Beazer Homes plans to buy Venture Homes in Atlanta for $65M

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Public builder Beazer Homes USA plans to buy privately held Venture Homes for $65 million in a move that could make mortgage lending in Atlanta more competitive.

"This acquisition allows us to accelerate our growth in Atlanta, a highly desirable market supported by robust job growth, solid affordability and favorable supply dynamics," Alan Merrill, president and CEO of Beazer Homes, said in a press release. "In addition to adding new and future communities, we are pleased to welcome our new colleagues who will enable us to pursue further growth in the Atlanta market in the years ahead."

The acquisition also will allow Beazer to "provide its Mortgage Choice, Choice Plan and Energy Efficiency advantages to a larger group of homebuyers," according to the release.

Any local mortgage lenders Venture works with will be considered for inclusion in Mortgage Choice.

"We consider all lenders in the marketplace," Beazer Vice President and Treasurer David Goldberg, who handles investor relations for the company, said in an interview. "In each of our markets, at the community level, we prescreen and vet lenders we think give good service to our buyers. It is a very extensive due diligence program, and there is ongoing monitoring. The idea is to force them to compete for our business."

"It is not a traditional model, it's a differentiated model," he added. "There is no remuneration between the lenders and Beazer. If you go to our preferred lenders, we don't make any money for it."

Venture has a link to mortgage lender New American Funding on its website, and Beazer's Mortgage Choice website offers links to prescreened lenders in Atlanta that include Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, NorthPointe Mortgage, Prime Home Loans and Angel Oak Home Loans.

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