Marilynn and John Fogarty know a good home when they see one. For years, they toiled with paint, wallpaper, hammers and nails, remodeling the homes in which they have lived. One house took them eight years to renovate, after having it divided in half and moved 50 miles to a 4-acre site in California. Although the couple have left behind their days of restoring fixer-uppers, once again they are designing a home to meet their personal needs. “But this time, I’m not carrying a hammer,” Marilynn Fogarty said. “Christopher Homes is doing all the work.”
That work will result in a 7,000-square-foot custom luxury home overlooking the TPC Canyons golf course in Christopher Homes’ Bellacere development in Summerlin. The luxury home development is one of many to dot the Las Vegas map since J. Christopher Stuhmer founded the company in 1987. Stuhmer, following in his father’s footsteps, started building custom homes in 1981, but wanted to fill a greater niche in the housing market and began building luxury production homes six years later.
The company has continued to specialize in both types of homes and has recently jumped up to the $500,000-plus market. Since 1987, it has sold more than 1,000 homes. The Fogartys were so impressed by the designs and service that this is the second Christopher Home they have purchased. “I have nothing but great things to say about Christopher Homes,” Marilynn Fogarty said. “I’ve been like a kid in a candy store in planning the new house. I’ve been able to participate in every single detail.”
Choosing Christopher Homes allowed the Fogartys to provide their own touch to 24 different architectural attributes in their new home. Because they frequently have friends and relatives visiting, they wanted larger guest quarters and formal entertaining areas. In addition, Marilynn Fogarty needed a spacious office for her home-based travel and cruise business. According to President Steve Hackney, what makes Christopher Homes different is that clients are able to work closely with in-house architects to make substantial changes to floor plans. They can create a home suitable for almost anyone’s lifestyle, Hackney said.
The company’s latest development, which opened in November, is The Christopher Collection, located at the Southern Highlands Golf Course at Interstate 15 and Lake Mead Drive. The collection features 16 different models and comes with a lengthy list of floor plan extras, such as wine cellars, courtyard fireplaces and elevators. The homes range from 3,000 square feet to 6,200 square feet, but the livable space is expanded with elaborate courtyards and terraces. Prices range from the mid-$400,000s to more than $1 million. The company has sold about 30 homes averaging $1 million or more in the master-planned area.
Christopher Homes has continued to win awards locally, regionally and nationally for its designs and neighborhoods. In 1999 the Palisades neighborhood in Summerlin captured national attention when one of its models was named National Home of the Year by Best in American Living, an awards program at the National Association of Home Builders convention. A year later, the Vineyards development in Summerlin was named National Community of the Year by the National Sales and Marketing Council.
Christopher Homes focuses only on the Las Vegas market, but Hackney said that could change in the future, especially as the demand for luxury housing goes up. “It’s an enticing concept that we are not ignoring at this time,” he said. “When the time is right, I think we will consider opportunities that may exist outside of Las Vegas.”