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Friday, December 28, 2007

Catskill Farms Value

Back from Mexico, 2 hours south of Cancun, in a small gentrifying village of Tulum, in the Yucatan. Pretty spectacular, and the peso is not as demoralizing as the euro.

Conceivably, what makes our homes more attractive is many faceted.

First, many times the opportunity exists for a collaboration between myself and the new owners, satisfying the craving many people have to design something- what's better to design than something that will be there forever.

2ndly, search high and low and buyers can't find homes that match the architectural uniqueness of our homes. That uniqueness comes from constant experimentation with processes and materials, as well as the unique chemistry between Catskill Farms and the new homeowners, and what each respectively bring to the design phase.

3rdly, we price them right. I am a student of the real estate market, and we neither shoot for the moon with our prices or firesale them. We work hard, efficiently, intelligently, and toss all the savings of our process into the sales price. Show me one construction contract that is structured where the builder pays for everything - no surprises.

4th, we do our best to stand behind our work. Like the local old-timer real estate tycoon Gib McKean has said - 'you can't eliminate the problems from construction, but you have to minimize them, and address them.' Standing behind your work is important anywhere, but up here in the sticks, it's rare to take the responsibility as seriously as we do.

5th, although most of the customers get to enjoy a thorough design and architecture process, they don't have to pay for. I pay for the drawings, and from there we collaborate, free of charge, until the house is finished to customer specifications. It's a $15,000 savings at least, and a true advantage to working with a builder who has good taste (rare.).

6th, I pay for all taxes and interest costs during construction.

All in all, a strategy focused on the needs of our clients - they want a house, they want it to be a great house, they want it quick, they do not want the process to take over their lives, and they do not want to pay out the nose for it. That's fine with me - and is seeming to work out well for everyone - since in these trying economic times, we are selling our houses quicker than we can design them.

Happy Holidays.