On August 15, 1985, Wade McGuinn started a new stage in his life. He became a business owner. With more than three decades of experience behind him now, Wade is looking back and looking forward. As McGuinn Hybrid Homes celebrates 33 years of homebuilding, we asked Wade to give us a bit more history.
Why did you start the company?
I started my career selling new home construction as a site agent. I loved the work. I loved construction, and I wanted to do more than sell homes that were someone else’s ideas.
How many homes did you build back in the early years?
We started one at a time! In 1985, we built a total of 4 homes. I was working from my home, running the business from my dining room table—days, nights, and weekends.In 2017, we produced 260 houses. That’s like building and selling a new home every workday of the year.
How many people do you employ now?
We employ 35 full-time and literally hundreds of trade partners and subcontractors that make our product possible. Our grading contractor and plumbing contractor started with me 33 years ago and they’re still part of our team.Mike Kelly has been with us for 17 years, starting out as a project manager. Mike has handled just about every job in the construction process: customer service, production manager, vice president of operations and production and then president three years ago. He was recently promoted to COO.Charles Moore has been part of McGuinn Hybrid Homes for 15 years. My wife started this business with me. She’s now happily retired. And two of my three kids have spent a total of 18 years with the company.
How has homebuilding changed since 1985—both in construction and the things that people want?
Today, the sky is the limit. Most starter homes today exceed 2,000 square feet, even for a first time home buyer. People in the 80's appreciated the basics in a 1,040-square-foot home. Now they’re looking for luxury with features we never had—or felt the need for—back then. But it’s exciting to explore the possibilities with so many choices available to distinguish a home for the buyer.
What has contributed to the success of McGuinn Hybrid Homes?
Unrelenting passion for excellence. It doesn’t matter whether I was building a few homes, one at a time, or overseeing the development of our communities and new homes. I started this company with the idea that I was going to build better and work smarter. I knew energy efficiency and affordability would be major factors, but I also new I couldn’t do it by compromising my standards for quality.
What does McGuinn Hybrid Homes do differently (and better) than the competition?
I think it’s the way we work with our customers. We’ve heard stories from some of them about builders who don’t return calls, delays, and fielding one excuse after another for cost overruns. We have a team here that is completely tuned into the needs of our customers. This is a huge investment for them, and we appreciate that. It’s always been my personal goal to give every homebuyer personal attention and respect, to work with honesty, accountability, and transparency.
Community outreach has always been important to McGuinn Hybrid Homes. How have you cultivated your desire to give back?
I was a founding member of Habitat for Humanity in the Columbia Metro market 33 years ago. I knew back then that being a builder was not just a responsibility to help others, but an opportunity. I’m currently leading a $9,000,000 capital campaign to endow Habitat into the next generation.
What's ahead for the company? Are there new communities on the horizon, maybe expanding into different towns and cities?
God only knows! We have an energetic, youthful group of building professionals who like to talk about the potential for McGuinn Hybrid Homes. It’s gratifying to know that I have these dedicated people who are excited to come to work and bring their ideas. I think this company may span the whole southeast and maybe even go public one day. Choosing the builder for your new home is a big decision. Wade and his team welcome the chance to show you what McGuinn Hybrid Homes can offer. Whether you want a new construction home or townhome in one of our communities near Columbia, SC, or to build on your land, we can guide you through the experience with the skill that comes from 33 years of experience. Contact us to see how you can count on us.