St George New Construction Homes
Diary of a Home Builder by a Real Estate Agent

Building a Home in St George Entry #1

New Construction St George UtahAs a St George Utah real estate agent, I've sold many homes in St George, both resale & new construction.  But this year, I'm actually my own client.  I’d like to add that I’m probably my most difficult client to date! We've sold our home and we are in the process of building our new home…this is our journey.  I’ll be posting about different choices we've made and the process along the way.

Selling our St George home proved to be no easy task.  Like most sellers, we were hopeful our home was worth more than it actually received.  I was grateful to be in this position though, it has reminded me how difficult selling can be; I’m a better agent for having recently gone through it.  We had done an extensive amount of renovations over the past few years .  We did all of the renovations, not specifically to sell the home—though we always knew we’d eventually sell; but more for our personal enjoyment.  Enjoyment…if that’s what you call living though pure chaos during each remodeling phase.  Enjoyment is probably not the best description.  Apparently, we thrive under pressure and inconvenience.  Washing dishes in the backyard and having only one working bathroom downstairs whilst all of the bedrooms are upstairs… is far from “enjoyment”.  But hey, once it was finally done…all those years of renovating…we were able to enjoy it for a couple of months, and then the house sold.  Isn’t that how it always works?  We did take a substantial loss on the home…but we’ll be moving forward on our next project of “enjoyment”.  

We purchased our lot about a year ago.  Now that the house has sold, we are renting a home as we build.  Though this is not our ideal situation (having to move twice) it does eliminate the uncertainty of the real estate market.   It’s been a long journey …a lot longer than anticipated that’s for sure.   

First Choices When Building in St George Utah….

Now that we have the lot, we needed to decide on a St George home builder.  I've worked with a number of builders and developers over the years, so I was aware of our many options.  I did contact a number of builders I had my eye on, for an initial bid.  Surprisingly, many didn't even bother to call me back.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised; the St George area is notorious for contractors who won’t call back.  Because I am a full time Realtor, I am well aware the housing market has been improving, so most contractors are fairly busy; but I was still taken aback at the fact that more than one of the better known builders never even bothered to return my call.  

We have decided on a builder, we’re going with K&S Homes—which is now changing their name to Sullivan Homes.  They have been really great to work with.  Not only did they call me back (requirements I now have for any contractor) but they have been time tested by us, being very patient during our incredibly long preparations period (selling the house….getting the loan).  We toured a number of their homes, both completed and in process.  It was important to us to find a builder who was “hands on” and who would build with quality and integrity.  We were unhappy with several homes we toured by other builders, where we witnessed a lot of sloppy work that was simply not acceptable to us.  Sullivan Homes is not the least expensive builder out there, but they are competitive.  What we liked was their approach to their bid.  Rather than bid the house with the illusion of a low price, filled with low end finishing’s, knowing I’d selected a much higher grade of…well…everything, they bid the house based on what we wanted and in some areas, even higher grades of what I wanted.  This has allowed us to (so far) stay in budget and in a few areas we are under budget.  There have been occasions where I could have made other choices and came in significantly under budget, for instance the windows.   Our bid was for higher end windows, and we did price out some very nice windows that would have saved us about $4,000 however, we appreciated the higher quality and better warranty from the initial bid…and, the window guy called me back!  Thanks Kason.  We are using Advanced Windows & Door here in St George.    Sullivan Homes has been great about working us into a budget that we can afford, and keeping us within that budget with selections we really wanted.   Sullivan Homes seems to average in build jobs in the $350,000 to $550,000 range—though a couple of homes we toured were well over 1 million.  

If you’re considering buying a home or building your dream home in St George Utah (or the surrounding area), Paula Smith REALTOR can help.  I’m sharing our experience here to help others with their decisions, but I will also put my experience to work for you.  Give me a call if you’re in the process.  Remember, using a buyer’s agent will not cost you anything.  Call Paula Smith today if you’re interested in buying or selling in St George.