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Old Island introduces The Cottages

Don Fenley • Apr 1, 2013 at 2:53 AM

Kingsport's new home market is roaring into the peak season with a dynamic new partnership and products leading the way.

Jerry Petzoldt and Michael Hartgrove of Lifestyle Development have been at the cutting edge of the area's real estate industry since the 1980s. This year's innovation is a nexus of eight new Cottage Plans for Old Island, Kingsport's premier lifestyle community, and a partnership with TruLife Realty and TruLife Homes with their cutting-edge customizable homes that afford buyers a statement of individuality with exceptional quality.

Last year, TruLife built almost half the new homes in Kingsport. This year, it will become the Tri-Cities' second largest builder. Eric Kistner, Director of Sales and Marketing, says one of "our claims to fame is, of the 40 homes we'll build this year, 20 will be Pre-Sold, and 20 will be built as spec homes." That's a new reality driven by regulatory lending practices.

The genesis of TruLife's growth during a time when the new home market was depressed comes from market research that found people wanted a custom home, but just couldn't get a loan or meet the other requirements. Buyers were also turned off by the hassles that often accompany building a new home. TruLife reversed those negatives with a business model that gives buyers a luxurious-in-design customizable home that can be financed with a regular loan. At the same time, it makes the new home-building processes "easy."

Kistner says the firm's core mission is building a "great house at a great price" and creating customers who refer us to their friends. We want "raving fans" that are on Facebook and Twitter telling the story, he explained.

Energy-efficient homes that build extra value are at the foundation of TruLife Homes. It takes Energy Star a step further - beyond what local codes require. The result is larger energy savings. Kistner says, "Look at it this way, saving just $100 a month on the energy bill over the life of a 30-year mortgage is a $36,000 savings and, when the time for resale comes, it makes a TruLife home more competitive."

A key no-hassle facet is TruLife Homes Selection Center, located in the downtown Kingsport Progress Building with their partners TruLife Realty. Buyers love it. The traditional custom home process involves buyers getting allowances for everything from bricks to flooring. They shop for those items and give their selections to the builder. It's a process prone to cost overruns and builder-buyer animosity. A TruLife customer comes into the Selection Center and spends two to four hours picking out the tile, carpet, flooring, fixtures, makes the cabinet choices, and everything else that goes into their home. When they're finished, everything is keyed into a computer program that everyone in the process has access to; this allows for thorough communication. If the buyer makes a change, the program immediately readjusts the price. That gives the buyer peace of mind and a guaranteed price. It also provides TruLife a checklist process to ensure they "get it right the first time."

Bringing the TruLife process and the Cottage Plans to Old Island, which is about 60 percent sold out, melds the best of two worlds. The floor plans are open and adaptable to the needs of any family and Petzoldt points out the economics of real estate is near the point where it's better to buy a new home. Kistner agrees.

"They're more efficient, they’re built to higher standards, and they have a better resale position in a county where 88 percent of all occupied homes are now 20 years old or older."

"Old Island is four neighborhoods... one community, with the peace and tranquility like no other community in Kingsport," says Old Island's Cassie Petzoldt, Vice President, Lifestyle Development. "The Cottages" will reside in the Crockett Landing neighborhood, along the fourth fairway of Crockett Ridge Golf Course. Other neighborhoods include Old Island Residential, with its scenic vistas of fairways and greens; Treetop Estates, with its 3- to 5-acre lots and distinct estates; and The Islands, with its captivating mountain views and the finest local upscale living.

"Old Island is Kingsport's best-kept secret, a real treasure," Jerry Petzoldt added.

Visit http://www.oldislandhomes.com/.

Call Trulife Realty at 423-343-4307 or Lifestyle Development at 423-677-6348 to build your Dream Home now! "We make Building Easy!"

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