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Warren Buffett: ‘More Will Come’

Categories: Builder Online, Goodall Homes, Nashville, Warren Buffett | Posted: March 14, 2017

(By  staff / Builder Online. Click HERE for Full article.)

Home building’s mergers and acquisitions acquirers include Berkshire Hathaway, builder of 5% of America’s new homes.

Shortly before he agreed to become one of Clayton Properties’ charter members of a thus-far exclusive club of three site-built operators within a manufactured housing empire, Kansas City-based Fred Delibero took a trip up to one of the Clayton manufacturing plants in Andersonville, Tenn., about 38 miles due north of Clayton’s Maryville headquarters.

There, he got a first-hand look at how six to ten 2,000 sq. ft. homes a day start from nothing, and proceed along an eight-station assembly line, before they roll off the line, ready to truck to a designated home site.

“If the workers at each station hit their productivity and quality assurance goals for the day early, they go home early,” said Keith Holdbrooks, president of Clayton’s home building operations.

That productivity, those robotics, those “tables” for each fabrication station where a few humans and a lot of automation produces floors, walls, ceilings, finish features, windows, installations, and roofing all quite impressed Delibero, who’d developed his Summit Custom Homes operation into Kansas City’s No. 1-ranked builder by 2013, with better than $200 million in annual home sales revenue.

So, mental-wheels-spinning, Delibero joined Eric and Daryl Chafin of Georgia-based Chafin Communities and Bob Godall of Gallatin, Tenn.-based Goodall Homes in Clayton’s guinea pig stable of site builders.

Although the pre-acquisition plant visits were intended mainly to show Delibero, the Chafins, and Goodall the magnitude of operational and financial resources Clayton could bring to the table as new owners, another thought process sparked as each site builder toured the assembly plants.

Soon after each acquisition, the engineers, robotics designers, and operations experts at Clayton homes returned the favor, organizing tours of the stick-built job sites of each of the three newly acquired companies.

Clayton chief operating officer Rick Boyd–who knows his way in and out and up and down every one of the assembly tables, based on their technical engineering, their design, and their functionality–said, “we have a lot we can learn for our automation processes from the site builders, and the other way around.”

Now, here’s what Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett noted in this year’s installment of his legendary series of letters to shareholders:

In 2015, Clayton branched out, purchasing its first site-builder. Two similar acquisitions followed in 2016, and more will come. Site-built houses are expected to amount to 3% or so of Clayton’s unit sales in 2017 and will likely deliver about 14% of its dollar volume.

More will come.

What’s intriguing to us about Buffett and his belief in what Clayton chief Kevin Clayton and his team are doing is this: They’re attacking the homeownership affordability challenge head on.

Clearly, Buffett and the Clayton team “get” that the business case for affordability is, quite simply, more. More sales, more customers, more jobs, more economic value creation, and a more sustainable economic cycle. They’re attacking affordability with one of the only “in your control” tools available to home builders—productivity.

The two big undoings of affordability in American housing right now are land use regulations and productivity.

Buffett and Clayton—because of their need to expand their land and operational assets in order to maintain growth and market share advantages—sell seven of every 10 new homes that cost home buyers less than $150,000.

Think about that. Also, think about what you learn from a customer base that needs to pay less than $150,000, a customer-base Buffett describes as follows:

Clayton’s customers are usually lower-income families with mediocre credit scores; many are supported by jobs that will be at risk in any recession; many, similarly, have financial profiles that will be damaged by divorce or death to an extent that would not be typical for a high-income family. Those risks that our customers face are partly mitigated because almost all have a strong desire to own a home and because they enjoy reasonable monthly payments that average only $587, including the cost of insurance and property taxes.

Clayton also has long had programs that help borrowers through difficulties. The two most popular are loan extensions and payment forgiveness. Last year about 11,000 borrowers received extensions, and 3,800 had $3.4 million of scheduled payments permanently canceled by Clayton. The company does not earn interest or fees when these loss-mitigation moves are made. Our experience is that 93% of borrowers helped through these programs in the last two years now remain in their homes

Think about what it means to get really good at dealing with customers like these.

We can talk about affordability, and we can write about it. But affordability is not simply about bringing prices down so that the hurdle of homeownership is lowered. It’s about bringing customers’ self-discipline, self-regard, and resourcefulness up to the point where they come through as buyers and owners, despite risks taken to give them a shot at it.

We think that every time Clayton’s new group of site builders takes a close look at the factory assembly process, and every time the engineers who develop the automated workflows and robotic processes see a home get built, piece-by-piece, on a home site, they’re going to be fueled by a purpose and a direct experience of customers that most home builders rarely imagine.

The Clayton people are looking at that $587-a-month customer and saying, “They’re my customers, and both my business model and my purpose are to meet their needs.”

The $150,000 house. Is it a productivity issue? Or is it, as many of home building’s established site building operators would claim it to be, a land-use and regulation issue? Now, Clayton has purchased three home building operators who make a living selling homes that price mostly above that $150,000 mark. Chances are, however, that knowing the size and the depth of the marketplace they could access if they could tap into the below $150K price line on new homes, they’ll push productivity as far as it will go, possibly even into a zone where on-site and off-site converge.

As Buffett notes, more will come as Berkshire Hathaway plays out its strategy to acquire more privately held home builders. And more will come, we have no doubt, on whether ever the twain will meet between site-built and off-site built home construction.

Lilli Gordon of Independence High School is Goodall Homes Student of the Month

Categories: Awards, Goodall Homes, Williamson County | Posted: March 13, 2017

(By Derby Jones • Publisher / The Williamson Herald. Click HERE for full article.)

Independence High School teacher Gisele Standbridge appreciates overachieving students so much that she has nominated two special students this year for the Goodall Homes Student of the Month award

Lilli Gordon, a senior at Independence, was selected for the February award, while her friend Ashley Haylett was selected in October.

“Lilli is one of the smartest, busiest young leaders I know,” said Standbridge.

Busy is an understatement. Gordon is a member and officer of the student council, student ambassadors, and National Honor Society where she is member in math, science and English that all require community service.

Lilli is also very involved with special needs students through Indy Friends.

“I love interacting with the special needs students,” said Gordon. “I want to make a difference in someone else’s life in a positive way.”

Other activities and community service include volunteering at Willow Springs Nursing Home, Vice President of the Interact club, member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Independence Girls Cotillion.

She is also a member of the Independence girls tennis team.

Many people have asked Gordon how she finds time to focus on school, community service and playing tennis.

“I set goals for myself and that keeps me focused,” she said. “I am also lucky to have parents that are very involved in my life. My mom encouraged me to play tennis and get involved in the student council.”

Gordon, who carries a 4.52 GPA, plans to major in biology with hopes of becoming a doctor.

“I love talking and interacting with others,” said Gordon. “Hopefully I can become a doctor and help others as well.”

Currently, Gordon is waiting on scholarships to be awarded which will decide which college to attend next year.

Standbridge could not be more proud of Gordon, who will also compete in the upcoming Interact Four Way Speech Contest this week.

“She is kind-hearted, a hard worker and a leader, and I am very proud to nominate her,” she said.

Rachael Overall, the marketing director of Goodall Homes, spoke of both students selected from Independence during the presentation.

“Ashley and Lilli are both role models, the type of student we are looking for to select for the student of the month,” said Overall.

To nominate a student for the Goodall Homes Student of the Month, visit and submit a nomination form.

Ansley Brown of Poplar Grove Middle selected Goodall Homes Student of the month

Categories: Awards, Williamson County | Posted: March 3, 2017

(By Derby Jones. Staff writer for the Williamson Herald. Chick HERE for full article)


Popular Grove teacher Laura Lavery (left) with Ansley Brown’s father, Taft Brown,  Ansley, mother Kristen and Rachael Overall of Goodall Homes.

Poplar Grove Middle Schools celebrates Pride Time each month to recognize students in all aspects of school, whether it be choir, Beta club or athletics. On Friday the student body was surprised when an announcement was broadcast that the school would honor a special student with the Goodall Homes Student of the Month award.

Ansley Brown, an eighth grader at Poplar Grove Middle, was selected by Goodall Homes as the January Student of the Month.

Her teacher Laura Lavery defined her as the ideal student, earning the title due to her extraordinary ability to multitask in the classroom.

“She completes the homework projects and weekly reviews always ahead of schedule,” said Lavery.

Brown regularly chooses the early bird and extra work challenge on assignments, and Lavery noted that this serves as a role model to other students in the class.

“Every class needs an Ansley,” said Lavery. “She truly makes my job easier and she deserves this recognition.”

Parents Kristen and Taft Brown were also in attendance at Pride time and both were beaming with pride as Ansley’s name was called out as one of the Beta team members prior to the Goodall award.

“She is confident with a humble heart,” said father Taft. “She helps others elevate with her hard work.” Taft kept coming back to the word “humble” when describing his daughter.

Mother Kristen agreed that their daughter Ansley is a hard worker who is self-motivated and is a role model for others in her class.

“She is very well-rounded,” said Kristen. “She is very creative, she loves the arts, she sings, and she loves poetry.”

When asked about winning the award, Ansley Brown’s humbleness was evident. “I love Poplar Grove but I have my teachers, my school and my parents to thank,” said Ansley.

Ansley is not only an excellent student but also works in the community by being involved in local inner mission trips the past three summers. She has also volunteered for the Room in the Inn, is a leader in FCA and has helped tutor students in math.

“She is not only a role model in school but in the community,” said Rachel Overall, marketing director of Goodall Homes. “She is the type of student we look to celebrate and recognize. It is students like her that make my job a joy.”

For more information or to nominate a student for the Goodall Homes Student of the Month, please visit the Williamson Herald’s website at

Professional Builder’s 2017 40 Under 40 Awards

Categories: Awards, Goodall Homes, Nashville, Professional Builder Magazine | Posted: March 1, 2017

Honoring home building’s young leaders.

(By Mike Beirne, Senior Editor and Michael Chamernik, Associate Editor- Professional Builder Magazine. Click HERE for full article.)

An Eagle Scout, professional dancers, and a former hotel manager are among this year’s array of home building superstars picked as 40 Under 40 winners by the editors of Professional Builder. Once again, several honorees cited surviving the great recession as one of their proudest achievements, while many others were notable for not only starting their companies but for also launching and growing more than one business during the recovery.

In addition to owners and principals, this class includes managers, team leaders, and associates who stood out as innovators because they found creative ways to cut overhead and enhance customer relationships; some even innovated by inventing apps or algorithms to simplify complex functions. Off the clock, these professionals are fighting blight, building homes for disabled veterans, mentoring low-income youth, and giving back to their communities by volunteering their many other services and talents. We proudly present our 40 Under 40 Class for 2017.

Hillary Bonham, 27

Land Manager

Goodall Homes

Gallatin, Tenn.


• BA, Sociology and Religion, Furman University; MS, Real Estate, Georgetown University

Professional Credentials

• Licensed real estate professional


• Bonham (at right), led Goodall Homes’ application process for the National Housing Quality Award and won silver in 2015 • Worked as a member of the acquisition team after Goodall Homes was bought by Clayton Homes in 2016 • Conducts land acquisition analysis and purchases new sites


• Member of the Urban Land Institute, Sumner Association of Realtors, and Retire Sumner • Participates in several community service and charity groups, including Second Harvest Food Bank and the Acorn Society

Secret Life

• Wants to inspire others who have Type 1 diabetes


Rachel Overall, 39

Director of Marketing

Goodall Homes

Nashville, Tenn.


• BA, Business Administration; MBA, University of Tennessee at Martin


• Progressed from newspaper ad executive developing campaigns for more than 50 builders to the marketing director for Nashville’s largest builder • Expanded Goodall’s philanthropic efforts by partnering with Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee to launch the Hunger Free Summer campaign • Built two mortgage-free homes with Operation Finally Home for disabled veterans. The second home was given to an army sergeant and his family during halftime of a Tennessee Titans game


• B of D member for My Friend’s House, which helps young men transition from foster care to a forever home

Off the Clock

• Cross country and cheer team coach • Half marathons

Longview Elementary student Makenzie Giles named Goodall Homes Student of the Month

Categories: Awards, Goodall Homes, Nashville, Nashville Area Homebuilder, Student of the Month | Posted: February 16, 2017

Longview Elementary School fifth grader Makenzie Giles’ being named the January Goodall Homes Student of the Month came as no surprise to her peers and teachers.

“In the school setting she is a generous peer helper in academic classes, extends a friendly smile to those in need, and strives to live by our motto of ‘Be Nice,’” Makenzie’s teacher Kendra Brooks said in her nomination of Makenzie.

Described as “a well-rounded student” by Brooks, Makenzie is a blue belt in Taekwondo, a member of the school choir, and an elected member of the Longview Elementary School Student Council, which is currently sponsoring a food drive for The Well Outreach, a Spring Hill-based organization that provides food assistance to those in need.

“I enjoy helping the school and helping people,” Makenzie said. “[Helping] makes me feel nice about myself.”

Makenzie’s mom Samantha Giles said she was trying hard not to cry watching her daughter receive this award.

“I can’t describe how proud I am of her,” Samantha said.

Makenzie, whose favorite school subject is math, said her favorite parts about Taekwondo are her instructors and learning self-discipline.

“[Goodall Homes] recognizes a special student every month,” Goodall Homes Marketing Director Rachael Overall said. “I live in Spring Hill so [recognizing a student from Spring Hill] is very important to me.”

To submit a nomination for the Goodall Homes Student of the Month, click here. Students from Williamson County Schools, private schools, and Franklin Special School District are eligible.

Mackenzie Giles family surprised her by showing up to school on Friday. Brother Lucas, mother Samantha, and father Dustin

Millstone celebrates 100th sale

Categories: Goodall Homes, Hendersonville, Nashville, Nashville Area Homebuilder, Sumner County | Posted: February 15, 2017

(STAFF REPORTS- Hendersonville Standard. Click HERE for full article)

Millstone of Hendersonville – a Goodall Homes community celebrated its 100th home sale last month.

The subdivision, located of Saundersville Road, will ultimately feature 614 homes which will include a mixture of single family homes, townhomes, courtyard cottages, and villas. According to Rachael Overall, director of marketing for Goodall Homes, the projected buildout time is around six to seven years.

A community all its own – Overall said at the heart of Millstone is the Town Center which acts as the hub for residents and neighborhood events.

“The Town Center includes a fitness center, junior Olympic resort style swimming pool with outdoor grilling area and pavilion – perfect for relaxing and enjoying the day with friends and family,” Overall said. “Adjacent to the pool is a splash pad complete with a water tank adding to fun days of laughter and water play.”

Behind the Town Center is a playground with ladders, swings and tires for all the neighborhood kids to gather. In addition, the Town Center also features a courtyard garden.

“We have various herbs and vegetation specifically planted with the guidance of University of Tennessee’s Agriculture Extension to host future Master Gardener classes and school fieldtrips,” Overall said.

The development also features a farm stand that will ultimately allow homeowners and Hendersonville residents to order organic produce and pick-up each week during the peak growing season.

For residents who enjoy walking, Millstone features connecting sidewalks throughout the neighborhood that also connect to the Town Center,” Overall said.

“In the future, we also have plans for an event lawn to add even more activities for current homeowners,” she said.

With 100 families now calling Millstone home, Overall said the comments about the neighborhood have all been positive.

“What I hear the most is how beautiful the Town Center pool and fitness center are,” she said. “They also notice the attention to detail throughout the neighborhood, taking special notice to how the theme is carried throughout the neighborhood. Residents are also looking forward to neighborhood events that will be set up in conjunction with the Community Lifestyle Director and the social committee.”

Overall said both local realtors and those from outside the Sumner County market have also been impressed with the amenities.

Millstone has a variety of homes available for every stage of life:

*Single Family: starting from the high $200s, Millstone offers a variety of one-level and two-story plans ranging from 1,868 to 3,621 square feet.

*Courtyard Cottages: starting from the mid $200s. These plans are one-level plans with bonus room or loft optional per plan. These plans are also maintenance free – homeowners do not have to worry about the upkeep of landscaping and the exterior of the home. Plans range from 1,413 to 2,122 square feet.

*Villas: We are currently developing more home sites for our Villas collection. These plans are one-level plans with bonus room or loft optional per plan. These plans are also maintenance free – homeowners do not have to worry about the upkeep of landscaping and the exterior of the home. Plans range from 1,635 to 2,327 square feet.

*Townhomes: We are currently developing more home sites for our Townhomes. These plans are two-stories with 3 bedrooms to 2.5-3.5 bathrooms depending on the plan. Square footage ranges from 1,674 to 1,976.

Why Sell to Clayton?

Categories: Goodall Homes, Nashville | Posted: February 14, 2017

Berkshire Hathaway’s Clayton has purchased three site-built companies to date.

(By  – Builder News. Click HERE for full article)

Since founding their Buford, Ga.–based company, Chafin Communities, in 1996, brothers Eric and Daryl Chafin never looked to sell the business. They saw no reason to; the company was doing well in the Atlanta market.

Then in May 2015, the Chafins met with a few executives from Clayton, the Maryville, Tenn.–based modular builder to discuss Clayton’s potential acquisition of Chafin Communities. The Chafins took the meeting, but Eric Chafin was unsure about having his site-built company potentially bought out by a modular builder.

Soon into the initial discussion, whatever reservations he held vanished. “They told us on the first meeting that they were owned by Berkshire Hathaway, and that kind of dissolved quickly,” he says.

Clayton has been a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, a well-known company run by billionaire investor Warren Buffet that also owns the likes of Duracell, Geico, Dairy Queen, and dozens of other companies, since 2003. In its 40 plants nationwide, Clayton built more than 34,000 homes in 2015. The company is in about every segment of housing that one can imagine, building traditional site-built homes, modular homes, manufactured housing, college dormitories, military barracks, and apartments.

Clayton entered the site-built side of the business in late 2014 with the purchase of 81 lots in the Mundy Mill community in Gainesville, Ga., northeast of Atlanta. According to Mike Rutherford, president of Clayton Properties, Clayton had plateaued on the manufacturing side and could no longer expand with respect to market share.

So it diversified.

But Clayton soon discovered an issue many site-built companies deal with—land—and amended its approach. “We saw pretty quickly that it was hard to scale because there weren’t a ton of finished lots, which led us down the acquisition strategy,” recalls Rutherford.

In October 2015, Clayton acquired Chafin Communities and a new venture was born. Since then, Gallatin, Tenn.–based Goodall Homes and Lee’s Summit, Mo.–based Summit Custom Homes have also come into the fold, in April and October 2016, respectively.

Many builders consider selling their companies when they’re looking to retire or find a new line of work. But the Chafins had no interest in leaving the industry. “Me and my brother are younger and we weren’t looking for an exit,” Eric Chafin says. “We were looking for somewhere we could plant a flag and move forward.”

That’s exactly what Keith Holdbrooks, president of the Clayton home building group, and his colleagues were looking for in their first site-built acquisition. “The goal was to find guys who want to sell but want keep working,” he says. “If you don’t have to deal with bureaucracy then you’ll have fun and keep working.”

That’s the Berkshire Hathaway model, he adds, and it’s how Clayton itself is run to this day. “It’s in the same mindset as Mr. Buffet,” Holdbrooks explains. “He acquires companies and he doesn’t want to run them, he wants the management to run [them].” Kevin Clayton took over as Clayton CEO in 1999 and remains in that role today.

Hearing that you’ll be able to run your company like you always have is great for a builder who’s thinking about selling, but how can you be sure that’ll be case when the deal is closed? A well-placed call might help.

Why Sell?
Bob Goodall, president at Goodall Homes, which builds in the Nashville market, received a call from the Clayton team in fall 2015. Rutherford had asked an attorney in Nashville if he knew of any companies that might mesh well with Clayton, and Goodall’s name came up.

Goodall was initially surprised by the call and had never come close to selling before. “We had had some calls from other national companies [in the past],” he says. “We’ve heard other people who’ve had bad experiences, so that wasn’t a route we wanted to go.”

However, this call was intriguing. “To become part of the Berkshire Hathaway companies and to work with a lot of great people, and to keep our culture was something that was very important to us,” he says.

Before he closed the deal, Goodall called the Chafins to see how things were going since their company became a part of Clayton Properties Group, Clayton’s site-building group.

“They indicated that everything they’d been told was the way it was,” Goodall says of the Chafins. “That made me feel a lot better.”

Two months after closing the Goodall deal, a broker reached out to the Clayton team and advised them to take a look at Summit Custom Homes, a major player in the Kansas City area. Summit had been on the market in 2014, but CEO Fred Delibero hadn’t found a perfect match. After meeting with the Clayton team, though, that changed.

Delibero says the management teams clicked instantly. After touring Clayton’s headquarters and one of its plants in Tennessee, he knew joining its team was the right move.

“It’s not easy to sell a great company that you spent 15 years building,” Delibero says, “but with Clayton, I saw an opportunity to continue to build our company free of the constraints traditional sources of capital impose while maintaining our culture and keeping in place the great team we built.”

He was familiar with Clayton’s business and was excited about getting in on the ground floor of its site-built division. “It just felt right from the very first meeting,” he says.

Delibero elected not to reach out to the Chafins or Goodall prior to selling because he was confident in the Clayton team’s word. “Before the sale closed, the team at Clayton told me to run the business the way you always have, and build upon our success with their resources,” he says. “Now that the sale is closed, that’s exactly what is happening.”

When making his decision, Goodall considered the young people in leadership positions at his company. “I envision these team members being superstars, and I think this gives them a better opportunity for growth, provides a lot more capital than we had before, and it’s a great support system,” he says.

With the capital infusion from a Berkshire Hathaway–backed company, each of the site-built builders says their options have never been greater.

“Before, a lot of what drove our decision making was just cash flow, debt, and personal guarantees, and now we can think a lot more long-term and don’t have to worry about the cash flow nearly as much,” Goodall says. “It changes everything. It’s a paradigm shift for us.”

These site-built builders also are eyeing new markets and plan to grow their closings in the near-term. For Summit, which closed 243 homes in 2015, Delibero expects growth in the Kansas City metro area and some regional expansion. “We think we can double our sales in the next three years while opening one or two new regional markets,” he says.

Company Collaboration
“The greatest idea we’ve ever had has not been thought of yet,” is a quote that’s pasted across a wall at Clayton’s headquarters, and it’s a concept the company’s executives take to heart.

With three site-built companies now under the Clayton Properties Group umbrella, ideas to make home building more efficient are encouraged.

For Clayton, one of the major initiatives in the coming years will be to leverage its buying power from manufacturing around 40,000 homes a year and translating those cost savings to its site-built entities. “We buy stuff by the truckload and by the railcar.” Rutherford says, adding that the goal is to figure out “how we translate that into a home package and really have them benefit from being part of the buying power that Clayton has.”

It was something Goodall was eager to delve into after selling his company. “Being able to take advantage of that buying power is enormous,” he says. “That’s probably the biggest thing that started early and often.”

Clayton Supply, the company’s building materials arm, will supply 40% of the home building group’s raw materials in 2017.

Since Clayton itself is a modular builder, Clayton Properties Group is looking to combine those best practices with its site-built companies whenever feasible. “When we go to our site-built properties—and we’ve grown up on the manufacturing side all our lives—we see some things from an efficiency, waste [standpoint],” Holdbrooks says. “And then when they come to our facilities they see opportunities that we can improve on.”

Eric Chafin says he’s exploring modular practices, and, without going into detail, that Chafin Communities will look to implement “some minor stuff” to the site-built business this year. “We’re always looking for [ways] to improve efficiencies and time frames,” he says. “That side of the business really has got it down to a science, and in site-built, we’re not like that.”

Delibero says it’s hard to tell if Summit will one day adopt modular practices. “One thing is certain, though,” he says. “We will work toward reinventing the way site-built homes are built.”

Holdbrooks says the opportunity to automate processes is huge on both the factory- and site-built side. “It’s from the speed, quality, and efficiency side of it that’s intriguing,” he says.

The Clayton team says it’s always looking for more site-builders to acquire, but will only execute a deal when a perfect match is found. While its Clayton Properties Group roster continues to expand, marrying building methods will take center stage.

“There’s no doubt we all have to change our processes and get more efficient at what we’re doing,” Holdbrooks says. “The door’s wide open for collaboration between site and factory.”


Desi Kelley of Nolensville Elementary is Goodall Homes Student of the Month

Categories: Awards, Community Service, Goodall Homes, Williamson County | Posted: January 24, 2017

(By Derby Jones • Publisher for Williamson Herald. Click HERE for Full Article)

When Desi Kelley, a third grader at Nolensville Elementary, went to school on Wednesday, Dec. 21, he was expecting a class party and the school sing-along. What he didn’t expect was to be presented the Goodall Homes Student of the month during the assembly with his parents in the audience as a surprise!

As the students gathered in the school gymnasium for holiday singing, Principal Paula Waits informed the students that there is a special award to be given out. Rachael Overall of Goodall Homes took the microphone and spoke about the type of student they look for in selecting the student and then announced the winner to the delight of the crowd

“He was nominated as the class president by his peers,” said Overall. “He (Desi) was selected for his honesty, helpfulness, kindness to others at all times, thoughtfulness, respectfulness, being responsible, and being accepting of others — great qualities that we look for in our students.”

His third grade teacher, Julie Bratcher, also had many great things to say about Desi.

“The whole class would agree that Desi deserves this award. He embraces all the characteristics that we brainstormed and the students voting him into office after nominating him for the primary,” said Bratcher about the class presidential election. “He is such a bright student with the most kind heart. He does all of his work with excellence and is a joy to teach. I feel very blessed to be his teacher this year.”

Desi is a well-rounded person, according to his parents, Jeffrey and Noelle Kelley. He enjoys using his creativity to build with different blocks, tiles, paper and wood. His parents said Desi would make a good engineer one day.

“He loves to build things and is very creative,” Jeffrey said. “He has great aspirations for lots of things.”

Noelle noted that he is also a great brother with a big heart.

“He loves to make his family laugh with his different accents and songs,” she said. “His heart is tender and he feels deeply for others. Desi asks big questions and loves to learn how things work.”

Both parents agreed his favorite subject is math.

Desi also enjoys anything that involves sports and running and loves to be outside.

“He is competitive but has great sportsmanship,” said Bratcher.

Desi’s fellow classmates all agreed he deserved the award in addition to being nominated as class president.

“He really does deserve the awards,” said classmate Annaross Wetzel. “He is always nice and very intelligent. He treats everyone with kindness.”

Wetzel said she served as his speechwriter during the class campaign.

“I have known him since first grade,” Wentzel said. “Desi is awesome.”

Overall of Goodall Homes noted the future looks bright with these kinds of students.

“Creative, dependable, and kind,” she said. “These were just some of the things I heard about Desi. We need more future leaders like him.”

If you would like to submit a nomination for the Goodall Homes Student of the month, go to and click on the home button for the link to the form.

Goodall Homes opens The Grove at Five Oaks

Categories: Five Oaks, Goodall Homes, Lebanon, Neighborhood, New Community, Villas, Wilson County | Posted: January 19, 2017

Staff Writer SABRINA GARRETT / The Wilson Post. Click HERE for full article)

Potential homebuyers and guests will get a chance to see Goodall Homes’ newest Wilson County community, The Grove at Five Oaks, during an open house on Tuesday, Jan. 17.

New home consultant Zach Custer gave The Wilson Post a tour of the model homes in the neighborhood this week and explained why the design features, price point and perks make Goodall Homes some of the most desirable in Middle Tennessee.

Custer is currently manning the Georgetown-style villa in The Grove, located in West Lebanon’s Five Oaks neighborhood.

He explained that villas, depending on design and upgrades, range from $250,000 to $300,000. “Nothing really like that in Five Oaks. Most homes here are closer to $500,000 homes. Its maintenance-free living in a premier community,” he said.

This maintenance-free living includes landscaping and exterior care provided by the company. “All the homeowner is responsible for is the interior,” Custer added.

The villas range in size from one-story, 1,650 square-foot plans to nearly 2,400 square-foot plans if the homebuyer wishes to finish the upstairs with a media room.

Custer said they do not have one target demographic. The community will offer 114 residences in The Grove when completed. The villas are four-side brick.

From contract to closing is six months, Custer continued. “The first two months is design-oriented. Then it takes about four months to build the house,” he said.

The Georgetown model home, which is currently open, is 2,200 square-feet in size and includes two bedrooms, three full baths and a luxury kitchen with upgraded island and double ovens, as well as a two-car garage. Custer showed off the great room and dining room, decorated in a chic lime and aqua color scheme by Melissa Sisk of Shopgirl TN. There is also an “Arlington” style model home.

Homebuyers will receive free membership to Five Oaks Golf & Country Club for six months.

Goodall Homes has two additional communities in Wilson County – Stonebridge and Colonial Village, both in Lebanon.

Goodall Homes has a rich history in Tennessee. Company founder Bob Goodall Jr. started building in 1983 after graduation. The builder has focused on the development and construction of single-family homes, townhomes, courtyard cottages, condominiums and more in the Middle Tennessee area.

Goodall Homes was awarded Builder of the Year by Professional Builder Magazine in 2014.

Clayton, one of America’s largest homebuilders, announced in May 2016 it had acquired Goodall Homes. Goodall Homes can now be found in Wilson, Williamson, Sumner and Davidson counties.

Goodall Homes to hold showcase for new homes

Categories: Five Oaks, Lebanon, New Community, New Floorplan, Villas, Wilson County | Posted: January 19, 2017

(Angie Mayes • Staff- The Lebanon Democrat/ Updated Jan 11, 2017)

In two weeks, Goodall Homes will hold the grand opening of the two models that will showcase the floorplans offered in the Grove at Five Oaks.

The event will take place Tuesday from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.

“The Grove at Five Oaks offers maintenance-free living in the heart of the established Five Oaks neighborhood. Located on two holes of the 18-hole championship golf course, these energy-efficient homes offer one-level, zero-step entry with optional bonus room or loft per plan and a spacious kitchen,” said Rachael Holland Overall, director of marketing for Goodall Homes.

“The Grove at Five Oaks features our villas product line. Current floorplan offerings include the Arlington and Georgetown plans. Villas range from 1,635 to 2,327 square feet with two to three bedrooms, two to three bathrooms and a two-car garage. Maintenance-free living means homeowners don’t have to worry about landscaping, mowing or maintaining a yard – that’s all included in the homeowners association.”

Located on 29 acres, Goodall plans to build 114 residential structures, that will feature sets of two-attached homes with all sides bricked. Construction of the community began in October. Overall said Goodall expects the community should be built out in four or five years.

“With the purchase of a Goodall Homes villa, homeowners can choose one of the following free six-month memberships to Five Oaks Golf and Country Club, full golf membership; dining room membership; or pool, tennis, swimming membership,” Overall said.

The utilities are located underground and there are curbed streets and maintained greenways, she said.

The home prices start in the mid-$200,000s to low-$300,000s, depending on the floor plan and features.

Goodall Homes currently builds villas in neighborhoods, including StoneBridge in Lebanon and Carellton in Gallatin.

The homes can also be visited at any time. The office is open Sundays and Wednesdays from 1-5 p.m. and Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
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