Don Price, president of LM Custom Homes, acknowledges that the custom build market is changing. But he stands prepared to give the next generation what they need. “We find ourselves in an interesting time where housing goals are more varied generationally than I’ve ever seen them,” he explains. On one end are the millennials, who are more budget conscious and not interested in buying large, expensive homes with the accompanying maintenance and costs. On the other end are the empty nesters, looking to downsize into more manageable home and lot sizes. Neither market is easy. Even “tear downs” on smaller lots do not fit the criteria due to the high cost of new construction today. “We can’t turn out a nice product for less than a million dollars,” he says. One solution, says Price, is the renovation market. “We are re-introducing the idea of taking solidly-built homes with existing architectural character and recreating them. The functional parts of the home are modernized and the value they are getting can be considerable,” he says. “We work with people who want us to be a teammate by starting the process up front with the reality of the housing stock available and a budget in mind. We end up in a place that meets or exceeds their expectations and meets their budget.” Price gives the example of an empty-nester couple in Hinsdale who initially wanted to sell and find a smaller home more suitable for entertaining their children and grandchildren. When they realized that not only was their home outdated, but that what they were looking for didn’t exist on the market, the couple met with the team at LM, who took them through the design-build process. LM collaborated with local architect, CVG, in the design of the home. The result is a 1970’s home that has been transformed into an updated open-floor concept home that radiates space and light and perfectly suits the family’s needs—and budget. “It’s a journey,” sums up Price. “As a company, for the next year or two, we are focused on solving this puzzle and adapting to what our customers are looking for. We like the spice of that and the challenge of that.”
LM Custom Homes is located at 115 55th Street, Suite 300, in Clarendon
Hills, 630-560-2905, buildlm.com.