Scott Linnemeyer, owner Beacon Street Properties
Welcome to the Neighborhood
Beacon Street Properties sets the pace for new-home sales
1. We saw Beacon Street Properties grow rapidly in the past few years. Which market conditions allowed for that success? We were able to take advantage of several opportunities that presented themselves, thus positioned ourselves to grow even though the real estate market was down as a whole. We purchased several stalled neighborhoods during the past few years and were able to regain the momentum within these neighborhoods
2. Your company was founded in 2006, just before the housing crisis. What was it like confronting those two major struggles? We established Beacon Street Properties LLC in 2006. We originally chose Columbia because it was a college town, and our main focus was investing in and building rental property. During those first few years, we also tried our hand on a small scale by building 10 to 15 new-construction homes per year. The real catalyst in changing our focus to becoming primarily a new-home builder came in 2009, when we purchased the remaining lots in Thornbrook. We were having good success with that venture, so we ended up purchasing the remaining lots in Mill Creek Manor and Monterey Hills as well.
3. Why are so many Columbia homebuyers attracted to Beacon Street homes? I think we attract Columbia homebuyers primarily because we include a lot of upgrades and extras that buyers are looking for in a new home, and we do this at a competitive and fair price compared to the other options out there. A lot of times we can provide new homes at the same or better price than comparable existing homes on the market. When that is the case, new homes will win out a majority of the time.
4. New-home sales were up 40 percent from 2011 to 2012. What role did Beacon Street play in that jump? All we can do is try and provide as many new homes as the market can handle. There was a pent-up demand for new homes, and now that the banks have loosened up a bit, we have seen the activity levels increase. I would imagine that all builders are experiencing the same increase as we are.
5. Single-family home prices in Columbia tend to hover between $175,000 and $185,000. How does your pricing model fit into that trend? Homes in the $150,000 to $185,000 are always going to make up the biggest percentage of new-home sales in Columbia, and we try to position ourselves in that market at all times. We do believe in having a diverse inventory of homes, so we build homes in all price points.
6. On average, how long do your new houses sit on the market? How has this number changed since your founding? In today’s market, new homes are going under contract quicker than I can remember for a long time. Buyers are buying homes while they are still being framed, and multiple offers are coming in on homes; it certainly seems to be a seller’s market right now. The days of buyers making low-ball offers are over; builders and sellers aren’t even responding to these types of offers. As long as supply and demand stay where they are, this trend will continue.
7. What makes Beacon Street Properties different from the other housing developers in the Columbia market? This question is always tough. There are a lot of good, quality homebuilders in the Columbia market. I will say, though, that we have a great team in place at Beacon Street. Everyone is focused and dedicated to his or her job, so that helps us grow and succeed as a company. Over the years, we have tried to surround ourselves with the best subcontractors and vendors in Columbia; this makes a big difference in the finished product and the experience we have with our buyers.