11/25/09 12:11pm

A few ominous tidbits from the website of John Speer’s latest building venture, Vestalia Homes, which makes no mention of Speer’s former company, Royce Builders — or the more than $17 million Royce still owes its creditors:

When it comes to homebuilding, we understand that it is not just about making the customer happy. As the expert, we are committed to doing the little things of which the customer may not even be aware. . . .

And on the “Build on Your Lot” page:

It’s about trust.

Trusting your land and your dream home to a builder is a major decision. Placing your trust in the right builder is more than just a matter of choosing a builder who intends to please you. . . .

Does the builder have a reputation for delivering results?

Vestalia’s partners and builders have decades of experience in delivering excellence in homebuilding. Our team has “seen it all” and we understand the importance of communication in building a custom home. Our team’s track record speaks volumes.

Photo of unfinished entry, 18522 Arlan Lake Dr., for sale: Vestalia Homes

11/25/09 8:30am

THURSDAY IS ROYCE BUILDERS TURKEY DAY! “There are dozens of homeowners, contractors and other consumers who lost money when Royce closed its doors. If you are one of these people or businesses, November 26th is the deadline for filing a “proof of claim” in Royce’s bankruptcy. If you file, you may be reimbursed when any of Royce’s remaining assets are distributed among creditors. There’s no guarantee you will see any money. But it’s a sure bet you’ll never get a dime if you don’t file. If you had a warranty on your home, but you haven’t been able to get the work done because of the bankruptcy, there is a value on the warranty that you are owed. If you put earnest money down on a home that never closed, and you never got a refund, you should file. . . . For now, the Royce bankruptcy trustee says Royce owes more than $17 million; but he believes it’s much more… and that many people just haven’t filed.” [Ask Amy Blog]

11/09/09 2:47pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHERE O WHERE HAS OUR SUBDIVISION’S BUILDER GONE? “Does anyone have any information of OBRA HOMES bankruptcy? I am also in TimberMeadows and a few of us are trying to organize a meeting this coming Sunday, Nov 15th at 6 pm to see about hiring an attorney to contact OBRA Homes. Any info will help. Thanks.” [Miguel, commenting on Obra Homes Secret Hiding Place Revealed!]

04/30/09 8:03am

BANKRUPT HOUSTON RECYCLER AbitibiBowater, the Canadian paper company that runs Houston’s residential recycling operation — and which recently began a pilot single-stream program in a few Houston neighborhoods — declared bankruptcy earlier this month. “The central question is how this bankruptcy could impact the city’s already abysmal recycling rates, which city officials hoped would go up considerably after the implementation of single stream, a wood-waste program and an upcoming contract for recycling in city buildings. Gary Readore, the chief of staff for the Solid Waste Management Department, said he has spoken with Abitibi officials in Houston who said the bankruptcy would not impact their operations.” [Houston Politics]