Sarilia is home to three ready-to-move (RTM) homes built with care by Zak’s, a family owned business that opened its doors in 1996. We chatted with Bryant van Kuik, residential salesman at the company, to learn about why RTMs work so well in the river valley, and what trends he’s noticed in the home building industry.
What is your role at Zak’s?
I have the pleasure of working with customers to design their home and take it right through to completion. This includes floor plan design, architectural design, pricing, blueprints, final selections and warranty walk-throughs.
What home building trends are you noticing among your clients?
We continue to see many units going into lake country – some humble cabins and others very elaborate cottages. More and more people are asking about green alternatives – for example, we have a unit currently on site that has solar panels mounted on the roof.
In general, what were the Sarilia residents looking for in their homes?
The owners of the Sarilia units we have built seemed to have a priority on managing costs while maintaining a high build quality. From there, they certainly all chose/developed plans that took advantage of the fantastic river views that Sarilia affords.
What makes an RTM ideal for people moving to Sarilia’s river valley?
RTMs continue to be a great way for people to build homes that are not in major centres near tradespeople. We are able to manage both build cost and timelines very well since we are on site every day and tradespeople do not have extra travel time/cost.
In general, who are your clients?
Our clients tend to be a mix of age groups and life goals. At times, we are building bigger homes for people with growing families – other times we are building lake homes for people who no longer have kids living at home and require less space.
There seems to be a growing interest in tiny homes (homes between 100-400 square feet without a permanent foundation). Are you seeing some of this interest from people who are looking to build houses with a smaller footprints?
To date, the interest in tiny homes has certainly increased – but we have not seen a lot of units end up getting built. I have had conversations with people of all ages – but most do not have kids.
What we are seeing more of is what I might call a trend toward “small homes.” These customers are typically driven by cost of living and a minimal footprint. So rather than build a tiny home, they will build a smaller/more economical home that has a permanent foundation.
Most of these clients seem to be driven by the cost of living and a desire to have money for travel and other priorities – rather than being maxxed out by a mortgage.
What’s the smallest footprint Zak’s has built so far?
To date, our smallest home was a 640-square foot unit.