- Written by: Molly Shaw
- Produced by: Lindsey McKenna
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
Since 1985, discerning homebuyers throughout Maryland and Virginia have turned to Caruso Homes (Caruso) for uncompromising quality and customer dedication. “Over the course of our history, we’ve developed well over 1,000 lots,” reveals Jeff Caruso, founder and president of Caruso. “We’re capable of taking a development from raw land through the homebuilding process and into a living, working community, but what really sets us apart is customer service. We’re there for our family of homeowners from the moment they walk in the model through the delivery of their dream home and well into the future.”
Jeff established his namesake company in 1985 shortly after graduating from the University of Florida with a homebuilding degree. “I started building homes with my brother right out of college,” he recalls. “We started small with a single home and about five years later we were building 30 a year. I bought my brother out and Caruso continued to expand, even through the savings and loan crisis.”
Building a name and a niche, one home at a time
By 2000, Caruso was building 100 homes a year. “Fast-forward to 2005 and we were up to 300 homes a year,” recounts Jeff. “In 2006 and 2007 the market started to soften and we tightened up. The company was doing active adult communities, a niche we’ve pushed for over the years, and market-rate housing.”
Now on the up-side of the post-recession economy, Jeff is proud to say Caruso is thriving once again. “We’re growing,” he reveals. “We’ll build 100 homes in 2014, including single-family, multi-unit and active-adult housing.”
Based in Crofton, Md., the company employs 40 professionals operating in the greater Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Annapolis area.
The company maintains a reputation for leading the building industry in trends and technology. Dedicated to creating healthier lifestyles for its homeowners, the company recently introduced its Energy Elite program, ensuring each home is energy-efficient and constructed using environmentally conscious materials and practices. As part of the Energy Elite program, Caruso offers third-party verification of energy efficiency using the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index and guarantees the homes’ energy consumption; if the homeowner’s utility bill is higher than the guarantee, Caruso will pay the difference.
“We’re a high-end residential community and custom homebuilder,” explains Jeff. “We do everything from single-family to active-adult housing.” In 2012, Caruso launched Caruso Homes on Your Lot, a custom homes division that has been active for two years and is growing rapidly.
“We’ll build about 24 custom homes this year, based on existing designs, which we’ve already built in the past,” details Jeff. “For most projects, the engineering, architecture and pricing is all pre-done so when a customer comes in to purchase a home we can provide a comprehensive estimate and sign a contract within days, whereas other builders need six months to a year.”
A dynamic adult living market
In addition to a booming custom-home market, Caruso is also leading the Mid-Atlantic region in active adult communities, with the philosophy that life doesn’t slow down after 55. In fact, on February 5, 2014, Caruso was honored as the Gold Award Winner for the Best 50+ Clubhouse by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) 50+ Housing Council for the company’s Symphony Village project.
“Symphony Village is not just another 50-plus community,” shares Jeff. “Every aspect of the community is dedicated to the health, recreation and improved quality of life for our homeowners. I feel great pride in receiving this national honor, as it is a reflection of our team’s commitment to provide the highest standards of excellence and attention to every detail.”
The Symphony Club at Symphony Village is a grand 13,800-plus-square-foot clubhouse offering a variety of amenities, clubs and organized events for the recreation and enjoyment of its residents. Features include an indoor pool, a fitness center with equipment and classes, activity rooms for cards and crafts, a billiards room, a concert hall/ballroom and a large bar area.
The amenities extend outside with a luxurious outdoor pool, tennis courts, putting green, badminton courts, bocce ball, horseshoe arena and walking trails. As the heart of this community, the Symphony Club is the gateway for healthy, resort-style living for active adults on Maryland’s beautiful Eastern Shore.
“There are 395 total home sites in the community offering innovative, spacious floor plans centered around main level living, and only about 40 sites remain,” details Jeff. “Projects like Symphony Village present many challenges for builders these days due to the exorbitant upfront costs of the clubhouse and additional amenities, but we are completely finished with that phase of the development and have already handed the clubhouse over to the homeowners.”
“Symphony Village has set the standard for innovation and design in the development of recreational facilities for the active adult lifestyle,” adds Robert Karen, managing member of the Symphony Development Group. “It is the culmination of research, vision and numerous discussions with discerning 50-plus homebuyers that created the Symphony Club; one look and you will understand why our residents are singing its praises.”
In addition to Symphony Village, Caruso is also selling on Maryland’s scenic Eastern Shore at Osprey Point and at 15 other communities throughout suburban D.C., Baltimore and Annapolis. “We see a good tail wind in that there’s a lot of customer demand,” ensures Jeff. The builder continues to deliver award-winning residencies throughout the region. From premier resort-style communities to a custom single-family home, Caruso Homes carefully crafts an exceptional product.
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