Brian McNeill reports in today’s Daily Progress that Robert Hauser Homes appears to be in some financial trouble. One homebuilder is suing Hauser, alleging that Hauser was contractually obligated to buy $2.56M in lots, but didn’t, and the builder is now stuck with the land (and mortgage payments). And one of the developers behind Old Trail has sued Hauser over a similar matter, in that case nine lots worth $1.4M. And a county flooring company went after Hauser in court for unpaid bills, though that’s since been sorted out. Like many local businesses (especially developers), they’ve laid off employees, shut down one of their offices, and dramatically scaled back construction plans. Bob Hauser tells McNeill that “it’s been slow…it’s been very challenging.”
This is something I’ve had my eye on for a while now. To my eye, Hauser was hugely overextended when the bubble burst. They’d expanded to construction in developments near Fredericksburg (Fawn Lake and Somerset, if memory serves) while riding the bubble hard here in town. I’ve worked with and gotten estimates from a bunch of guys in the construction business in the past year, and more than a few have told me that they’re hurting because of outstanding debts from Hauser.