Bella Vita Custom Homes

Bella vita. Italian for “beautiful life.” The people who live in these homes certainly have that.

“Old World elegance meets American energy” is how Dallas-based Bella Vita Custom Homes describes the luxury houses it builds. Intelligent design and rich detail, comfort and purpose are the guiding principles that go into creating elaborate exteriors, grand entrances, impressive libraries and room after room with fireplaces, natural lighting and cathedral ceilings, all textured with variations of wood, stone and brick.

“Our preferred styles are French provincial, rustic Italian, Spanish Hacienda and hill country modern,” CEO Andy Clem says. “Although the trend we are seeing the most demand for right now is a traditional façade with a transitional, clean-line interior.”

Whatever the customer wants, Bella Vita will accommodate. “When you build a $4 million home, you have very high expectations,” Clem says. “When you buy such a luxury product, you should get everything you want.”

That’s why Clem started the company in the first place. “Lots of homebuilders aim to be customer-centric,” he says, “but we wanted to take it to a whole new level. We might not be the most profitable homebuilder as a result, but we will really ‘wow’ you.”

Bella Vita, one of the largest custom homebuilders in Texas, was founded in 2009. It builds about 40 houses a year in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Austin-San Antonio areas. Its customers already own lots, which cost an average of $2.5 million, including the pool and landscaping. Construction of Bella Vita homes typically runs about $1.4 million.

The company’s three primary model homes are worth about $2.5 million each. “They are fully furnished and operational, but they are not for sale,” Clem says. “You don’t often see model homes of this value, but this is how we showcase what we can do.”

In fact, Bella Vita is premised on this notion. Clem, a veteran of Pulte Homes—the nation’s largest homebuilder—and another now-consolidated regional custom homebuilder, started the business right after the real-estate bubble burst, but he was confident about plowing forward with his new company. “When I told my business partners I wanted to build a model home at that time, they were overwhelmed with fear. But I knew that seeing was believing,” he says.

Concierge Service

“One of the biggest problems with building your own home is dealing with the builder after the home is finished,” Clem says. So, Bella Vita created a full-service home maintenance “concierge program” – free of charge to customers for one year. They can choose to extend the program for as long as they like for about $10,000 to $45,000 per year, depending on the size of the house.

Light bulb burns out? Bella Vita will change it. Kid runs into baseboard with wagon and cracks it? Bella Vita will replace it. Have artwork to hang? Bella Vita will send someone over with a ladder. The service even includes mowing the lawn and cleaning the house. The program may eventually be offered to the public, but at a higher price than what Bella Vita clients pay. This summer, the company will launch a mobile app for its customers to summon help. “You want the guy who built your house to also be the one who takes of it,” Clem says. “You don’t have to worry about anything ever. People want to pay for that value.”  

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