements are legally binding.

The sales rate at Hunter's Brook is a tribute to sharp customers who take the time to understand the current market, Villane said.

"It's such a great time to buy a home, and some people are just afraid to get off the bench," said Villane. "Interest rates are low, prices are low and selection is good. And when these homes are gone, there may not be any more new homes like these around here for quite a while."
Villane said some people think prices will go lower, but homebuilders are selling their homes for close to what it costs to build them, so prices won't go down any more.

The combination of people realizing that now is the best time to buy a home and the carefully chosen mix of home plans and features continues to generate a lot of visitors to Hunter's Brook, Villane said.

"And with more than half of the home sites sporting a 'sold' flag, people are beginning to feel the sense of urgency," he said.

More information about the community is available at (866) 459-7765.

K. Hovnanian Homes is the largest homebuilder in New Jersey and sixth largest homebuilder in the nation. Founded in 1959 by Kevork S. Hovnanian, chairman, the company sells homes in 19 states and the District of Columbia. The parent company, Hovnanian Enterprises, Inc., is headquartered in Red Bank, N.J., and sold 14,928 homes during 2007 under several names. Of those, 1,756 were sold in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Additional homes in those states were sold through joint ventures. The company reported $4.8 billion in total revenues in Fiscal 2007.
K. Hovnanian builds planned communities that include single-family, townhomes and garden homes. In addition, it constructs homes in mid-rise, high-rise and mixed-use buildings. The company also is well known for its active-adult homes, branded as K. Hovnanian's Four Seasons, and its expertise in community redevelopment and environment rehabilitation. More information is available at K. Hovnanian's website or at 888-KHOV-HOME.

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