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Oscar Andrade credits a strong reputation and willingness to take operations on the road as the deciding factors that reduced the impact of the economic crunch on his business. As owner of At Home Builders, LLC, Andrade and his crew employ a hands-on approach to building and become familiar faces to prospective homeowners in the process. “The relationships that we’ve built with our clients carry us from one project to the next,” he says.“Everything is hands-on. We’re not site managers, we’re designers and builders. We are at the site the entire time throughout the building process.” This emphasis on contractor-client relations means that Andrade doesn’t operate within the realm of speculative housing, ensuring that every project he takes on will go somewhere and he won’t waste time resting on his laurels waiting for properties to sell.


Oscar ANDRADE “You can do well with spec homes, but you’re also risking going under if they don’t sell,” he says. “We make sure 100 percent of the business we do is presold.” A small and manageable in-house team has allowed Andrade to commute quickly and take on multiple projects at a time across the country, many of which carried At Home Builders through the tough times of the recession and beyond. His crew is more than willing to travel the U.S. for established clientele, even if it means commuting from the MidSouth to the east coast several times a week. Andrade says his team has a willingness to tackle large projects anywhere in the South, from the outlying cities of Arlington and Eads to the far-flung reaches of the Florida panhandle. “Luckily, when the recession hit we had a number of projects lined up to carry us through that time. We were willing to go pretty much anywhere. Wherever the client takes us, we go.” he says. “And for those few years during the downturn, we were actually busier than we were before.” Like other successful MidSouth homebuilders, Andrade believes that a thorough set of building guidelines are key to successful 96 JULY 2013 |

Five that Survived the Crash  
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