Talking with housing expert Leslie Savitch about his business and his industry it becomes evident how passionately he cares about the home buyers for whom he has spent a lifetime fashioning living environments. A consultant to home builders for a number of years before acquiring his own firm in the 2003-2005 period, he long championed the idea that homes must be built to the specific needs of certain “target” buyers.
“In housing,” Savitch explains, “there’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all… and when the intended home buyer crosses the threshold of the model home, she either recognizes that home is right-for-her, or it simply doesn’t fit.” He suggests that, as the prospective buyer tours a model home, they either find turn-after-turn that the home was built to their needs or not.
The Oasis Custom Homes family of homes, for example, offer a unique set of characteristics designed for the needs of the young family. Room after room, the prospective buyer can see the results of years of asking buyers and Realtors alike what they want in a home. Mr. Savitch sits in on many of the company’s pre-construction meetings that it initiates with buyers once they agree to buy a home. In those meetings he asks why they chose the company, why they chose the particular model of home and how they plan to live in that home. It is the culmination of those inquiries that enables Oasis Custom Homes to dominate almost every market where it builds.
Another housing product line, GardenCourt Homes focuses on the needs of a retirement buyer, otherwise classified as “active adults.” Another housing concept the firm has introduced in the Connell, Washington market is the “Country Village Homes” family of homes that addresses the first time home needs of the entry-level buyer.
Varsity Development, LLC, besides its involvement as a builder of these various housing products also operates as a land developer. The management team is made up of industry veterans, which helps to explain why the firm continued to build homes during the great recession of 2007-2009 when many other builders struggled with lack of demand, surge in competition from foreclosed homes and lenders that shirked their commitments and changed the lending rules for builder borrowers.
Varsity Controller Larry Lee, a former member of a regional CPA firm and auditor for a utility that operated dams in the west, came from a home building and woodworking family. Lee oversees the accounting functions at the company and works daily with a group of highly motivated and supportive lenders who contributed greatly to the business-as-usual at Varsity during the recent recession.
Maintaining smooth functioning home building during the tough times with a smaller support organization and without losing the company’s quality control edge has been Production Manager Tim Kangas. He is supported by a construction expert who oversees the framing of every Varsity home system-wide, William Jennings.
Quality control and Warranty is overseen by Gabrielle Savitch. Communications and operations support is provided by Stephanie Hopperstad, while Interntet activity and other media interaction is supervised by Linda Bittinger.