No. 54: Edge Homes

Back in 2007, as the housing market was crashing and taking scores of banks, brokers, and builders with it, Gordon Jones and Steve Maddox were sizing up the market for multifamily. Though they worked at different multifamily companies, they knew each other well. Jones was a framer by trade, Maddox more a land and marketing guy. Both had been general contractors, and what they saw was not promising. Jones, with another since-departed partner, decided to abandon the multifamily market and start a single-family home building company. They called it Edge Homes. Maddox soon joined on.

Gordon Jones and Steve Maddox - Edge Homes
Noah Kalina

It seemed risky at first, but Jones and Maddox had a unique business model. Unencumbered by land or inventory, they became something of a build-to-suit contractor on other people’s land—specifically that belonging to banks, developers, investors, and other builders. They approached people who were holding distressed dirt. The idea was that first a sale would be made, then the house built, and finally the landownership transferred as the deal was about to close. This way, according to Jones, the landowner, instead of getting 30 cents on the dollar for distressed assets, would get more like 70.In 2008, Edge built two such homes. Then came a tract of 30 lots in bulk, and Edge set about modifying its simple, straightforward entry-level design by bringing in an architect friend who would sit with each prospective home buyer and customize the home to fit. The company learned much about what customers want from those meetings.

“It was really an experiment,” Jones says. “We had a good product at a good price, and it was efficient.”

Not only did Edge sell those 30 homes, it went on to sell 176 in 2009. The banks were impressed. “That really launched Edge,” Jones recalls. “We had a reputation as a good buyer, a good developer.”

Edge Homes has for several years now been one of the fastest-growing home builders in America, coming in at No. 54 on this year’s Builder 100. The Orem, Utah–based company operates in more than 30 communities along the Wasatch Front, including Salt Lake City.
The company now owns and develops its land, has moved upmarket a bit, and is even back in the townhome business. It still emphasizes its “affordable-yet-customizable” designs and employs a robust website featuring everything from an online design center to quick, entertaining video presentations from staff for home buyers and homeowners.

“Edge Homes stands out because of an innovative approach to solutions,” says Jones. “And the decisions are based on buyers’ home-buying experience, one buyer at a time.”

Bill Gloede

More Builder Profiles from the 2016 BUILDER 100:

HHHunt Corp.No. 79Builder 100 Builder 100No. 52Bloomfield Homes Edge HomesBuilder 100No. 54 Taylor Morrison Builder 100 No. 8 Builder 100No. 172The BozzutoGroup Builder 100No. 141 Trumark Cos.