Biz Buzz: 15 Templeton homes will rise from ashes of Estate Financial

County homebuilder Dennis Moresco of Midland Pacific Homes is starting to build a subdivision of 15 houses in Templeton.

Moresco bought the properties, located south of Las Tablas Road in west Templeton, in an Estate Financial foreclosure sale for $1.275 million last December, according to the failed financial firm’s bankruptcy website.

Property lots in the subdivision range in size from 7,913 square feet to 12,808 square feet. The houses will be geared in space and cost to a downsized economy: They will be 2,045 square feet or less and can be purchased in the $400,000 range, according to Moresco’s website. The first three homes will be started in June, Moresco said.

“We’re luckier than a lot of people right now,” he said, “because we don’t have a lot of debt. The interest rates are low, and the price of houses is lower than it’s been for a long time. Now let’s hope we can plow ahead and start making some money again.”

Estate Financial, which had an estimated $340 million in loans on real estate that was paid for by private investors, went bankrupt two years ago. The trustees are selling off the properties to recapture some money for the company’s investors. The principal balance on the EFI loans was $6.6 million, according to the trustee’s property information on its website. The houses were originally to be built by Al D’Amico of Signature Homes, according to county documents.

Midland Pacific has been a top home builder in the county, with developments such as The Colony at Apple Valley in Atascadero, Del Oro at Hacienda Hills in Paso Robles and Mission Meadows II in San Miguel.

— Melanie Cleveland