‘Homes for every style  and every budget’

‘Homes for every style and every budget’

< Back to Articles | Topics: Special Feature

Contributors:

Heather Laura Clarke

Building or buying a home is a big decision and the market is flooded with builders and contractors, style options, finishes, floor plans and neighbourhoods as the Halifax area grows quickly.

With the recent slowdown in home sales in historically-dominant markets Toronto and Vancouver — which, combined, now only account for 22 per cent of national home sales in 2018 — Atlantic Canada’s oldest and most trusted homebuilder is taking advantage of our region’s buoyant real estate market.

“HRM and our surrounding areas are booming,” said Chris Marchand, Vice President of Operations at Ramar Homes. “We’re building in subdivisions where new homeownership is realistic for first-time buyers and a great option for those looking to downsize.”

While most other companies are pure volume builders, Chris says Ramar has been able to successfully adjust by offering truly custom plans for every buyer. Along with their full-time team of home designers, construction managers, renovation coordinators, warranty experts and administrators, Ramar also employs between 75 and 100 subcontractors.

The homegrown company is currently building in the brand-new eighth phase of Glen Arbour, as well as the new Soaring Way in Hammonds Plains. Other Ramar communities, like Five Island Lake, Highland Park, Lakeview Estates, Long Lake Village, Lost Creek, Oceanside Estates, Schwarzwald Heights and Twin Brooks, are seeing exponential growth and interest.

“We design and build homes for every style and every budget,” said Marchand. “With Ramar, you can build or buy a new construction single-family home for the price of a Toronto condominium and get everything you want.”

Chris credits their success to hard work, listening to what the customers want and working within their budget.

“Everyone’s project is undertaken and built to their specific, custom requests and as if we were working on our own personal residence,” says Chris. “After all, we believe you should love where you live.”

Ramar Homes has been working for Atlantic Canadians for nearly 35 years and Chris estimates they’ve built about 3,500 homes so far — bungalows and split-entries and two-storey homes of all shapes and sizes.

“We don’t build just one type of home. We build everything from an entry-level home to a home as big and impressive as you can imagine,” says Chris.

He says the trends they are seeing in new builds and from buyers’ requests are really driven by lifestyle.

“It’s easy to describe what’s hot and what’s not in terms of what buyers don’t want,” said Chris. “Whether our customer is a millennial or a downsizer, they don’t want carpeting, walnut cabinets and old-school gold fixtures. So, it’s far easier to custom build what they want — interesting floor patterns, lots of contrast, a variety of materials like bamboo, stone and concrete and lots of storage.”

Chris says when a person is going through the process of building a home, the Ramar team tries to make it as simple and convenient as possible for them. Their office on Temple Terrace in Lower Sackville doubles as a “one-stop showroom” so homeowners can walk in to sign documents and leave with their home fully designed and finishes selected.

The showroom is stocked with everything a buyer needs to make decisions on — like tile, flooring and fixtures — saving them time, money and travel-time on what would otherwise be piecemeal decision-making, while they also enjoy plenty of individual attention.

“We take pride in our work, providing every customer with exemplary service,” says Chris. “Every customer, every home, every project and every new step forward requires the same level of commitment.”

Founded in 1985 by Chris’s grandfather, Ray Marchand, Ramar Homes is owned by Ray’s two sons, Larry Marchand and Darrell Marchand. Scott Sim and Shawn Marchand serve as Vice President of Sales & Home Design and Vice President of Construction, respectively.

When Ray started out building homes in Lower Sackville, Chris doesn’t think he’d ever have expected Ramar homes to be sold to buyers from across the globe — but that’s exactly what’s been happening lately.

The company recently joined forces with Engel & Völkers, which operates a global network of more than 11,000 real estate professionals in more than 36 countries.

Marchand says Engel & Völkers has been helping them reach a more global audience, since their advisors work with clients from all over the world who are interested in relocating to Nova Scotia.

From picking out a lot and deciding on a home style to seeing it all the way through the gleaming finishing touches, Chris says Ramar employees are proud to be following in Ray’s footsteps and making sure their customers are happy.

“His leadership by example, his dedication, hard work and his highest regard for homeowners is a legacy inherited by everyone who works for him,” says Chris. “The benchmark he expects us to achieve is epic. It’s the same challenge he set for himself back in 1985 when Ramar Homes was founded.”

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