by BETH ALTENA
“It’s all here. That makes decisions easy,” said John Bitely, vice president of Sable Homes, who was proud to show off his new selection center at the business offices at 11575 Edgerton Ave. on Wednesday, Feb. 22. Bitely was joined by members of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce for a ribbon cutting in celebration of the remodeled showroom.
Bitely said Sable’s attention to efficiency allows the company to offer more home for less money than competitors and has moved Sable to number three in local builders despite a troubled housing market. He said Sable is poised to sell in tough times because the cost of a Sable home can be less than renting—a no-brainer for those looking for affordable housing.
“We are already seeing an up-tick,” Bitely said of the building market. “We are more than cautiously optimistic.”
Bitely said Sable is a perfect choice for young professionals who have jobs, but might not yet have a nest egg built up for a down payment. Home options run from as little as $100,000 on up and can equal a monthly payment of as little as $675 for a brand-new, quality home. “Why pay $800 a month for a place where someone else has cut their toe nails on the carpet when you can have brand new and pick everything out yourself?” pointed out Bitely.
Sable’s focus on efficiency is the key to lower prices, and their energy-efficient philosophy means value lasts the life of the home. Bitely said new Sable homes at just under 2,000 square feet come with an Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star certificate guaranteeing an annual heating bill of $500 to $600.
Keeping costs low include extra attention to measurements and ordering, and Bitely said Sable no longer even has dumpsters at their sites. “Everything that goes into a dumpster had to be paid for,” he said. Eliminating the cost of extra material is just part of the formula he said makes Sable more affordable.
With the selection center featuring everything from exterior stonework, siding to interior floors, countertops and fixtures, a homebuyer can see just what all the options look and feel like. “You aren’t picking from pictures in a brochure,” Bitely said.
Jeff Martin is one of the suppliers who work with Sable. Manager of Alside Supply Center, Martin agreed that Sable saves money by ordering only exactly what is needed for each home. “They have it down to the inch. It’s all on computer,” he said. “They don’t even have us do a pick-up for returns.”
Martin said advances in technology allow affordability in exterior colors. In the past, exterior siding was limited vinyl because sun and cold bleached dark colors. Now vinyl is available in designer-preferred dark colors. “Vinyl is cheaper than wood and maintenance-free,” he said. “It lasts forever.” New homebuyers can choose several textures for each home and the dark colors now withstand the extreme temperatures of Michigan weather.
Bitely said he believes the value of a Sable home is what is moving the company up in sales. “We, as a company, are focused on the future.” He said Sable is proud to show off what most people don’t think they need to see: thickness of walls, the quality of each basement. He said thicker walls are part of the reason Sable’s homes earn the Energy Star rating, and focusing on details such as basement structure are paying off in reputation. “We have zero percent wet basement problems. Not a builder out there can say that,” Bitely said.
When asked what would surprise the public about his industry, Bitely said people have no idea how good a deal it is to build a home right now. “No one else [in the building industry] is doing a lot out there right now. People wonder why we are busy. There is a reason why.”
Sable Homes is located at 11575 Edgerton Ave., Rockford. Reach the team at Sable by phone at (616) 866-3913 or visit online at sablehomes.com for open house listings, floor plans, buyers’ tips and more.