Greg: Welcome to this edition of the Louisville Luxury Homes podcast series brought to you by Jon Mand with Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realty. Jon, as always, good to see you. How are you?
Jon: Doing great, Greg, thanks for having me.
Greg: I’m hoping you can talk a little bit about Homearama. We just wrapped up the 2016 I guess a month ago in Norton Commons, and it’s never too early to start talking about Homearama 2017, so I think we have some news that people will be interested in listening to.
Jon: Absolutely. The site selection committee for the Building Industry Association in Louisville just announced that we’re having a two-site Homearama next year, so we’ll have it in our Poplar Woods development in Goshen off of Highway 42 and we’ll also be having a second site at Catalpa Farms, which is a brand-new development on the east end of Jefferson County near our Shakes Run development.
Greg: Our office is helping out with both those, right? What is our role, I guess.
Jon: Yes. We are the exclusive listing brokerage for Signature Green Properties, which is the developer for both of these neighborhoods, along with several other of the … Well, really almost all of the other high-end residential developments in eastern Jefferson County.
Greg: Okay. Can you tell us a little bit about each of those subdivisions? Maybe a rough size? I think they’re very different, right? Very different price points, and in 2017 when people go to the Homearama they’re going to get a very different experience going through each of those subdivisions.
Jon: Yeah, absolutely. We’ll start with Poplar Woods. That’s a neighborhood that we’re just actually finishing out, so the Homearama section will be the last section of that neighborhood. In that development we have right at a hundred and three lots total. The Homearama section will be the seventeen homes in that section. It’s a beautiful development, conservation development, meaning there’s a tremendous amount of open space and green space for that neighborhood. Every lot in there backs up to green space actually, so it’s a picturesque setting out there in Oldham County, with lots ranging from just over a half-acre to three-quarters of an acre.
Greg: Okay. What about Catalpa Springs?
Jon: Catalpa Farms.
Greg: Farms, sorry. That’s a different subdivision altogether, isn’t it?
Jon: Well, Catalpa is a brand-new development, so we’re closing out Poplar Woods with Homearama and we’re opening up Catalpa Farms with Homearama, so it’s going to be a big project. 566 lots ultimately will be developed in Catalpa Farms. Right now it’s accessed through the back of the Shakes Run neighborhood, and a different price point, so it’s going to be great. We’ll have in Poplar Woods homes probably beginning in the seven hundreds running up to just over a million, and then in Catalpa Farms for Homearama I would expect most of those homes are going to come in right around the four hundred thousand dollar mark. It’ll be a great mix this year on the home values and seeing what those builders do in each of those two locations. The lots, obviously, are sized a little bit smaller in Catalpa Farms, and most of those are going to be, the Homearama section will be a 55′ wide lots. Contrast that with Poplar Woods where all of the lots in the Homearama section will be a 120′ wide.
Greg: Okay. Have the builders already been chosen for Homearama 2017? How does that process work?
Jon: Well, it’s all managed by the Building Industry Association. We just went through the lot draw yesterday for Poplar Woods, sold several of the lots there, and then in the coming weeks ahead we’ll sell a bunch more obviously. I would expect Poplar Woods we’re going to end up with between ten to twelve homes in the show for that neighborhood, which will be a great size show. It’s not so large and unwieldy as trying to get through twenty-four homes like we had earlier this year.
Greg: That was hard to do.
Jon: That’s a couple day’s worth of work there, so having ten to twelve will be a great size show, and then when we get over to Catalpa Farms, in that neighborhood we’re going to have a twenty-two lot section for Homearama, 55′ lots again, 55′ wide. I would expect we’ll have at least half of those in the show, so that will be a great neighborhood.
Greg: Okay. Now, you two guys work together frequently, so are you busy in the neighborhoods and the developments before Homearama, or is it a situation where they try to keep things available so that when Homearama comes it’s a big push for sales, or are there sales all year before, leading up to, afterwards, sort of a continuous market in either or both of those communities?
Jon: Yeah, I’d say we stay pretty busy year-round. Sales side I guess the important thing for Homearama and for the builders that participate is for them to be in the show. Obviously their goal is to sell the house that they’re building, if it’s not a contract already, and then also to be able to sell more homes off of that, having additional inventory of available lots for them to sell into is critical. At Poplar Woods, in addition to the Homearama section we still have about another fifteen lots that are currently developed, ready for sale in there, and we’re bringing another six lots on in another section that’ll be available by Homearama. At the point, a builder’s in the show, has a buyer that loves the house but wants to tweak a few things and build it, we’ll have lots available down the street that they can accommodate for that customer, and the same thing at Catalpa Farms. It’s a twenty-two lot section for Homearama that we’re talking about, a new neighborhood that’s going to ultimately have five hundred and sixty-six lots, so there’s plenty of available space. We’re bringing on some new sections that’ll be completed by the time Homearama’s over, so for any customers that come into that show, love the house, but want to move it to a different type of lot or want to tweak some things, that those builders will have plenty of opportunities to buy additional lots and do as many custom builds as they can sell out there.
Greg: Okay. Can one of you walk me through the mindset of what a buyer of a Homearama 2017 home might need to have? I think it takes probably a certain kind of buyer, because lots of people are going to come through your house, they’re going to comment on your choice of decorations and paint color and why they put this room here. Does it take a certain kind of buyer to get ready for that?
Jon: The biggest advantage for buyers participating in Homearama is going to be the fact that there’s a big value add, that all the builders and then all the builder’s subs, all the vendors, are going to offer free or heavily discounted upgrades to any homeowner participating in the show because they want each of these homes to be a showroom, a model house for them to showcase the latest home automation systems, HVAC, you name it, appliances, any system in the house. These vendors want to get their product in them, because Homearama generates a tremendous amount of foot traffic. You’ll have forty thousand people over the course of that couple week period that come through these homes. If you’re a homeowner and wanting to get some phenomenal value for your new construction, participating in the show’s a great way to do it. The trade-off is, of course, you get forty thousand people that walk through your house, but the builders do a great job of, once the show’s over, they do a great job of protecting all the finishes and preventing wear and tear during the show, but after it’s over if there’s stuff that needs to be touched up or tweaked, the builders are great. They come through, they do that, before they turn it over to the homeowner, so at the point that people are moving in, it is brand-new construction for them.
Greg: I’d forgotten I talked to a builder not too long ago and they told me, I forgot the number, but what a huge value add it was to the buyers. They had a percentage that was discounted, and I don’t think most people realize that some of those vendors come in at steeply discounted rates just to get-
Jon: Oh yeah, I mean your lumber package, windows, you name it. Landscaping, everything, every component of that house you can get a discount from a vendor on, typically. When you add all those up, it can easily be, on a home of the value in Poplar Woods, eighty thousand to over a hundred thousand dollars worth of value added by just agreeing to participate in the show.
Greg: If someone’s listening and they’re ready to get started on Homearama 2017, in either of the locations, what should they do now? Should they find a builder first? Should they contact you first? What’s the next step.
Jon: It depends on the client. The easiest thing is just contact me. My cell number’s 502-417-2837. Depending on what they’re looking for, we obviously can match them up with a lot that’s going to work for them, depending on what’s important, a walk-out or a flat lot or outdoor entertaining space, etc. Then also the build process, depending on the price point they’re looking for, the style of the home, we work with all of the highest-end custom home builders in Louisville, so we have those relationships and we can help guide those people to the builder that’s going to make the best home that works for the client.
Greg: That sounds great. Thanks so much for coming in today.
Jon: Absolutely. Thank you Greg.