Creating a CUSTOM-i-ZABLE Community
Creating a CUSTOM-i-ZABLE Community
February 6, 2020
Handsome exteriors feature hipped roofing, stone and stucco facades, walk-out bays and covered front porches are just a few of the features you will see in a home built by Kay Builders. These are the kind of homes that Rick Koze, Kay Builders’ third-generation owner and operator, watched his father build before him. Now, more than 4,500 satisfied customers later, Koze reflects back on what his family started with a renewed commitment to where the company is headed.
“When my father came out of college, he joined up with his dad and started building. They had just bought a few properties together when his dad passed away, and he deserves a lot of credit for sticking with it. He built the business from the ground up,” says Koze. “He became one of the top builders in the Lehigh Valley and one of the things that he focused on was land development.” The responsibility of acting as both developer and builder isn’t one that all builders are likely to take on, given that building and developing are two different tasks. A developer takes raw land, obtains the necessary permits, creates building lots, and puts in sewers, water and electric lines, and streets and curbs. Then the builder normally comes in and builds the houses on that developed land.
“I followed his past [of doing both], and one of the things that he started was a site contracting businesses, so we would do all of the improvements – including the water and the sewer for the community – and I’ve grown that business,” says Koze, who spent much of his career in the mergers and acquisitions world and purchased the company from his father when he was set for retirement. “A lot of the financial discipline I learned, I transferred over to this business.”
Like it did for many other home builders, the 2008 economic downturn hit Kay Builders during a time when they had just finished several successful communities. Though their growth pattern stalled, Koze’s background in economic analysis helped the company weather the storm by having the discipline to stay on the sidelines and let the downturn pass.
Today, Kay Builders continues to add to their portfolio of new single, townhome, and twin communities across the Valley, which also now includes an active adult community – the Fields at Indian Creek – in Emmaus. Those communities include Parkview Estates in Easton, The Fields at Blue Barn Meadows in Allentown, Trio Fields in Nazareth, Scenic View West in Bushkill Township, The Fields at Creek View in Quakertown, The Fields at Jasper Ridge in Emmaus, Trexler Field in Breinigsville, and Colonial Walk in Bushkill Township.
“I think one of the things we’ve been able to do is find very good locations and not overpay for property. We’ve kept overhead very low and we’ve bought our land right,” says Koze. “What we’re trying to do is be diverse, and that means serving all market segments.”
With that line of forward thinking – and in a tight market – Kay also aims tobuild homes that people can afford. One of the qualities that has set Kay Buildersapart is their ability for clients to create a CUSTOM-i-ZABLE home. Kay Builders offers the floor plans as a framework to get started, and then the client has the freedom to move walls, rearrange traffic flows, fully redesign kitchens, move bathrooms, expand rooms, finish basements, and more. Kay Builders allows their homebuyers to start personally detailing townhomes in the low $200s. They also have a state-of-the-art full Design Studio, located in Emmaus, where clients can meet with Studio Design Consultants to coordinate cabinets, countertops, backsplashes, faucets, appliances and more.
“You can’t overestimate how important that is to a new home buyer. I think we’re one of the only builders that allows these major changes to a townhome and make changes to the floor plan that you’re typically not allowed to,” says Koze. “You can bump out. You can add bathrooms. And it’s just a fun process. We like to make it where our customers can actually design their plans.”
Koze also knows that in a world where design software is readily available and where every prospective customer likely has seen a lot of HGTV, there’s always the chance that a customer takes their home dreams elsewhere. After so many decades in the business, however, that’s a risk he’s willing to take. The Kay Builders model of business is all about up-front transparency – and Koze has seen it all become worth it in the end when new homeowners are handed their keys.
“When it’s all said and done, you want to look at people enjoying life. You want to see them out in their yard. You like to drive by when it’s done and say, ‘Look, we built that beautiful house’,” he says. “You’re creating a community where people are socializing with their neighbors and justenjoying their homes. That’s the most important part.”says Koze.
Ready to build your Lehigh Valley dream home? Kay Builders would love to hear from you. Visit www.KayBuilders.com for more information or call our offices at 484-353-6100.