Homes Built For a Lifetime of Value
Sharon H. Simmons
Builder/Architect of Utah
Wasatch Homes distinguishes itself from its competitors by offering innovative home designs at an affordable price. Jason Holt, owner of Wasatch Homes, is always coming up with home designs that appeal to a broad base of home buyer, yet are unique and exciting.
"I try to emphasize a lot of light and windows and do little things inside the home such as arches, bonus rooms, ceiling lines and placement of the walls that people find appealing but are not prohibitively expensive," states Jason.
Award Winning Designs and Construction
Wasatch Homes was awarded the coveted People's Choice award and the prestigious Best of Show award in the 2002 Greater Salt Lake Parade of Homes. This double honor attests to the innovative designs and quality construction that are the hallmark of Wasatch Homes.
In addition, Wasatch Homes was recognized for outstanding floor plan, finish carpentry, flooring, concrete work, exterior masonry, and solid surfaces, as well as special recognition for interior design.
"We had an overwhelming, positive response to our home in the Parade of Homes. Many people commented that the home feels 'just right'," according to Jason.
Experience From the Ground Up
That "just right" feeling is no accident. Jason started working in the construction industry for his father, Jay Holt, who began building homes in the 1950's. It wasn't until Jason was in college, however, that he decided he wanted to be involved in the construction industry full time.
"When I was in high school, construction was the farthest thing from what I wanted to do," notes Jason. "I was a very academically focused student. However, when I went to college I scheduled my classes in the morning so I could work in the afternoon helping my dad frame houses. I found myself really enjoying it. I enjoyed seeing the progress. A stack of 2x4's and a stack of plywood would soon be the beginnings of a house. I had something tangible that I could see. I experienced feelings of accomplishment by doing it."
Jason decided to shift his focus from college to construction. For the next two years he continued running a framing crew and studied books, trade journals and magazines, concentrating on learning the construction industry from the ground up.
In 1995 Jason obtained his general contractor's license and established Wasatch Homes.
He reports, "I got together with a few subcontractors that I really liked and we started building spec homes. I put my experience as a framer to use and started designing homes that are different from my competitors'. I know how the boards and nails go together. I can design and build a home that has the same price as a 'cookie cutter' home, but with more flexibility for customization and with more appeal to the buyer."
The Customer Is The Top Priority
The home buyers' total experience is of great importance to Jason and his team. As Jason points out, "Our rule of thumb is to do everything we can to ensure a pleasant experience for our customers. Building a home is an emotional thing and the buyer has a lot on the line. This is the biggest investment they will ever make and so they have to have confidence in the people they are dealing with. We understand the gravity of that trust."
Jason adds, "For us, building a home is routine. We know how to deal with the glitches that happen along the way. I emphasize to my entire team that this is not 'routine' for the buyer. We have to be sensitive to their position. Between myself, my sales people and superintendent, we have a good system in place to help people through the whole process."
The well-oiled workings of this system start when a customer meets with an agent who helps determine the location, style of house and budget the customer has in mind. After the contract is signed, the home buyer has 45 days to decide what colors, fixtures, changes and upgrades, if any, they desire.
"I want all of my customers to know that I really do stand behind my name," states Jason. "My reputation is very important to me. I realize that a good reputation is the best form of marketing. At least a third of the customers we are working with right now are referrals from people we have built for in the past. I am very conscientious about maintaining a good relationship."
The day-to-day construction questions and concerns are handled by the construction superintendent. Also available are a committed and knowledgeable support staff to help with financing options or any other related needs. Once the house has been framed, the customer meets with the superintendent and together they complete a "four-way inspection". The buyer can customize further at this point and indicate where they want the electrical outlets to be placed in the various rooms. A final walk-through inspection takes place a week before closing. Wasatch Homes works extremely hard to have every facet of construction completed prior to delivery to the customer.
"We want the home to be completely finished so that when the customer moves in they can enjoy their new home and not have to worry about any loose ends," says Jason.
Another key factor to Wasatch Homes success is the caliber of subcontractors Jason works with. "We have the best subcontractors. When I hire my subs, it is not based on who will do it for the cheapest price," reports Jason. "We are looking for subcontractors that are conscientious about what they do and that have good systems in place to make sure their employees perform to the level of expectation that we require. Everyone that works for me has worked for me for at least two or three years and some have been working for me since I first started building."
"One advantage of being a small local builder is that we know the subs and the quality of their work, whereas some of these big, national companies come in and have no idea who the good subs are and are concerned only with the price factor. They are also limited in their flexibility. I feel confidant that the quality of construction we are doing is difficult to match," Jason adds.
Providing up-to-date information about Wasatch Homes is also a priority. An outstanding website and informative newsletter provide buyers and potential customers information ranging from building locations, models and financing to advice for home buyers.
Homeownership With Everyone In Mind
Wasatch Homes is currently offering a new marketing package for home buyers.
Knowing that each home buyer is unique and has specific wants and needs in a home prompted Jason and his team to develop a three-tier package.
The first tier, The American Dream Collection, has been created with first time buyers in mind. "I have designed homes that are very cost effective to build, but still have the look that distinguishes us. We are trying to make home ownership available to people who may have been left out," says Jason.
The Designer Collection, the second tier, with prices starting in the mid 160's to the 180's, has as some of its standard features: a grand bath with a separate jetted tub, central air, upgraded electrical for internet use and networking, a fireplace and upgraded light fixtures.
The Premier Collection features larger homes and has all of the standard features of the Designer Collection in addition to all tile flooring, solid surface countertops, upgraded hardware and more. "Many of the interior architectural features of these homes are typical of what you would see in homes in a much higher price range," notes Jason.
Committed to Excellence
Wasatch Homes is committed to providing its customers with the best quality, value and service. Builder/Architect Magazine, Utah Edition is proud to feature award winning home builder, Jason Holt and Wasatch Homes, Inc. as Builder of the Month. For further information, contact Wasatch Homes at (801) 557-6403 or visit www.wasatchhomes.com.