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What is the Difference Between a Homebuilder and Developer?

By Drew Knight of New Home Source Professional

If you've been in the homebuying market for a while or are even new to master planned communities, you've probably noticed two words used interchangeable: homebuilder and developer. Here's what they do and what that means to you.

While both are key players in bringing new homes to your clients, they’re not synonymous and both are completely different — yet symbiotic — entities.

To help you discover the difference, we decided to let the professionals speak for themselves. Below you'll hear from Teri Slavik-Tsuyuki and Livian Jones of developer Newland Communities, Dave Spetrino of homebuilder Plantation Building Corp., and Cheryl Julcher of Zoetic Home Development.

NHSPro: What is the difference between a homebuilder and a developer?

Slavik-Tsuyuki: Developers and builders have a great symbiotic relationship. A developer finds the right land to develop, has a vision for its layout and intended use, does the research to determine who will live there and how they want to live, works with government agencies to source proper permitting and puts in the roads, sewer system, electric lines, homesites, curbs, civic space and amenities. A developer then selects builder partners who will buy homesites from the developer to build the homes that will meet the needs and wants of home shoppers today.

Julcher: It is somewhat common for a company to be both the developer and the builder. There are many different types of builders ranging from large-tract home production builders, who build thousands of homes a year in different markets around the country, to small custom homebuilders who build two or three homes per year in one specific market.

Read on to learn more...