For those of you who may not be familiar with my company, we develop Modern Architectural Houses in the Poconos. Although I aspire to walk in the footsteps of Joseph Eichler and Jonathan Segal (two prominent California developers) I have to come to terms with the fact that right now I am no one of importance. Furthermore, I started my development business at the worst possible time in the history of the modern US Economy. And while this may seem romantic, possibly even daring to some, I deal with rejection on a daily basis. Lenders won't touch us, most people ask me if I am stupid and I spend most nights lying awake trying to figure out how to do more with less. All that being said, our houses sell before most people even see them. Our last house sold in one day. Not bad for a depressed market, right?

Our latest project aims to beat that one day record. Before we could even get out of the ground, we started getting calls from interested parties about purchasing it before it was even complete. As of right now, we have at least three interested parties for our next project (on a side note, I find it extremely ironic that all of our buyers tend to have i-phones) and we are hoping to start a fourth before the end of the year. As the project gets further along in construction, I will post more pictures, but I wanted to share some anecdotal evidence about the process so far.
For the first two months of the project, we did nothing but wait for approvals. This meant that our land and our subcontractors basically sat doing nothing. Even though we knew what we wanted to build, we were frozen. After about two months, we got our approvals (permits) and began. In the first week, our lot was cleared and the stumps were dug up. In the second week, our septic system was installed and the basement for the home was dug. In the third week, our footings were put in and the foundation walls were nearly complete.


What we are finding is that the economy has created a buyer's market for goods and services (as well as real estate). We took the time to notify each subcontractor of our project, provide drawings well in advance, and coordinate the timing of each so that one followed the other. Because we did this, we were able to competitively bid much of the work to realize some savings over our last project. The best part is that the work is progressing very quickly, allowing us to save money by finishing the project sooner. In the end, we may find that the time for Design and Approvals may actually equal the construction time. In the pre-bubble days it seemed you were able to get fast approvals and slow construction times, because every subcontractor was so busy that it took forever to tie up all of the loose ends. Now, the tables are turned. Municipal officials are looking at the drawings more closely and doing a better job of making sure that you are building properly (another thing that did not happen in the boom). This is likely to do with the fact that there are also less projects on their desks too. At any rate, all of this is good for those who want to build. Subcontractors are working more diligently to keep your business, often at more competitive rates. We are really excited about our next few projects and I hope you check in our progress.

If you would like to see renderings of this house (known as the Rayburn) please see our website at http://www.poconomodern.com/

 
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