Jim Walter Homes

Jim Walter Homes started out as shell homes, specifically designed such that the house structure itself is secure and water tight, but the inside is just framework left unfinished for the owners to complete the work themselves. The homebuilding company was started in 1946 by James W. Walter Sr. of Tampa, Florida. Jim Walter conceptualized the idea of building unfinished, affordable homes for families who owned some land but were unable to raise enough cash or down payment for a home mortgage. The scheme was a success, and the company expanded rapidly to take in other business, including building material companies and mortgage financing.

Just early this year however, Walter Industries, now the parent company of Jim Walter Homes, announced the closure of the homebuilding subsidiary, putting an end to more than 6 decades of inexpensive home construction. Despite being "America's largest builder of single-family, on-your-lot homes" for several years, the company has not been turning up a profit for some time now, prompting Walter Industries to concentrate purely on its energy businesses.