Rebuilding a Market

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Rebuilding an existing home is nothing new. Remodelers have been doing it room by room for some time now. But a Maryland-based company is taking the gut remodel a step further.

October 02, 1999

Rebuilding an existing home is nothing new. Remodelers have been doing it room by room for some time now. But a Maryland-based company is taking the gut remodel a step further.

As the price of entry-level housing increases, people who desire homeownership, but cannot afford to buy into new construction, are being left behind. To remedy this, Lucky Homes purchases older houses and then completely rebuilds them. "The process is pervasive," says Arnold Politzer, Lucky Homes’ president. "It covers most systems in the house." A finished rebuilt home can usually be sold for 20-30 percent less than what an equivalent new home would cost.

But by no means is the rebuilt home inferior to new construction. Rather, Politzer reduces costs by using the existing structure and replacing aging systems within the house. This savings is passed on to the consumer. "The concept is to regenerate housing that is sound," Politzer says.
Lucky Homes, which is based in Baltimore, has expanded into San Diego and Texas markets. "This product is sorely needed," says Politzer. He expects the rebuilt-home industry to grow to meet the needs of these under-served consumers. Remodelers, he says, should consider a foray into this field.

"This is what I’ve been preaching for years. [Remodelers] are the perfect group of people to become home rebuilders because they’ve been doing it for years."

There are several advantages to rebuilding homes. First, scheduling is predictable because Lucky Homes sells off of models just as a new construction builder would. Although the outside of the home remains true to the character of the neighborhood where it’s located, the renovations to the inside are reproduced time and again.

"It’s choreographed just as tightly as new construction building," Politzer says. "It’s going to be relatively easy to create a draw system that’s consistent."

In fact, that consistency has allowed Lucky Homes to broker a deal with a Maryland Bank, Hopkins Federal Savings & Loan, which will lend money to the rebuilder at a reasonable interest rate. Before this agreement, most rebuilders were forced to borrow from private investors at higher rates. Politzer hopes other rebuilders can benefit from this deal and use it as a model to secure reasonable financing.

Next, Politzer plans a consulting venture to show remodelers how they can operate a company that specializes in rebuilt homes using their own staff. Remodelers interested in recycling houses can contact Lucky Homes at (410) 484-9173, or visit the website, www.lucky-group.com.

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