If there is any philosophy of the real estate industry that has endured over the years, it is “location, location, location.” Westmount Homes Ltd. capitalizes on this philosophy by creating environments for the work/life balance, owner David Smith says.

“[By] specializing in inner-city construction, Westmount Homes builds single-family homes that meet the need of the busy downtown worker to stay close to work, while providing a comfortable home,” Smith says. He founded the Calgary-based company in 2005, after developing the idea for Westmount Homes with an architect colleague.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Smith explains, the city of Calgary built many 1,000-square-foot bungalows that formed a nearly complete ring around the city. With many of those homes nearing the end of their lives, Westmount Homes aimed to serve clients who needed to live near the city.

For more than 10 years, Westin Homes has been building sophisticated luxury homes in the Houston area. Westin Homes’ houses feature distinct and refined details in their interior designs that extend from the nail pattern on the roof to the glue pattern beneath the flooring, the company says.

“We create the perfect balance of elegance and tranquility,” the company says. “We have built the company and its success on our reputation of delivering the highest levels of satisfaction to every customer, at every step.”

Among Westin’s 23 communities around Houston are Riverstone, Tuscan Lakes, the Estates at Promenade, Grand Mission Estates, Canyon Lakes West, Cardiff Ranch, Shadow Creek Ranch and Towne Lake.

Founded in 1963, the Timberlake family of companies has been building throughout Maryland – and more recently in Delaware – for 50 years. Timberlake Homes has been the foundation of the organization, striving to build outstanding communities and homes since the beginning. In 2002, Timberlake Design|Build was founded, specializing in large-scale, luxury home additions, complete home remodeling and custom building.

“Our strength comes from our on-time, on-budget-with-care guarantee,” Timberlake Design|Build President Dave Lunden says. “We will get the job done when we said we would, for the cost we said we would, and we will take a caring approach to the whole project.” 

Faren Dancer began his sustainable building practices in the 1970s and founded Sundancer Creations 13 years ago to share his lifelong practice of healthy living with other homeowners. Sundancer Creations designs and builds green, LEED-certified homes in Santa Fe, N.M. Every home is built to be as close as possible to net-zero energy, which means the home produces as much energy as it uses, Dancer says. 

“I lived in a progressive community in Northern California in the 1970s and it included organic gardening, yoga, meditation – the list goes on and on,” Dancer says. “There was a conscious thrust towards building green and healthy lifestyles. It was an easy transition to carry that forward into my building practices.” 

Bryan Stone and Mitchell Martin met while attending Auburn University. After their graduation, they became convinced there was a better way to build new homes. So, they started Stone Martin Builders just out of college in 2006. Their business is now constructing 200 to 250 new homes per year in Alabama with $70 million per year in production.

“Our philosophy is to provide higher-end homes but still offer a competitive price,” Stone says.

How does Stone Martin Builders do this? It keeps prices low because of its large volumes and finely honed production process, Stone explains. 

While some new homebuilders may sell homes for $130 per square foot, Stone Martin Builders’ processes allow it to come in at $60 to $100 per square foot. Its new homes range from $150,000 to $400,000, averaging $270,000. 

Founded in 1954, Sakiyama Construction has become an award-winning home renovator in Winnipeg thanks to its quality, craftsmanship and attention to detail.  Sakiyama Construction excels on interior and exterior projects and has been the recipient of various awards, including numerous golds in the Manitoba Home Builders Association’s (MHBA) Renovation of the Year Awards since their inception in 2000. Recently, the company was named a finalist in the 2013 Canadian Home Builders' Association's National Sam Awards.

“We consider ourselves a midsize renovation company,” President Grant Sakiyama says. “We pretty much stay in the city of Winnipeg, as there are particular neighborhoods we concentrate on and find the bulk of our business.”

When Royal Oaks Homes started in 2002, it was building three new houses per year. Growth and success soon followed to the point that last year, it built a record 308 houses.

”We build really high-quality homes,” President Rich Van Tassel says. “You can see it in the finished product.”

 The company grew steadily, leveling off at a rate of 140 to 150 new homes per year. It constructed homes at this volume for five years. Then, in 2012, it built 268 new homes and exceeded 300 last year.

 Building at such large volumes requires efficient systems and processes. “It has to be pretty well thought-out,” Van Tassel says.

Rochester Homes has been building homes all over the Midwest for more than 42 years, and the company has been under the leadership of the Anderson family the entire time. As Vice President of Sales Alex Berlin explains, the family involvement in the company’s day-to-day operations has been one of the key elements of its success as it works to provide families with their own homes. “Hands-on leadership from the family has been a big deal for us from day one,” Berlin says. 

Founded in 1972 and operating out of Rochester, Ind., Rochester Homes specializes in building modular homes for builders and homebuyers. The company’s original focus was in manufactured homes built for dealers, but over time it evolved into a modular product. Owner Kenny Anderson says the company’s niche is in providing a systems-built modular home with proprietary options that serve higher-end tastes than the manufactured home industry provides. “It used to be in this industry that it was known for building cheap, basic boxes,” Anderson says. 

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