Talk about hitting the ground running.
Saint Aubyn Homes in Colorado Springs, Colo., opened for business last October and closed its first home on Dec. 22, 2009. Four months later, it had 60 sales under its belt, and its 31-year-old owner Jared Saint Aubyn was projecting between 180 and 210 closings in 2010.
The startup company, which builds in four subdivisions, benefits from being in one of the country’s recovering housing markets, where builders pulled 411 permits in Colorado’s El Paso County in the first quarter of 2010, versus 71 in the same period last year, according to the Pikes Peak Building Department.
There’s still a ton of foreclosed lots on the market, and about two-fifths of the lots Saint Aubyn’s company controls are foreclosures. He’s quick to note, however, that his best-selling community, in Lorson Ranch, has no foreclosed lots.
Saint Aubyn admits his timing couldn’t have been better. “The area we’re in is a rebounding market,” with a strong military presence and strengthening job base. After graduating from the University of New Mexico in 2001, Saint Aubyn went to work for Hensel Phelps Construction, one of Colorado’s largest general contractors. Four years later, he joined J&J Construction. He moved from Greeley, Colo., to Colorado Springs to open J&J’s division there, which became Journey Homes, where Saint Aubyn worked as construction manager until last fall.
Private equity investors approached him about starting his own business, impressed with the job Saint Aubyn was doing at Journey, which has been among El Paso County’s top three builders, and where he was completing houses in 50 days.
Given that Saint Aubyn Homes has 20 to 40 specs on the ground, he needed between $4 million and $8 million in capital to get the company running. He hasn’t sought bank financing yet.
Saint Aubyn Homes builds single-family houses that range from 1,200 to 3,100 square feet and sell for between $189,000 and $250,000. Its multifamily products range from 1,174 to 1,845 square feet and are priced at $139,000 to $169,000. What marks these houses, says Saint Aubyn, are their modern plans that include as standard features hardwood floors, crown molding, and glass tile.
His company’s “hectic growth” isn’t holding Saint Aubyn back. He has land deals cooking in northern and central Colorado. He envisions his company in five years selling 250 to 300 homes per year in Colorado Springs and between 150 and 200 in other markets, and he’s already looking outside the state..
Learn more about markets featured in this article: Colorado Springs, CO.