Sunday, February 7, 2010

Two Cachet Homes subdivisions in East Valley facing trustee sale

Phoenix Business Journal Jan Buchholz Friday, February 5, 2010

Wells Fargo Bank NA filed a notice of trustee sale on two subdivisions being developed by Phoenix-based Cachet Homes: the 25-acre Stratland Shadows parcel in Gilbert and the 5.6-acre Serenity Shores community in Chandler.

Both properties are scheduled to be sold at auction April 15.

Wells Fargo loaned Cachet $37.2 million for the Gilbert property and $15.8 million for the Chandler property. Neither Cachet nor Wells Fargo representatives would comment on the matter because of on­going negotiations.

“We cannot comment about this matter because our customer relationships are confidential,” said Wells Fargo spokeswoman Marjorie Rice.

Cachet is one of the few private home builders in Phoenix remaining in business despite the housing crisis of the past three years. The boutique home builder was founded in 1990.

These are not the first Cachet properties that have encountered problems.

Wells Fargo foreclosed on a 16-acre property in the Buckeye master-planned community of Verrado in February 2008. The bank took back the land from Cachet and sold it to Meritage Homes in November 2009, according to Zach Bowers, a real estate analyst with Ion Data, a Mesa research firm.

Two other properties — subdivisions in the Vistancia master-planned community in Peoria — also went back to the bank that originally financed them. RBC Centura Bank filed for foreclosure on the 19-acre and 16-acre properties in April 2008. RBC still owns those parcels, Bowers said.

Even though its Serenity Shores community is facing foreclosure, Bowers said Cachet took out three building permits Jan. 15 for single-family homes there.

“There may be other builders in similar situations to (Cachet’s), but none come to mind at this moment,” said Jim Belfiore, founder of Phoenix-based Belfiore Real Estate Consulting, which provides services to home builders. “Most of the builders that will not survive, I believe, have conceded and gone out of business.”

Ben Sage, director of Metrostudy’s Arizona division, said a few private builders — such as locally owned Fulton Homes — have been able to survive by filing for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

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