Rod and Kim Cullum, left, relaxed with daughter Lindsay Cullum-Colwell and her husband Paul Colwell.

Luxury homebuyers’ needs have changed as more people want dual offices, green screens and air purification systems, sophisticated home gyms, golf simulators for the basement or garage, among other options.

So say Scottsdale residents Rod and Kim Cullum, founder-owners of the company bearing their family name that builds homes valued at $2.7 million and more in Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Phoenix and Carefree, including custom mountainside estates in Scottsdale and Paradise Valley.

Since its founding in 1985, Cullum Homes has earned numerous local, regional and national awards that include the 2018 National Custom Home Builder of the Year, given to a single builder selected from the Washington, D.C.-based group’s 140,000 members. It also recently won two Custom Home of the Year awards from the Home Builders Association of Central Arizona. 

Integrity has been the keey to their success for 37 years, Rod said.

“We make a promise to all of our buyers that every home we put our name on is created using only the highest standards of design, building practices and materials, providing a luxury product they can be proud of,” he explained.

Cullum was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and his family moved to Scottsdale in 1970. He attended Saguaro High School and graduated from Arizona State University. Kim is a Georgia native and when her father retired from the Army, the family moved to Arizona in 1966. She attended Scottsdale High School and is also an ASU graduate. 

The husband-and-wife team started working from their McCormick Ranch Scottsdale home and moved into their first office in Old Town in the mid-1990s, when they hired their first employee. 

Just after its founding, Cullum Homes built its first $1 million custom home in Paradise Valley. With more projects and employees, the company moved to a larger office along the Shea Corridor in 2001. 

Like other Valley businesses dependent on the real estate market, the Great Recession of 2008/2009 required Cullum Homes to refocus and retool. During this time Cullum Homes’ first lock-and-leave guard-gated luxury home community, Paradise Reserve, came on market. That Scottsdale neighborhood has just sold out.

 Other luxury Scottsdale communities the company has completed or is building homes at are Cholla Heights, Ironwood Golf Villas, The Village at Mountain Shadows, The Village at Seven Desert Mountain (which the company shares with other luxury builders) and The Village at Silverleaf. 

The newest neighborhood is Ascent at The Phoenician, where Cullum Homes also builds with other companies. Sanctuary on Black Mountain, comprising seven electronically gated estates in Carefree, is just getting started.

Cullum Homes pioneered super-energy-efficient luxury homes in the Scottsdale area. 

“We pride ourselves in constructing clean, comfortable and quiet homes that incorporate many features commonly referred to as ‘green,’ but that really represents a collection of best practices and components that together produce the highest quality and best-performing home,” Cullum said. 

Some of these products include indoor air quality ventilation systems, TruTankless all-electric water heaters, LED lighting throughout the home and Daiken multi-zone variable-speed mechanical systems.

This focus on the home environment will continue through the pandemic and beyond, he added. 

“We are seeing increased demand for additional home office space, places for expanded family activities, room for extended family, additional outdoor features and amenities, continued awareness and focus on air quality and overall healthy environment and the products that deliver those features.”

The company’s white-glove full service includes an in-house architect, construction management, interior design, renovations and concierge client service, which, among other amenities, helps assist clients with locating the perfect site for their custom home.

“In addition to their homebuilding being next-level, their customer care division is unlike any other,” said  Realtor Scott Grigg, who exclusively represents Cullum for new-builds “They make you feel at home the moment you step in the door and will continue to care for their homeowners long after a home has been built and a sale has been finalized.” 

An office/warehouse in the Scottsdale Airpark houses all divisions and features a design center offering homebuyers selections of premium cabinetry, granite, tile, flooring, hardware, doors, plumbing fixtures and other components. 

The Cullums’ daughter, Lindsay Cullum-Colwell, is the managing principal architect, overseeing an 11 in-house studio of licensed architects, NCIDQ-qualified interior designers, draftspeople and support staff. 

Paul Colwell, Lindsay’s husband, is the firm’s managing director and oversees field construction, new-project development and financial and office-administration activities. They are also Scottsdale residents.

“We are an architecture and interior design firm living within a custom home-building company,” Lindsay said. “We believe our ‘under-one-roof’ integrated and streamlined processes produce a better result for our clients and allows them to enjoy the home-building design and construction experience without worrying about dealing with multiple companies that have different processes and methods.” 

Doug and Jane Westhoff purchased a challenging hillside lot in Paradise Valley. 

“The company’s entire in-house organization, from the architects, construction crews and design studio team’s attention to detail, made the process seamless and cohesive, which was especially important as we were overseeing the project from out of state,” Jane Westhoff  said.

She praised architect Lindsay Cullum-Colwell, explaining that she “took our vision and turned the space into an absolute dream home, dramatic yet comfortable modern living in the Valley.” 

Grigg, who has worked with the company for 14 years, considers Ron his mentor.

“Cullum Homes starts where other builders finish,” he said. “What they include in a base-level home is typically the upgrade-level for other home builders; they truly set the bar.” 

“And it is not just in the home finishes,” he added. “They have a strong commitment to a healthy standard of living, and this shines through in what buyers often don’t see: what’s behind the walls of a home. The insulation, the HVAC system and the air quality are very important to the company and are oftentimes things other builders do not make a top priority.” 


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