Organization and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
TRI Pointe Group, Inc. (“TRI Pointe Group”) is engaged in the design, construction and sale of innovative single-family attached and detached homes through its portfolio of six quality brands across eight states, including Maracay Homes in Arizona, Pardee Homes in California and Nevada, Quadrant Homes in Washington, Trendmaker Homes in Texas, TRI Pointe Homes in California and Colorado and Winchester Homes in Maryland and Virginia.
Formation of TRI Pointe Group
On July 7, 2015, TRI Pointe Homes, Inc. (“TRI Pointe Homes”) reorganized its corporate structure (the “Reorganization”) whereby TRI Pointe Homes became a direct, wholly owned subsidiary of TRI Pointe Group. As a result of the Reorganization, each share of common stock, par value $0.01 per share, of TRI Pointe Homes (“Homes Common Stock”) was cancelled and converted automatically into the right to receive one validly issued, fully paid and non-assessable share of common stock, par value $0.01 per share, of TRI Pointe Group (“Group Common Stock”), each share having the same designations, rights, powers and preferences, and the qualifications, limitations and restrictions thereof as the shares of Homes Common Stock being so converted. TRI Pointe Group, as the successor issuer to TRI Pointe Homes (pursuant to Rule 12g-3(a) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”)), began making filings under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and the Exchange Act on July 7, 2015.
In connection with the Reorganization, TRI Pointe Group (i) became a co-issuer of TRI Pointe Homes’ 4.375% Senior Notes due 2019 (the "2019 Notes") and TRI Pointe Homes' 5.875% Senior Notes due 2024 (the "2024 Notes”); and (ii) replaced TRI Pointe Homes as the borrower under TRI Pointe Homes’ unsecured revolving credit facility.
Basis of Presentation
The accompanying financial statements have been prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) as contained within the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”).
The consolidated financial statements include the accounts of the Company and its wholly owned subsidiaries as described in “Reverse Acquisition” below, as well as other entities in which the Company has a controlling interest and variable interest entities (“VIEs”) in which the Company is the primary beneficiary. The noncontrolling interests as of December 31, 2017 and 2016 represent the outside owners’ interests in the Company’s consolidated entities and the net equity of the VIE owners. All significant intercompany accounts have been eliminated upon consolidation.
Unless the context otherwise requires, the terms “we”, “us”, “our” and “the Company” have the following meanings:
For periods prior to July 7, 2015: TRI Pointe Homes (and its consolidated subsidiaries)
For periods from and after July 7, 2015: TRI Pointe Group (and its consolidated subsidiaries)
Certain amounts in our consolidated financial statements for prior years have been reclassified to conform to the current period presentation, including the Company's condensed reporting of restructuring charges, included in general and administrative expense on the consolidated statements of operations in this annual report on Form 10-K.
Use of Estimates
Our financial statements have been prepared in accordance with GAAP. The preparation of these financial statements requires our management to make estimates and judgments that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and the disclosures of contingent liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting periods. Actual results could differ from our estimates.
We evaluated subsequent events up until our consolidated financial statements were filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Cash and Cash Equivalents and Concentration of Credit Risk
We define cash and cash equivalents as cash on hand, demand deposits with financial institutions, and short-term liquid investments with a maturity date of less than three months from the date of acquisition. The Company’s cash balances exceed federally insurable limits. The Company monitors the cash balances in its operating accounts and adjusts the cash balances as appropriate; however, these cash balances could be impacted if the underlying financial institutions fail or are subject to other adverse conditions in the financial markets. To date, the Company has experienced no loss or lack of access to cash in its operating accounts.
Real Estate Inventories and Cost of Sales
Real estate inventories consist of land, land under development, homes under construction, completed homes and model homes and are stated at cost, net of impairment losses. We capitalize direct carrying costs, including interest, property taxes and related development costs to inventories. Field construction supervision and related direct overhead are also included in the capitalized cost of inventories. Direct construction costs are specifically identified and allocated to homes while other common costs, such as land, land improvements and carrying costs, are allocated to homes within a community based upon their anticipated relative sales or fair value. In accordance with ASC Topic 835, Interest (“ASC 835”), homebuilding interest capitalized as a cost of inventories owned is included in costs of sales as related units or lots are sold. To the extent our debt exceeds our qualified assets as defined in ASC 835, we expense a portion of the interest incurred by us. Qualified assets represent projects that are actively under development. Homebuilding cost of sales is recognized at the same time revenue is recognized and is recorded based upon total estimated costs to be allocated to each home within a community. Any changes to the estimated costs are allocated to the remaining undelivered lots and homes within their respective community. The estimation and allocation of these costs require a substantial degree of judgment by management.
The estimation process involved in determining relative sales or fair values is inherently uncertain because it involves estimating future sales values of homes before delivery. Additionally, in determining the allocation of costs to a particular land parcel or individual home, we rely on project budgets that are based on a variety of assumptions, including assumptions about construction schedules and future costs to be incurred. It is common that actual results differ from budgeted amounts for various reasons, including construction delays, increases in costs that have not been committed or unforeseen issues encountered during construction that fall outside the scope of existing contracts, or costs that come in less than originally anticipated. While the actual results for a particular construction project are accurately reported over time, a variance between the budget and actual costs could result in the understatement or overstatement of costs and have a related impact on gross margins between reporting periods. To reduce the potential for such variances, we have procedures that have been applied on a consistent basis, including assessing and revising project budgets on a periodic basis, obtaining commitments from subcontractors and vendors for future costs to be incurred and utilizing the most recent information available to estimate costs.
If there are indications of impairment, we perform a detailed budget and cash flow review of our real estate assets to determine whether the estimated remaining undiscounted future cash flows of the community are more or less than the asset’s carrying value. If the undiscounted cash flows are more than the asset’s carrying value, no impairment adjustment is required. However, if the undiscounted cash flows are less than the asset’s carrying value, the asset is deemed impaired and is written down to fair value. These impairment evaluations require us to make estimates and assumptions regarding future conditions, including timing and amounts of development costs and sales prices of real estate assets, to determine if expected future undiscounted cash flows will be sufficient to recover the asset’s carrying value.
When estimating undiscounted cash flows of a community, we make various assumptions, including: (i) expected sales prices and sales incentives to be offered, including the number of homes available, pricing and incentives being offered by us or other builders in other communities, and future sales price adjustments based on market and economic trends; (ii) expected sales pace and cancellation rates based on local housing market conditions, competition and historical trends; (iii) costs expended to date and expected to be incurred including, but not limited to, land and land development costs, home construction costs, interest costs, indirect construction and overhead costs, and selling and marketing costs; (iv) alternative product offerings that may be offered that could have an impact on sales pace, sales price and/or building costs; and (v) alternative uses for the property.
Many assumptions are interdependent and a change in one may require a corresponding change to other assumptions. For example, increasing or decreasing monthly sales absorption rates has a direct impact on the estimated per unit sales price of a home, the level of time sensitive costs (such as indirect construction, overhead and carrying costs), and selling and marketing costs (such as model maintenance costs and advertising costs). Depending on the underlying objective of the community, assumptions could have a significant impact on the projected cash flow analysis. For example, if our objective is to preserve operating margins, our cash flow analysis will be different than if the objective is to increase sales. These objectives may vary significantly from community to community and over time.
If assets are considered impaired, impairment is determined by the amount the asset’s carrying value exceeds its fair value. Fair value is determined based on estimated future cash flows discounted for inherent risks associated with real estate assets. These discounted cash flows are impacted by expected risk based on estimated land development, construction and delivery timelines; market risk of price erosion; uncertainty of development or construction cost increases; and other risks specific to the asset or market conditions where the asset is located when assessment is made. These factors are specific to each community and may vary among communities. We perform a quarterly review for indicators of impairment. For the year ended December 31, 2017 we had $854,000 of real estate inventory impairment charges. For the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015 we recorded impairment charges of zero and $1.2 million, respectively.
In accordance with ASC Topic 360, Property, Plant, and Equipment, revenues from home sales and other real estate sales are recorded and a profit is recognized when the respective units are delivered. Home sales and other real estate sales are delivered when all conditions of escrow are met, including delivery of the home or other real estate asset, title passage, appropriate consideration is received and collection of associated receivables, if any, is reasonably assured. Sales incentives are a reduction of revenues when the respective unit is delivered. When it is determined that the earnings process is not complete, the sale and/or the related profit are deferred for recognition in future periods using the percentage-of-completion method. The profit we record is based on the calculation of cost of sales, which is dependent on our allocation of costs, as described in more detail above in the section entitled “Real Estate Inventories and Cost of Sales.”
In the normal course of business, we incur warranty-related costs associated with homes that have been delivered to homebuyers. Estimated future direct warranty costs are accrued and charged to cost of sales in the period when the related home sales revenues are recognized while indirect warranty overhead salaries and related costs are charged to cost of sales in the period incurred. Factors that affect the warranty accruals include the number of homes delivered, historical and anticipated rates of warranty claims and cost per claim. Our primary assumption in estimating the amounts we accrue for warranty costs is that historical claims experience is a strong indicator of future claims experience. In addition, we maintain general liability insurance designed to protect us against a portion of our risk of loss from warranty and construction-related claims. We also generally require our subcontractors and design professionals to indemnify us for liabilities arising from their work, subject to various limitations. However, such indemnity is significantly limited with respect to certain subcontractors that are added to our general liability insurance policy.
Our warranty reserve is based on actuarial analysis that uses our historical claim and expense data, as well as industry data to estimate these overall costs. Key assumptions used in developing these estimates include claim frequencies, severities and resolution patterns, which can occur over an extended period of time. These estimates are subject to variability due to the length of time between the delivery of a home to a homebuyer and when a warranty or construction defect claim is made, and the ultimate resolution of such claim; uncertainties regarding such claims relative to our markets and the types of product we build; and legal or regulatory actions and/or interpretations, among other factors. Due to the degree of judgment involved and the potential for variability in these underlying assumptions, our actual future costs could differ from those estimated. There can be no assurance that the terms and limitations of the limited warranty will be effective against claims made by homebuyers, that we will be able to renew our insurance coverage or renew it at reasonable rates, that we will not be liable for damages, cost of repairs, and/or the expense of litigation surrounding possible construction defects, soil subsidence or building related claims or that claims will not arise out of uninsurable events or circumstances not covered by insurance and not subject to effective indemnification agreements with certain subcontractors.
We also record expected recoveries from insurance carriers based on actual insurance claims made and actuarially determined amounts that depend on various factors, including, the above-described reserve estimates, our insurance policy coverage limits for the applicable policy years and historical recovery rates. Because of the inherent uncertainty and variability in these assumptions, our actual insurance recoveries could differ significantly from amounts currently estimated.
Investments in Unconsolidated Entities
We have investments in unconsolidated entities over which we have significant influence that we account for using the equity method with taxes provided on undistributed earnings. We record earnings and accrue taxes in the period that the earnings are recorded by our affiliates. Under the equity method, our share of the unconsolidated entities’ earnings or loss is included in equity in (loss) income of unconsolidated entities in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations. We evaluate our investments in unconsolidated entities for impairment when events and circumstances indicate that the carrying value of the investment has been impaired beyond a temporary period of time. For the year ended December 31, 2017, we had a $13.2 million impairment charge related to a joint venture formed as a limited liability company in 1999 for the entitlement and development of land located in Los Angeles County, California. For the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015 we did not have any impairment charges related to investments in unconsolidated entities.
Variable Interest Entities
The Company accounts for variable interest entities in accordance with ASC Topic 810, Consolidation (“ASC 810”). Under ASC 810, a variable interest entity (“VIE”) is created when: (a) the equity investment at risk in the entity is not sufficient to permit the entity to finance its activities without additional subordinated financial support provided by other parties, including the equity holders; (b) the entity’s equity holders as a group (i) lack the direct or indirect ability to make decisions about the entity, (ii) are not obligated to absorb expected losses of the entity or (iii) do not have the right to receive expected residual returns of the entity; or (c) the entity’s equity holders have voting rights that are not proportionate to their economic interests, and the activities of the entity involve, or are conducted on behalf of, the equity holder with disproportionately few voting rights. If an entity is deemed to be a VIE pursuant to ASC 810, the enterprise that has both (a) the power to direct the activities of a VIE that most significantly impact the entity’s economic performance and (b) the obligation to absorb the expected losses of the entity or right to receive benefits from the entity that could be potentially significant to the VIE is considered the primary beneficiary and must consolidate the VIE.
Under ASC 810, a non-refundable deposit paid to an entity is deemed to be a variable interest that will absorb some or all of the entity’s expected losses if they occur. Our land purchase and lot option deposits generally represent our maximum exposure to the land seller if we elect not to purchase the optioned property. In some instances, we may also expend funds for due diligence, development and construction activities with respect to optioned land prior to takedown. Such costs are classified as inventories owned, which we would have to write off should we not exercise the option. Therefore, whenever we enter into a land option or purchase contract with an entity and make a non-refundable deposit, a VIE may have been created. In accordance with ASC 810, we perform ongoing reassessments of whether we are the primary beneficiary of a VIE.
We account for share-based awards in accordance with ASC Topic 718, Compensation-Stock Compensation (“ASC 718”). ASC 718 requires that the cost resulting from all share-based payment transactions be recognized in the financial statements. ASC 718 requires all entities to apply a fair-value-based measurement method in accounting for share-based payment transactions with employees. Share-based awards are expensed on a straight-line basis over the expected vesting period.
Sales and Marketing Expense
Sales and marketing costs incurred to sell real estate projects are capitalized if they are reasonably expected to be recovered from the sale of the project or from incidental operations and are incurred for tangible assets that are used directly through the selling period to aid in the sale of the project or services that have been performed to obtain regulatory approval of sales. All other selling expenses and other marketing costs are expensed in the period incurred.
Restructuring charges were incurred related to the merger (the “Merger”) with Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Company (“WRECO”), in addition to general cost reduction initiatives. These charges are composed of employee retention and severance-related expenses and lease termination costs. We account for restructuring charges in accordance with ASC Topic 420, Exit or Disposal Cost Obligations or ASC Topic 712 – Compensation – Nonretirement Postemployment Benefits. We had restructuring charges of $588,000, $649,000 and $3.3 million for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively. Restructuring charges are included in general and administrative expense on the consolidated statements of operations.
We account for income taxes in accordance with ASC Topic 740, Income Taxes (“ASC 740”). Deferred tax assets and liabilities are recorded based on future tax consequences of both temporary differences between the amounts reported for financial reporting purposes and the amounts deductible for income tax purposes, and are measured using enacted tax rates expected to apply in the years in which the temporary differences are expected to be recovered or settled. The effect on deferred tax assets and liabilities of a change in tax rates is recognized in earnings in the period when the changes are enacted.
Each quarter we assess our deferred tax assets to determine whether all or any portion of the assets is more likely than not unrealizable under ASC 740. We are required to establish a valuation allowance for any portion of the asset we conclude is more likely than not to be unrealizable. Our assessment considers, among other things, the nature, frequency and severity of our current and cumulative losses, forecasts of our future taxable income, the duration of statutory carryforward periods and tax planning alternatives. Due to uncertainties inherent in the estimation process, it is possible that actual results may vary from estimates.
The enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in the fourth quarter of 2017, among other things, reduced the federal corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%, effective January 1, 2018. This resulted in a $22.0 million reduction in our deferred tax asset. The ultimate impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act may be different, possibly materially, due to changes in interpretations and assumptions, and guidance that may be issued and actions we may take in response to the tax law changes.
We classify any interest and penalties related to income taxes as part of income tax expense.
Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets
In accordance with ASC Topic 350, Intangibles-Goodwill and Other (“ASC 350”), we evaluate goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets for impairment on an annual basis, or more frequently if events or changes in circumstances between annual tests indicate that it is more likely than not that the asset is impaired. We have identified one reporting unit with goodwill, TRI Pointe Homes, and performed our annual goodwill impairment evaluation as of October 1, 2017. For further details on goodwill, see Note 8, Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets.
For our TRI Pointe Homes reporting unit, we performed a qualitative assessment to determine whether it is more likely than not that its fair value is less than its carrying amount. Upon completion of the October 2017 annual impairment assessment, we determined that no goodwill impairment was indicated. As of December 31, 2017, we are not aware of any significant indicators of impairment that exist for our goodwill that would require additional analysis.
An impairment of our indefinite-lived intangible asset is based on a comparison of its fair value to book value, without consideration of any recoverability due to the indefinite nature of the asset. As of December 31, 2017, we believe that our indefinite-lived intangible asset continues to have an indefinite life and that its fair value exceeds its carrying value. For further details on our indefinite-lived intangible asset, see Note 8, Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets.
In accordance with ASC Topic 360, Property, Plant and Equipment ("ASC 360"), we evaluate finite-lived intangible assets for impairment on an annual basis, or more frequently if events or changes in circumstances between annual tests indicate that it is more likely than not that the asset is impaired. An impairment in the carrying value of our finite-lived intangible asset is recognized whenever anticipated future undiscounted cash flows from the asset become unrecoverable and are estimated to be less than its carrying value. As of December 31, 2017, we believe that the carrying value of our finite-lived intangible asset is recoverable and that its fair value is greater than its carrying value. For further details on our finite-lived intangible asset, see Note 8, Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets.
Significant management judgment is required in the forecasts of future operating results that are used in our impairment evaluations. Our estimates are consistent with the plans and estimates that we use to manage our business. It is possible, however, that the plans may change and estimates used may prove to be inaccurate. If our actual results, or the plans and estimates used in future impairment analyses, are lower than the original estimates used to assess the recoverability of these assets, we could incur future impairment charges.
Recently Issued Accounting Standards
In May 2014, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Codified as "ASC 606"). The core principle of ASC 606 is that an entity should recognize revenue to depict the transfer of promised goods or services to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration to which the entity expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods or services. To achieve that core principle, an entity should apply the following steps: identify the contract(s) with a customer; identify the performance obligations in the contract; determine the transaction price; allocate the transaction price to the performance obligations in the contract; and recognize revenue when (or as) the entity satisfies a performance obligation. ASC 606 supersedes the revenue-recognition requirements in ASC Topic 605, Revenue Recognition, most industry-specific guidance throughout the industry topics of the accounting standards codification, and some cost guidance related to construction-type and production-type contracts. ASC 606 is effective for public entities for the annual periods ending after December 15, 2017, and for annual and interim periods thereafter. Companies may use either a full retrospective or a modified retrospective approach to adopt ASC 606, and we will adopt the new standard under the modified retrospective approach, effective January 1, 2018, by recognizing the net cumulative effect to the opening balance of retained earnings.
We have substantially completed our evaluation on the impact that the adoption of ASC 606 will have on our financial statements, and are in process of finalizing the analysis of certain costs, including the impact on income taxes and related accounts, which we do not expect to have a material impact to our consolidated financial statements. Based on our analysis, the adoption of ASC 606 will not have a material impact on the amount or timing of our home sales revenue, but could impact the amount and timing of future land and lot sales. The adoption of ASC 606 will impact the timing of recognition and classification in our consolidated financial statements of certain sales office, model and other marketing related costs that we incur to obtain sales contracts from our customers. For example, we currently capitalize and amortize various sales office, model and other marketing related costs with each home delivered in a community. Under the new guidance, these costs will be expensed when incurred or capitalized to other assets and amortized to selling expense. We are adopting the modified retrospective approach and accordingly, the balance of any remaining unallocated capitalized sales office, model and other marketing related costs required to be expensed under ASC 606 will be recorded to our opening balance of retained earnings in our 2018 consolidated balance sheet. We expect to recognize an immaterial decrease to retained earnings.
In addition to the cumulative effect to retained earnings, effective January 1, 2018, the adoption of ASC 606 will result in reclassifications among Consolidated Balance Sheet accounts, notably from real estate inventories to other assets. These reclassifications will not materially change the total amount of net assets existing at December 31, 2017. ASC 606 will result in enhanced disclosure requirements, including changes in contract related assets and liabilities, quantitative and qualitative information about contracts with customers and qualitative information about performance obligations.
In February 2016, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-02, (Codified as “ASC 842”), which requires an entity to recognize assets and liabilities on the balance sheet for the rights and obligations created by leased assets and provide additional disclosures. ASC 842 is effective for fiscal years, and interim periods within those years, beginning after December 15, 2018, and, at that time, we will adopt the new standard using a modified retrospective approach. We are currently evaluating the impact that the adoption of ASC 842 may have on our consolidated financial statements and disclosures.
In March 2016, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-09, (“ASU 2016-09”), Compensation-Stock Compensation (Topic 718): Improvements to Employee Share-Based Payment Accounting. On January 1, 2017, we adopted ASU 2016-09. This new guidance requires that we record excess tax benefit and tax deficiencies related to the settlement of employee stock-based compensation to the income tax expense line item on our consolidated statement of operations. We previously recorded the excess tax benefits and tax deficiencies to the additional paid-in capital line item on our consolidated balance sheets. Under the new guidance, the Company elected the option to no longer apply a forfeiture rate to our stock-based compensation expense, and to recognize forfeitures as they occur. The adoption of the aforementioned amendments in ASU 2016-09 were applied using the modified retrospective approach and did not have a material impact on our current or prior year financial statements, with no resulting cumulative-effect adjustment to retained earnings. The new guidance also requires excess tax benefits to be classified as an operating activity in the statement of cash flows rather than as a financing activity. Additionally, ASU 2016-09 requires that the minimum tax withholding paid on behalf of employees for share-based awards be classified as a financing activity in the statement of cash flows. Adoption of ASU 2016-09 did not result in any adjustments to prior period disclosures on the statement of cash flows.
In August 2016, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-15, (“ASU 2016-15”), Statement of Cash Flows (Topic 230): Classification of Certain Cash Receipts and Cash Payments, which provides guidance on how certain cash receipts and cash payments are to be presented and classified in the statement of cash flows. ASU 2016-15 is effective for fiscal years, and interim periods within those years, beginning after December 15, 2017. Early adoption is permitted. We are currently evaluating the impact that adoption of ASU 2016-15 may have on our consolidated financial statements and disclosures, however we do not believe the guidance will have a material impact on our financial statements upon adoption.
In January 2017, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2017-04, (“ASU 2017-04”), Intangibles - Goodwill and Other (Topic 350): Simplifying the Accounting for Goodwill Impairment, which removes the requirement to perform a hypothetical purchase price allocation to measure goodwill impairment. A goodwill impairment will now be the amount by which a reporting unit’s carrying value exceeds its fair value, not to exceed the carrying amount of goodwill. ASU 2017-04 is effective for fiscal years, and interim periods within those years, beginning after December 15, 2019, with early adoption permitted, and applied prospectively. We do not expect ASU 2017-04 to have a material impact on our financial statements.