My wife Darlene and I had always wanted to build a house in the country. In our 32 years of marriage, we have lived either in a subdivision or in town. Our children are grown and it was the perfect time to downsize. We wanted to sell our 2600 square foot home in town and build about a 1600-1700 square foot home in the country.


We wanted to find some land on a plot big enough that we would have a little room to breathe. In the spring of 2015, we began our search for land. We knew the general area where we wanted to live,  somewhere near Pine Level/Princeton, close to our church and church family. For months we looked and even negotiated several potential deals, but each one fell through for one reason or another. We were literally at the point of throwing our hands up and just resolving ourselves to live in town for the rest of our lives. Then just a few days later in May 2016, I got a phone call from a good friend.

The first words out of his mouth were “Greg, the Lord works in mysterious ways!” He proceeded to tell me about a piece of property down the road from him on Stevens Chapel Road. This was less than a mile down the road from the last piece of property that we had try to buy but the owner backed out at the last minute. It was a partially wooded, five-acre lot. From the first moment we saw it, we fell in love with it. We could not have imagined a more perfect location for our new home. We closed on the lot a couple of weeks later. There was no doubt in our minds that this was truly an answer to prayer.

During this period of more than a year searching for land, through much prayer and discussion, we had decided on the specific style and size home that we wanted to build. Now that we had the land, this whole dream of finally being able to build our own home was becoming a reality. The next step in the process was to find a builder. We found a local builder that was recommended for both his quality and reasonable pricing. We presented our plan with all of the specifics for the interior and exterior amenities that we wanted. Little by little over the next few minutes, the builder made it very obvious to us that many of the items we were expecting in our new home were going to be what he called “up-charges” and the house that we were expecting to build was going to cost more than $45,000 above the budget that we had, not to mention that this over-budget price did not include many of the things we were planning to include in our new home. We were just looking to build a small farmhouse, nothing fancy at all.

Needless to say, we were very distraught after our meeting with this builder. He had all but crushed our dream of being able to build our little house in the country. We didn’t give up though. We knew that God had provided this beautiful piece of property for us and that He would show us a way to build this house. The very next evening at church choir practice, my best friend mentioned to me that he had talked to a builder friend of his named Randy Summerlin. He told me to call Randy and see if he might be interested in building the house. So we did.

The following Saturday morning we arranged to meet with Randy and his wife Joy at their home which ironically was about a half mile down the road from our new property. During the meeting, we discussed our experience with the first builder and were very open about the fact that we didn’t know if we could even afford to build a house at this point. For the next couple of hours, Randy went through a laundry list of specifications, asking us about our expectations for the new house. Over and over, he encouraged us to include things like granite counter tops instead of linoleum, a home security system, a surround sound system for the den, an on-demand hot water system and even nicer floor coverings than we had originally selected. There were lots of other things that we had not considered or that we had decided not to include to hopefully keeping the cost down, but Randy wanted us to include them. We made it very clear that we didn’t think it was realistic to include all of these upgrades based on the price we had been given by the first builder, but Randy insisted that we at least consider them. On the way home after the meeting, my wife and I both agreed that there was no way that the house we had just designed would ever fit into our budget. It was much nicer than what we had originally planned for, and therefore it would be even more expensive. We were willing to trust God for whatever the outcome might be. Randy asked us to give him a few days to calculate the costs and we would meet to go over it.

Just a few days later we met with Randy to discuss the building costs. We were completely and utterly shocked! The price he quoted us included: new stainless steel kitchen appliances, granite kitchen counter tops, marble vanity tops for the bathrooms, luxury vinyl tile flooring throughout the house, an on demand hot water heater, a mini-split heat pump for the back porch, ceramic backsplash in the kitchen, surround sound system in the den, home security system, an upgrade to the vinyl siding we had originally selected, a custom-built mantle for the fireplace, wainscoting in the dining area, Easy-Breeze windows for our 10’ x 35’ back porch, gutters front and rear, a 12x12 concrete patio and more; none of which were included in the estimate from the first builder at all. Randy’s cost to build was not only much less than the first builder’s estimate, it was on point with the budgeted amount that Darlene and I had agreed on. We had not discussed our budget with Randy beforehand. Needless to say, we were both literally moved to tears because we knew that God had a hand in this. We were going to be able to build our dream home, and it would be even better than we had ever imagined. This was incredible!

The foundation was begun in October 2016. We got off to a good start. Then we had Hurricane Matthew. Things slowed down a bit. Then we had the big ice storm in January. Through it all, Randy made the process painless for us. He was very patient with us and was very eager to make sure that everything was exactly like we expected it to be. He was very meticulous. He involved us in ever part of the process from start to finish. Everything had to be done just right, and we appreciated that. We were expecting to be in the house maybe by the end of March or first of April. Randy handed us the Certificate of Occupancy in mid February 2017. We had our new home and it had taken only 4½ months to complete. Thanks to Randy and his tireless dedication, we have our little slice of heaven in the country. As an added bonus, the upgrades Randy included qualified our home for certification by Duke Energy as an Energy Efficient Home through their HERO program. Testing revealed that our new home is 36% more efficient than other homes built to standard building codes.

We love our new home. It’s everything we expected and much more. We also love our builder and his wife, our new neighbors Randy and Joy. We have seen God’s hand move through this entire process from the very beginning and we thank Him for sending Randy our way. We would encourage anyone that is considering building a new home to considered Summerlin Builders.

Thankful and well satisfied,

Greg and Darlene Godwin







For your custom homebuilding needs, quality upgrades or additions, consider Summerlin Builders.

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