Gary B. Ouellette and Nathan Schwartzberg
GN Homes, LLC
Gary B. Ouellette and Nathan Schwartzberg are the type of professionals who don’t shy away from trying out new things, and they consistently look for ways to make each of their homes better. That’s why when they started their redevelopment company three years ago, they used their combined 30-year industry knowledge, technical savvy and a homeowner’s perspective to appeal to clients.
“All of our homes are designed the way a potential buyer is going to view it,” Ouellette says. “Sometimes we make decisions that many of our competitors would not because it may cost a bit more or take a bit longer, but ultimately it pays off as buyers love the homes as soon as they walk in.”
Using this strategy, GN Homes’ average sale price increased from $250,000 in 2010 to more than $500,000 in 2013. On top of this, the partners are just about to begin to redevelop their first home that will sell in the $1 million range. In addition to continuing to redevelop 25 to 35 homes per year, Ouellette and Schwartzberg are working on plans to break ground on two to three new construction projects per year. The long-term plan is to establish divisions within the company: redevelopment, custom new construction and renovations. They have been so successful that after working with agents who have shown their homes, often, the agent will find a home that needs work for their buyer and hire GN Homes to redevelop and customize that house.
The pair prefer the term “redevelopment” rather than “rehab” because GN Homes is not an average “fix-and-flip” company; they gut the home, replace everything and redevelop original homes rather than just updating homes cosmetically. The vast majority of homes redeveloped by GN Homes sell within 30 days of listing, and many sell within the first seven to 14 days. Getting to this point, however, required enormous tenacity and courage on both Ouellette’s and Schwartzberg’s parts.
“The best way to describe the process of overcoming the learning curve is ‘baptism by fire,’” Ouellette says. “We surrounded ourselves with contractors who had experience. On top of learning in the trenches, we studied and immersed ourselves in any form of education that could assist us in perfecting our work. The first few projects were not seamless, but we learned from our mistakes. GN Homes went from being the ‘new kid on the block’ to the redevelopment company our competitors are trying to emulate.”