AR Homes® Homeowners Spotlight

Kim & Steve Martin

Top-Performing Property Professionals Become Custom AR Homes® Home Buyers

Seasoned real estate professionals are walking, talking fountains of knowledge, with a deep command of the local housing market, builders’ new development and product plans, where to find hidden listings, and so forth.

Imagine, then, powerhouse St. Augustine REALTOR® Kim Martin’s surprise when she discovered her family’s dream home quite by accident.

“I was showing a client a property in (upscale St. Augustine residential community) Palencia, and as soon as I saw the home, I contacted my husband and said, ‘Steve, I found the home for us,’“ Kim recalls.

“I was a project manager at the time for a national builder who was building some really, really nice homes,” says Steve (who has since become a REALTOR®). “If it impressed her enough — someone who is selling homes — to give me — someone who is building homes — a call, it’s got to be something fantastic.”

A week or so later they visited the model, the Bermuda 1558 by AR Homes®, and it was “love at first sight,” Steve adds. “It pretty much had everything we were looking for in terms of the layout, the number of rooms… just rang all those bells.”

The dilemma? Kim and Steve weren’t in the market for a home.“So we decided, when and if we were ready to make a move, we would build the Bermuda,” Steve notes.

Shortly thereafter, in another twist of fate, Kim was approached by a fellow real estate professional with an unsolicited offer: She had a client who wanted to buy the Martins’ home and asked if they were willing to sell. They named a price, which the prospective buyer agreed to.

“And within 30 days, we had sold that house, had decided on (St. Augustine master-planned community) Markland as our location, met with AR Homes and had closed on our home with them,” Kim says.

With the Palencia model as their template, the Martins and the staff of AR Homes franchisee Marcus Allen Homes convened for an intensive, three-day design session to choose colors, finishes and materials for their new home.

“With a custom builder, I expected to be treated a certain way. And I think they exceeded that expectation,” Steve says. ”The level of attention we received was phenomenal, and by the time we were finished with that part of the process, we kind of felt like we were family. That was something that was notable and was memorable. And it stuck with me.”

“Being a Realtor, I was helping customers purchase new construction, and I’d go with my customers to the Design Studio, which was a phenomenal experience,” Kim adds. “I’ve built, with my customers, other custom homes and, hands down, it’s not the same level of service as what we received at AR Homes.”

As with any AR Homes® new build, Kim and Steve had the option of incorporating modifications. Among the changes they made: enlarging the walk-in pantry, modifying the laundry area, and adding a built-in custom countertop to house their microwave, which they relocated to accommodate double ovens.

Ever the builder, Steve also worked with AR Homes to relocate the home’s A/C into an oversized storage area in the garage and upgraded the system with a variable-speed air handler.The Martins closed on their home on May 27th, 2016 (their daughter’s birthday) and moved in July 14th, 2017, on their 33rd wedding anniversary. Within a month of move-in, they had hosted their niece’s wedding party.

We knew that we would enjoy living in our home and the quality that was delivered,” Kim says. “But the service that we received from the beginning to the end of the purchase of our home was like no other that we had experienced in 16 years of real estate.”

“You kind of think of the process of creating a diamond — you need pressure, you need time, and at the end it’s going to be absolutely gorgeous,” Steve says. “If you rush the process, the diamond will be cloudy, and so forth. “At AR Homes, they don’t rush the process. And they build that ‘diamond’ the way it’s supposed to be built.”