Danny Moss, for one, would challenge all the national reports heard lately that predict a burst in the housing bubble, which has played a major role in the overall economy for so many recent years. At least in his corner of Northwest Tarrant County, there is anything but a slowdown in activity.
“After attending a recent Residential Strategies’ forecast review, I took their suggestion and started taking note of all the out of state plates and at the number of new Texas license plates I saw on a daily basis,” said Danny. “Around the Alliance Airport and Business Corridor area, it really is astounding.”
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He recalled when his friends in the Mid-Cities often joked with him about being the only builder out in the rural areas of Northwest Tarrant County. Danny has always lived not far from where he was born and raised in Haslet. He started building homes in his hometown area as a side interest to his career as Chief Building Inspector for the City of Bedford, which he retired from after 25 years of service. It all started with an $8,500 investment on a half-acre lot, where he built a home for his family. He later sold it and built another, and so on. While the stakes have gotten much higher today, the area still remains one of the most affordable custom home markets in the Metroplex.
Since 1983, word of mouth has kept the business of D.R. Moss Quality Custom Homes on a steady pattern of growth. Danny’s experience and knowledge as a Certified Professional Code Administrator brought a new standard of quality to the ungoverned rural area, where homebuyers must depend upon their builder, not only for quality construction of their homes but also for construction of the home’s private water, sewer and gas systems. In fact, Danny’s expertise was so proficient that he was appointed to serve a term as president of the State Building Official Association and was also named by Governor George W. Bush to serve on the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission’s State of Texas On-Site Waste Water Research Council that is charged with regulation of private septic systems.
Locally, Danny is credited with helping create the Building Professional’s Institute in 1992, a continuing education program offered through the University of Texas in Arlington’s Construction Research Center. Over 1,000 building inspectors, homebuilders, architects and engineers attend this annual training program to update their knowledge on code changes and building science. He has served a long tenure on the board of UTA’s Construction Research Center as well as on the board of directors for the Greater Fort Worth Builders Association. Danny’s immense experience and knowledge in the science of building has been particularly appealing to the steady stream of homebuyers moving to the area since expansion began years ago nearby at Alliance Airport. Relocation activity has made a goldmine of Danny’s primary focus area in Haslet—bringing competition and growth to the area.
A combination of hometown knowledge, foresight and financial discipline allowed Danny to buy up land, which is still quite inexpensive compared to other Metroplex cities that are “far enough away, but still close enough by for convenience.” By adding a development arm to his business, Danny resolved another concern that buyers have when moving to the country—what might be next door.
“Homebuyers and builders notice immediately that our neighborhoods stand out. That’s because of our development planning efforts and deed restrictions, including covenants for larger lots with a 50-foot minimum building line. This provides front yards that are almost three times the typical size, preserving the rural country feel,” said Danny. “Masonry and roof pitch requirements assure that the neighborhood has a consistent look and that property values are protected.”
While D.R. Moss Quality Custom Homes previously built out all the lots in its own neighborhoods, other builders have been asked by invitation to participate in lot draws at the latest new development of Willow Springs Ranch. There, the company retained 47 lots and another 50 were pre-sold in one day to seven other hand-selected builders.
Danny now boasts more than 20 years of experience as a builder and developer. Through the years, he has witnessed homes become larger and more complex, buyers become more sophisticated and knowledgeable, and the face of Northwest Tarrant County change significantly and yet still retains its country lifestyle and affordability.
“The explosion of corporate relocation has brought in out-of-state buyers who find country living near their work centers in the Alliance corridor ‘like heaven’ compared to the crowded and expensive areas they typically move from. With new neighborhoods popping up and an influx of affluent buyers moving in, the Metroplex has also come to knock on the door. We’re seeing a lot of people moving west from Keller, Southlake and Colleyville to escape suburbia,” Danny explained.
Of his current inventory under construction, one home is being built for a move-up buyer from the Metroplex and seven others are for buyers from different states. He described the average buyers as middle-aged professionals who have reached the highest income level in their careers. Typically, they are building their second or third custom home. He has built for corporate professionals of American Airlines, Motorola, Burlington Northern, Nokia, FedEx, Fidelity and Bell Helicopter. Recently, Alliance has also become a hub for government activity, spurring another influx of relocation activity. The D.R. Moss team has recently completed homes for joint strike fighter engineers from Lockheed Martin.
Danny is certainly not the only builder in the area anymore, but like his developments, the quality and efficiency of his homes also stands out. He explained how one buyer that was interviewing several builders went to the effort to research Tarrant Appraisal District statistics and the utility companies’ websites to compare house size and the average cost of utilities on the recent homes built by each builder.