never gave up livingFirst Home founder tackled everything that came his way
...ON TOP OF THE WORLD: Pat Logue has been partner and director of sales and marketing for First Home Builders of Florida since they began business seven years ago.
STEPHEN HAYFORD/news-press.com Building contractor Pat Logue should probably spend more of his time in Las Vegas than in his Cape Coral office at First Home Builders of Florida.He
knows how to beat the odds. Logue
has survived leukemia after doctors gave him a 20 percent chance for recovery.He's
succeeded in business when those around him said he
needed an education to "make it."He
dropped out of high school his
freshman year. He
built First Home Builders
from virtually nothing when experts warned that you need a sizeable bankroll to succeed.He
had $4,000 when he
took on a market that everyone said was actually no market at all - first-time home buyers and people with credit problems. Now he's the largest residential developer in Lee County. Logue
passion for life gets him through.
Glancing around his
office it's easy to tell he
has that zest.
Photos of his
50-foot motor yacht, and mounted trophy fish - all the trappings of success - cover the walls and furniture in an office more fitting of a low-level staffer.
face literally beams when he
starts talking business. He
tells how he
can turn apartment renters into home owners, or how his
employees know home financing options better than most banks, or how he
can help someone fix a credit rating in less than a year so they can qualify for a mortgage. He
loves to talk business, but what's really evident is that he
loves to help people.
"Everyone has a niche that they can fit into," he
said of finding a first-time home buyer financing."We're not in the mortgage business, but we know the business and we can provide the answers."
Those answers have translated into nearly 200 new home sales every month and as many families going off the rent rolls at apartment complexes.
Since going to work full-time at the age of 15, Logue
has worn many hats, or aprons. He started as a butcher working 77 hours a week.
"It was my idea but everyone signed off on it," Logue
said of his
decision to quit school.But as the oldest of five children he
had to help his
Five years later he
father in the automobile business.That's where he
learned the finance business. Logue
spent 15 years in car sales, a career that was interrupted when he
own butcher shop in Missouri.That shop closed five years later when urban development took his
moved to Florida in 1985. He
stayed in the auto business in Southwest Florida until 1995 when he
decided to build homes.But before he
plunked himself down and learned all the ins and outs of FHA financing.
"I read that book cover to cover," he
said holding his
index finger and thumb about 3 inches apart to show the size of the document."I really understood car financing, so I knew I could master home financing."
So, armed with a life savings of $4,000, he
teamed up with a general contractor and went to work.He
sold 63 homes that first year and was itching to grow the business.But his
That's when he
current partner, Jim Sublett, who provided the capital.The second year the company did 200 homes, then 400 the next.
Now the pair are selling more than 2,000 homes every year.They also own about 2,400 building homesites in Lehigh Acres, Cape Coral and Bonita Springs, and employ 145 people.
The future also looks pretty bright for Logue
company.They are planning a housing supercenter in Fort Myers that will be a one-stop shop for new home buyers.
The plan is to put a sales center with nine models at the corner of U.S. 41 and Colonial Boulevard and cash in on the 50,000 cars that pass the site every day.
But life is more than just work for the 45-year-old single executive.
"We have an investment in the community," Logue
said."And we want to put some of it back."
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