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Kimball Hakes and his brothers, Chris and Josh, opened Hakes Brothers builders in 2006 in Las Cruces. In 15 years, they have grown it into the largest homebuilder based in New Mexico. The company passed the 3,000-homes-built mark earlier this year and now has offices in Las Cruces, Albuquerque, El Paso and San Antonio.
The brothers wanted to give back to the community they love, he said. So, in 2014, when he was president of the Las Cruces Home Builders Association (LCHBA), Kimball Hakes suggested a fundraising project for local nonprofits called Anniversary House because it celebrated LCHBA’s 55th anniversary.
His uncle was president of a home builders association in Utah and had participated in several home-building projects to benefit community-based organizations, Hakes said.
Hakes thought it “would be a great project to connect (Las Cruces) homebuilders to the community … and give us an opportunity to give back and to support a lot of these outstanding causes that we have from local nonprofits.
“We just decided we were going to do it,” Hakes said. The LCHBA board discussed it, he said, and “everybody was excited to do it. Hakes Brothers got the privilege to be the first ones to do it. We chose a popular floor plan and put it in a popular community, Metro Verde.”
Hakes said he and his brothers contacted their contractors, suppliers, lenders, title company and the City of Las Cruces to ask for donations and support.
“Everybody contributed,” he said. “Everybody stepped up.”
That first year, the profit from the sale of the finished house was $64,000, which was donated to a number of local nonprofits.
“We were shocked” by the amount raised with that first house, he said. “We didn’t expect it to be that successful. We were amazed at the generosity of all the people involved in constructing a home.”
Houses built in 2015, 2017 and 2018 have generated an additional $280,000 for local nonprofits.
LCHBA changed the name of the project from Anniversary House to Casa for Cause for the 2021 build. The goal for this year’s builder, Adam Juarez of A New Beginning Custom Homes, is to top the 2018 profit of $125,000 by at least $1.
“I just think it’s a great project,” Hakes said. “It’s a great opportunity. I’m excited we’re doing it again. I think it’s the obligation of the business community to give back to the community – all businesses, not just homebuilders, but everyone. That’s our obligation as citizens of our community.”
Anniversary House/Casa for a Cause also “has raised our awareness of all that goes on in the community and how important it is,” Hakes said.
“At the same time, I think it also shows the economic power involved in construction and homebuilding,” he said. “There’s about 30-40 businesses involved in building a home, contractors and suppliers. A healthy construction industry is healthy for communities. It’s healthy for so many people and their livelihood.”
Anniversary House/Casa for a Cause is “just one little glimpse of how important that economic energy is for our community,” he said.
Hakes said home building continues to be very strong in Las Cruces – “one of the only bright spots during the pandemic.
“There’s a lot of reasons for that,” he said, including Las Cruces’ great weather, its smaller population compared to big cities, the health and safety of the community and lower interest rates.
“I love it here so much,” Hakes said. Natives of Arizona, the Hakes brothers came to Las Cruces when their father, former Doña Ana County Commissioner Kim Hakes, came here to lead Community First Bank in 1999.
Hakes Brothers home builders
“We are focused on hitting the sweet spot for buyers” that comes between the design and the construction, Hakes said.
“People want to have a home that inspires them, that they feel comfortable in and can enjoy,” he said.
“Design is a huge element for us. We focus on the quality of the build. There’s a lot of hidden values of a home that aren’t readily apparent because they’re behind the wall,” like insulation, electrical and heating and air conditioning, he said. Visible components, including everything from the roof to kitchen cabinets, fixtures and the paint job – “We want these things to be high quality,” Hakes said. “We want people to be proud of the quality of the home they purchased.
“Another big element is customer service,” Hakes said.
Some builders outsource their home warranties to third party, he said. “We don’t do that. We stay with the home, so if there’s an issue at the home, we’ve got a warranty portal (through which the owner) can contact us.”
Contact Hakes Brothers at 575-373-8300. Visit www.hakesbrothers.com.
Through the Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico (CFSNM), the Hakes Brothers have created the Hakes Brothers STEM Scholarship, which will provide a New Mexico State University student with an opportunity to advance his or her education with a $6,000 scholarship, CFSNM said in a news release.
A student who applies for the scholarship must: 1) be a New Mexico resident attending NMSU or any of its branch campuses; 2) be studying in a field associated with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) or accounting; 3) be a single parent; 4) have provided some community service as a volunteer; and 4) demonstrate a financial need, with a family income less than $50,000.
“The STEM Scholarship provides us with the opportunity to give back to a community that has allowed us to grow,” said Hakes Brothers President Kimball Hakes. “We continuously strive to stay involved in ongoing partnerships with local organizations that assist in providing support to families, individuals and the area community at large.”
Contact CFSNM at 575-521-479 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.communityfoundationofsouthernnewmexico.com.