flexiblefullpage - default
Currently Reading

How Texas Home Builder AHV Communities Is Changing Rental Market Perceptions

billboard - default

How Texas Home Builder AHV Communities Is Changing Rental Market Perceptions

AHV Communities has five communities of detached single-family rentals either under development or under construction in Texas

By Mike Beirne, Senior Editor May 8, 2016
AHV Communities' built-for-rent development
AHV Communities' The Village at Vickery Grove, in Texas | Photo: courtesy AHV Communities
This article first appeared in the PB May 2016 issue of Pro Builder.


Spencer Rinker, AHV Communities
Spencer Rinker
President and co-founder
AHV Communities, Austin, Texas

Village at Vickery Grove has the elements that one expects in a luxury community of brand-new detached single-family houses: a pool, clubhouse, fitness center, grilling area, and dog park, all situated across the street from an elementary school. One difference, however, is that the residents of this mini master planned community are renters. The San Antonio development is the first of five Texas communities to be built by Spencer Rinker and Mark Wolf, co-founders of AHV Communities, where tenants won’t share a common wall with a neighbor. The multifamily veterans have created a product that essentially combines the operating efficiencies of managing apartments in a centralized location with the benefits of living in a detached single-family home.

Q: Tell us about the customer groups that AHV is targeting and why those customers are renting.

A: What we’re seeing is a pretty broad range of consumers, mostly starting from young families—the Millennials—up to the empty nesters and active adults. Those are the two primary demographics that we’re targeting, but we’re also seeing people in between, like more established families, and we even have some single people who desire to rent a home. They have the means to own but simply don’t want to deal with the maintenance or commitment of owning a house. There certainly is a mix of people who are selecting home rental over an apartment. They don’t have the means to purchase a home because they have student debt, and they’re shifting around from job to job. There also is a large cohort of people who are attracted to the freedom and flexibility of a lease. They like not having a long commitment and that we provide yard care and maintenance.

Q: Do you have any insights into whether your customers are likely to be longer-term renters than is typical for people who rent? 

A: We’re really excited that we’re offering this type of product, which previously hasn’t existed as far as we’re aware. It’s a lower-density apartment community with all the benefits of a single-family home, and it provides an option for consumers that wasn’t available before. Our value proposition has been very simple from Day 1: Would you rather rent a single-family home with a yard and all the services of a Class A apartment? Would you pick that over a two- or three-bedroom apartment? We think it’s a straightforward value proposition, and I do think we’ll see longer-term renters. If you look at the public single-family REITs, they’re all recording retention ratios of 75 percent or more. That’s incredibly high in the rental world. A typical apartment will have maybe 40 to 60 percent on the high end. People are definitely favoring the single-family home for long-term renting, and I think that our communities are probably going to outperform on them. It’s still too early to tell, but we’re excited about providing that product to those folks.


Q: How are these communities changing the rental product?

A: These are newer communities, and over time they will age, but most single-family rentals are 10 to 20 years old and the investor owner doesn’t have control over the neighbor. Even if it’s an HOA, you can still have someone who parks on the front lawn or has a dog that barks excessively. We control all of that. We have requirements for renting, defined pet restrictions, and controls on parking. It’s really a luxury community priced better than a high-end apartment. So it’s a very attractive living environment for anybody.

Q: What has been the initial reaction of municipalities and planning commissions when you present this concept?

A: Every city is different. We’ve made it a point to work closely with city staff and city councils and to convey our vision for our communities. We walk them through the conceptual plans and the leasing environment in terms of income and the controls with respect to pets and so on. They understand, in essence, that our plans are sort of a smaller master planned community with one difference being that we control and maintain the homes and the yards, and we have better outcomes than any HOA because we have a long-term commitment and we’re going to make sure that our investments are going to perform. We haven’t run into any real resistance. It just takes some healthy dialogue to convey our vision and commitment that these are truly luxury rental communities.

We’re really excited that we’re offering this type of product, which previously hasn’t existed as far as we’re aware. It’s a lower-density apartment community with all the benefits of a single-family home, and it provides an option for consumers that wasn’t available before.

Q: What is your competition?

A: Our competition is apartments and older single-family rentals. Our value proposition is pretty straightforward. Would you rather rent apartments with someone above or below you, maybe a covered parking stall, or a single car garage without direct access or would you rather rent a home with a yard and a two-car direct access garage. I think it’s pretty straightforward.

Q: What are your expansion plans?

A: We closed on a site in Georgetown [Texas] last month that we are really excited about. Georgetown is a rapidly growing suburban community of Austin, and it probably is the most well known in the real estate community for Pulte’s Del Webb Sun City community with 7,500 homes all age restricted. Schools there are highly desirable, and it’s a really good lifestyle that people are likely to select over other suburban communities. We’re really excited about that project.

We have five communities in Texas in various stages of development and construction, and we have two more in contract that we are expected to close in the next couple of months. We’re starting to look at sites in new markets. Our target markets, North Carolina and Nashville, are two markets we want to pursue. We also are looking at sites in Southern California currently and then I think down the road we’ll look at Florida and Dallas. As we enter those markets we’ll try to replicate what we did in Texas in terms of building a local team out there making sure we have all the right capital for execution. We built a really good team in Texas that we are proud of. What we find incredibly valuable when we enter a new market is working with the local landowners and developers and partnering with them to get the lay of the land and find attractive sites that we otherwise would not be able to purchase and have a guide for new markets to make sure we are doing it right.

Our communities are all market rate. There’s no age restriction or qualifier like that, but certainly down the road our plans are to build active adult 55-plus communities and restrict them to that demographic. We would amenitize it more with community type activities and really cater to that demographic. We’re excited about that.


leaderboard2 - default
Written By
Senior Editor

Mike is the senior editor of Pro Builder and Custom Builder magazines. A two-time Jesse H. Neal Award winner, Mike has nearly 30 years of journalism experience plus numerous news and feature writing awards, including honors from the Society of Professional Journalists, the American Society of Business Press Editors, and the National Association of Real Estate Editors. He also operated a masonry restoration business for more than two decades. 

Related Stories


Q+A With Jenny Kerr Schroen and Chris Eccleston: Grit Leads to Greatness

The co-authors of Grit Leads to Greatness: An Epic Quest Built to Change the World are getting an enthusiastic response to their book and are finding its message resonates deeply with students, school administrators, and parents alike

Sponsored A Builder Discusses Product Strategy

A Builder Discusses Product Strategy

Which products make a difference? Andrew Houlihan of Houlihan Building Company dives into what kinds of products matter to builders and their clients, including the Marvin Elevate® and Essential Collections

Sponsored Marvin bi-fold door in a black finish

Drama and Impact: The Rise of Scenic Doors

The popularity of large, dramatic scenic solutions like the Marvin Elevate® Bi-Fold door continues to grow. Michael Wandschneider, Group Director of Product Management at Marvin, explains what’s behind it. 

boombox1 -
native1 - default
halfpage2 -

More in Category

Delaware-based Schell Brothers, our 2023 Builder of the Year, brings a refreshing approach to delivering homes and measuring success with an overriding mission of happiness

NAHB Chairman's Message: In a challenging business environment for home builders, and with higher housing costs for families, the National Association of Home Builders is working to help home builders better meet the nation's housing needs

Sure there are challenges, but overall, Pro Builder's annual Housing Forecast Survey finds home builders are optimistic about the coming year

native2 - default
halfpage1 -

Create an account

By creating an account, you agree to Pro Builder's terms of service and privacy policy.

Daily Feed Newsletter

Get Pro Builder in your inbox

Each day, Pro Builder's editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.

Save the stories you care about

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.

The bookmark icon allows you to save any story to your account to read it later
Tap it once to save, and tap it again to unsave

It looks like you’re using an ad-blocker!

Pro Builder is an advertisting supported site and we noticed you have ad-blocking enabled in your browser. There are two ways you can keep reading:

Disable your ad-blocker
Disable now
Subscribe to Pro Builder
Already a member? Sign in
Become a Member

Subscribe to Pro Builder for unlimited access

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.