Meritage Homes Corp was incorporated in July 1988 in Maryland. The Company is a real estate investment trust in the State of Maryland. It is a designer and builder of single-family attached and detached homes in the historically high-growth regions of the southern and western United States, based on the number of home closings. It offers first-time, move-up, luxury and active adult homes to its targeted customer base. The Company has operations in three regions: West, Central and East, which are comprised of seven metropolitan areas in Arizona, Texas, California, Nevada, Colorado and Florida and North Carolina. Its homebuilding and marketing activities are conducted under the name of Meritage Homes in each of its markets, except for Arizona, where it also operates under the name of Monterey Homes, and in Texas, where it also operate as Legacy Homes and Monterey Homes. The Company participates in several joint ventures with independent third parties relating to the purchase and development of land. It has less than a controlling interest in its joint ventures. It typically enters into these joint ventures with other homebuilders, land sellers or other real estate investors to provide it and the other joint venture partners with a means of accessing larger parcels and lot positions, expanding its market opportunities, managing its risk profile and leveraging its capital base. The Company acts as the general contractor for its projects and typically hire subcontractors on a project-by-project or reasonable geographic-proximity basis to complete construction at a fixed price. It usually enters into agreements with subcontractors and materials suppliers on an individual basis after receiving competitive bids. Occasionally, it enters into longer-term contracts with subcontractors and suppliers if it could obtain more favorable terms to minimize construction costs. At December 31, 2013, it was actively selling homes in 188 communities. The Company competes for sales in each of its markets with national, regional and local developers and home-builders, existing home resales and, to a lesser extent, condominiums and available rental housing. Some of its competitors have greater financial resources or lower costs than it does. Competition among both small and large residential home-builders is based on a number of interrelated factors, including location, reputation, amenities, design, quality and price. The Company is subject to a variety of local, state, and federal statutes, ordinances, rules and regulations concerning the protection of health and the environment.