Courtesy of Mark Samuelson
With Colorado's economy running at a faster clip, no place shows wider horizons for custom building now than Northern Colorado - plenty of buyers coming for jobs and opportunities, and lots of exciting places to build. That's a perfect match for Bill Stenberg, building for G.J. Gardner Homes in Loveland, who uses Gardner's cost efficiencies to work with everything from well-manicured golf communities, to 5-acre raw-land sites in the foothills. And at sizable savings to buyers. "If I have a builder that can deliver in the $700,000s, that opens up a different type of buyer for us," says Sherri V. Jensen with Harmony Club, a pretty custom area 1.5 miles east of I-25 at Harmony Road in the town of Timnath, wrapped around a Jim Engh golf course and served by top-rated Poudre R-1 schools.
(Vic Moss/Moss Photography)
New homes for Harmony Club's hilltop sites with views of Long's Peak are generally priced in the $800s to over $1 million; but G.J. Gardner's Pete Jordan can show you a custom ranch by Stenberg there, matched to the community's high standards of architecture and trim, ready at $698,000. (You can drive through on your way to G.J. Gardner's ranch model in Park Meadows, ten miles further up I-25 in Wellington.)
Harmony Club is one possibility - but G.J. Gardner gets a third of its Northern Colorado buyers from people who already have a lot somewhere else, or walk in with their own floor plan, needing a lot. "We'll often get people who had pretty much given up on building," Stenberg says. "They couldn't meet their expectations within their budget.
But we'll say, 'Wait a minute, we can make that work.'"
For either market, buyers are often downsizing - coming out of 3,000 feet and wanting 2,000 in a ranch plan. "We'll give them exactly what they're after," Stenberg says. That process gets off to a good start with the ranch model in Wellington. "People walk in and say, 'That's exactly the way we want it."
In the end, he adds, G.J. Gardner ends giving plenty of hands-on assistance making customers happy with the end product. (Stenberg see numbers of 'multigenerational' buyers in Northern Colorado - maybe looking for two places, one for grandparents, one for kids; or coming up with a plan that puts everyone in separate quarters under one roof.
G.J. Gardner's model is at 7270 McClellan Road, Wellington. Take I-25 north past Fort Collins, eight miles to Hwy 1 exit in Wellington, turn right and right again on the frontage road, head south 1/4 mile, then left on Jefferson and right on McClellan Road. G.J. Gardner, one of the world's largest custom builders