As Old World Custom Homes Ltd (Old World) approaches its 15-year anniversary milestone, the company showcases its remarkable success and unwavering commitment to excellence in the luxury homebuilding industry. With a primary focus on crafting high-end, custom-built residences, the company has established a stellar reputation for delivering exceptional quality and exquisite craftsmanship. Old World has become synonymous with luxury, boasting a portfolio of beautifully photographed homes that exemplify timeless elegance and architectural grandeur. The business consistently redefines the standards of luxury living around the Northeast and Central Ohio area, setting the stage for many more years of unparalleled craftsmanship and exquisite homes. Jim Yezbak, one of the firms Owners and Director of Design and Sales, provides a brief introduction to the business.
“Old World Custom Homes was established in 2009 and is primarily based in North Canton, Ohio, serving the Northeast Ohio region. As a true custom home builder, we offer fully customized plans and handle all aspects of the process, including architectural design, interior design, and construction management. Over the last several years, we have expanded our operations to include Columbus, Ohio, with April Small and Kevin English leading the division there. Additionally, we have ventured into the renovations business in Northeast Ohio and plan to expand it to Columbus as we continue to grow. In Northeast Ohio, where every home on average is around 56 years old, homeowners have three percent mortgage rates and may be less inclined to move due to the current climate, resulting in a high demand for renovation services. While our new construction focus is primarily on high-end buyers in the price range of $600,000 to $3 million, we are always delighted to work with clients with lower budgets and find creative ways to accommodate their needs,” he begins.
Kevin English, Columbus Division President, highlights the distinguishing factors that set Old World apart from the competition. “We stand out from the crowd in both central and Northeast Ohio thanks to our customer-centric approach and unique process when it comes to custom builds. At Old World, we pride ourselves on actively listening to our clients, and understanding their preferences, needs, and goals. Rather than imposing pre-drawn floor plans or steering them in a particular direction, our team, led by Jim and April, sits down with the clients during the initial meeting and truly listens to their vision. Then, the entire team strives to deliver everything they desire within their budget, a challenging task in custom homebuilding. This level of dedication and patience is not commonly found among other builders. As a result, we have had clients who had previously explored various builders and weren’t able to find a fit. When they came to us, they instantly realized that we are willing to listen and provide a detailed breakdown of the home’s specifications, ensuring transparency and clarity about where their investment is going. Word spreads fast when you consistently deliver exceptional service, and our approach has been very successful so far,” he enlightens.
“By truly listening to every potential client, our goal is to create a home that not only meets their family’s needs but also reflects their aesthetic taste and desired lifestyle,” adds April Small, Sales and Design for Central Ohio. “We believe this process is truly intimate because we invest time in getting to know our clients, their families, and their unique way of living and celebrating their holidays. All these intricate details influence the plans we put together. For example, if our client hosts for the holidays every year and requires a 12-foot table, we incorporate that into the design. This deep understanding of each customer and their family forms a strong bond as we spend a significant amount of time with them. Moreover, as a smaller company, we are heavily involved in every step, from the initial meetings to the final day when we hand them the key to their new home. It’s a special process that leaves a lasting impression, as word spreads quickly about our attention to detail and the time we invest with our clients to help them achieve their goals. Jim and I are actively involved in meetings with clients, usually starting with a blank sheet of paper and making changes on the fly using our software. Our ability to make these changes quickly sets us apart from other builders or architecture firms that may not have the same flexibility. Each client brings a fresh venture and an exhilarating day for us. But it’s also an exciting experience for clients to see the house of their dream take shape before their eyes,” she enthuses.
Within the last two years, Old World has completed numerous projects – all of which the business is very proud, as April and Kevin discuss in detail. “We are nearing completion of our second model home, which is an incredibly exciting milestone for us. Furthermore, we are currently in the process of constructing a new spec home in Plain City, Ohio, which demonstrates our commitment to internal growth in new builds.”
Work on these projects demonstrates the company’s commitment to growth over the last two years. “When we compare our current status to 2020, the difference is significant. At the time, in the Columbus market, we only had around three-to-four homes under construction, with an average sale price ranging from $600,000-to-$800,000. During that time, we were establishing our presence in the market and building relationships with our tradespeople, suppliers, and vendors. However, we have aligned with our NEO divisions status and emerged as the premier on-your-lot true custom builder in central Ohio. In the next couple of months, we will have roughly 15 houses under construction, and our annual closing rate has significantly increased. Additionally, there has been a notable shift in our clientele, due to the average sale price now reaching around $1.3 million,” April states.
“One particularly exciting project coming up is in New Albany, Ohio,” adds Kevin, “which presents a new venture for us. We are collaborating with a developer to construct approximately 26 town homes and single-family zero-lot-line homes in an infill community. New Albany boasts the highest gross median income in the state of Ohio, making it a high-end location. The opportunity to achieve success in this area will be a significant accomplishment for our company and potentially open doors to similar deals in the future. Therefore, we are thrilled about this opportunity. We have a lot of exciting projects ahead of us, and we are enthusiastic about the future and the continued growth of our company,” he explains.
With a renewed focus on renovations, model homes and new construction projects, Old World is poised to achieve even greater success in the coming years through unwavering dedication to clients and architectural excellence.