Building Toward Your Ideal Home

By ASHLEY ANDERSON
Staff Writer
The Voice-Tribune 

Long gone is the tradition of “two-story living.” As times have changed, so too has the way people live and work inside their homes, lending to the recent increase in one-story ranches and split-level houses, according to veteran builder Don Karem.

Karem, founder of building and development firm Karem Built Homes, has provided Louisville and the surrounding area with quality new homes in a variety of styles and price ranges for the last two decades. He has personally managed each project with close attention to detail through all phases of construction and can custom design a plan, or offer a variety of pre-designed plans from which a client can choose, in the process of realizing his or her ideal home.

Recently, Karem noted, one style of house in particular – the one-story ranch – has grown in popularity with the evolution of the modern, fast-paced lifestyle. “(People) don’t want the big unmanageable house. They’re busy, but they want a nice house,” said the Louisville native, who attended St. Xavier High School, the University of Louisville and Bellarmine University, graduating with a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in business administration, and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the state of Kentucky. “They want a nicer house, one-story living, everything on the first floor.”

Located past Middletown off Kilcott Way, Karem constructed a fully-furnished one-story “Ashley” model home boasting three bedrooms and two baths within a spacious floor plan. The model home is an excellent example of the type of artistry Karem provides, giving prospective clients a glimpse of the finished product and helping inspire ideas for specific features they’d like to add to their own custom built home. While Karem specializes in the one-story ranch model, he can build any type of house in any price range with amenities for handicapped individuals, or older men and women looking for their “last home” that’s more comfortable and easier to navigate.

Inside the fully-furnished Ashley model, you’ll find beautifully painted glazed cream cabinets, Kasmir Gold granite, 5-inch wide hand-scraped oak flooring and Wainscot panels in the dining room that are hand glazed by Southern Inspirations by Linda Gale. French plaster finish by the same artist can also be seen in the foyer, and extensive crown and moulding is featured throughout the home, as are new and vintage chandeliers, original and vintage painted furniture by Southern Inspirations by Linda Gale, plus custom window treatments.

“We’ve gone from building houses that are more plain or with a more standard look to specializing in houses with more interesting front elevations, more luxury (features) in them that we weren’t doing before to try to adapt to what people are asking for.” A version of the model home can also be seen at this year’s Homearama, July 13-28, at its Locust Creek location. In the past, Karem has been distinguished as a Homearama Grand Award Winner for new home design and decorating. He also won the best home design sponsored by the Sales and Marketing Committee of the Home Builders Association of Louisville.

In addition to the charming amenities of the model home, Karem Built Homes are constructed with energy efficiency and individually rated based on the Home Energy Rating System (HERS). Greener characteristics of  Karem Built Homes include energy-efficient furnaces, weather shielding and basement insulation that help keep the environment and your budget in mind.

Keeping a client’s budget at the forefront of the building equation is also a strength of Karem’s, especially with his background and work experience in accounting. “It helps me a lot with the business in the financial sense in analyzing cost,” Karem said. “I can also help people some with investment decisions. … Today, there’s a lot in terms of value for your dollar with the low interest rates. You can buy so much more now with the rates than you could when they were higher.”

For that reason, now is a prime time to buy or build, said Karem, who is a realtor with Prudential Parks & Weisberg Realtors and a member of the Greater Louisville Association of Realtors, the Kentucky Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors. His company estimates the construction of a new home can be completed in approximately four to six months. And, with Karem’s expertise and the pride he takes in each home project from the inside out, you can rest assured you’ll walk away with superior quality and the house you’ve dreamed of, no matter how big or small you decide to make it.

“I really enjoy the building business, I really enjoy building new homes and I really enjoy helping people get what they want because a home is not something that you can take lightly,” Karem said. “For most of us it’s our biggest investment, and we don’t take that lightly at all because people are counting on me to make that happen. … I like to do a good job and build a good product, something that’s going to be there forever and I can ride by years later and say I built that house.”

For more information on Karem Built Homes, visit www.karembuilthomes.com or call 502.261.0009.

Contact writer Ashley Anderson at aanderson@voice-tribune.com, 502.498.2051.

Photos by CHRIS HUMPHREYS | The Voice-Tribune