By RUBY KEARCE
Bobby DeVoursney, CEO of Custom Home Shop in DeFuniak Springs, sat down to discuss a new affordable housing opportunity in Walton County for teachers, law enforcement officers, first responders, hospitality workers, and other service professionals. Custom Home Shop has a facility in DeFuniak Springs that builds modular homes on site in the facility, and also has a commercial arm in Alys Beach.
Custom Home Shop’s mission is to provide an affordable housing option. DeVoursney said that the main goal is to positively impact the lives of those being priced out of the area.
DeVoursney explained that the company is currently working on migrating from the typical stick frame home to a green model. Custom Home Shops is working with a company out of Mobile, Ala. that manufactures SIP panels, a fabricated wall. When Custom Home Shops receives an order for a home they will take the specifications to this company in Mobile, which will then send the completed walls back; the home can be built in a matter of weeks rather than months.
This is a completely green product with both the inner and outer skin being made of magnesium board and recycled polystyrene foam as insulation. This will make it soundproof and more cost and energy efficient, as well as ballistic resistant and flame retardant. There is no wood in the product so insects will not eat it, no mildew or mold will grow due to lack of water retention, and it is 230 MPH wind rated.
The newly developed product line includes the base studio model at $50,000, and a 3 to 4 bedroom home for around $150,000 using this type of building material. Devoursney said that the original base module style also allows for the purchasing of wood wholesale allowing Custom Home Shop to offer a traditional stick build. However, in 2024 Custom Home shop will begin focusing more on the green model.
Devoursney explained that Custom Home Shops has 16 acres of land to expand their facility and ramp up production. Custom Home Shops’ general manager has been in the industry for 30 years, starting at Arkon, which was responsible for creating the original buildout for Alys Beach. He brings contacts and experience as well as the knowledge of best practices in all aspects of building a home.
Devoursney explained that when he receives a call from an individual in need of housing options, he will send them to Rusty Maddox at Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation. Maddox has come out of retirement specifically to help with Custom Home Shops endeavor and is one of the senior vice presidents for Fairway. Once the individual has been qualified and Custom Home Shop has received an approval letter, there will be a conversation about their specific needs within the home. Custom Home Shop will provide options that are within the allotted budget, and once the home has been decided, a contract can be signed and the individual is asked to put $1,000 in escrow. Once the individual pays the $1,000 to escrow, another payment will not be due until the home has been closed on, and the first mortgage payment is due.
Custom Home Shop is offering a Two One Buy Down, which is when an individual receives a mortgage approval letter at a 7-percent interest rate, but the individual only pays 5-percent interest the first year, 6-percent interest the second year, and on the third year will start paying the 7- percent rate. This two year time frame allows the individual to refinance if interest rates drop within that time, allowing them to receive any cash left in escrow as a result of the Two One Buy Down as well as getting locked in at a lower rate. However, if the interest rates increase during that time frame rates are locked in at that seven percent rate. DeVoursney said that it can be as low as 570.
Custom Home Shop is currently working with the HR departments of Walton County Municipal groups, networking with Walton County Sheriff’s Office, and including info packets within onboarding information. Custom Home Shop is also working with the school board to gain recognition among teachers and administrative staff.