Real Estate and You w/ Brad Weisman

Go Grande or Go Home!

November 04, 2022 Brad Weisman, Realtor
Real Estate and You w/ Brad Weisman
Go Grande or Go Home!
Show Notes Transcript

My guest on this episode is Laura Grande of Grande Construction.  Her family has been building homes since the early 1980's.  We dig into (no pun intended), the challenges for builders post pandemic and what their family business sees for the future! 

So much information about New Construction in today's market. 

- Do we still have Supply Issues? 

- How about lumber prices... UP or Cooling Off? 

- How long to build? 

- What are the biggest challenges for builders today?  

I'm asking all the Questions... because I know Laura Grande, of Grande Construction, will have all the Answers!

Thanks to OUR SPONSOR FOR THIS SHOW:
Comfort Pro, Inc  
Heating And Air Conditioning 
610-926-4200

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Speaker 1:

Hello, this is Brad Wiseman. You'll listen to Real Estate and You , we are back in the studio and boy, we having fun today having a lot of fun. Right, Hugo? That's right. Right , That's right. We got a new guest here, of course. And we're really excited about this guest because I've been asking her to come in here for quite a while. She kept snobbing me off saying, No, no, I don't want to come in. Uh , and then finally she agreed to come in, which I'm really happy because I love the Grande family. We have Laura Grande right here in the studio with us and I've known The Grande for a very long time, cuz I've been in the business for a long time. So , uh, thank you for coming in today. You're

Speaker 2:

Welcome.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I appreciate that. And the name of this show, which we love to have names of shows, it's Go Grande or Go Home. Yep . Yep . Now that is awesome. How about that ? That's a good one, right? That's a good show . Good show name . That's right. So, okay. So you guys, your family is doing so much, you have been doing so much for so long. But let's jump into what, what we're here for. We're just talking about new construction. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, what are you, Okay. You're very involved now. Yeah . Cause when I call for new construction information, now it's you. Yes. Yeah, it's you. So tell me, what is your position?

Speaker 2:

Um, I'm the controller of the

Speaker 1:

Company. And you know what I said before, Of course she is <laugh>

Speaker 2:

Well, women get things done.

Speaker 1:

That's right, That's right. Now I , I like that you're the controller company, but you're doing a lot there. Yeah . I mean you're, you're dealing with, with customers, you're dealing with a lot.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Customers, surveyors, engineers, attorneys , um, the counting part, everything doing business. So you gotta do what you gotta

Speaker 1:

Do. That's a hell of a lot more than a controller.

Speaker 2:

I know. <laugh>, that's a lot more and it's , uh, ABC or d d all the above

Speaker 1:

D all the above. That's right. Well, I think it's awesome and I think the houses you build are beautiful. I've, I've shown a bunch of 'em . They're gorgeous homes. Your designs are amazing. The interiors are awesome. Um , but let's talk about this. So there's a family business mm-hmm. <affirmative>, right ? Yep . And, and was this something that has been going down through generations?

Speaker 2:

Um, well it all started with my grandfather and like the seventies. Okay. Um , and it was Tony Grande's and Sons and they did just couple homes here and there. Probably like 10 a year in like Colony Park and everything like

Speaker 1:

That. County Park. Yeah . Are you serious? Yep . Is that where they they made their start was in Colony Park? I believe so, yeah. Oh my gosh. That's amazing.

Speaker 2:

So my grandfather , uh, went back to Italy in 1982 and that's when my father took over and Oh wow. Started Grande Construction. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Wow. And that was in 1982, you said ?

Speaker 2:

1982. Wow .

Speaker 1:

40 years. Wow . A long time ago. I was 12 years old. Amazing. Wow.

Speaker 2:

Yeah , I was just

Speaker 1:

Born. So I just That's enough Laura . Laura, we don't have to go there. Okay .

Speaker 2:

That's why I told my dad it's the best year because with the company and you had the best twins.

Speaker 1:

That's right. That's right. You and Fabio , right? Yeah . Yeah, exactly. I didn't know you guys were twins until like two years ago because somebody said, You mean the twins? And I'm like, What do you mean the twins? I don't know of any Twin Grande. And they're like, Yeah, Fab and Laura. I'm like, Oh, I never knew that. Yep . That is hilarious. But now I see it, obviously. Yeah . Yeah . Well you guys all look alike though. Yeah . Your family's very, You can tell it you're a grande. Yep . Yeah. Okay, so let's get into this. How has it it been? What , what's new construction like? You know, we, we hear good things, bad things. We hear that. Oh my gosh. You know, cuz there's not enough inventory for the, for the county. Mm-hmm . <affirmative> , how is it going with new construction? Are you guys doing well?

Speaker 2:

We're doing great. We're doing amazing. Um, we have four active developments right now , so, And they're all Burkes County and Cull County. Good , good. Um, so the one in Cuco County is one of our newest projects. And that's doing amazing.

Speaker 1:

Same style houses, like different same style

Speaker 2:

Houses. Yes. Yeah . So, so good up there. And the price points in that range is like four 50 to five 20. Wow . And they're , they're going Wow .

Speaker 1:

They're going Inco County.

Speaker 2:

Insel County.

Speaker 1:

That's amazing. Yep . The taxes are lower though, right ? The taxes are lower.

Speaker 2:

Yeah , that's what I thought. There's a lot of people that are relocating as well. Okay . So it helps, it helps a lot with that. Um , and even the , the hospitals up there, but, and then in Berks County we have about three active developments. Okay .

Speaker 1:

Um , anything else coming up besides the

Speaker 2:

Three ? Yeah, we have, we have

Speaker 1:

Are these secrets or no secrets? There's secrets. Son of it gone , but , Well , there's , so you know , nobody listens to this show anyway, so you can say whatever you want, it's fine. Sure.

Speaker 2:

Um, no , uh, Berk Town we have um, our development's going, but we do have more land that we are purchasing and awesome. Gonna be doing. That's great. Preliminary plans and in that state right now.

Speaker 1:

That is great. Yeah . We , we need you guys so bad. We really do. We need new construction. We need new homes because it's the only thing that's gonna to help solve the inventory issue that we have. Yeah . Is new construction. Uh , and it's really just you and Berks I think are the only ones really building in the area. Yeah. Right. Is that right ? Yeah. Talk about, therefore a while we had supply issues mm-hmm. <affirmative> and we had, well I had supply issues and the prices were just going on lumber. I , I know that I had heard, and this is all stuff that I heard, that there was times where you didn't even wanna sign a contract. Cause by the time, by when you fi first signed a contract till the time it was the , the lumber package was there, it was probably 30% more. Yeah . What were you doing? How do you deal with

Speaker 2:

That On that, we would guarantee prices for 30 days cuz that's when everything was guaranteeing pricing. So if you signed a contract with us, we got everything with like the lumber, the window . She

Speaker 1:

Bought

Speaker 2:

Everything right away. Everything right away it was guaranteed 30 days. And then if you went from April, it was that price. And then if you wanted to sign in May it was could have been. Yeah . Five, 10, $15,000 more. All depends on

Speaker 1:

It was that much that was going

Speaker 2:

Up . It

Speaker 1:

Was . Yep . Now I had seen something off from another builder on Facebook that said that things have softened a little bit mm-hmm . <affirmative> Right . Two by fours have come down a little bit. I think some of the prices are coming down a little bit. Hopefully.

Speaker 2:

Yeah . They're getting more average, more sustainable.

Speaker 1:

Cause that's cuz you couldn't sustain that. Mm-hmm . <affirmative> . Right. I mean when you're telling somebody, by the way the house we priced out for you is now 50,000 more in one month. That's just crazy. You can't do that. Yeah. You can't do that. Exactly. So that's starting to get better. Yep . And are you getting supplies? I heard windows and doors , uh, that kind of stuff.

Speaker 2:

That stuff is getting a lot better before typically now it's about five weeks out, which is normal. Okay. Um, but what, a year ago or so? Yeah , it was like three, four months out. Really.

Speaker 1:

Yes. Yeah . And windows and doors are important. I heard. Yes .

Speaker 2:

You are very

Speaker 1:

Important. Yeah . I heard that. If you get, if you're building a house, if you don't have doors and windows, it's very tough for security .

Speaker 2:

I'm not gonna get certificate of

Speaker 1:

Occupancy for sure. <laugh> , you're I'm pretty sure you're not gonna get a certificate of occupancy. You're exactly right. Cause cuz everybody will occupy it without no doors on it. Yes. That's kind of funny. So that's getting better too. It is. Yeah . This is all good news. Great news. It is good news. Awesome. So what are the challenges you see now? What are the challenges of, of building in this, in this economy or in this world we're in right now?

Speaker 2:

Uh , supplies are getting better in reference to like windows lumbers and everything like that . Uh , just on supplies. Appliances. People who bought appliances recently, they are 6, 7, 8 months out at some time . Wow. Garage doors if you want

Speaker 1:

Cars , garage doors

Speaker 2:

If you want like those custom wood grain garage doors. Yeah . Um , they're six months out

Speaker 1:

So we should start a garage door company. Hugo, let's forget about this whole podcast . We're to invest , we're gonna start building garage doors in here. We're gonna clear out all the equip . That's incredible. Garage

Speaker 2:

Doors. Garage doors.

Speaker 1:

Um , where are they made that? It's that tough,

Speaker 2:

Not short . Do they make, I don't think there's enough people that want those specific kind. Got it . Garage doors. So they have like the standard ones, but sometimes even the standard ones are, are back ordered.

Speaker 1:

Interestinghmm

Speaker 2:

Fireplaces.

Speaker 1:

Fireplaces. Mm-hmm . <affirmative> like gas fireplaces.

Speaker 2:

Gas fireplaces

Speaker 1:

Are on back order. Yes. Wow. So what do you do in this situation where you can't get the garage door, put a , a cheap one there for now

Speaker 2:

That you put Yeah, we had examples is um, a house that sold the day that they close . We switched out the garage door cuz it came the day they set

Speaker 1:

Up out here. But you can put a different want on there to pass the Uno and all that stuff. Yeah. Yeah. All right . So tell me from the time you find a piece of land to the time you can build a house, how long

Speaker 2:

Typically? About two to three years. Um ,

Speaker 1:

Two to three years. Yeah . So what do you guys during , what do you do during that time? Just stand around. Do nothing. Yeah . Nothing. Just look at the land and go just like , Oh , this is fun. This is fun. This is fun.

Speaker 2:

What do you do? Well in that timeframe you have to get um , approvals. You have to meet with townships, get a township approvals, then preliminary plans, engineering then started doing the infrastructures such as Wow . Sewers. Yeah . Um , electrical , um, monuments.

Speaker 1:

Three, sometimes three years.

Speaker 2:

Sometimes it all typically if it's the township kind of can prolong it. Yeah. And that's what it is. But it takes, it takes about two to

Speaker 1:

Three years. Yeah . And that's, there sounds like there's some money involved there.

Speaker 2:

There is that just

Speaker 1:

A little bit. Yeah. Cuz you got attorneys involved. Engineers , um, you got Yeah . Everybody involved. I it's a lot.

Speaker 2:

And then even buying the material for that as well.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Right. So you buy the land, you do all that stuff and you don't make a dime until you sell a house.

Speaker 2:

So you put a shovel on dirt

Speaker 1:

Turn Yeah, exactly.

Speaker 2:

To start

Speaker 1:

Going. It's amazing. Right? It is . There's a lot that has to happen.

Speaker 2:

It is. A lot of people don't know that. But it's also fun. Oh , to learn about it. Mm-hmm . <affirmative> and then like, we're just doing another project and I was on site yesterday mm-hmm . <affirmative> and then I'm watching them steak and like going around and looking at where the curb cut's gonna be. Yeah . And like where the driveways are and the lot land. Like the lot dimensions. It's it's neat. It's

Speaker 1:

Neat. Yeah . I remember doing that. We , I represented gr homes . You guys, your dad and , and Walter Gre were always good friends and Yeah . And uh , I represented him for a while and he's now retired. But it , I remember that too. There's something about that excitement of seeing a piece of land, raw land. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah . And then starting to, they're staking it out. I always thought when they started just putting in the road and you start seeing the center line of the road Yep . And they start digging that in and then the curb cut , the curbs go in . Exactly That . There is neat. It's amazing

Speaker 2:

Because then you can vision what's gonna , what it's gonna look like. Yeah . And like the homes where they're gonna be. And like, it's, it's just an amazing thing that you can see five, 10 years from now where it's gonna be a finished product and

Speaker 1:

You're building, you're building, you know , um, complete lifestyles. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know , you , you're creating, you know, I look at Warner Farm cause that's where I live and, and , and I help build most of those. Not I help sell those. And it's amazing. All the , all the lives, all the stories, all the kids, all the people that , uh, and memories that have been made in that community. It's kind of cool. It's so cool. And that's a legacy for your family. Yeah . It's a legacy for you guys. So it's, it's kind of neat. I love what's cool is I love to see the passion that you have for it. You know, that's kind of neat cuz a lot of times when people go from uh , family business and, and they start to kind of take over cuz your dad was doing it, a lot of it . Mm-hmm . <affirmative> and then, you know , the kids are coming in now. And to see the passion that you still have is cool because it , that's not always the case. Yeah. A lot of kids will actually end up taking over a family business or, or starting to run it and they're doing it because this is what dad did. Yeah. You know, they don't do it cuz they love it. And I see that you love it. I can see that when in your , when you're smile and you smile about it ,

Speaker 2:

It's fun. It's , it is a lot of challenges but I love it.

Speaker 1:

So tell me, what are people looking for in houses today? What's the big thing?

Speaker 2:

Well, you're always gonna be in the house. Like in your kitchen area. Yeah . And your living room and your foyer area. Oh , not your foyer , I'm sorry. Like your family room area. So open concept. Okay.

Speaker 1:

Still open concept. So good . No

Speaker 2:

Open concept. Um , everyone, nobody needs a dining room anymore as much. Gotcha . Cause

Speaker 1:

It's

Speaker 2:

All I agree Right. In the uh , kitchen area. But you still need a dining room. Yeah . You know , for formal

Speaker 1:

Times. Exactly. Yeah. We use ours three times each a year . That's it. But you know what, those three times a year, the dining room, it's packed. It's packed. And we use it to , to its fullest. Right . And if we didn't have it, I don't know where we would go. You know what what I mean like what would you do? You

Speaker 2:

Know, you still need it. Yeah, absolutely. Um, but yeah, that , um, also the master bedrooms, like, you know, the custom tiled showers and the soaking tubs. Those are big. Those are awesome.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. The soaking tubs now are like these oval. Like, like inter Do you , do you know uh , Julie Garmin? Yes. You do? So she was in here for a show. She's fantastic. We always talk about those guys. So those things are big, big showers, right? Mm-hmm <affirmative> ,

Speaker 2:

Big shower ,

Speaker 1:

Bigger, the better big, bigger the better . Go home

Speaker 2:

<laugh>

Speaker 1:

You go . That works for everything. I love that. It works for everything. There you go . My

Speaker 2:

Goodness. My niece actually used that for her slogan for like student present. So

Speaker 1:

Oh that , that's good for student counselors . Something like that. Yes. Yes. That's a good, it's a good slogan. I mean, why not? You know? Great . Yeah . So the showers. Yes. And I agree with that. Now is there anything new in the kitchen going on? Like what are people doing? You know , um, Julie had said about different colors and things coming into play. Yes . Are you seeing that too?

Speaker 2:

Yes. It's so fun. I love it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Kitchens are awesome. See it . She does. She gets But you , you're really into that stuff, right? Yeah. Cause I noticed when you started getting involved, things started , Things started changing. Started changing. Yes . It's

Speaker 2:

Like, Dad, sit down. You never cooked before. Simmer down . We gotta do ,

Speaker 1:

I love this. I love this.

Speaker 2:

But like , um, even the, I Yeah she was saying the islands like different colors. Yeah , yeah. Yeah . Um, that's so fun to do.

Speaker 1:

So you guys are doing that?

Speaker 2:

We do papa color . Like we've done green and blues. Yes . Reds like it's

Speaker 1:

Ooh red. You know. I like red <laugh> . Yes. I love red.

Speaker 2:

It kind of brings out the like the characteristic their person.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely. Absolutely. What about um, countertops? Are we still seeing Granite?

Speaker 2:

Granite and

Speaker 1:

Quartz? Granite and courts . Okay. Those are the two . A

Speaker 2:

Little bit of both. Um, I think more people are going towards the courts cuz everybody likes the white look and the cow cutta looks . So I think that's kind of more the court

Speaker 1:

Side . Like it's more consistent looking . Mm-hmm . <affirmative> more even consistent sh uh , looking. Yeah. It's amazing. I'm trying to think if there's anything else that I wanted to ask you about. I have a question. Oh, go ahead.

Speaker 2:

What is the most unusual request that you have had?

Speaker 1:

Oh , good question. Into

Speaker 2:

A home. Unusual. Yes. He was like, oh man, that's unique or something.

Speaker 1:

Hmm . I know one that we had at gr Urinal. <laugh>.

Speaker 2:

I've done a urinal before.

Speaker 1:

Yeah . Yeah. And , and now you haven't gone into urinal? No . Okay . Just cause I was gonna say it's a little weird. It's a different show. Very different show. We can go that way if you want, but it's gonna be weird. <laugh> .

Speaker 2:

No, it was more, it was for the man cave, so Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Yep . I've actually seen him in the master. We did one, any master bedroom.

Speaker 2:

Actually I did have a request for that and I , I

Speaker 1:

Think it's a little, I don't think it's, it just doesn't do anything for me. No , Yeah . No , I get that. It's easy but nah.

Speaker 2:

Um ,

Speaker 1:

Yeah. What kind of weird request? Anything weird.

Speaker 2:

I'm gonna have to think

Speaker 1:

About that . Yeah, you'll have to think about that. You'll have to get back to us. It's a great question though . I love that question. Where does , what does the future grande, like where do you guys see , see yourselves going?

Speaker 2:

Um, keep building. So keep

Speaker 1:

Building.

Speaker 2:

Love it. A lot of land that we've purchased throughout the year . So it's kind of like what's gonna be next? Yeah . Which part of the land, which part of the developments we're gonna start with. Yeah . We have a lot going. Um, which is exciting. It's very exciting. So, and it's not just gonna be, you know, five, 10 years, it's gonna be for our, you know, legacy to continue as well.

Speaker 1:

Yeah . Because because it is so, such delayed gratification in your business as far as buying and then building, you know, you really have to plan. You have to plan pretty far out, you know, cuz you know , and , and the thing is, is land. You gotta get the land. Where's the land? Where's the land? Exactly. I gotta make some Where's the land? Yeah .

Speaker 2:

I'm not gonna tell you that secret. How I make it. That's

Speaker 1:

Hey, you and God <laugh> .

Speaker 2:

We're roll dogs . We're good. <laugh> .

Speaker 1:

That's fine . Great . No, but seriously, I , I think that's good news. That's really makes me happy for the county because we need it. We really do. Yeah , we do. We need it big time . So is there anything else you can think about? We were talking about struggles. We talked about, about, oh, how is it going? The interest rates? I mean is there's people, are they , is that affecting anything?

Speaker 2:

It has a little bit with our product and like the price ranges of our product. It's kind of like a lot of people are like, I need this house. Yeah . Because if I wait for another a year or so, it's not gonna be there. Nope . And it's gonna be even more expensive probably. So let me bite the bullet and pay higher interest rate. And maybe in two years, re

Speaker 1:

Five . See isn't it funny, All smart people think alike. Yeah , I know, right? Isn't that funny? We didn't talk about that at all, right? Mm-hmm <affirmative> . But we're all in the same, we're all in the same boat. Basically. It's buy the house you want now get the rate you want later. Correct. Because we all know it's not gonna stay. Rates are gonna stay high, they'll come down, you

Speaker 2:

Refinance. Exactly. Yeah. And there's a lot of , um, lenders as well. Like they will lock you in a rate for eight to 12 months.

Speaker 1:

Actually they are doing that now, which is awesome.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So if you're building and you can lock that rate in, but then once you settle and it drops, Yeah . They'll give you the lower

Speaker 1:

Rate, which is awesome. So it's

Speaker 2:

Like a

Speaker 1:

Win win . It's , it's a no-brainer. Why wouldn't you do that? Okay, so one more thing. How long, how long does it take to build the house?

Speaker 2:

Depending on the house size, typically six to eight months. And the time of the year.

Speaker 1:

Okay. And customization. Oh yeah. Cuz if it's winter it could be a little

Speaker 2:

Slower . Maybe . I always take out February

Speaker 1:

Out cuz that's cold. Yeah. And you got some serious times there and

Speaker 2:

Snow and we, you waste three weeks and snow removals and all that stuff. Cause we do all that for our developments.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's right. That's right. So, okay, so I wanted to uh , wrap this up, but I wanna talk about Russos just a little bit. Yeah . At the end of the show here. So you guys, all your family also owns Russos, which is an amazing Italian market that is also family owned . You guys are , you guys are involved in ev in all that stuff.

Speaker 2:

We can build your house and we can cater your open houses

Speaker 1:

And I can't tell you how many times. Yes, exactly. I can't tell you how many times we've bought. We cater a lot through you guys. When we have , when we have , uh, parties at our house, birthday parties, things like that. We get your meatballs. We get sometimes we'll just get the , the tomato pies or It's all good. It's everyone's good. You're making me hungry. I

Speaker 2:

It's lunch time anyway. I think

Speaker 1:

You Yeah . You have to eat after this. So, so thanks so much for coming in here. You welcome . I really appreciate it. We'll have to have you come in again, do some updates on the new developments coming out and everything like that. Definitely. But I , I love it. Uh , I love what you guys are doing. The houses look great and I , I just appreciate you being on here. This is great. Thank you . Okay , thanks a lot. Hey guys. Right there you go. There we go. Laura Grande. We finally got her in here. She finally agreed. It took a while . We had a Coke, sir , but she got in here and that's good. And uh , you know, if you're looking for new construction or looking to build a house, I would definitely suggest looking up them up. Just Google Grande uh , construction in Berks County. You'll find it. They have all kinds of cool information on there. And you can get in touch with Laura and She'll , uh, she'll put you in the right direction for sure. All right , Thanks so much. We'll see you next week.