Traton Homes on Radio

Traton Homes Founders Bill and Milburn Poston join the Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio podcast to discuss the company’s history as one of the oldest homebuilding companies in the metro area. The Poston Brothers join host Carol Morgan on the Legends of Real Estate series.

In 1971, both Poston brothers were involved in the real estate industry, working for different real estate agencies across the Cobb County and Atlanta area. As the brothers advanced in their careers, they noticed that when they took time for themselves, nothing progressed on their behalf and more importantly, nothing progressed for their clients. This is a common problem for real estate agents today and why the introduction of teams into the industry has been so vital.

After a few discussions about common industry pitfalls, the Poston brothers decided to go into business together and found a development company.

Milburn Poston said, “It quickly came to our minds that we needed someone to build on the lots that we develop so we got into the building business.”

While the two didn’t anticipate staying in the homebuilding industry for 51 years, they have built a lasting legacy carried on by their sons as one of the oldest and most highly regarded home builders in the metro area.

In its first year, Traton Homes constructed two to three traditional homes, fondly referred to back then as “Five, Four and a Door.” These first constructions set the tone for the homebuilding company, continuing the trend of building traditional homes throughout the metro Atlanta area.

As an aside, “Five, Four, and a Door” is the nickname given to many homes built in the 70s, 80s, and 90s in Atlanta and throughout the Southeast. The traditional colonial architecture style of these homes is where the phrase “Five, Four and a Door” comes from. It refers to the front elevation of the home: 5 identical windows upstairs hanging directly above 4 windows downstairs, plus a front door in the center. Thus, five, four, and a door.

The first homes offered by Traton Homes were in the Weatherstone subdivision located in East Cobb County. The brothers soon realized they needed to price their homes at $55,000 and up in order to profit. In the 1971 market, it was common for homes to sell for $40,000 and below. The Poston brothers successfully sold the homes at their desired price, setting a trend for future profits.

When asked what significant industry changes the brothers witnessed over their 51-year history, Milburn responded with the permits and obstacles required to build a home. Twenty years ago, the Traton Homes team would begin each project with a starts meeting on a Monday and in a week, their team would be breaking ground.

Today, project times average around five weeks from the first meeting. Traton Homes also remains an active player in the development side of the industry!

Bill Poston said, “We used to hear on the west coast how long it took things to go through the zoning and get ready to develop and we’d laugh…Today it takes us probably about a year and a half to two years from the time we find a piece of property…before we can start building.”

Born in Smyrna, Bill and Milburn Poston were familiar with Cobb County and began their real estate careers in and around the region. Naturally, that is where they started their building careers, firmly placing their company roots in their birthplace.

During the Great Recession from 2007 to 2009, fewer buyers entered the market and those that were present were searching for the best bargain.

Bill Poston said, “You were constantly fighting to keep your margins and there were so few people buying that you basically ended up taking a reduction.”

Today, the pandemic has had the opposite effect on the homebuilding industry, increasing homeownership rates countrywide. Over the last few years, Traton Homes has seen incredible growth, experiencing no shortage of offers! Like many builders across the United States, Traton Homes has seen a reduction in inventory due to supply chain interruptions.

Bill Poston said, “We are in a much stronger market because there’s just a lack of inventory but getting the homes built today has become a challenge. Our building team is doing a great job keeping up with it.”

To keep up with the constant industry changes during the pandemic, the Poston Brothers shared that they adjusted building times by two weeks and kept a close eye on the schedule to prevent closing delays.

During the company’s 51-year stint, Traton Homes has built over 12,000 homes, a considerable leap from the initial houses constructed in their first year. When glimpsing at the Traton Homes staff, many members have been with the company for 15 to 20 years – impressive in this day and age.

Bill Poston said, “That’s been very fulfilling to me to be able to see people come here… and be able to finish their career with us. That’s been very rewarding.”

When asked what advice the two brothers had for those thinking about getting into the industry, their immediate response was to have patience and a lot of cash! In 1971, banks were more receptive to a new person entering the building business, which has shifted dramatically since the Great Recession.

Constantly branching out and innovating, Traton Homes recently announced they are constructing 600 townhome units in Walton and Bay County near Santa Rosa and Panama City Beach, Florida. The small subdivision with 19 lots recently began construction, with four homes already completed and purchased!

Priced from the $400,000s to the $800,000s, the Florida developments will feature single-story homes. Bill Poston shared that in the first subdivision, the homes sit eight feet above ground to meet flood regulations and are located on the waterfront.

In metro Atlanta, Traton Homes focuses heavily on the active adult market. In a Powder Springs neighborhood, the builder is offering a mixed product, including townhomes and varying home sizes in a 110-lot subdivision.

Milburn Poston said, “We are trying to get down in price because affordable housing is a catchword but it’s important. [Homeowners] can’t afford to do $600,000 and $800,000 houses everywhere so we’re trying to look further out.”

The brothers also announced the company is expanding into Bartow County, Jasper, Douglas County, Cherokee County and more.

When asked what their favorite community is, Bill Poston remarked that a development the company built 10 years ago in Cobb County is his pick due to the appealing streetscape, large lots and masonry features.

Milburn Poston said, “To go in these subdivisions completed 10, 20, 30 years and still see them kept well and looking really nice. That is rewarding.”

Tune in to the full interview above to learn more the Traton Homes, upcoming communities and the company’s history or visit www.TratonHomes.com.

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Georgia Residential Mortgage Licensee, License #22564. NMLS ID #6606. Subject to borrower and property qualifications. Not all applicants will qualify. New American Funding and Traton Homes are not associated. Click here to view the terms and conditions of products mentioned during the show. Corporate office 14511 Myford Rd., Suite 100, Tustin, CA 92780. Phone: (800) 450-2010. (May/2022)


New American Funding is a family-owned mortgage lender with a servicing portfolio of over 216,000+ loans for $56.8 billion, 171 branches and about 4,500+ employees. The company offers several niche loan products and has made Inc. 5000’s list of Fastest-Growing Companies in America seven times. For more information, call 678-898-3540 or visit https://branch.newamericanfunding.com/Atlanta.

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