New Homes from Royce Builders: Back from the Dead and Available for Sale!

Map of Royce Homes Neighborhoods

What’s a failed homebuilder to do when it hurriedly goes belly-up . . . but still has a huge chunk of inventory on hand?

Welcome to the Royce Builders Already-Gone-Out-of-Business Home Sale!

How’s it work? Well, if you’re a lucky real-estate agent, you receive a mysterious message with a couple of attachments listing the more than 300 homes in the Greater Houston area the . . . uh, former company still has available! In 49 different neighborhoods around town! And all at discount prices!

Included with the list: a map of the neighborhoods Royce graced (shown above), demonstrating the company’s vast exurban spread.

Of course, the email message doesn’t come from Royce Builders, because Royce is . . . no longer with us. (And, to judge from the comments coming into Swamplot from recent Royce buyers, employees, and vendors, it is sorely missed!) The list comes instead from an email address on the domain. That hyphen, of course, stands for “ammer.” Didn’t Hammersmith Financial, Royce’s sister mortgage company, also go out of business?

But the property list is so much more fun than a collection of random way-far-out addresses:


There’s the mysterious “legals” column, encoded with three sets of intriguing numbers for each home, such as “82/4/1,” or the more subtle “2/2/6.” What sorts of legal entanglements are hiding behind those digits?

And the 20-percent-off discount prices!

Grab your own copy of the PDF list, and tell us what you see!

Also included in the email is this overview of Royce-jinxed neighborhoods:

List of Neighborhoods with Royce Builders Homes

Too busy to poke through the PDF? Here’s a quick address list of the 308 available Royce properties it details:

Hurry . . . before they’re all gone!

44 Comment

  • I’m not versed in bankruptcy law, but wouldn’t this be just part selling their assets?

    All of those properties listed are still considered owned by Royce or whatever the name is now. Selling it off (even at a reduced price) would be to pay their creditors.

  • this is a stupid post. the “legals” is the legal description of the lot. we call this a site about real estate and that can’t be figured out.

    i saw the post the other day about the realtor list being sent, but what better way to sale property for a company that no longer has sales people. i would think having realtor agents sale the home and make a bit of commission helps move the home

  • The mysterious numbers are an abbreviated version of the legal desription. Lot 11 Block 22 Section 33, etc.

  • I wouldn,t buy one of those homes! Half of the list has already been forclosed by the banks. The problem was that Royce can’t tell which half is still availble to sell. The Homes they built were very poorly constructed and most suffered severe damage during Ike. As a Realtor I would not want to sell a client, I am depending on for referrals from, a piece of garbage like any of these homes. I have been in a few that have severe mold and water damage. My reputation is too important.

  • “Legals” are the Lot / Block / Section which is the legal description of the lot as “surviving” said. Anyone in Real Estate knows that.

    Did the company actually file bankruptcy? Or just shut down. If these homes are sold, will the vendors who are owed get the money??

  • What’s weird is as much information as we know about there is lot we don’t.

    The bankruptcy one is a good example. I’m just assuming they are because they have so many liabilities and commitments that it would seem they would want some protection.

    If they don’t use any of that, it would be open season in the courts on what’s left.

  • i will answer some of those questions. i worked in the sales side of royce for several years. what has been posted here on this site and others is mind-boggling.

    the main reason, is the amount of disinformation. i am not going to pretend to know everything, but give me a break…..the 17 “facts” post was posted by someone who has no idea what they are talking about. i could go down the list of the supposed 17 facts and not one of them is true. if people really want me to, i can…

    why would any company in financial hurt not want to liquidate their assets? the whole premise of this being underhanded is dumb and any one with common business sense would know that, oh….but wait, blog sites don’t really care about that (and i love this site), but no one verifies much of anything and everything posted becomes true

    what i can confirm is that royce still has not filed for bankruptcy. whether smart or not, they have tried to do everything they can to keep the banks from foreclosing on loans so they can get people paid. sure, most will never be made 100% whole, but with no money left, they would never get paid for anything if the loans were foreclosed

    what kaboom says about 1/2 the homes being foreclosed on is NOT true. furthermore, royce had the homes built using a company called dpis doing inspections. if you worked for royce, you knew this. Dale Phillips spoke at several of our functions about the level of quality he expects for inspections. Dale always seemed like a nice and honorable guy. he has been on tv many times about quality construction. i am sure he is owe, like many others, but the statement about “poorly constructed” is non-sense. as for ike damage, a company that isn’t in business can’t repair homes – but then again, how many homes were destroyed or damaged by ike mr. kaboom?

    i, like most people, lost several closings due to the current status of royce. oddly, most of the closing i lost were because of “informed” people that want to verify that royce went bankrupt or that liens had been filed. yes, my buyers received lien notices. i will say this, as the last couple of months have gone by, i am surprised that royce is still trying to get people paid rather than going home. royce did have some bad apples, but the also had some good ones.

  • Guess who else has an email address at h-smith? Why none other than John Speer. If you’d like to email him he’s at

    Vestalia LLC
    John Speer
    16427 Telge Rd
    Cypress, TX 77429
    (832) 237-5800 | fax: (832) 237-5811

    This information is public and can be found on the NAHB website at

  • The Speers are nothing but a bunch on snakes in the grass. Unbelievable they are even attempting to make another start as a CUSTOM homebuilder. They could not even build a proper track home. And I beg to differ on the building of Royce, Espree or Texas Colonial homes…after Ike there were numerous homes in several different subdivisions with roof tops missing, while more reputable builders in the same areas had no damage. This tells exactly what Royce sells…JUNK! Buyer beware Vestalia is just another name for John Speer and clan, trying to make a pretty penny off of consumers for their over priced crap. They look out for their best interests while trying to give you as little for your hard earned money as possible. Just a word of caution, the model home at Village of Spring Oaks…no one has been their for months, after Ike pieces of the fence were stolen and I would swear the front door was wide open the other day, they still have their signs up in the neighborhood, they are not even taking care of their supposed inventory to sell. Why? Because they don’t care and are just looking to profit from what junk they can get rid of. Proceed with caution!

  • “i could go down the list of the supposed 17 facts and not one of them is true. if people really want me to, i can…”

    Yes, plese do. All this rain is despressing and I could use a good laugh.

  • rukidding,

    The anecdotal evidence of a couple of homes in a subdivision losing a roof and a couple of others not doesn’t mean anything about the build quality.

    I don’t know the Speers nor have work with Royce so I can’t vouch for them.

    It is extremely common in Hurricane disaster zones to have this happen where a couple of houses lose their roof. Hurricanes typically produce many small tornadoes (many don’t even touch the ground) that hop around and cause spot damage. This was very common past Hurricanes that I’ve experience.

  • Take it from an ex-it’s junk with a capital “J”.!

  • rukidding-
    you obviously have your own ax to grind. but if you are an “ex” as you say, then you are responsible for creating junk.

    i tend to disagree about these homes being junk, but there were a huge number of homes badly damaged by ike – including homes built by david weekly, trendmaker, and you name it. it is absurd for you to state that because royce built it, it is junk and they are the only junk homebuilder out there.

    i have a question, if you truely believe what you say, why don’t you go knock on the door of one of the so-called junk homes and offer to fix the home at your cost? if you took money to build or participate in what you call junk, why are you throwing stones at the “snakes in the grass” known as the speers? seems to me at least they are working to better a bad situation. what are you doing other than posting this non-sense?

  • surviving? admit it you sound like a Speer!Why in the world would I put forth my money on your JUNK? I could easily go knock on any door of a Royce/Espree homeowner and find they have a slew of problems never addressed by Royce, let me correct you in I had nothing to do with the construction of the these homes. I was on the far outside looking in! Why are you claiming what is true as nonsense you know it yourselves, oh and another correction, these houses were crap long before Ike hit. The general public knows your history so I highly doubt you will be able to doop anyone else and realtors are saying thanks but NO THANKS! Still living off of J.Speers money I see at least for the time being, only a matter of time though. Vestalia/Telge aka, does not stand a chance! The law is on the consumers side, someone (who shall remain nameless)recently arrested from your ESTABLISHMENT surely filled you in.Take heed before you’re all sent to the slammer, what a sight that would be.

  • what in the world are you talking about? i have heard of nobody being arrested. if someone was aressted it should be public record, why should they remain nameless? if you truely know more than everyone else, why don’t you give the details? Who was arrested and for what? if what you say is true, let’s discuss it and maybe you can prove the point that you haven’t seemed to make.

  • let’s just say closing docs were signed against court orders…oops, details details

  • and who was arrested?

  • Ok Surviving, are you Shawn, Shonna, or a Kutach??? Inquiring minds want to know……

  • can’t be Kutach,she and Shonna had it out FINALLY, all good things come to an end boobs and all…the walls have ears!

  • so you still didn’t answer the question. if someone was arrested, who was it?

  • easilyamused-
    in the spirit of actually answering questions rather than just stating things that have no basis in fact, let me answer your question – i am none of those people. yes, i know them, as did most people who worked at royce.

    whether you had a good experience or a bad one, it doesn’t change the fact that the whole situation is unfortunate. sadly posting lies, rumors and stating them as fact does nothing to help better the situation. what i have posted is my opinion and my experience, which is completely contrary to the posts by rukidding.

    to post that all haome are “junk” and you worked for the company, why won’t you accept resposibility? oh, because you were far removed? what does that mean? you either worked there or you didn’t. for you to state “facts” continuosly that have supporting evidence demonstrates your inability to prove your arguement. so once again, can you provide the details of the so called arrests for fraud?

  • sorry I plead the fifth but all is true unfortunately, you could always ask Royce/Vestalia whatever they are calling themselves nowadays BUT lord knows they will not admit the TRUTH to anyone

  • i am more than happy to talk about my experience, and although i will disagree with you about your experience, if you want to state fact, then state fact

    i don’t believe what you state is true about people or a person being arrested. if it is true, than provide the information

    otherwise, you are stating your opinion, if your opinion is yours, so be it – no one can dispute it, but at least be honest with what it is.

    i worked at royce for several years, and i am sure if you and i had a drink together, we would agree we knew each other and had both good and bad memories.

    what i have a problem with is this “speculation” about fraud and other stuff i know is not true. prove me wrong, and i will consider it, but what i have read on the “17 facts” post and in other places is in 100% complete contradiction from my experiance.

    i am not vouching for anyone other than my experience and my performance. what has been said on these sites IS affecting me. i understand people are not posting as to not add to the problem, but as much as i agree with the “adding fuel to the fire” theory, it is affecting me and my family.

    i am not embarressed to have worked for royce. furthermore, i am not embarressed to know the speer family. they took very good care of my family and i will admit that i know of so much that was done that no one knows about – i am not talking about all this fraud you are, but rather the generosity for employess and their families. (please don’t let me find out your name starts with a “r”)

    this witch-hunt is so absurd it really makes me wonder where we have come to as a society.

    sure, i made the “royce” company lots of money, but they put my family in a postition that wouldn’t have existed before.

    am i biased? yes!!!!

    but, at the end of the day, i can deal with reality or deal with trying to place blame on every error i see that could possibly exist.

    i can not speak for your experiance, but i know that the buyers i dealt with got a damn good deal on a damn good home over the last couple of years. as i move forward, and as i get referrals from my buyers, i might not be able to represent royce, but i can represent my integrity in referring them to the best home for them.

    if you want to continue to tear down the company, at least be honest with who you are.

    i still talk with many people associated with royce and there is a reason i don’t post these negative statements.

    if you TRUELY believe what you are posting, POST FACTS THAT YOU CAN PROVIDE SPECIFIC INFO ON, not just this “innuendo”. if what you post is true, i will be the first person to eat crow, but in the mean time……….

  • I find it interesting that this is still of interest to people. It seems however that surviving is the only one who benefited from the downfall of Royce homes. I guess if everyone was treated with the privileges they were though they would have no complaints, but that’s obviously not the case. I would also guess that whoever has this type of information, especially concerning the houses trying to be sold there must be truth in that, who would have that type of access? Oh, well at some point I would guess everyone will forget they ever knew of Royce.

  • I consider myself lucky to have been laid off during the initial release of employees. It was then that I found out what friends I’d truly made at Royce. Then there were others who were just as happy stabbing me and the others let go in the back. It’s amazing how many still hang out at the old haunts, where tongues continue to roll.

  • i am more than willing to agree with your last statement about people hanging out and it makes me wonder whether we have run into each other there. i made lots of great friends there. there are also some that i won’t lose sleep if i never interact with them again. that still doesn’t address the “who was arrested” question

  • I can’t believe you actually think they built a good home. I had my husband go and walk into three of the homes that are on the e-mail to see if we would try to buy one as an investment. The ceilings in two of them were damaged and the smell was very bad. There was sheetroc lying on the floor and it looked like stuff had been taken out. This was in the south fork area. I used to sell for Royce and was ashamed to see so many houses in this and my former neighborhoods where I sold with so many of them with blue tarps. I am glad I had a new car so they didn’t know who I was. All around them other builders homes were fine with not nearly the damage suffered by these home owners. I think that Royce had us misrepresent the quality of the homes we were selling. The worst thing was homestar. What a load of BS that was. Many of my buyers had told me they were glad that their time with homestar was over. How many times did we have to walk a home before the customer accepted it. How many times did we fear that the customer would get an inspector. I am truly sorry that I joined Royce and sold their homes. I did it because they were paying 3% when the builder I was working for before would only pay 2%. They had to buy us off, and they really only wanted to hire sales people who had never sold homes before so they wouldn’t know how crappy that Micro-Management style was. “How many appointmnets do you have today?” ” What are they writing a contract on?” “Are they going to buy Texas Colonial or Espree or Royce?” Are we going to get to build them a bad home and overprice it to them? Any of you reading this who worked as a sales person should feel the guilt also. Especially those of you who worked up to and past the end. how could you continue to take peoples deposit money on a dirt sale when you knew of all the problems? Was your head in the sand? You knew of the challenges but refused to believe. What about warranty coverage for these people you closed in the last year? I hope and pray for all the customers sake who placed trust in you that you helped them when they called you begging for help. Or, Where is my earnest money? I should say that I do not know if there is anyone left who did not get back their earnest money so I am sorry if I am wrong. Ugh…I don’t think so! I would be willing to bet that there are plenty of people out there who are still owed money. I thank god I never had to do the toilet seat thing, but I heard from plenty of my friends who worked there during this stupid motivation about it. How demeaning! But then again, look how they ended up breaking the trust of the most important people….Their customers.

  • Poor Mr John Speer he has to live in a
    $9,800,000 / 6 beds / 7.2 baths
    16427 TELGE RD
    Cypress, Texas, 77429


    Property Description
    Tree lined Villa Robles custom gated estate on 80+ acres. Resort style pool & spa. Pool hse w/full gym, wine rm & bar. Carriage hse, guest quarters w/2 apartments, 8 car garage. Solid limestone construction. Main hse boasts grand entry w/magnificent chandelier. Floor to ceiling lighted cabs in chef s kit. Dual ovens, refrig/freezers, & dishwashers. Family rm w/23′ ceiling, exceptional hand carved marble & abundant pool views. Master suite has it all. Media rm, numerous gamerooms & bedrooms.

    Year Built: 2004 (APDIS)

    Build SQFT: 15811 (SELLR)

    1st Bed: 22×22

    2nd Bed: 18×18

    3rd Bed: 18×16

    4th Bed: 18×18

    5th Bed: 12×12

    Kitchen: 17×14

    Dining: 17×16

    Den: 28×23

    MLS #:
    H T & B RR CO NE 1/4 SEC 4
    Owner Name &
    Mailing Address: SPEER JOHN H
    16427 TELGE RD
    CYPRESS TX 77429-7029

    Legal Description: TR 2A-1 & TRS 2A-1 & 3A-1
    ABST 756 F SCHAGEL &
    TR 2A-1 ABST 609 A NEUMEIR
    ABST 949 HT&BRR CO SEC 4

    Property Address: 16427 TELGE RD
    CYPRESS TX 77429

    State Class Code Land Use Code
    E1 — Real, Farm & Ranch Improved 2001 — Residential Improved
    Land Area Building Area Neighborhood Map Facet Key Map®
    1,675,753 SF 15,811 SF 6046.01 4668D 327R

    Value Status Information
    Capped Account Value Status Notice Date Hearing Status Shared CAD
    No Noticed 4/28/2008 Informal : 10/20/2008 2:00:00 PM
    Formal : 10/27/2008 1:50:00 PM

    Exemptions and Jurisdictions
    Exemption Type Districts Jurisdictions ARB Status 2007 Rate 2008 Rate Online
    Tax Bill
    None 004 CYPRESS-FAIRBANKS ISD Not Certified 1.324000
    040 HARRIS COUNTY Not Certified 0.392390 View
    041 HARRIS CO FLOOD CNTRL Not Certified 0.031060
    042 PORT OF HOUSTON AUTHY Not Certified 0.014370
    043 HARRIS CO HOSP DIST Not Certified 0.192160
    044 HARRIS CO EDUC DEPT Not Certified 0.005853
    045 LONE STAR COLLEGE SYS Not Certified 0.114400
    633 HC EMERG SRV DIST 9 Not Certified 0.059130

    2007 Value 2008 Value
    Market Appraised Market Appraised
    Land 948,824 Land 948,824
    Improvement 2,400,487 Improvement 2,400,487
    Ag/Tmbr/Spc 284,923 Ag/Tmbr/Spc 284,923
    Total 3,349,311 2,685,410 Total 3,349,311 2,685,410
    5-Year Value History

    Click here to find the right business program for you and take your career to the next level.

  • What is the real truth to the question,
    why no bankrupcy?

  • Distressed Homebuilder Selling Brand New Homes at Major Discount

    Last Edited: Tuesday, 18 Nov 2008, 4:26 PM CST
    Created: Tuesday, 18 Nov 2008, 3:10 PM CST

    Property Tax / AP

    Another sign has emerged that the Houston real estate market may not be as insulated from the national mortgage meltdown as many Texans would have hoped.

    Royce Builders, one of the largest home builders in Houston, is going broke and trying to quickly unload hundreds of new and pre-owned houses at rock bottom prices.

    “A $339,000 house is listed at $249,000, a $160,000 house listed at $122,000,” said Kevin Riles, a Royce Builder’s agent, as he showed a prospective buyer a 3,800 square foot house in Missouri City. The house was originally listed for $255,000, but is selling for $155,000. Some of the houses have never been lived in.

    “I think that is an amazing discount for the amount of home that’s offered here,” said Darrell Zeno. He is considering purchasing a pre-owned Royce Builders home. The original owner used builder financing, but when the owner could not make the payments, the house fell into foreclosure and back into Royce’s hands. Now Royce Builders is out of money.

    “Prior to filing bankruptcy, they are trying to get rid of their entire inventory. They have 343 located citywide,” said Riles.

    Royce Builders is sweetening the deal too, by offering to pay 3 percent of closing costs and requiring no earnest money deposit. The deal is so “sweet” because Royce Builders needs to raise money to pay vendors who helped build the houses.

    The deals come with risks — once you buy a house, there may be no turning back. You buy your house “as-is.” Once Royce files for bankruptcy, the company will cease to exist.

    “I realize that and am willing to take that risk,” says Zeno, “especially for such a steep discount.”

    Print This Page

  • My wife and I recently went to Southfork and she loves the house at 3226 Hereford. We are looking to either buy the house or the plans. Does anyone knows how to purchase either?

  • “i am not embarressed to have worked for royce. furthermore, i am not embarressed to know the speer family. they took very good care of my family and i will admit that i know of so much that was done that no one knows about – i am not talking about all this fraud you are, but rather the generosity for employess and their families. (please don’t let me find out your name starts with a “r”)”

    OH…. This is too funny. What if this persons name begins with an “r”? What does it end with? Are you threatening someone over a blog comment? Can a person’s opinion of Royce and its closing hurt you that much? Hurt you enough to make Threats. Are you going to beat this person up? I was willing to consider your side till this stupid comment was typed on your keyboard. Are you 18? This “r” character may just fight back! Hey, what’s your name start with? Mine starts with a “h” but I assure you, you don’t know me.

  • factsrfacts-

    i have heard from many friends the identity of the poster of these facts. they all said they learned the identity from the person first hand that they had posted. this persons name begins with a “r”. i truely want to believe it isn’t true and haven’t seen this person since leaving.
    if it is “r”, this person needs to take a long hard look at themselves. i personally know of a specific situation where “r”‘s family was helped out in a very sad and heartbreaking family situation. how do i know? not because i heard it from someone in upper management, but “r” sent out an email to company employees thanking everyone for their kindness and support and gave specific details how fortunate they were to have a company help their family the way royce did.
    if it wasn’t for the fact that i know the people i do and have know them personally and in a work atmosphere for as long as i have, i would say that the identity of the “fact poster” couldn’t be “r”. however, i have heard from several of these people at seperate times when the conversation came up that “r” was the person. once you read the original posts and you consdier the history you have with the company, there are so many things that just don’t make sense. however, knowing “r” and what they did, it makes perfect sense that it could be this person.
    they were close enough to see things that they could imagine to be true, but not involved enough to know what is and isn’t. furthermore, the person posting has posted in several other forums stating the same type of things and using the same phrases. when you look at it all, it makes perfect sense it is “r”.
    if it is, it is truely sad. i am not going into details here, because i feel it is disrespectful to “r” and their family if it isn’t. people who worked at royce for a good period of time most likely know what i am referring to and i will leave it at that.
    i have moved on and have nothing to gain or lose. what i do not like is the representation of falsehoods that are following me because of posts like these implying that either the company or specific people were “evil”. i am not saying i always agreed or that i loved working with everyone. i can say the same about any company i have worked for in my professional career.

  • Royce I am sure had some good qualities in the distant past but the FACT of the matter is what happened in the END, when they screwed numerous vendors, buyers and employees. How sad so many were hurt in one way or the other by this company. I highly doubt they get the praise they are seeking anymore. To all affected may peace be with you all.

  • Surviving-

    “(please don’t let me find out your name starts with a “r”)”

    This statement implies you are going to take action again this “r”.

    You totally avoided my question. I did not ask you to give a vague statement of hearsay.

    I was curious as to what right you have to threaten someone else on behalf of Royce? Are you an owner or have ownership interests in the company? In my opinion you do not, your just another blog troll. You can’t even answer a simple question but on the other hand expect these posters to embrace you opinion of Royce.

  • i’ll answer the question, which i thought i did, i am not taking any action against anyone and frankly don’t have the ability to do so. it just amazes me how some people do things and say things in an unfortunate time that contradict what their experience was. the only hearsay is i heard from person “a” who heard it driectly from person “r”. the problem is when person “b” and “c” and….all say the same thing because person “r” keeps telling everyone that will listen. what motive does “r” have at this point, who knows. but i do know that person “r” personally benefitted from royce

  • what I find unbelievable is anyone attempting to act like this company is a victim, “HELLO” do you realize there is a major recession in this country all because of companies like this?? get a grip and quit victimizing the victims here! get it right, unless of course you are in favor of todays economy. once all is said and done, unfortuantely at taxpayers expense, in all hopes justice will prevail!

  • Surviving…

    I am interested in one of the homes that was on the list, despite the negative comments and was hoping you may be able to tell me how to go about contacting someone for the property

    10910 Country Club, Tomball

  • I cannot believe Royce lasted as long as they did. We bought our house 10+ years ago and the first week had a flood because no one connected the drain of the bath tub up stairs. Now some of the pipes are leaking, the back patio we had them build we had to totally rebuild, the A/C only lasted 8 years, the stove has had problems since the second year the cabinet (doors) in kitchen have been replaced twice and need to be replaced again. We are having to replace floorboard like I said I cannot believe they lasted as long as they did.
    They saw us coming and boy did they take advantage of us and so many others. How could the people who worked for Royce, Hammersmith, etc sleep at night?

  • I bought a Royce home and it is not a piece of junk. It is as good as the Ryland i bought 9 years ago. Seems like alot of people are angry, not sure why really, except if you are out of work. But then that is what happens in business, companies do good and some companies mismanage their money. I frankly am glad to have bought one of the foreclosed homes at a very good price. There is another home about a block away selling for $25k more and it is basically the same home. Of course they are going to try and sell these homes, why wouldn’t they and why wouldn’t anyone out there want to buy one and get a very good home for the price. In every situation there is always a bad apple…doesn’t matter what the topic. So if you want a deal get one of these homes, we love ours.

  • Justlooking all you have to do is go to and type in the address.

  • Where can we find floor plans for the homes Royce built? I am interested in a particular 2-story home’s floor plan in Southfork – Manvel/Pearland area.

  • I’m looking at a Royce Home in Southfork on Duffy. I’ve checked HAR.COM, but the floorplan/model information is not posted. Does anyone know where I can go to find this information. I’ve read all of your posts and will be very cautious in my home selection.

  • I would like to know how i can sue Royce builders. I bought a house from them 5yrs ago. Now I’m stuck with all this debt and maintenance, plus my house just went into foreclosure.