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2008 Best Builder: Christopherson Homes

Author: Amy K. Collins
May, 2008 Issue

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    Christopherson Homes, voted Best Builder by NorthBay biz readers, is a company dedicated to building neighborhoods while fostering a sense of true community. With slogans such as “Above all else, value people,” and “Together, everyone achieves more,” the company succeeds by emphasizing teamwork and relationships. Brenda Christopherson, executive vice president of sales and marketing and co-founder/co-owner of Christopherson Homes, says, “We are, and always have been, about people. We consider our customers not only homeowners, but also all who live and work in the communities where we work, our trade partners, our lenders, public officials, employees and their families.”

    Christopherson Homes is a residential developer currently building homes in eight Northern California counties, with close to 50 completed communities in the North Bay alone. Christopherson says the company is currently offering four North Bay communities: Olive Ridge, “a very high-end community in Novato”; Oak Hollow, “a special location of high-end homes in Bennett Valley in eastern Santa Rosa”; the Linwood neighborhood of Ragle Ranch in southeast Santa Rosa, comprised of townhomes and single-family homes “which are perfect for first-time buyers and also move-up buyers”; and Chaparral, the final, yet-to-be-built community within Ragle Ranch “which will be 139 higher-end homes surrounding a five-acre park.”

    When asked what customers look for in a builder, Christopherson replies, “We’ve found that buyers want more than just a home, they want a community…a neighborhood and home they can feel proud of and secure in.” Additionally, buyers look for homes that will offer resale opportunities “with a higher appreciation due to a strong and valued brand,” says Christopherson. With the median price of single-family homes in the $500,000s, North Bay buyers seem willing to pay higher prices for an attractive home in a safe neighborhood. “Superior location, along with a reliable warranty and customer service, is priceless,” she says.

    Christopherson believes her company is unique among competitors, because it typically creates new and attractive plans for each community. “We’re anything but a cookie-cutter builder,” she asserts. “We’re constantly asking ourselves, is this where we’d want to live?”

    The company’s “green commitment” means a commitment to building healthier homes that are energy- and water-efficient, and that are constructed according to green principles: Christopherson homes feature energy-efficient lights and appliances, low-flow water fixtures, insulated windows and low-VOC paints. Construction materials are recycled as much as possible, and new communities include solar energy, low-water landscaping and dual-flush toilets.

    For a residential builder, the highs and lows of the real estate market can be difficult to navigate successfully, but Christopherson has a positive outlook. In the current real estate cool-down, the company is simplifying processes, and its 27 employees have “become multitalented and more empowered,” she says.

    “This year, we’re taking advantage of the slower market to restructure our organization to a smaller but more effective and efficient company.”

    Despite the slowing market, Christopherson Homes continues to plan for the future. The company is looking for land for new communities in Northern California and also redesigning some communities to include more affordable homes, giving more people the opportunity to realize the dream of homeownership.



 

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