August 20, 2017

Spotlight: Modern Catskills Specializes in Sustainable Homes


Spotlight: Sustainable Home Builder, Modern Catskills, Specializes in Custom, Modern Homes

For consumers that want to live sustainable lifestyles, having an actual home that’s sustainably built is a must. But if there are some areas where finding homes that are both sustainable and modern can be tough.

But if you’re in the Catskills area of New York, there’s a company that aims to provide both of those types of homes in one. Read more about Modern Catskills and what the business offers in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does

Provides pre-designed, custom-built modern homes.

Business Niche

Offering sustainable architecture.

Sandra Riedel, partner for Modern Catskills told Small Business Trends, “Sullivan County, NY is a rural area known mostly for old farmhouses and arts and crafts cottages. Modern sustainable architecture is only recently coming to the area. Modern Catskills is the first company in the Catskills to establish a brand to exclusively support such development.”

Spotlight: Sustainable Home Builder, Modern Catskills, Specializes in Custom, Modern Homes



How the Business Got Started

To serve an under-served market.

Riedel says, “I was in real estate sales and Karl [Wasner, partner] is a builder and architect. We both heard the same feedback from our clients, there just wasn’t enough quality inventory to support the influx of home buyers in the area. Karl came up with a set of plans and we worked on the design and business strategy for a few months.”

Biggest Win

Launching a successful website.

Riedel says, “Our website is the core of our marketing strategy, and so launching our Wix website is our biggest win. We waited until we had two clients signed and houses in development, which allowed us to launch the site and supporting assets with a proven business model while also surprise our entire community with a fully realized company. In small town America, this impressed a lot of folks!”

Biggest Risk

Taking on their first client.

Riedel says, “Our biggest risk was signing our first clients without knowing whether our designs would appraise at the value we gave it. Our clients took out a construction loan to finance their projects, and there was no way to know whether the appraisal would come in at the value we had given. Fortunately, it came in at just over so the clients were very pleased. The clients could have canceled and our business model could have failed before we even got started.”

Spotlight: Sustainable Home Builder, Modern Catskills, Specializes in Custom, Modern Homes

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000

Building a spec house.

Riedel says, “We would build a spec house on a ridge overlooking the Delaware River.”

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Find out more about the Small Biz Spotlight program

Images: Modern Catskills; Second Image: Sandra Reidel, Third Image: Karl Wasner

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Annie Pilon - Staff Writer


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found on her personal blog Wattlebird, and exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

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