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Del Webb plays pivotal role
Other Manteca builders benefit from Del Webbs draw
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So how could Manteca sell 329 single family homes - or more than the rest of San Joaquin County combined - during the past 12 months?

The answer is in just two words: Del Webb.

The 55 years old and up age-restricted neighborhood accounted for roughly one in four new homes built and sold in Manteca. The impact of the neighborhood located between Airport Way and Union Road north of Lathrop Road actually is even bigger on overall new Manteca home sales.

A spot check with other Manteca new home builders indicated that at least half of all new homes in Manteca were bought by buyers lured here initially to view the Del Webb homes.

And no builders benefit as much as Atherton Homes and Woodside Homes that are developing the 500-plus lots un Union Ranch East directly across from Del Webb at Woodbridge’s main entrance.

“Seventy percent of the people who have bought our homes originally were interested in buying in Del Webb,” noted Kathy Hammons who serves as director of sales for Atherton Homes’ Summit Collection.

Buyers who originally considered buying a Del Webb home but ended up purchasing an Atherton Home in Union Ranch East hailed from cities such as Los Angeles, San Jose, Sonora,  Oakland, Benicia, Union City, Stockton, Turlock, and Manteca.

Hammons said the buyers who decided against Del Webb do so for a variety of reasons ranging from not being comfortable paying a homeowners fee because they don’t think they’d utilize the recreation center that much to not liking the restrictive standards that Del Webb holds property owners to in terms of maintenance and what they can and cannot do.

“Once they see Del Webb and Manteca they like the central location (to the Bay Area, Sacramento, and the Sierra) as well as the community,” Hammons said.

In response to the traffic generated by Del Webb’s draw, Atherton Homes has designed a new one-story of just under 1,900 square feet that builds on the popular Del Webb floor plans and is available in a flexible floor plan that allows two bedrooms and two bathrooms or three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

It has 10-foot-high ceilings, 8-foot doors and an open living area design starting at $297,900. Typical buyers are also plowing between $30,000 and $55,000 in upgrades compared to three years ago when Atherton Homes was selling homes but without any thrills.

Although inspired by Del Webb’s customer base, Hammons noted a storing interest has been shown in the new floor plan by younger couples as well.

Del Webb at Woodbridge sold an impressive one out of every five new homes closing escrow in San Joaquin County during 2009.

The Pulte Homes also powered Manteca’s minor miracle of leading virtually the entire Northern San Joaquin Valley with new housing starts in the 2008-09 fiscal year. Manteca new housing starts accounted for almost 60 per cent – or 237 out of every 414 new homes- that were built countywide.

For the past three years, Del Webb has topped the Manteca market with 25 percent of all sales this year.