A North Carolina builder is catering to young buyers with a design process developed just for them. 

Cary, N.C.-based Garman Homes recently launched Fresh Paint, a brand designed to appeal to millennials by offering customization options for everything from floor plans to finishes. The approach blends the affordability of a pre-built home with the individual flair of a custom build, allowing home buyers to choose from free interior design packages curated by professionals on staff. 

Garman kicked off this approach at its homes at Wendell Falls, a 1,115-acre mixed-use community in Wendell, N.C., developed by Newland Communities. Fresh Paint secured the first pre-sale at Wendell Falls and has a current total of six home sales, the most of any builder in the community. 

Here, BUILDER talks with Allison King, vice president of product design at Garman Homes about the success of the program. 

Wendell Falls

When completed, Wendell Falls near Raleigh, N.C., will be the third largest mixed-used development on the East Coast. It will include up to 4,000 single-family and multifamily homes, nearly 2 million square feet of on-site shopping and entertainment, and 273 acres of parks and open space. 

Participating builders include Dan Ryan Builders, Fresh Paint by Garman Homes, Garman Homes, Homes By Dickerson, M/I Homes, Lennar, and Wynn Homes. 

Floor plans will range from 1,400 to more than 3,200 square feet at price points from the $180,000s to the $400,000s designed to appeal to buyers in all stages of life.

What is Fresh Paint?
Garman Homes developed its new Fresh Paint brand out of a desire to disrupt the status quo by offering today's design-savvy buyers a refreshing, effortless home building experience.  Fresh Paint is the only home builder that creates homes for people who “rage against builder beige.” 

Young consumers want a personalized home but often don’t have the funds or time to painstakingly select each feature. Fresh Paint offers a customization process that allows home buyers to personalize everything from floor plans to finishes. Rather than painstakingly selecting each feature, home buyers can create free interior design packages developed by the professionals on staff. Fresh Paint blends the affordability of a pre-built home with the individual flair and personalized touch of a custom build.  

How does this approach appeal to millennials?
The appeal to millennials came straight from our very first Fresh Paint buyers in Wendell Falls. They said: “It really took a lot of the stress out of the process, and I feel like we have this designer home that we picked out in less than 30 minutes.”  

One of the strongest appeals of Fresh Paint for millennials is the easy, streamlined process along with the fact that they get far more design features than they thought they could afford. However, the value of the curated whole home design package extends beyond this. In addition to millennials, many buyers—even those with ample resources—could not otherwise replicate the look and feel that we are able to achieve. 

What top three things do millennials want in a new home?
Millennials want to feel that their new home is unique, stylish, and meaningful. Cutting-edge trends matter a great deal to millennials. And since time is a valuable commodity to this demographic, they desire a streamlined, memorable experience. Affordability, in addition, plays a big role as the majority of this generation is dealing with first time jobs and/or student loan debt. They are seeking value as well as forward-thinking design in their first true investment. 

Are other buyers interested in this approach?
Fresh Paint is resonating with all types of design-savvy buyers. They appreciate the ease in which they are able to make decisions because the hard work has already been done for them. While originally targeting millennials, we've been excited to learn that this brand and experience is appealing to many different demographics. We also think that it is resonating with millennials simply from the fact that it is decidedly different; it is not the same way their parents bought a home and it feels like a more modern approach. Millennials aren't just looking for hip and urban locations; they want to feel like they are part of a community and contributing to the greater good—all something to be found Wendell Falls.