An Interview with Meritage Homes in San Antonio, TX
John Giacobbe is a San Antonio New Construction Realtor & Justin Cantu From Meritage Homes discuss what sets Meritage Homes apart from the competition in this exclusive interview session!
John: Hey, everybody, John Giacobbe here. I'm out here today at Meritage Homes meeting my friend Justin Cantu. I wanted to take you guys in to see a little bit more about what Meritage Homes has to offer. Come on in, guys.
Justin: Hey, John.
John: Hey, Justin, how's it goin', man?
Justin: How are you?
John: Hey, good to see ya.
Justin: Come on in.
John: Hey there, John Giacobbe. I'm here with my friend Justin Cantu out at Meritage Homes. We are here filming our Builder of the Week. Justin Cantu here. Justin, I wanted to meet with you and visit with you today and ask you a few questions about Meritage Homes, ask you about yourself, and that way we can share with our audience a little bit more about what you guys do out here at Meritage. You guys build a fantastic home. Justin, wanted to ask you, how long have you been in real estate, what did you do before real estate?
Justin: I've actually been in real estate for about two years, so I've been kinda blessed enough to take advantage of new home sales. But what I did before, I used to work at a dealership up in New Braunfels. Actually did some selling power sports up there, sellin' a different product, but it was definitely a stepping stone and it was somethin' that I've always wanted to do and had a passion for was real estate. So, I was able to take it...
John: You've been Meritage Homes for two years now. What would you say is one of the biggest selling features about a Meritage Home? What do you guys pride yourselves as a builder?
Justin: You know, with Meritage, you know, a huge staple for us, you know, in the production side of building is our spray foam insulation. The way we insulate our homes is a big deal on any clients that we have are taking advantage of our homes. We do it nationwide, it's a standard feature. Basically, cuts your utility bills in half, which is a big deal. You know, we're, you know, anything that goes along with building our homes, you know, to our Low E-3 windows that we use, they let a lot of natural sunlight to come into our homes. Kinda goes hand-in-hand with the spray foam insulation, but definitely is one of our big staples.
John: So, energy efficiency is a huge thing with Meritage Homes.
John: For our viewers out there, what can an owner of a Meritage Home expect to pay? Like say, a 2,500 square foot house, what would you say the utility bills are like? You know, we're here in San Antonio. It gets hot during the summer. How much can they expect to pay?
Justin: Yeah, you know, with Texas, you know, we always are just blistering hot and, you know, I feel like, you know, 90% of the time out of the year. You know, with our homes, we have, you know, a ton of floor plans to choose from, you know, but on a 2,500 square foot home, I actually live in a Meritage Home myself, which is about that size, and I, you know, the lowest that I've seen my bill, you know, and I've lived in it for pretty close to about a year-and-a-half, almost two years, is about 130, 140 bucks a month on the high side that I've seen. But yeah, definitely is a big deal for that size.
John: So huge savings there on a monthly basis for homeowners of a Meritage home. Also, we're out here today at The Landing at French Creek, that's your community here.
Justin: Yeah, yeah.
John: This is your baby, so.
John: What is the best thing about your location out here?
Justin: You know, you know, this community's really stellar. You know, it's more of a boutique style community. Real, very private. You know, once of these things that I, you know, tell all of my clients out here, it's hard to find a location like this in San Antonio that's one road in and one road out. You know, I only have a total of 51 homes that are gonna be going in this community. We're getting close to the finish line, kind of on our exit, you know, train on out of this area, but, you know, definitely is, you know, what's another selling feature for this community it's just a smack dab in the middle of everything, really. We're located right off of Bandera and Prue inside the loop of 1604. Everybody that has taken advantage of this community is lovin' the conveniency of being so close to everything. You're really pretty much a hop and skip away to get a jump on any major highway to get to anywhere you need to be around San Antonio.
John: Well, it certainly seems like a very convenient location. You got H-E-B, what, like a mile down the road?
Justin: Yeah, you know, we have the biggest H-E-B in Texas that's literally in our backyard, you know, which is a huge thing for anybody, any homeowner for, you know, easy shopping, easy, you know, gettin' to point A to point B. But yeah, everything's really close.
John: Okay, and what do you see a lot of out here as far as buyers comin' out to your community? Are you guys getting a lot of military people or people from USAA, what do you guys cater to?
Justin: We have a lot of, you know, anybody, really, for diverse people comin' out here and takin' a look at this community. From military to young professionals to, you know, older citizens, things like that, you know. We have pretty much a good range, really, all over the spectrum, really, which I think is, you know, anywhere in San Antonio. It's just in real estate it's all about location as everybody always, you know, stresses on, or things like that. But yeah, we have pretty much a lot of diverse here.
John: Now, if somebody were to come in and they wanted to build their house from the ground up, what does that process look like with Meritage Homes?
Justin: With Meritage from start to finish we typically, on average, take about five months from start to finish to build a home. What that process looks like for any client comin' in, you know, they'll do anything as far as the structurals here with me in my office. When they go to the design center and start to pick out all the pretties and things like that, I don't do here. But what they'll do here is actually design the home with me on how they want it structurally. Pick a floor plan, kind of figure out what the family's needs are. But yeah, here in this location, I have eight floor plans that I offer. But yeah, that's pretty much how it would look like as far as construction.
John: So, it's about a five-month process. If they wanted to, say, customize their cabinet colors or the color granite or the type of flooring, is that somethin' that you guys do?
Justin: Absolutely. That's where the design center comes in. Once they've done visiting with me here in my office design center will reach out to them to set up that appointment with them after they proceed with the contract. That's when they get to go have some fun and have a time to go pick out all the pretties that they want, you know, cabinet colors, things like that. All the fun stuff. That's one of the fun parts of building is to go pick out everything in your home.
John: Absolutely. I know your neighborhood, you mentioned to me earlier that you guys are in a close-out mode. Do you guys still have lots available for somebody that's looking to live in this location here?
Justin: I do, I do. You know, the window's closing pretty quickly. I have two lots left here to build. They're gonna be around the model here. They're gonna be released soon. But I still have kind of a lot of other opportunities that are also still here in this community. They're gonna be quick move-ins for any families that don't have the luxury of maybe building from start to finish.
Justin: But I do still have a little bit of flexibility here, but it's goin' quick.
John: I know Meritage homes are available, you know, all throughout San Antonio. What are some of the locations that you guys are offering your product, and do you have the ability to cross-sell or...
Justin: Yeah, absolutely. With our team, you know, we're definitely have the blessing to cross-sell, you know, if a client's, you know, if this community's not the right for 'em we have plenty of 'em around San Antonio. I'm more than happy to stay along the journey with them if they want me to continue doin' the home search with me. But yeah, I can absolutely help them at any other community, it's just the home has to be at a certain stage for me to kinda stay along with them, or completed. That would be the process. But yeah, absolutely. You know, with our locations around San Antonio, we have quite a few, you know. It just depends on where you wanna be.
John: Okay, so, you guys are located all throughout San Antonio. Maybe a few out by Alamo Ranch and...
Justin: Mm hmm, yeah.
John: What are some of the other parts of town that you guys offer the product?
Justin: We have a ton of communities out towards Alamo Ranch area. We have off of Potranco, off of Wiseman. We have a couple more communities that are on close-out in that area. Also some other opportunities that are opening up. That location, too. We have three locations that are inside the loop of 1604, including myself. Everything else pretty much are on the outskirts. We have some that are out towards, you know, Universal City. We have one that's just a grand opening off of 281 in Redland, which is a big property that we are very proud of on that one, which is called Sienna. But yeah, but we're expanding, so we're excited.
John: So all throughout the city. Okay. Now, if somebody, one of our viewers was interested in working with you or looking at some Meritage homes, what's the best place for them to go to start their home search?
Justin: I mean, you can go to, you know, visit our website, you know, MeritageHomes.com. It's got a lot of information on there. They're able to, you know, kind of play with some things on there tryin' to look at some communities, some floor plans, what's available now, what's up and coming. Our contact center is doin' a great job on kinda filtering anybody looking for a specific location, and they'll set up an appointment with us through, you know, digitally, you know, through our email. Or you can go, you know, contact me at my email's the best way to get ahold of me. We do walk-ins, too. We highly recommend that for people to come take a look in first hand and take a look at our product, absolutely.
John: Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Justin. I appreciate your time today. Looking forward to working with you
John: and taking a few clients out here to Meritage Homes.
John: Again, I wanted to thank you so much being part of John Giacobbe's Builder of the Week.
John: So I appreciate it, and looking forward to...
Justin: Doin' some business, yeah, absolutely. I appreciate the opportunity and we'll hopefully do some business soon.