It all started as some notes scribbled on a napkin.
Doesn’t it seem like all great ideas do?
In the late 1970s, Bill Rouse and Steve Chamberlin met over lunch to discuss the business of residential real estate. Bill had been a highly accomplished and well-respected commercial real estate developer in the Philadelphia area. Steve, meanwhile, had years of experience working in residential real estate in Pennsylvania and Delaware.
Bill jotted down every industry challenge that Steve had recognized and shared from his experiences onto that lunch napkin. When Steve finished, Bill held it up and suggested starting a company that would approach things differently with the goal to actually overcome every single problem.
Steve looked shockingly at Bill and answered, “We’ll go broke!”
Bill replied, “Let’s try.”
Forty years and nearly 3,000 homes later, Rouse Chamberlin Homes still stands strong.
Bill and Steve began developing their first neighborhood known as Deerefield Greene in 1978. Embracing their dream, these two visionaries and friends built RC Homes’ first sales center, furnished its first model home, and even created a design studio. On the property was a well-landscaped dairy barn with a stream. Its greenhouse became the selections room for each home.
During that time, most home builders did not furnish model homes, build onsite sales centers, or even retain dedicated personal sales teams. The new home buying process was fragmented and confusing for customers. Focusing squarely on the customer experience, Bill and Steve worked hard to provide the best buying process in the market.
“The promise is accurate. The building matches the promise.” – Steve Chamberlin
From day one, Rouse Chamberlin Homes’ goal has been to ensure what we were promising and what we were building were the same. Steve believed in this whole-heartedly that he even built a home for him and his wife, Susan, who is also his high school sweetheart, in Deerefield Greene. Steve keeps in- touch with the first resident in the neighborhood to this day. Steve says jokingly, he’s the “homeowner that won’t go away.”
Today, in a world of large building corporations where the C-Suite is frequently concentrated on shareholder satisfaction, Rouse Chamberlin Homes stands strong embracing the same philosophy and focus on the omer experience that Bill and Steve started with. Under the leadership of the current owners and managers, Jon Penders and Mike Honan, the RC Homes team challenges each other to deliver the best for our homebuyers - products, processes, and neighborhoods – building a safe, comfortable place that each of us would be proud to call home. Born on the belief that “your word is your bond,” we build quality, affordable homes with the goal to deliver more than we promise. We want to make your entire home building process enjoyable and rewarding for all involved.
“Do it like you think it should be done.” – Bill Rouse
FUN FACTS ABOUT ROUSE CHAMBERLIN HOMES
DID YOU KNOW? The commercial complex where our corporate office resides was built by Bill Rouse, and Susan Chamberlin was one of the head architects that designed the Exton Complex.
DID YOU KNOW? Willard (Bill) Rouse III founded Rouse & Associates which was the first company to win Philadelphia’s permission to exceed the height of City Hall. This had been the tallest peak in the city until Rouse & Associates built Liberty Place, a 60-story building.
DID YOU KNOW? Rouse Chamberlin Homes’ Ellie Lund has worked for the company from the nearly very beginning – 35 years! Before computers, everything was written by hand. Steve introduced working on a computer to Ellie by buying her a computer game! Ellie recently retired in June 2020.