The home puts the FHBA in position to continue its advocacy for the local building industry.
Some organizations hold bake sales or raffles to raise money. The Flagler Home Builders Association built a house and cleared $110,000.
Dozens of contractors (all members of the FHBA) contributed time and/or materials to build what was known as the Paradise Home, in Grand Landings. After the home was finally built and ready to go on the market in December 2020, plans were made for an open house to showcase all the members who had contributed.
The only problem is, the house sold so quickly that there was no time for an open house.
Tony Amaral Jr., who was the contractor of record for the Paradise Home, said the buyer was a recently retired builder from Naples.
“They said, ‘It was built the way we would have built our house in Naples,’” Amaral said. “I thought, ‘OK, I’m happy with that answer.”
Amaral was pleased with the contributions of all who participated, from the countertops to the bathrooms. “Everyone has their specialty and did their job above and beyond what we expected,” he added.
FHBA board members Roy Waldhauer and Eric Phillips came up with the idea to build a house as a fundraiser, Waldhauer said, explaining that FHBA members were invited to submit blind bids for different aspects of the house, and they were selected based on what would benefit the organization most.
Members were motivated to help because they see the benefit of a strong FHBA. Waldhauer said not only does he take advantage of the networking opportunities, but he also appreciates the lobbying done at the local and state levels.
“If you just let these legislators run around, next thing you know, it gets harder and harder to do business, because they’re making laws that don’t really pertain,” Waldhauer said.
Both Waldhauer and Amaral praised the work of Executive Director Annamaria Abad, who succeeded the late Deborah “debi” Peterson much sooner than anyone expected.
“I think she’s done a great job,” Waldhauer said. “I’m really proud of her.”
Abad said the funds raised by the Paradise Home sale will mostly be saved as reserves for the organization. There is little temptation to spend it — other than supporting several charities and a family in need — because of the lessons learned from the recession more than a decade ago, which closed some homebuilders associations for good around Florida; more recently, the coronavirus pandemic closed the Flagler Chamber for good.
Among those who helped make the Paradise Home a success were Douglas Property and Development, Southern Title, ELS, Cosentino and Sherwin Williams.