Spec home builders return to Westchester

January 17, 2011 09:31AM

Spec builders are slowly returning to Westchester’s high-end residential market with a new sense of caution after a couple of dismal sales years, according to the New York Times. With bank financing still tight, hedge funds and private investors are behind many of the new McMansions, like the one Brazilian developers Charles Reis and Gilbert Araujo are building in Chappaqua with the help of investment banker Barry Delman. The house, slated for a subdivided lot that Delman owns, will be financed in exchange for the developers’ labor. When it is sold, the trio will all share in the profits. Meanwhile, developer Joe Simone is preparing to break ground this spring on two homes in Purchase, one of which sits on 1.51 acres and the other, on 3.8 acres. Both will ultimately ask $3.8 million on the market. “Things aren’t as high-flying as they once were,” said Simone, who was building four-to-five-acre spec homes during the boom and selling them for as much as $7 million. “I got out during the meltdown, and now I’m coming back in a different economy and with a different approach,” he said. [NYT]