NewHome Co.

California homebuilder enters Texas with acquisition of Hamilton Thomas Homes

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Less than three years after its founding, Hamilton Thomas Homes is now part of Irvine, California-based New Home Co. Irvine, California-based New Home Co. has acquired Hamilton Thomas Homes, a relatively new company out of Katy, for its first entry into the Texas market.

Hamilton Thomas owns about 150 lots in three Houston-area communities and about 100 lots in two Austin communities. It has the right to buy an additional 1,700 lots across nine different planned Austin communities and is negotiating purchases of another 1,300 in Houston, said John Bohnen, formerly CEO of Hamilton Thomas and now Houston regional president at New Home Co.

Real estate veteran Jennifer Keller founded Hamilton Thomas Homes in March 2021 and broke ground the same year on homes in the first of three Land Tejas master-planned communities where it currently owns lots: Balmoral, Marvida and Sunterra.

The company has since closed on 30 homes in those communities, Bohnen said. It has about 50 homes under construction, including in Blake Magee Co.’s 6 Creeks at Waterridge and Prominence Homes’ The Porch at Du Pre in Kyle and Buda, respectively, outside Austin.

The homes range from 1,700 to 4,000 square feet and are priced from the $350,000s to the $800,000s.

Bohnen joined Hamilton Thomas as its CEO earlier this year from Taylor Morrison Homes. He said after raising funds and seeing additional growth opportunities in Houston and Austin, the company decided to join New Home Co., which is controlled by funds of New York City-based private equity firm Apollo Global Management Inc. (NYSE: APO). Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

New Home Co. is headed by Matthew Zaist, someone with whom both Bohnen and Keller have a working history.

“Given their balance sheet and desire to aggressively grow and eventually be a top-15 homebuilder in the U.S., it just made a lot of sense in regards to teaming up with people with like minds and having an excellent capital partner to allow us to grow,” Bohnen said. “(It) was a win-win for everyone.”

New Home’s expansion into Texas comes a few months after it opened divisions in Oregon and Washington state. The company also operates in California, Arizona and Colorado.

“We are thrilled to announce that we are bringing the New Home Co. brand to Texas,” Zaist said in a statement. “With Houston and Austin, we are entering the second and fourth largest homebuilding markets in the nation, both of which feature dynamic, robust and growing job bases fueled by diversified industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, technology, trade and energy.”

Hamilton Thomas’ entire team is moving over to New Home, and the company is looking to hire more people as its Texas portfolio is growing, Bohnen said.

The combined company could enter other Texas markets in the near future, including the Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio areas, Bohnen added.

In addition to building homes in other developers’ communities, the team is looking for land to develop its own master-planned communities.

“We’re looking to aggressively buy land and lots in both Austin and Houston markets,” Bohnen said. “And (we) have a strong balance sheet and are able to move quickly and get creative in regards to growing our footprints.”

Read the full article by The Houston Business Journal here.

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