Home-Grown Homes

Our annual salute to regional builders that prevail in their markets

May 30, 2017

This month in our annual salute to regional builders, we look at five that are leaders in their MSAs. As always, we chose a variety of metro areas to focus on using data from Meyers Research, the Irvine, Calif.-based housing data firm. We share some of the data with you that they shared with us. (Photo: Jasmine Axelsen)

In many metros, shortages, costs, and the resulting high price tags are pushing out the very people who make their communities diverse, vibrant, and highly desirable places to live, work, and bring up kids: teachers, first responders, caregivers, tradespeople, and artists, to name a few. Going where the jobs are isn’t enough: The conditions make it harder to be a homeowner for first-timers, the eagerly awaited segment whose delayed purchasing of homes is the stuff of daily news stories, animated design charettes, and probably sleepless nights.

The builders profiled this year are from the West Coast, the Mountain States, the mid-Atlantic, and the Midwest. S & S Homes of the Central Coast differentiates itself with an interpretation of the modern farmhouse that doffs its cap to the area’s agricultural roots and uses “Locally Grown Homes” as the slogan for one of its communities. Boulder Creek Neighborhoods is building small homes—not tiny ones—in a play for first-timers and downsizers alike. HHHunt is diversifying, targeting both ends of the buyer spectrum, as well as those in between. 

In regions and pockets where land is at a premium, the art of infill becomes a survival skill. In "Lots to Think About," we offer examples of projects by designers who have finessed the challenges of wide lots, narrow lots, and pie-shape lots with homes that make the very most of the site, maximizing natural light, curb appeal, and privacy.

Finally, if land is a hot topic, labor is hotter. Scott Sedam’s April 2017 story on immigration and the leadership gap prompted more correspondence than our senior contributor has ever received in two decades of writing a monthly column. This month, we share a sampling of what readers had to say. As you’ll see, builders, real estate brokers, architects, trades, and GCs chimed in with feedback that ranges from screeds to solutions. 

But it’s just a start, and we’d like to hear from you. What should comprehensive immigration reform entail? What does a path to citizenship look like? Is a guest-worker program a good idea? Let us know.


Amy Albert is editor-in-chief of Professional Builder magazine. Previously, she worked as chief editor of Custom Home and design editor at Builder. Amy came to writing about building by way of food journalism, as kitchen design editor at Bon Appetit and before that, at Fine Cooking, where she shot, edited, and wrote stories on kitchen design. She studied art history with an emphasis on architecture and urban design at the University of Pennsylvania, has served on several design juries, and is a recipient of the 2017 Jesse H. Neal Award for excellence in journalism. 


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