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New Stonecrest homes being added at Heron Bay

22 houses under construction

One of the largest subdivisions in Henry County is adding new homes.

Heron Bay was named the "Community of the Year" in 2005, by the Greater Atlanta Homebuilders Association, and was given the 2006 Grand Award for Outstanding Development, by the Georgia Urban Forest Council.

There are more than 970 homes in the development, according to Mikala Carver, its marketing manager, and 22 new houses are under construction. Six of them are already under contract, according to Brian Davison, managing partner of Minerva U.S.A., and developer of Heron Bay Golf & Country Club. They range in price from the mid-$100,000s, to $390,000.

"The home-buying market is very complex right now," said Davison. "In the mid-2000's, virtually everything sold, but as the housing market recovers, everything will not recover equally," he said. "The very best properties will recover first, and many of the poorly conceived subdivisions that were built five years ago, will sit stagnant for a long time.

"Both interest rates and house prices are at record lows, making it the perfect time to buy a house," he said. "However, homebuyers must be very cautious in their selection, and avoid houses in need of expensive post-closing repairs, or stagnant neighborhoods that have unfinished amenities or poorly managed building standards.

"Homebuyers in 2011 have ... begun to focus on quality, stability, and lifestyle, since it is usually their largest investment and also the place where they will enjoy their lives.," added Davison. "Their goal should be to buy a new, trouble-free house in a beautiful, stable neighborhood with great community spirit, which is why Heron Bay is so appealing today."

Some of the new homes sit on lots with golf course views, and the development has a number of amenities, including an 18-hole, 72-par golf course, a three-pool aquatics center, and a lakefront park pavilion.

"The houses feature three-sides masonry brick, architectural shingles, three-car garages, nine-foot, first-floor ceilings and stainless steel appliances, said Jim Chapman, chief financial officer for Stonecrest, who said he has been building homes for 13 years

"One of the primary factors is the value the potential homeowner is getting, because, number one, you are on a reset lot," said Chapman. "The price that I paid for the lot is less than it would have been five years ago. I am able to pass on that savings to the homebuyer.

"As a result of the recession, buyers no longer just study the house and the quality of its construction, they choose the community, concentrating on its viability and the financial soundness of its developer," he said.