25 Years of Building Dreams – An Interview with Bill Luther

If you’ve been a part of the homebuilding industry for any extended period of time, you can appreciate anniversary milestones and how hard it can be to achieve longevity in the building business. While new construction has experienced the highest of highs and lowest of lows, it takes hard work, dedication, and a commitment to the customer experience to make a lasting name for yourself. Gemcraft Homes has done just that. To celebrate 25 years of building dreams for home buyers, we sat down with owner and president, Bill Luther, to take a trip down memory lane.

How did you get into the home building business?
“I was in the grocery business in Houston for 7 or 8 years, when I bought a new construction home of my own. The process peaked my interest, so I sold the grocery store that I owned at the time and began working for a public homebuilder. I worked in every department from sales to production to service to management.”

What’s kept you in the home building industry all these years?
“It’s always been a thrill to take raw land and transform it into neighborhoods. I love the idea that I’m building families homes and they’ll outlast my lifetime.”

Do you have a favorite floorplan or community?
“My favorite home is always the last one that we build. I’ve been fortunate to deliver homes ranging from $70,000 up to $900,000 and each one is fulfilling someone’s dream of homeownership.”

How have things changed in the home building industry over the past 25 years?
“There are definitely less people in the business, which means you have to build strong relationships with your contractors and keep good employees on the payroll by treating them well. Home building is also much more political than it used to be. There’s a lot of bureaucracy that can affect affordability, so we’ve had to adjust our process to make sure the home buyers don’t feel that pain.”

How many homes has Gemcraft built in their 25 year history?
“We’ve built over 8,000 homes in over 220 communities in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia.”

Where was the first Gemcraft Homes office?
“Our first office was in the basement of one of our models in Abingdon, MD and we’ve been local to Harford County ever since.”

What’s one of your favorite customer experiences you’ve had to date?
“There are so many to choose from! One year we partnered with the ARC of Northern Chesapeake Region, who provide supports to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, to build handicap accessible homes. One of the young men was so excited because the wheelchair-friendly design of the bathroom meant he could take a shower on his own for the first time. That just felt good to hear him say that.”

What’s your proudest Gemcraft moment?
“To name a few, we were named Maryland Builder of the Year in 2001 which was a standout moment. We raffled off a home in our Rehoboth Crossing community in 2001 that raised over $400,000 for the House with a Heart Foundation. We built and a home for a fighter pilot who was part of the Operation Enduring Freedom mission in Afghanistan. Because he was so happy with his new home he dedicated a flyover to Gemcraft Homes”.

Congratulations to Gemcraft Homes on their 25th Anniversary and cheers to the next 25 years!