America’s Builder

Can there be any doubt that buying a new home, whether it’s a first-time purchase, a right-sizing desire, or a way to address changing needs, brings a level of unparalleled satisfaction in terms of living our best lives?  Perhaps so, given some plausible arguments, but where we live can serve as the backdrop for our lives and lifestyles, ones in which memories are made and dreams are realized.

With that said, enter D.R. Horton, a publicly traded company known as America’s #1 Builder.  Donald R. Horton, a forward-thinking businessman, started D.R. Horton,Inc. in Fort Worth, Texas, building his first home there in 1978.  In the early years, the company’s home building activities centered around the Dallas/Fort Worth area.  By 1987 however, a strategy of geographic diversification was instituted.  “From 1987 onward, the company has expanded and diversified our home building operations by investing capital and building teams of people in our existing markets, through start-up operations in new markets, and with acquisitions of other home building companies leading to our current operating footprint of 118 markets across 33 states,” explained Jacquelyn Lantz, Sales Manager for D.R. Horton’s Western Pennsylvania division.  She continued that D.R. Horton has been working actively to grow their presence in the Northeast.  With Pittsburgh as one of their newest markets, which occurred via a greenfield start-up (one in which there was no existing infrastructure or buildings on site), the city emerged as an attractive market with an undersupply of homes at affordable price points.  “I looked at Pittsburgh as an amazing growth opportunity,” noted Luke Vandenberg, D.R. Horton City Manager, on deciding to make the move to this area.  “Moving here from Annapolis (Maryland), I see the potential of what this great city has to offer.  We have exciting things planned and look forward to growing our reach north, south, east and west of the city.”  D.R. Horton’s initial foray into this area came in early 2023, with their first homes built in the Butler area in what is called the Hidden Springs community, Connoquenessing Borough.  Here, large, spacious homesites have been available and within walking distance from the Connoquenessing Borough Park.  Hidden Springs’ floor plans feature two-story single-family homes, two-story attached duplexes, single-family and duplex-style ranch homes.  In fact, this initial offering in the Pittsburgh region served as an example of D.R. Horton’s commitment to providing homes for a range of buyers from first time home owners to empty nesters, which is why, since 2002, more home buyers have chosen D.R. Horton than any other builder.  Focused on offering a home for every stage of life®, D.R. Horton strives to provide value-priced homes from $200,000 to $1 million, making home ownership attainable for more Americans while keeping quality, value and style in mind.  To address those points, D.R. Horton puts forth a series of four home types based on differing stages of life: the Tradition Series, their first product honed throughout the years since 1978; the Express Series focused on first time buyers as an entry level option for those wishing to own; the Emerald Series with elevated floor plans and design options giving home buyers high end, classic homes for relaxing, entertaining and living well; and the Freedom Series built for and around the customer, designed to suit the active lifestyle without hassles and focusing on low maintenance and easy living all at a perfect price point.  “To help maintain affordability, we select floor plans and options based on current design trends and offer homes for sale at later stages of construction,” Lantz continued.  “Our team of sales agents is happy to work with each home buyer throughout their buying process, helping them find their perfect home in one of our communities.”  Ensuring that philosophy of offering value, quality and style, D.R. Horton devised a process that is “a little different than other builders in the area.”

Lantz shared that they build spec homes, meaning they build the home first, then bring it to market for a customer to purchase.  By evaluating market data and trends when deciding what product to offer in each community, they examine highly sought after design trends and features people are asking for in a new home, then building to those wants and needs.  They vary their offerings by selecting different color packages, finishes and elevations in the homes.  And, with more than one million homes built to date, the formula is indeed working.  “Because our turnaround time from purchase to closing is so much quicker than a traditional build, we are able to partner with our in-house mortgage company, DHI Mortgage (DHIM), who can offer our buyers financing options for their new homes,” she added.  “DHIM can lock in interest rates quickly.  We also have an in-house insurance company, D.R. Horton Insurance Agency, Inc., which can provide quotes to our homeowners, keeping it all a one-stop shopping experience.”  Currently, D.R. Horton has begun building in a second Butler location, called Highfield Trails, with a model home set to open in January 2024.  Here, this burgeoning community will feature first floor living with lawn maintenance included.  Dirt is also being moved just south of Houston, Pa., Washington County, where their Edward M. Ryan community will also feature first floor living with snow removal and lawn maintenance included.  Its Brentwood model home is expected to open in February 2024.  Additional Pittsburgh communities’ plans include a combination of town homes, smaller single-family homes, larger single-family homes, and homes with first floor living.  Also factored into floor plans is the ongoing customer desire for a home office or home working space along with an open floor plan design for those wanting enough space to entertain.  Additional communities coming in the early part of 2024 include those in McCandless Township, South Fayette Township and West Jefferson Hills, all in Allegheny County, as well as Harmony in Butler County.  Generally speaking, all homes range in size from 1,300 to 4,000 square feet with pricing based on location.  Amenities vary by community, with some featuring lawn maintenance and snow removal as part of the HOA (Homeowner’s Association) amenities.  Other locations will have sidewalks and be within walking distance of future shopping. 

The company’s philosophy also encompasses a definition of success that resonates throughout their team member ranks.  That philosophy tells us that “the company has defined its success not by bricks and mortar, but by the satisfaction of the families that make our houses their homes.  Our foundation is a single, guiding principle:  A value-first dedication to the individual needs of each and every one of our nation’s home buyers.”  That “value-first dedication” becomes evident in their builds as they incorporate industry leading standards into the building process.  One such value-driven selection is the use of new, cutting edge technology found with the Rheia HVAC system providing heating and cooling stability to homes with less air loss.  Home construction itself also features 2 x 6-inch wall construction on all exterior walls, giving it a more solid construction and more room for higher insulation value.  Further, smart home features are key in many of their homes including those such as, a simple, one app solution bringing the Home Is Connected® network together so that your home is at your fingertips regardless of where you are, and the Qolsys panel, the central hub that talks to all devices in the smart home.  This award-winning panel bridges the entire suite of products with Bluetooth capability, Wi-Fi integration, Z-Wave access and cellular connectivity.  Other smart features include the Honeywell T6 Pro Z-Wave Thermostat; hands free communication; energy efficiency; Amazon Echo Pop, a means of controlling the home with voice while experiencing hands free convenience; Kwikset HomeConnect™ for locking and unlocking front doors even when away from home, and more enhancing the living experience while providing added safety, control and comfort.  D.R. Horton homes also come with standard Deako lighting, one in which modern light switches allow homeowners the flexibility of changing out the switches in their home to accommodate dimmers and smart switches when and where they see fit.   All D.R. Horton homes include a robust warranty allowing for a customer’s peace of mind.  With new plans coming in 2024 and through 2025, home choices from D.R. Horton will abound and continue to satisfy discerning customers whether they are looking for a low maintenance community within walking distance of retail shops, traditional town home living, a first-time ranch style home, or elegant single-family smart homes.  Quality, value and style will continue to remain the hallmarks of D.R. Horton.

D.R. Horton is an Equal Housing Opportunity Builder.

Home and community information, including pricing, included features, terms, availability and amenities are subject to change and prior sale at any time without notice or obligation.  Home Is Connected®, a Smart Home is a convenient home set-up where appliances and devices can be automatically controlled remotely from any internet-connected place using a mobile or other networked device.  Financing offered by DHI Mortgage Company, Ltd. (DHIM).  Branch NMLS #2186029, 2060 Detwiler Road, Suite 103, Harleysville, Pa. 19438.  Company NMLS #14622.  DHIM is an affiliate of D.R. Horton.  For more information about DHIM and its licensing, please visit  Provided for informational purposes only.  This is not a commitment to lend.  Not all borrowers will qualify.  Equal Housing Opportunity.  NH