Interested in owning a new home? Come to the Builder Market Place

Perhaps you’ve thought that you could never afford a brand new house, perhaps you’ve heard too many horror stories about builders who go way over budget, or couples who need a marriage counselor to get them through the home building process. There are a lot of misconceptions and fears when it comes to building or buying a brand new house, and the Builder Market Place, happening on the first four Thursday nights during the downtown Market on Main in August, is a great opportunity to meet builders, ask questions and learn more about the home building process.

“We want to encourage home-ownership,” said Kim Alexander with Wells Fargo, which is sponsoring the event. “This allows time and space to meet the builders and give people an opportunity to ask questions.”

A different builder, along with the builder’s real estate agent, will be featured every week, giving participants a wider sampling of the typical new homes that are being built across the Grand Valley.

Ron Abeloe with Chaparral West, who has long been a champion of building homes that those who earn the average Grand Junction wage can afford, will be at the Builder Market Place on Aug. 1 with Nate Richardson of United Country Real Colorado Properties.

Abeloe is the first to admit that he is not a custom home builder, but one who focuses on multiple homes in a neighborhood. He’s excited for the opportunity to talk about Sage Meadows, which is new home development off Riverside Parkway brought to the real estate market by Richardson.

“This is an opportunity for us to get our homes in Sage Meadows out there,” Abeloe said. Chaparral West has purchased about half of the building lots in the neighborhood and has two homes under contract in the neighborhood.

Charlie and Wendy Gechter, owners of BOA Builders, will be at the second Builder Market Place on Aug. 8. Wendy recently obtained her real estate license and works with EXP Realty. She’s excited about being able to offer real estate services to their clients. The couple also published a quick-read guide about the home building process.

Michael Genevay with Clayton Homes will be the featured builder on Aug. 15. Clayton Homes is a national company with a Grand Junction showroom that caters to customers across the Western Slope. Clayton sells both manufactured and modular housing, and Genevay encourages people to come out to the Clayton Homes location to tour available models and products.

“For years, people had a perception of a wobbly home, an aluminum box,” he said. “Every Saturday all the homes are open and unlocked.”

The construction, quality, materials, and amenities have all been upgraded and improved since the 1970s and ’80s, and modular homes, in particular, are considered the equivalent of a stick-built home in the eyes of lenders and appraisers.

Clayton Homes also has an in-house construction loan program that allows the company to combine the land, the home and the improvements into one loan for buyers who are pre-approved from their lender.

“If you’re looking for something that’s less costly per square foot, that’s the way to go,” Genevay said.


Justin Howell with J. Howell Builders, the featured builder on Aug. 22, is excited about the opportunity to educate the public and make the process easier for consumers.

“The general perception is that it (the home-building process) will be stressful, demanding and that it will be hard on a marriage,” Howell said. “If you have a clear expectation of the building process, you’ll know what’s coming.”

This is Howell’s first year to participate in the Builder Market Place, and he’s excited about the chance to connect with consumers and help them understand the process.

“When it’s well-planned, they (custom home buyers) will love where they live, they’ll make some friends out of the transaction and they’ll enjoy the process,” Howell said.

The Builder Market Place will be at the United Country Real Estate office, 428 Main St., from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on the first four Thursdays in August.