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Southern Elite Custom Homes

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Tennessee-based Southern Elite Custom Homes turns building houses into an art.

By Kat Zeman

If building elite custom homes is an art, Dale Davenport and associates are artists – and middle Tennessee is their canvas.

A native of Tennessee’s Williamson County, Davenport has been in the real estate industry for close to 20 years and built more than 400 homes. His devotion for building quality custom homes led him to start his own company.

As owner of Southern Elite Custom Homes, based in Brentwood, Tenn., Davenport focuses on developing houses in Nashville and its surrounding areas. The company is known for offering homes with modern floor plans and top quality finishes in a price range between $750,000 and $2 million.

“We have a passion for building the highest-quality homes and developing properties,” Davenport says. “We really focus on our clients.”

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The company, also known as SEC Homes, has been building between 15 to 30 homes per year. Davenport expects to build and close on 14 to 16 additional homes this year. In 2018, he hopes to increase that number again. Southern Elite has been growing consistently since its inception, Davenport says. It generates between $14 million to $16 million in annual revenue.

Concept Designs

Southern Elite focuses on new construction in the single-family home market. “We are a custom homebuilder,” Davenport says. “We search for premier properties and communities. We invest the design time and develop plans and included features needed to build homes with luxury finishes.”

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From lot selection to land development, Southern Elite helps simplify the process of building a custom home. It works with a number of top rated designers and architects, real estate agents, designers and subcontractors to offer a full range of services.

“I have a passion for finding the right property and designing homes that will be a great investment and buyers will love,” Davenport says.

Davenport, who started out as a licensed building contractor, credits his success to having a knack for matching his clients to their ideal homes. In addition, he credits his financial partners, investors and other businesses relationships.

When he established Southern Elite, his primary focus was on redevelopment in Nashville. The company is currently building a custom, six-home development along the upscale and well-known Woodmont Boulevard in Nashville. The boulevard earned its name from the 19th-century Woodlawn Mansion, built to celebrate its owner’s wealth and success.

Smarter Homes

Southern Elite’s homes are getting smarter. On the design side, it is following trends in single-family construction and renovations that include more efficient insulation, low-flow fixtures, energy-efficient appliances and LED lighting.

“We’ve seen a shift toward a more modern building style,” Davenport says. “That’s less of the traditional brick and mortar to more contemporary elevations, more vertical lines.”

The Tennessee housing market has been doing well, Davenport notes. According to the Tennessee Housing Development Agency’s latest available data, total home sales saw their fourth straight year of substantial growth in 2015. With a total of 87,681 homes sold in 2015, Tennessee is still below its 10-year high of 104,302 in 2006, but well above the low of 45,070 homes sold in 2011. 

“We have an outstanding building market,” Davenport says. “We’ve been blessed to be able to build new homes and meet the needs of new buyers.”

Southern Elite is a certified builder and a member of theHome Builders Association of Tennessee (HBAT), a nonprofit trade association comprised of professional builders, developers and associated firms engaged directly or indirectly in homebuilding, remodeling and light commercial construction. Southern Elite uses national brands but local subcontractors and vendors.

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