Down payment assistance and civil servant discount helping to fuel sales in pioneering Central Palm Beach County city
CITY OF WESTLAKE, Fla. – (November 29, 2018) – Last October, the master-planned community of Westlake in the newly created city of the same name opened to much fanfare and anticipation. One year later, the first residents are settled in as Minto Communities continues putting its stamp on this 3,800-hundred-acre parcel of land in the heart of Central Palm Beach County.
“We have been extremely pleased with buyer interest up to this point,” said Mike Belmont, president of Minto Communities USA, which has built quality homes for the past four decades throughout Florida. “Many people love the idea of being pioneers in a brand-new community that offers tremendous value and promise of a desirable lifestyle. We are well ahead of where we expected to be one year out.”
To date, Minto has sold more than 225 single-family homes in its first neighborhood, the Hammocks of Westlake, to both first- and second-time home buyers who are mostly from the Palm Beach County region. Home prices range from the high $200s to the $500s. Early next year, Minto will announce plans for its second neighborhood.
“Offering new single-family homes for under $300,000 has really resonated with homebuyers since you’d be hard pressed to find anything equivalent in Palm Beach County for the same price,” said Belmont. “When you consider the quality of our construction, attention to detail in all of our homes and the incredible lifestyle that we are creating, we believe we are offering the best value altogether at any price point.”
Earlier this year, construction started on Westlake’s $15 million amenities project, the social hub of the community. The expansive complex will include a concert pavilion, recreational lawn areas with shade pavilions and grills for picnics, lawn games and community events, a bicycle pump park and two playgrounds. There will also be a resort-style lagoon pool with a waterslide, splash pad and concession stand. An adult pool, event lawn and outdoor basketball courts will be added later. The first amenities are expected to open in the spring of 2019.
Several Westlake homebuyers have taken advantage of the innovative workforce housing program created by Minto and the City of Westlake. Under the program, the City of Westlake provides income-eligible buyers down payment assistance on a new or existing home within city limits. The buyers, who must be pre-qualified by the City of Westlake, accept a 10-year deed restrictive covenant lien at closing that provides for repayment of the down payment assistance back to the City of Westlake. The repayment amount declines 10 percent per year. If a homeowner needs to sell their house within the 10-year period, the outstanding balance can be paid from the proceeds of the sale. After 10 years, the restrictive covenant will automatically expire relieving the homeowners from any repayment obligation.
Many other Westlake homebuyers have qualified for the Welcome Heroes program that gives public servants a 3 percent discount off the base price of a new home. Minto also introduced two other buyer-assistance programs this year. By using the On The Move program, Westlake buyers receive assistance in selling their existing home and save thousands on real estate commission fees. The Home Buyers Club helps credit-challenged homebuyers by locking in the sales price and terms with Minto’s preferred lender and providing credit counseling to improve their credit.
Westlake was approved for 4,500 homes and 2.2 million square feet of non-residential use. In fact, the commercial component took a big step forward over the past 12 months.
Wellington Regional Medical Center’s parent company began construction on a 10,379 square-foot freestanding emergency medical facility, which is expected to open early next year. Florida Power and Light has started site work on a new solar power farm and Palm Beach County is awaiting a permit to build a new fire station and district headquarters on 4.5 acres of land donated by Minto. The award-winning developer/builder expects to announce new businesses coming to the area over the next several months. And plans are also in the works to develop the Westlake Town Center that will feature various retailers, restaurants and entertainment options.
Minto recently completed a $25 million project to widen and improve Seminole Pratt Whitney Road, which is the gateway into Westlake.
Minto Vice President John Carter said the City of Westlake deserves a lot of credit for the progress Westlake has made over the last year.
“I want to thank city leaders for their vision and responsiveness, which has helped us achieve what we have to date,” said Carter. “They deserve a lot of credit for getting us off on the right foot, and I look forward to working with the council and city staff as we move forward with various phases of development over the next several years. We are not just developing a community but creating a new city from scratch.”
About Minto Communities USA:
Minto Communities USA, based in Florida since 1978, has represented integrity, financial strength and enduring value for over 40 years. Minto builds exceptional new homes and communities to meet every lifestyle, with more than 25,000 new homes built in 48 communities. Minto is dedicated to continuous improvement in design, quality and customer experience. Applauded and recognized as an expert in the home building industry, Minto was awarded “Best Floor Plans for 50+” from Ideal-Living magazine.
These are just some of the elements that set Minto apart as an exceptional home builder and community developer, and have earned the company national recognition that includes consistently high rankings from Eliant Customer Service Surveys. Minto has earned multiple national awards for community and home design, including Top 100 Planned Communities from Ideal-Living Magazine for LakePark at Tradition in St. Lucie County, Florida; Best Mixed-Use Community and Best Clubhouse from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) for The Isles of Collier Preserve community in Naples, Florida; and Best Clubhouse from NAHB for the Beach Club at Harbour Isle located in Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida.