Partners in innovation. That's the best way to describe the recent association of Pat Taylor of Dartmoor Homes and Bob Calzaretta of Regent Homes, two of the northwest suburbs' most respected and well-recognized names in the home building marketplace.
Dartmoor Homes pioneered the "semi-custom" concept in the '80s to fill a growing niche in the marketplace of home buyers who wanted the option of "personalizing" production homes to their specific needs, but who weren't ready for a higher-priced, completely customized home. Dartmoor let buyers modify existing floor plans: adding a couple of feet to the great room, changing a two-car garage to a three-car, eliminating walls, making a bedroom a study, and so forth.
Then, Dartmoor designers took semi-customization a step further and introduced its "Designer Series" models a few years ago to target the mid-range ($300,000 - $400,000) home buyer. The Designer Series offers greater customization options - typically found only in much higher priced custom homes - without the high price tag. "Changes without limitations" was, and still remains, the underlying philosophy of the Designer Series.
Dartmoor President Pat Taylor explains that Dartmoor's architects created the Designer Series to follow changing trends in the Chicago-area new home marketplace, and because "Everyone's dream is different, and so is every Dartmoor home.
There was great demand from first-time move-up buyers - many of them previous customers for whom we had built their first home - for second homes in the same area," he adds. "And, they wanted more than just cosmetic custom features or an additional bedroom. They wanted homes that reflected changing lifestyles and provided for new living space requirements, with cost-saving options."
Regent Homes, on the other hand, is best known for its grand, sprawling, ultimate-in-luxury custom homes and estates built in the far north and northwest suburbs. Its signature home, Chateau Maison (dubbed "The Castle" when first built in 1989 for the Inverness Parade of Homes), epitomizes many of Regent's Scholz-designed homes, all custom-tailored to the buyer's individual tastes. A recent Scholz Design project was a $2.5 million, 8,500 sq.ft. home on a private, 10-acre lakeside peninsula.
Bob Calzaretta of Regent Custom Homes first founded Regent as a marketing firm in 1981 to develop and offer to other home builders strategic marketing plans for tightly targeted, select segments of the home market.
Within two years he founded his first home building company and has since built and marketed hundreds of custom homes, opened dozens of projects and won numerous awards for excellence in exterior and interior design and construction.
Calzaretta explains that Regent's new partnership with Dartmoor brings even more customization expertise to Dartmoor Homes design staff. Much of the same fine craftsmanship, quality building materials and custom accoutrements that go into high-end luxury homes are now available to buyers in the $300-$400,000 price range.
"Designs of new Dartmoor Homes that will be introduced in the coming months revolve around present and anticipated buyers' needs," notes Calzaretta, "and are based on evolving trends. We're adapting many of our present popular designs and, using the square footage that's already there, incorporating new spaces. Quite simply, it's a realistic approach to home design.
"We're not just building bigger homes. Home buyers today don't necessarily want that. They do want floor plans that make better use of space - multiple 'working' home offices, large family- and guest-oriented entertainment areas. They want features such as sophisticated home automation systems - security systems, and wiring for home technology as well as home office communications like fax and modem phone lines, computer hook-ups, etc."
The joint venture between Dartmoor Homes and Regent Homes brings to Chicago-area home buyers a long tradition of home building to address the needs of an ever-widening and varying market. In combining Regents' expertise in ultimate-custom home building with Dartmoors' more than 30 years experience as a developer and quality home builder, a pioneer in the semi-custom concept, one company can address all segments of the the home building marketplace and serve a full spectrum of buyers.
"The first thing we tell our customers, "says Taylor, "is, 'You tell us what you want, where you want to build it, and we'll do it.' What's more, we know how to do it without making them give up everything else by spending more than they need to on their new home.
"We talk to customers about their lifestyles, their work, their hobbies and interests, even the kids' school and sports activities. Dartmoor's association with Regent gives us not only the ability to meet the demands of the marketplace, but to change the way we observe the marketplace so as to anticipate those demands."
Based on past success and careful survey of population trends, Dartmoor's professional development staff have targeted several areas where it hopes to expand existing residential communities, as well as introduce new ones. Towns such as Bartlett and Schaumburg, as well as several others in Lake, DuPage, Kane and Will counties, are experiencing rapid growth. Dartmoor Homes aims to meet the demands of those growing populations by offering homes to buyers in all price ranges - all built with the quality both Regent and Dartmoor are known for, and strengthening the foundation upon which both have built their reputations and success.
"The size, scope and nature of the Chicagoland marketplace," Calzaretta points out, "dictates a need for this type of partnership. It's a melding of experienced management together with experienced and knowledgeable architects, designers, subcontractors, and sales people in relation to the changing needs and wants of today's home buyer.
"Sophisticated buyers know what's 'doable' and what options or features are more costly, so they are particular about who they choose as their home builder. They recognize the difference between simply an 'expensive' house and one that is truly customized to their requirements."
William Laytin, General Counsel and a partner in both firms, says "This 'partnership in innovation' brings to Chicago-area home buyers a new level of customization not available anywhere else."This new association has broadened the choices for buyers. Regent's portfolio of Scholz Design homes is available at all Dartmoor communities, built on Dartmoor lots or buyers' lots in nearby communities.
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