A Texan engineer-turned-realtor is wrapping up work on a model home that he says will be completely self-sufficient and maintenance-free, the Dallas News reports. Jimmy Tanghongs said he seeks to sell homes that never need to be painted, won’t require any roof repairs, and come with zero electric bills. The model home he is almost done building is 3,600 square feet and was created from limestone blocks in what he calls a “Texas modern” style with four bedrooms and 3.5 baths.
Tanghongs grew up in Irving, Texas, the son of first-generation Thai immigrants. He earned a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Texas, and worked in the corporate world for almost a decade. Then he began investing in rental homes, which he renovated and turned over for a profit.
Studying the inefficiencies of older homes and seeing a void in the housing market for buildings that didn’t take a toll on the planet, Tanghongs saw an opportunity. His experiences inspired him to apply his research and development background to create a building company that could design homes for people that would be carbon-positive, healthy, and green.
Today Tanghongs is CEO of The New Modern Home, a luxury home design firm that utilizes cutting-edge technology to make houses energy efficient, responsible for their own power, and conservative when it comes to waste. The New Modern Home designs feature forward-thinking designs and open floor plans, tankless hot water heaters to eliminate cold water waste, and solar panels to harness power from the sun.
The firm serves the North Texas Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex, a region of more than 60 cities within a 35-mile radius of the Dallas Fort Worth airport. Homes designed and built by the firm start around $378,000, but the model home Tanghongs is working on will be listed at double that cost. A smaller, 2,500-square-foot model will soon be listed for just below $600,000.
This model home is on the cutting edge of design, with form seamlessly meeting function. The modern kitchen appliances, LED lighting, and engineered bamboo floors are the things of contemporary design catalogs, while an outdoor patio cover and roof parapet hold solar panels to generate electricity.
Window frames and exterior doors were made of durable metal, while the limestone-block exterior makes the shell of the house virtually maintenance-free. A metal roof will last at least 75 years while being 60 percent lighter than asphalt shingles. Tesla powerwall batteries will be installed inside the three-car garage.
"We have something very unique," Tanghongs told the Dallas News. "It's different from what everyone else is doing."