The magazine’s 2019 Dream Home is nestled on a hilltop overlooking the sprawling West Fort Worth Walsh development. There’s a lot going on inside Walsh.

When the magazine’s 2019 Dream Home opens this fall, being built by Sean Knight Custom Homes, it’ll be the first custom home in the 7,200-acre development on the former Walsh Ranch in far west Fort Worth. Homes in the production section of Walsh have been well underway, with the community welcoming more than 600 new households since 2017, drawn by the development’s array of design plans and amenities like an Aledo ISD elementary school, swimming pools, gym, parks, trails, maker space, high-speed internet, community center and community-building activities, market, and filling station. At completion, Walsh plans to have more than 15,000 homes and about 50,000 residents.

Mike Heid, of MK Homes, a Willow Park luxury builder who’s building homes in Walsh’s production section, is one of the builders Walsh has chosen who can build in the higher custom section. Heid is tackling the Walsh home sites that have unusual topography. For one, he’s just completed a tri-level, 4,600-square-foot home with basement, built into the side of a hill with the first floor opening into the backyard, that he’s listed for $849,000. MK has another, 4,200-square-foot spec home in the production section it’s listed for $750,000. For Heid, such homes aren’t unusual — he grew up in Ohio before moving to Texas to build homes, and Ohio homes have basements.

FW Magazine: How’d you get your start?

Heid: All my life, since I was a teenager, I’ve been building houses, framing, remodeling, building. I started MK Homes in 1995 in Ohio. I was coming down here visiting family, and I just saw there was so much more building here than in Ohio. We just moved down here and bought a couple of lots (in 2005), and we just hit the ground running.

FW: So, you started up right before a recession?

Heid: We were building out at Possum Kingdom, Azle, Aledo, Weatherford. We were doing a lot of one- and two-acre lots and ranches. We were out at Possum Kingdom Lake. That’s how I got into some of the basement stuff. That was kind of how we got our foot into Walsh. I kind of cruised right through the recession. The kind of house we were building — we were building on the lake — the recession didn’t really affect us.

FW: Why’d you move to smaller lots?

Heid: Operations director Christian Pearson came on board two years ago; he suggested smaller lots, so we tried it, and it started taking off. It was kind of easier.

FW: How many houses do you build a year?

Heid: Last year, we did 35 to 40.

Fort Worth Magazine, July 22, 2019, Scott Nishimura | View Original Article