Hideaway: the Best Kept Secret of East Texas Living

When we last checked in with Chad Hudson, founder and owner of Savoy Builders, he was packing up a glorious home in Rockwall, a Midcentury Modern on one-and-a-half verdant acres in Chandlers Landing.

He built the home, let us drool over it, then sold it in about two seconds. He later told me he and the family were heading for the piney woods of East Texas.

From Chandlers Landing, they steered to Hideaway, Texas, a bedroom community 25 miles north of Tyler, much like Chandler’s Landing is tucked right outside of Dallas.

Hideaway is in for a treat with Chad Hudson and Savoy Builders as neighbors.

“We escaped the Metroplex to get to East Texas, which was the best decision for my family and a new opportunity for my company.  Out here I am focusing on lakefront properties in Hideaway and surrounding areas,” says Hudson. “And if you haven’t seen Hideaway, you are truly missing out. It’s a golf community with spectacular trees and three private lakes right off Interstate 20 for the easiest access. It’s amazing.” 

The schools in the area, namely the Lindale Independent School District, are also some of the best in Texas. Now the Hudson family enjoys a slower-paced, relaxed living style. But they’re among several coming from not just urban Texas, but also from out of state.

“We have had a large influx of people coming from the West Coast and the East Coast,” says Trish Anderson, owner/broker of the Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate I-20 Team and the busiest broker in town. “Also, especially since COVID, lots of folks are wanting to get out of the Metroplex to a simpler way of life.”

Hideaway is an older East Texas lake community going through a renaissance with new homes, says former Hideaway mayor Pat Bonds. Chad Hudson is leading the change, building clean-lined homes of high quality — “matching the highest quality you’ll see in Dallas-Fort Worth” according to Bonds — with incredible attention to detail.   

Example: the Bonds observed Chad cleaning up his property during construction. The neatnik Hudson took his trash out to the street — in rectangular trash barrels — he had to be sure both bins were lined up perfectly.

“Even the trash has to be perfect,” jokes Bonds.

Hudson notes there aren’t many empty waterfront lots available, so tear-downs of older existing structures to make way for fresh new custom homes are growing more common. 

“It’s a lot of fun to reimagine and reinvent a lakefront property by constructing a new high-end home,” he says.  

And while Savoy has experience with just about every style of home, high-end modern design is his passion. The proof of his expertise is in the details.

Savoy Builders on Lake Hideaway

“I’ve only met one person with the intense attention to detail Hudson exhibits, and that would be Jeff Fairey, developer of Vintage Place,” says Chase Corker, of Corker Architectural Designs. “That’s just one part of what makes him such a great builder.”

The Architect’s Choice of Builder

Hudson has consistently used Corker as a primary architect over the last 20 years, including on his own residence. Hudson completed construction on his family’s personal Hideaway home at the beginning of 2022.  Just as spectacular as the Rockwall home they sold, Hudson and Corker collaborated on the design and the finished product is flawless.

The design has a large garage that can accommodate up to four cars or adapt to a multitude of uses. 

“Chad’s garages are so pristine, you could eat in them,” jokes Corker. “And the adaptability is a hot commodity with buyers.”

Chad builds a home knowing that making maintenance an easier homeowner’s chore actually prolongs the life of the property and saves money as it protects resources. In his own home, and those he constructs for clients, he includes walk-in mechanical rooms to make it easy to check water heaters and change filters. Keeping the mechanicals out of an attic and treacherous staircase also gives consideration to his clients’ age.

“Like the garage, those mechanical rooms are also “tidy enough to dine in,” says Corker.

Reel-ing in a Local Asset

Hudson says he has been fortunate to utilize the same subcontractors and trade experts over the past 20 years, even with the transition to East Texas. 

“When you have a solid group of subs who know their trade and respect the quality of work Savoy prides itself on producing, the finished product speaks for itself,” says Hudson.

Building solid relationships with his subs of many years helps the construction process run smoother, says Hudson, and creates excellent outcomes.

In his move east, the Savoy team acquired an East Texas native and experienced construction manager, Jay Reel. Reel, a Hideaway resident with an eye for detail as meticulous as Chad’s, rounds out the Savoy team with a strong local asset. 

In talking to his clients, one of Hudson’s many advantages over other builders is that he has zero experience as a mass production builder: He literally doesn’t know how to cut corners.

“That’s not my style” he laughs, “and I’ll shout it out.”

Hudson would prefer running one or two projects at a time for total focus on the quality of the work and customer satisfaction. 

“I am as selective at choosing my customers as my customers are at choosing a builder,” he says. “I strongly believe that the customer and the builder must be able to communicate effectively and work together as a team.” 

From Hideaway Locals to Austin Sophisticates, Hudson Impresses

Typical of the newcomers populating Hideaway, the Witters moved from Austin to Hideaway chiefly because it reminded them of Austin 20 years ago, before the capital city’s population exploded. They have two daughters in Dallas and are only an hour and a half from their girls. Cat Witter told me she has built several homes, but found Chad Hudson to be the best by far.

“He not only builds a great home, but he also has an advanced thought process and builds a green home, that is energy efficient and convenient for us as we age in place,” says Witter.

The custom home building process from planning to completion can take up to a year, sometimes longer; it’s a long road, and the builder and the client will be together during that entire journey.  Without exception, Hudson is on his job sites every day, communicating with the customer several times.

“The process, at times stressful, should still be enjoyable and fun,” he says. “Having a wonderful relationship with your customers helps keep the process exciting and moving forward. We often become friends for life.” 

Hudson Has Found a Home in Hideaway

After talking to several clients and friends, it’s clear that Chad Hudson has found his home in Hideaway.

“Chad is a wealth of knowledge for people coming this way.  He stays right on top of the current trends and gives the luxury consumer exactly what they are looking for,” says broker Trish Anderson, who says he is a breath of fresh air and a great addition to Hideaway Lake.  

“His vision and creativity have changed the landscape for East Texas,” she says. “It is wonderful to have such a talented builder come to our area.  He makes the process fun and stress-free.  We hope he is here a long, long time!”

s selective with his clients.

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