AZFoothills.com chats with one of the Valley leaders in luxury homebuiling, Anthony Salcito of Salcito Custom Homes.
Bliss Boutique Photography (Vanessa Gibbs)
Where was the first home Salcito built?
The Pinnacle Peak Shadows in 1978 in Pinnacle Peak, a few blocks east of Pima on Pinnacle Peak Rd.
When did you know this was your calling?
I have never worked at another place nor did I ever imagine doing anything else.
DC Ranch and Silverleaf?
I moved into DC Ranch before 2000 and built my own custom home in the Country Club at DC Ranch in 2001. I doubt another custom home builder has been here longer. According to the DC Ranch Covenant Commission, through August 2010, Salcito Custom Homes had built 10 percent of all the custom homes in the community. The next closest builder was five percent. That statistic says a lot about our commitment to the area and also about the consistent demand for our services.
Success: how did you make it happen during this tough time?
Hard work and focus on one thing—building homes for clients and not on spec. Salcito Custom Homes is integrated; we offer complete design-build services, construction management, interiors, framing and property management. Those services, a nearly 35-year history in the Valley, and providing the highest level of service in everything that we do, all day, every day, is what keeps us in business.
Family: how important is that to your success?
Building on a family heritage that spans four decades, SCH continues to be guided by our firmly held values and by our commitment to our clients, to our projects, to our colleagues and to our employees. My values and level of commitment to all of the aspects of my business are a direct result of the way I was brought up and by the examples that were set for me by both of my parents. I try to set the same good examples for my two awesome sons.
You can live anywhere in the Valley. Why do you chose Silverleaf?
My wife and two boys enjoy Silverleaf Country Club, The Village, Copper Ridge School, Market Street and all of the other amenities that the DC Ranch Master Plan offers. We rarely leave the area. A significant amount of my business is in Silverleaf and my office is located on Market Street in Stone Bridge Commons, a 14,000-sq.-ft. commercial building I built in 2005. For me, Silverleaf is the perfect place to live, work, play and raise a family.
What makes you different from other home buliders?
I take every prospect seriously and dedicate a proportionate amount of time to each, regardless of whether or not it is a $65,000 tenant improvement or a $10 million custom home. Currently, that is the price range of the eight projects that I have going. SCH has been in business in Scottsdale, providing the highest level of service, for nearly 35 years. Few others can say that. If a potential client asks for references I like being able to provide a dozen or two dozen or three dozen references. So I spend my time making sure that all of my clients are happy with the service they get, regardless of what they spend. I concentrate on service, which is why I have so much repeat business. I think that is more important than press related to winning a design or construction award, which is why I spend very little time pursuing awards. The projects we do speak for themselves. Lastly, the services I offer—design-build, construction management, interiors, framing and property management—few others, if any, are as integrated.
What has changed since you started building?
In 1980 my father built a home designed by Bill Tull primarily out of adobe block that at the time cost $1.4 million, adjusted for construction inflation $3,850,000. So in that respect, Salcito Custom Homes has been building complex projects with unique features for more than 30 years. We installed Lite Touch and Crestron in a home in Desert Mountain in 1992 and since that time have installed around 200 lighting and automation systems. We started using Dow exterior insulation in the late 1980’s and have used their product on around 200 homes. The features evolve so I keep up with the times and always introduce my clients to the latest in electronics, home automation, eco-friendly building products and energy-efficient design and construction methods. However, none of this is new- for us, the features just continue to evolve.
What are the top five items every new high-end custom home should have?
1. A practical floor plan that meets the programming needs of the family
2. Good interior and exterior design that is true to the character of the selected style, regardless of the budget. Good design is attainable.
3. Energy-efficient and eco-friendly design and building materials.
4. A lighting system.
5. Assuming the home is located in Arizona, a pool.
What is the biggest mistake people make when building custom that they can avoid? Purchasing a lot prior to definitively determining that a home that meets their programming needs can be placed on that lot and built within their budget. People should not rely on pricing advice from a builder that has never built a single home in the development that they are pursuing to build their home.
What is your favorite home you ever built?
It’s a 10-way tie.
Why does it seem builders keep building new personal homes and keep moving?
We get bored; it’s how we make a living. My wife and I enjoy the process and the collaborative effort. I lived in my home in the Country Club at DC Ranch for five years, which is a long time for a builder. I am currently building another in Horseshoe Canyon. That won’t be the last. Maybe the one after that.