Builder Profile: One House at a Time27 May 2014 5:06 PM
Luxury home builder Sam Tavor, of Stacey Fine Homes of Texas, told a reporter recently, "There is so much opportunity in this country and I never took it for granted. I wake up every morning and smile about going to work."
Tavor, who emigrated from Israel to Philadelphia in 1973 with $3,000, started as an electrician. He moved to Houston in 1979 to escape the northern winters and worked with an air-conditioning company designing and installing HVAC systems. Within six months, he started his own home building company and now builds six or seven multi-million-dollar homes a year in Tanglewood, Memorial and West University.
An American success story? Absolutely, but Tavor asserts that it demanded - and continues to demand - discipline. He lived in the first home he built, sold it and invested the profits in the next one.
He repeated the process again and again, and always plowed his profits back into the company.
"Don't spend the money," he advises. "Invest in real estate. Invest it in your company."
Admirable restraint - and it served Tavor well when the recent economic downturn hit home builders particularly hard.
"When the recession happened, I didn't change anything. I kept to my same strategy. The only difference from before the recession to now is that I got older," Tavor says with a grin.
Tavor's greatest challenge today, he says, is making sure that every home he builds lives up to the reputation established by his previous projects.
"I am very hands on," he told the Chronicle. "It's just hard work. You have to be on the job and make sure that it is done right."
When asked what most distinguishes his homes, Tavor asserts, "I complete them to the last detail. Nothing is left undone. My homeowners become friends and my No.1 purpose is to make them
happy. If they aren't happy, I'm not happy."