Homebuilder Matt Walraven Stands Behind His Name and Word
At the height of the Great Recession, Matt Walraven told his wife that he wanted to start a homebuilding company.
“I consulted with a few people. They told me I was crazy,” he says. “But I didn’t care. At the time I traveled a lot with my job. I had just gotten married, wanted to be more stationary. Happiness was the driving factor.”
Today his company, Walraven Signature Homes, builds, on average, about 20 to 30 houses a year.
The business specializes in custom and premium homes, Matt says. Five of its houses will be featured in the Parade of Homes, Oct. 13 to 14, and 20 to 21.
Matt grew up in Illinois and moved to North Carolina in 2004 to work with his brothers, who were managing some construction projects. He had been a manager for a concrete finishing company before launching his own business. He built his first house in 2009 and constructed four or five homes annually for the first several years. The company builds in Greensboro, Winston-Salem, High Point, Kernersville and Alamance County. About 40 percent of its projects are custom homes.
The business remains a family affair, with Matt’s wife, Danielle, working as finance manager and handling interior design, and his father, Ben, handling marketing. He also employs a construction manager and an assistant for that manager.
“A lot of other builders this size will have three or four construction managers,” Matt says. “But because of the economy in which we were founded, we try to keep it lean. That gives us more financial flexibility.”
On a recent morning, he was showing off a house similar to the ones that will be in the Parade of Homes. The 4,400-square-foot dwelling has five bedrooms, four full baths, two half-baths, and what Matt describes as a bonus room. The bonus room could be used as a home office or a game room. The house also features a jetted tub in the master bath, oak floors, granite countertops and custom cabinetry.
“We would consider this a transitional-style home, where it captures some of the more contemporary styles, versus more traditional styles,” he says. “It has high-efficiency windows, insulation, very open floor plan. In the city limits, it’s tough to get a house like this, new construction, because land inside the city limits is scarce.”
The asking price is $689,900.
Matt says his father told him long ago that a person has their “name and their word,” and he says he uses that as the guiding principle for his business.
“If you can’t stand behind those two things, you can’t stand behind much,” he says. “I’ve built my company and all my relationships on that. We pride ourselves on being honest and transparent.”
Walraven Signature houses that will be featured in the Parade of Homes:
Lot No. 58 Knight’s Landing: 7305 Lanval Drive, Oak Ridge, North Carolina
Lot No. 11 Bethany: 1414 Bethany Drive, Greensboro, North Carolina
Lot No. 76 Birkhaven: 5407 Briardenn Court, Summerfield, North Carolina
Lot No. 3 Canter Cove: 7702 Canter Court, Oak Ridge, North Carolina
Lot No. 50 Shiloh: 7617 Sir William Drive, Oak Ridge, North Carolina