Investing in a home is often seen as a cornerstone of the American dream. In Texas, Gehan Homes has for decades been building and selling stylish new homes that are competitively priced and fit the individual needs of the company’s buyers.
“We have about 50 model homes around the state and use conventional and sophisticated means to bring traffic into those sites,” CEO Tim Gehan says. “People find us, and we do a good portion of our business through realtors. In Texas, a lot of homebuyer decisions are driven by the quality of school district, and we evaluate that to be sure our properties are in desirable communities.”
A privately owned company, Gehan Homes strives to bring a personal touch to building new homes. The company has a presence in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio and many of the surrounding communities.
Gehan Homes is comfortable building small communities and large master-planned developments, having maintained a size that allows it to provide diversity and craftsmanship while still understanding each buyer’s home ownership needs.
“We’ve done land development since we began the company,” Tim Gehan explains. “Having an adequate lot supply is important to homebuilders. There are times when it is beneficial for us to develop our own properties. We’re fortunate to have good sources of financing.”
The company is known for award-winning design that uses space creatively and thoughtfully. It employs only highly skilled craftsmen and uses first-class materials. Each new home comes with a limited 10-year warranty, and Gehan Homes also offers buyers mortgage options to help in the pursuit of home ownership.
Gehan Homes’ commitment to excellence, quality and value has served it well over the years. The company has served thousands of buyers, many of whom have returned as repeat customers because of not only the quality of the homes, but the quality of service, as well.
Recognition extends beyond customers, too. In 2007, Home of Texas awarded Gehan Homes its Keystone Award in the home warranty division for service to customers with homes from two to 10 years old. The award recognized Gehan Homes as the best builder in the state because of its customer service, building standards and design.
In February 2011, Gehan Homes was awarded the Texas Association of Builders’ top award for a volume builder in Texas, an award that is given annually to companies in Texas who build 50 or more homes each year. In addition, it was presented with the association’s best product design award for home design in the $250,001 to $325,000 range.
“[We found that] 2010 was a rebound year for us and for Texas, and we showed the association that we were out in front of the changes in the market as they were happening,” CIO Peter Gehan says. “What that award says to us is that we, as a regional builder in Texas, were ahead of others in the state, including most of the major public builders that operate in Texas.”
Last year, the company also earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2011 Energy Star Leadership in Housing Award because of its commitment to energy-efficient construction and environmental protection. It constructed more than 200 Energy Star qualified homes in 2010.
“We are in a continuous process of improving our product,” Tim Gehan says. “When we finish updating one of our product lines, we typically start working on another one. We improve our product because new homes need to have the best and most attractive features. This meets customer demands and separates us from previously owned homes and foreclosures.”
The company continues to enhance its standing among the nation’s top 100 builders, according to Builder magazine, which is the official magazine of the National Association of Home Builders.
In May 2011, the company announced it had climbed 10 spots to number 27 based on 2010 data, thanks to growth in home closings and total revenue. This followed previous growth in 2009, when Gehan Homes also moved up 10 spots in the national listing.
Building for Tomorrow
The company continues to look for growth and ways to strengthen its position in the markets it serves. It is always looking for ways to enhance home plans, provide flexible design options to buyers and increase construction efficiency. Despite the challenges in the homebuilding sector in recent years, Gehan Homes has managed to invest in growth opportunities.
Last year alone, the company expanded its presence in the Houston market, opening the Enclave of East Meadows and Wildwood at Northpointe communities and building a new model home in the established community of Falls at White Oak in Houston. Gehan Homes also opened three new models in the Austin market in 2011, debuting its Executive Series at the Ridge at Alta Vista in Lakeway and opening two new Classic Series models in Buda’s Elm Grove and Round Rock’s The Preserve at Dyer Creek. 2011 saw the opening of The Summit at Alamo Ranch in the San Antonio market’s Texas Hill County, as well.
Gehan Homes successfully worked through the difficulties that have hit the real estate industry over the last few years and is optimistic about the course it has charted. In the near future, the company is looking to expand its product offerings and increase its average sales price. That will require even more updates and improvements to the product line, but Gehan Homes feels the industry is at the beginning of a gradual and cyclical improvement, and it is ready to respond and grow.
“We must focus on securing adequate lot supply and ensuring that we have the management depth to keep an eye on our current activity and anticipated growth,” Tim Gehan concludes.