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 my own client. I want to add that I'm probably my most challenging 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 the renovations, not specifically to sell the home—though we always knew we'd eventually sell; but more for personal enjoyment. Enjoyment…if that's what you call living through pure chaos during each remodeling phase. Enjoyment is probably not the best description. We thrive under pressure and inconvenience. Washing dishes in the backyard and having only one working bathroom downstairs while all 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 must decide on a St George home builder. I've worked with several builders and developers over the years, so I was aware of our many options. I did contact many builders I had my eye on for an initial bid. Surprisingly, many didn't even bother to call me back. 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 pretty 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, and we're going with K&S Homes, now changing their name to Sullivan Homes. They have been great to work with. Not only did they call me back (requirements I currently 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 several of their homes, and both were completed and in process. Finding a "hands-on" builder who would build with quality and integrity was essential. We were unhappy with several homes we toured by other builders, where we witnessed a lot of sloppy work that was unacceptable to us. Sullivan Homes is not the least expensive builder, 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 within budget, and in a few places, 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 priced out some 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 wanted.   Sullivan Homes seem 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.