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Continued: Viewpoint: Graham Epperson of Pulte Homes

  • Article by: JIM BUCHTA , Star Tribune
  • Last update: May 10, 2014 - 4:08 PM

 

Q: Where’s the biggest growth opportunity in this market?

A: Our Centex brand is primarily focused on the first-time buyer. To make that work, though, we need a return of the first-time, new-home buyer. While the housing recovery is clearly underway, the first-time-buyer segment seems to be a little slow to get back into the market, but we expect they will. We know they’re out there, they need places to live. And with rents getting more expensive, we feel we can provide a product to satisfy their housing needs.

 

Q: Very few townhouses are being built in the Twin Cities. Would you expect that to change?

A: From what I’ve leaned during my four weeks here, there appears to be an opportunity to revitalize the attached-housing market, specifically for that first-time buyer. We might be getting to the point where that product is viable again.

 

Q: Any design trends we should be on the lookout for over the next several years?

A: We’re looking at opportunities to enable the consumer to become more flexible about how they allocate their space. We want to give our consumers the chance to truly personalize their home to best fit their family’s needs.

 

Q: What trends will disappear?

A: What’s going away are the restricted two options, ‘Do you want option A or option B?’ We’re interested in saying. ‘Here’s C, D, E, F and G.’ ”

 

Q: You’re familiar with several national markets; what’s unique about this one?

A: This is a very close-knit building community, and this is an environment that has to deal with challenges that others do not. Building through the winter, especially this past winter, was challenging to say the least. One of the first weeks here I was out on a homesite where they were doing excavation for the foundation and I saw them pull out a piece of frost about the size of a VW Bug and put it in a truck. Now that’s unique.

 

Jim Buchta • 612-673-7376

  • related content

  • President Graham Epperson says Pulte Homes Minnesota is one of the national builder’s smaller markets in terms of units, something he wants to change.

  • Title: Division president, Pulte Homes Minnesota

    Age, hometown: 38, Seattle

    Education: Degrees in finance and marketing from the University of Arizona, Tuscon

    Family: Wife, Anita, and two daughters

    Hobbies: Golf

    Vacation fave: Maui

    About Pulte: Last year the Michigan-based company built 274 housing units worth $131 million in Minnesota.

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