Rob King: Hey! What's happening? Rob King. I'm here with Matt Groff from Groff Homes. We're having a nice little afternoon conversation like we've done for a long time, but we figured we might as well pass some of this information on to people who actually need it. Today, we're talking about building a house in Florida. We live in southwest Florida, Cape Coral is a wonderful area. Matt how long have you been building houses here.
Matt Groff: We've been a class ‘A’ general contractor here since 1980. We have built the whole gamut, being a class AGC, commercial building, churches, custom and of course the model home business. But what our niche has been and where we can facilitate more of our blue collar and our affordable price points has been that model home affordable sector. And that's really what we aim to go after right now.
Rob King: Now, Florida regulates their buildings pretty strictly don't they? I mean you have to go through a lot to be a building contractor, right?
Matt Groff: Absolutely! Florida currently has the most difficult building codes and standards throughout the United States. As of recent, not only with the hurricane codes but we're now actually believe it or not, we're now having to put excess steel similar to what is done in California for earthquakes. So, the homes as far as stability and you know quality of what we have to do here and the amount of inspections to make sure these homes can withstand pretty much the weather that you get in, you know from the tropics you know the building standards are very difficult to you know to comply with.
Rob King: This is not in Cape Coral, that's in all of Florida right?
Matt Groff: It's throughout Florida. But again, that it's something that yes can be a little headache for builders, but for the consumer you know that you're getting a home that is about as solid as you can possibly get as far as the building standards and codes we have to adhere to.
Rob King: Which is a good thing because; we got a lot of people moving to move into the area. I am amazed each day at how many people we can move in and how much space we still have left to fill.
Matt Groff: Absolutely! Our area as far as statistics go, the latest numbers that came out, our areas are needing one thousand four hundred and seventy-six units for the next five years, rental purposes just to keep up with the demand that is coming to southwest.
Rob King: Now, that's in addition to what we already have.
Matt Groff: That's an addition to the residential permits that are being pulled. And in 2017, 2018 the average number of permits pulled in Lee County was between 11000 and 12000. That's a far cry from 2005 when we were pulling 43000 and we got ourselves into a little mess. But it's a very sustainable number and what our building department basically is looking for right now on average is about 15000 permits pulled. It is a very good sustainable number.
Rob King: And with our great weather and our favorable taxes, I mean it brings people down here in droves.
Matt Groff: Absolutely!
Rob King: So, this leads me to a million other questions. So, if all these people are building won’t that mean my property value is bound to go up? I mean supply and demand is pretty basic economics.
Matt Groff: Absolutely. Southwest Florida and our area in particular U.S. Newsweek and Forbes in 2018 had Lee County and in particular Cape Coral is the number one growth area in the United States. The reason for that is you can still buy affordable land cheaper than anywhere up and down the coast in southwest Florida. And it's the most attractive place to be as far as price point wise to enjoy the weather.
Rob King: To enjoy fishing and kayaking, golfing…,
Matt Groff: Countless things that we have.
Rob King: Pickle ball and you name it we have got it.
Matt Groff: Absolutely!
Rob King: That’s Awesome! Well, I appreciate your time today and we'll catch up again to this next week.
Matt Groff: Sounds great! Thanks very much Rob. Thank you!