Catskill Farms is a Sullivan County-based home-building business which specializes in building weekend homes in the style of the turn-of-the-century architecture, which are in great demand in spite of the recession.
The company will shortly complete its 100th home and is due to expand into nearby Ulster County and the towns of Woodstock and Saugerties. In spite of the state of the housing market, Catskill Farms has increased its business by tenfold during the last four years, and its founder Charles Petersheim puts this down to the high quality of the product combined with a vertically integrated business model. This allows the company to act as developer, designer and sales broker, giving it a 36% profit margin which is considerably more than the 9.8% industry average, and these impressive savings are passed on to the homebuyer.
Petersheim says "this is really the ideal time to purchase a new home. At Catskill Farms we offer homebuyers the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to design their dream homes at truly affordable prices. It's the ultimate buyer’s market."
Purchasers don't need to pay for their new home until it's completely finished as Catskill Farms absorbs all the cost of the land and designing and building the home to the new owners personal specifications. The buyer gets a turnkey, ready to move in to property.
There is currently a six-month long waiting list for these homes, and Petersheim is able to sell them for more than he did prior to the financial crisis. He puts forward an interesting point that starting a business during a recession can actually be better due to the availability of affordable labour, while start-up businesses are also able to offer a greater degree of personalized service.
This personalized service is at the heart of the Catskill Farms business model as Petersheim takes buyers through the whole design process, including selecting the land and layout. He points out that his is the only company where homes are increasing in value, and puts this down to the fact that his company actually listens to customer's requirements.
Read the original press release on this innovative company here.