Buying a home is part of the American dream, and Fox Homes can make that dream come true.
“We are a family-owned and operated third-generation general contractor, and ‘Building homes that complement the American family’ is our slogan,” says Wes Parker, partner and CEO of Fox Homes in Fort Wayne. “My dad has been in the construction industry his entire life and my grandpa had his own construction company. It’s in our blood.”
Wes and his dad, Scott, started Fox Homes in 2017, but their experience in construction goes back long before that.
“Myself, my dad and my brother Ross all have previous experience in commercial construction and my brother-in-law, Jeremy Carteaux, has a background in machine tooling and management,” says Wes. “We bought a couple lots in Pine Valley and built some villas. It was a completely different world compared to commercial construction, but we received great feedback and just kept going.”
They formed a relationship with local real estate firm Mike Thomas Associates along with Oakmont Development and things took off from there.
“It really became a brand that Fort Wayne recognizes when it comes to home building,” says Scott, partner and master carpenter for Fox Homes.
“We differentiate ourselves from the very beginning of the process — from the introduction all the way to handing our clients the keys,” says Carteaux, chief operating officer. “We strive to make it a personal and very transparent experience with lots of attention to detail.”
The group uses a software program called “Builder Trend” that organizes the scheduling of each portion of the homes they build and also keeps both the contractor and client aware of what is happening at every stage of construction.
“That way, there are no surprises,” says Ross, vice president of construction. “We build in Allen County and surrounding counties, as well as around the lakes. Last year we acquired the Majestic Water Villas development off Wallen Road with almost 40 lots. We currently have 28 available lots left. They’ve been very popular and people have shown a huge interest in them. We also own lots in the Fort Wayne, Huntertown and Auburn areas.”
Fox Homes is a full design-build firm and manages each project from start to finish.
“We will do whatever we can to accommodate the client,” says Wes. “They can literally bring in a rough sketch on a napkin or a photo of something they liked on Pinterest and we can take it from there. I like to refer to a quote from the late CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs: 'Nobody knows what they want until you show it to them.’ That’s what we try to accomplish with our spec homes.”
Having spent more than four decades in the commercial construction industry, Scott knows what works and what doesn’t, and has passed that expertise on to his family.
“Engagement with the customer is paramount from start to finish,” he says. “Concerns arise during the building process and we address them in a timely manner. We keep things rolling as best we can and exude our love for building. The customer picks up on that. It leaves them with not only a warm feeling, but also feelings of trust and confidence in what we’re building for them. I’ve been doing this for a long time and truly enjoy it; I think my kids have picked up on that. It’s a very rewarding industry to work in and to know that you made a difference in other people’s lives.”
Scott says that commitment to their clients is the reason the bulk of their work comes from repeat business and referrals.
The company also offers services like in-home remodeling, room additions as well as light commercial construction and new commercial builds. They specialize in tenant builds.
“We’re seeing a lot of requests from clients to expand the footprint of their residence so they can have a space for their aging parents to live in,” says Scott. “It’s not just a matter of adding on a single room. People are basically putting in a little apartment for their parents.”
In the last few years, Fox Homes has grown exponentially.
“With that kind of growth comes challenges and hurdles and it can be overwhelming,” says Wes. “The best thing we ever did was work with a business coach. His name is Kelly Byrd and he is amazing. He guided us to the next level and it changed the whole dynamic around here.”
“He really makes us set goals and focus on what we need to do to achieve them,” says Ross. “It’s about not holding anything back from each other and always moving forward together. We either rise together or fall together.”
The family says the results show the coaching was a success.
“It was definitely a game changer in terms of how we manage our business and the steady growth we’ve experienced over the last couple of years,” says Wes.
Fox Homes’ current address is in downtown Fort Wayne on Berry Street, but they are in the process of building a new home office off Till Road.
“We are building the facility ourselves in an office park and have teamed up with Go Home Mortgage,” says Carteaux. “It will be one-stop shopping. You can meet with us and then stop in at Go Home to get your financing underway for your project.”
“We look forward to building more spaces for more people. We look forward to working with new clients and clients of the past. With the strength and energetic spirit of our team, we have much to look forward to in the future,” says Scott.