And according to Cramer improvement was needed.
In 2009, Pulte bought Centex, a rival homebuilder. Largely the Street believed that Pulte had overpaid, that it got stuck with a lot of bad land and that it inherited a challenged mortgage business.
Since then, the company's been trying to get its house in order by cutting costs and cleaning up its balance sheet.
"And last year Pulte really started to see the benefits from these moves, as its margins began to increase, something that I think should continue in 2013," said Cramer.
"Plus, Pulte's up against real easy comparisons," Cramer added. "And some of the land acquired from the Centex acquisition turned out to be fantastic swatches on which to build."
All told, Cramer is a buyer – on a pullback.
"The stock is only a few cents off its 52-week high up here, so I'd wait for a nice market-wide pullback before doing any buying. However, I like the stock in 2013 because I believe the recovery in housing will be a powerful theme and as housing comes back, Pulte should come right back with it.
* It's worth noting on the TV show Cramer talked about Pulte relative to Sprint in a discussion of comparative stock picking. For more on this investing concept as well as Cramer's thoughts on Spring – another big 2012 winner, watch the video above.
Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC
Questions for Cramer? email@example.com
Questions, comments, suggestions for the "Mad Money" website? firstname.lastname@example.org