David Chatham Remarks on Three Generations of Chatham Neighborhoods

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By Carol Morgan. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
President and CEO David Chatham with Chatham Neighborhoods joins the Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio podcast to share the company’s 74 year history and current product offerings. Chatham joins host Carol Morgan on the Legends of Real Estate series and compares the post-pandemic market to the Great Recession. Growing up learning the business of Chathambilt Homes, Chatham recalls working for his father early in his life. He started with tasks such as sweeping houses, stacking lumber and more. During this time, he received hands-on education and learned the crucial principles of the industry. Chatham said, “My dad always taught me that a clean, neat, well-kept house would always sell faster and for more money.” Through high school and college, Chatham spent summers working on framing crews and in other various trades. In 1972 during a meeting with his father, he expressed his wish to make a personal mark on the Atlanta housing market by starting his own business and was met with his father’s disappointment. Howard Chatham worked tirelessly and built a family business from the ground up. This business, Chatham Neighborhoods will celebrate its 75th anniversary next year. When David Chatham expressed to his father that he wanted to start his own building company after graduating from College, Howard was disappointed and expressed his strong wish to partner with his son. Chatham said, “From that moment, it was like a light came on in my mind and I thought…I’ve got the greatest opportunity to work with my dad and to continue to build this company.” From then on, Chatham worked together with his father, and eventually his sons, to continue building the legacy of Chathambilt Homes. In 1948, Howard Chatham stumbled into the homebuilding business. After coming home from WWII, he temporarily returned to his family farm in Milton, Georgia. He secured a job on the Fulton County survey crew, met his future wife and decided to build a home in the Northern Buckhead area. Working nights and weekends with the help of friends and family, and the family mule, the two worked tirelessly for the next few months to build their family home from the ground up. After finishing the home, Howard Chatham was approached by a buyer interested in purchasing the Chatham residence. After discussing the potential sale with Mrs. Chatham, the two agreed to sell the home and acquire the lot next door to begin construction on their second home. While their next project was in the works, the Chatham family rented the basement of their first house. This pattern continued through a third and fourth home. Chatham said, “My earliest memory is…we would build a house and move into it, sell it and build another one. We moved around a lot in my early years.” Howard Chatham caught the beginnings of the post-war baby boom generation and accidentally began a homebuilding business. He took a leave of absence from his Fulton County job and began building during a six-month period, procuring advice from anyone in the business on whether to leave his position and start a homebuilding business. With only one exception, most advised him to keep his government position versus entering the Atlanta housing market as a new business. Most offering opinions placed great importance on the security and benefits that accompany a government job. Chatham’s grandfather, Fred Chatham, offered his son his approval, his life savings as well as financial help from a neighbor to start Chathambilt Homes. Over 75 years, Chathambilt Homes has built over 6,000 homes in 150 neighborhoods across the metro area. Howard Chatham expanded into many other businesses, including grating, building supply, plumbing, electrical, lighting and appliances as well as several True Value hardware stores. The most notable venture occurred in 1950 when Howard Chatham possessed an inventory of houses he couldn’t manage to sell. After deciding to open a real estate brokerage company,

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