David Clough, president of Waterford Homes, joins the Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio podcast as part of the Legends of Real Estate series. Clough chats with host Carol Morgan about his decades in the homebuilding industry, working through the Great Recession and his involvement with the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association (GAHBA) and the Home Builders Association of Georgia (HBAG).
An alumnus of Princeton University, Clough holds a degree in economics and politics. Clough started his career in construction, working summers for Ryan Homes while still in school and later took on a permanent position with the homebuilding company as an assistant superintendent. Finally settling down after several promotions and locational transfers, he landed in Atlanta in 1980 as a division manager. After serving on the team at Ryan Homes for many years, Clough went on to work with a few Atlanta builders, including fellow legend of real estate John Wieland.
Clough said, “I had a great experience with Ryan Homes and learned a lot about the homebuilding industry.”
Bringing Waterford Homes to life in 1991, Clough and his team started with just five lots in Dekalb County. Sporting a different style and aesthetic than popular homes today, the company’s first projects were traditional, two-story homes around 2,220 to 2,600 square feet featuring brick and stucco exteriors.
Clough said, “The early 1990s was a great time to get started…the Atlanta market was bouncing back, and we grew rapidly from there!”
With several opportunities to buy lots within quality communities, Waterford Homes quickly expanded into Gwinnett County. Construction in the 1990s within Atlanta consisted of an ample number of small builders and developers, local bankers and public companies – making competition strong but connected. Many local real estate businesses joined builder’s groups to form an inclusive community of builders and developers. Waterford Homes became involved in groups across metro Atlanta, including Dekalb, Gwinnett, Forsyth and Fulton counties.
Clough said, “From 1993 to 1994, we closed over 100 homes with an average sales price of $170,000. In 2022, our average sales price was $950,000!”
Waterford Homes continues to build multiple types of residential projects across metro Atlanta! The homebuilding company is currently closing out a community in Acworth and has several projects underway, including homes on Lake Oconee and an upcoming townhome community in the heart of Milton. Clough and his team also specialize in custom homes, primarily Brookhaven and Sandy Springs.
Serving as the president for both the HBAG and the GAHBA, Clough is a significant advocate for the Home Builders Associations. Providing a safe space to build valuable relationships, the HBA allows homebuilders, trade workers, suppliers, bankers and other real estate professionals to mingle and connect. In addition, HBA members have access to incredible educational opportunities as well as several volunteer initiatives to give back to the community.
Clough said, “The Greater Atlanta HBA and the HBA of Georgia are incredibly important to our industry!”
As Clough thinks back on his time building in the Great Recession, he explains that his team survived the challenging time with appreciated help from his banker. With the housing industry constantly evolving, today’s market involves many more large builders and developers compared to pre-recession.
Clough said, “I like to say we survived the Great Recession with lots of sweat, blood and cash.”
Clough advises young professionals looking to start a career in the industry is to find a successful builder to work under and learn as much as you can!
Clough said, “Put in your proverbial 10,000 hours and work hard!”
With decades of service within the construction industry, Clough is most grateful for his team and everyone who’s had a hand in the success of Waterford Homes. He is also incredibly proud of the legacy he is building with his son Drew joining Waterford Homes and running the day-to-day operations for the homebuilding company.
Clough said, “It is a blessing to have my son working with me!”
Visit the Waterford Homes website at www.WaterfordHomes.com and follow along on Instagram and Facebook at @WaterfordHomes.
Tune into the full episode above to learn more about Waterford Homes, or visit www.WaterfordHomes.com.
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The Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio “All About Real Estate” segment, presented by Denim Marketing, highlights the movers and shakers in the Atlanta real estate industry – the home builders, developers, Realtors and suppliers working to provide the American dream for Atlantans. For more information on how you can be featured as a guest, contact Denim Marketing at 770-383-3360 or fill out the Atlanta Real Estate Forum contact form. Subscribe to the Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio podcast on iTunes, and if you like this week’s show, be sure to rate it.