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Big demand for cost-effective homes

Liki Udam Aug 8
Big demand for cost-effective homes
Latitude Homes Central North Island owners Graham and Kate Wellington (inset) are building an increasing number of homes from custom designs, augmenting their range of quality standard and low cost homes

Taranaki born and bred, Graham and Kate Wellington are leading the Latitude Homes Central North Island team into a growing future, providing clients with cost-effective homes which don’t skimp on quality.

Graham has a long and extensive history in the Central region’s construction industry, as a qualified carpenter and Registered Master Builder who previously owned a successful Taranaki construction company, before joining the Latitude Homes group just over a year ago.

Graham and Kate even built their current home, a Latitude Homes design, before joining the company, and Graham was then approached by the previous owner to build all the Latitude Homes in Taranaki.

“Graham’s experience made the decision to join Latitude Homes a lot easier,” says Kate.

“It was a big investment for us, and we knew the workload was going to increase significantly. And the fact we bought the business and then had a newborn baby a month later, we knew it was going to be hard work. But we really saw the opportunity to future proof our family, recognising the fact Graham can’t be a builder forever.”

Graham and Kate’s belief in the Latitude Homes product and brand was also key to their decision. “It’s a great product and we wanted to see it grow, especially in the Taranaki region,” Kate says.

“The previous owner lived in the Manawatu and had really pushed Latitude Homes up there – we wanted to push it here. A year later and now everyone is seeing the Latitude Homes sign popping up all over Taranaki.”

She says everything happened so quickly on taking over the franchise, which was a good challenge as the couple really pushed themselves and hit their targets faster than they imagined.

“We’d gone in with a business plan of selling a certain number of homes in the first year, and we doubled it within about the first six months. Latitude Homes was there on the phone or email whenever we needed them.”

Kate and Graham are expecting to continue to grow Latitude Homes Central, and their next step will be to employ a project manager to assist the couple in the office, as well as their two foremen, one in the Manawatu and one in Taranaki.

Latitude Homes Central has ranges of standard and low-cost homes, and also completes an increasing amount of custom design and builds for about 10 per cent of customers. Kate says Latitude Homes are cost-effective, but
don’t skimp on quality.

“We are targeting first home buyers and young families with our cost-effective homes to allow them to get into the property market,” she says. “We do this by keeping our overheads down. There are only two of us in the office and we don’t manage a lot of staff.

As part of a franchise group, we don’t have a lot of advertising overheads, and we have great buying power.” The Latitude Homes group is celebrating its 10 year anniversary this year.


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