Builder's homes are a 'game-changer'

COSTA MESA — Local cabinet-manufacturer-turned-home-builder RSI Development is bringing a small-scale explosion of home growth to the community, the company announced this week.

RSI plans to build about 30 homes in Costa Mesa by spring, spokesman Eric VanDerHeyden said.

The company is able to build homes — from foundation to completion — in about eight weeks because the frames are factory-produced and assembled on site.

"It's really a game-changer," VanDerHeyden said. "Before there really was no practical or affordable way to replace a home for most people."

The company specializes in replacing worn, dilapidated homes with new models at a fraction of the time and cost, he said.

The homes in the New House Custom Series run from $84,000 for a 1,232-square-foot, one-story model to $141,000 for a 2,544-square-foot, two-story standard model. Plus there are the costs of demolishing the old home and grading, which can add $70,000 to $100,000.

"From a community standpoint, this stands to change American neighborhoods," VanDerHeyden said.

The first home selected was a long-time eyesore on the 700 block of Broadway. The foreclosed home had been empty for months and had boarded-up windows, an overgrown lawn and rubbish piles that detracted from the aesthetics and value of other homes in the neighborhood, VanDerHeyden said.

Its replacement will be completed by mid-December, he said.

"These houses are going to improve the value of the community and give communities a path to reinvent themselves," VanDerHeyden said.

Orange County has hundreds of thousands of old houses or houses in bad shape that need replacing, he added.

Although current projects are only in Costa Mesa, the company is looking to expand into Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and other cities nationwide.

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