Our Blog

February 2018

Tips On Selecting The Right Home Builder

Tips On Selecting The Right Home Builder

The decision the build a house is a big decision. Compared to buying a pre-existing home, it takes a lot of work, dedication and planning, but it also has many advantages. You can build the home you want and get all the features that you have always wanted in a home.

Deciding to build is the first of a series of major decision that you will have to make during the home construction process. Perhaps the second most important decision you make, and will have a major bearing on the outcome of your home build, is choosing the right home builder.

Finding the right builder is not a decision you should take lightly. They are responsible for building your home and making your ideas and concepts come to life. The truth is that there is no shortage of builders to choose from and spending some extra time finding a builder that is well recommended, easy to work with and is skilled in home construction is worth its weight in gold.

To help you with your search for the right home builder, here are some tips for selecting the perfect home builder for your home:

• Reputation is very important: The reputation of a builder is very important. It is a good idea to read as many reviews as possible. See if the builder has built homes similar to what you are looking for and get a sense of their overall reputation within the industry and with previous customers.

• They need a track record of good customer service: There is a lot of back and force communication between the home owner and builder as part of the home constriction process. Therefore, it is essential that a builder is known for good customer service. They need to respond quickly to inquiries and must be known for fixing issues in a timely manner.

• Experience cannot be overlooked: Experience is important, especially if you are looking to build a custom home. You want to take peace of mind in knowing that your builder has the experience and the resources to during your idea into a reality. You want a builder that will offer ideas and work with you to produce the best home possible.

• Make sure they are legit: Before agreeing to anything, make sure the builder is properly licensed, has proper insurance in place and offers warrant and service plans that are comparable to others in the industry.

• Take a look at previous work: You need to take a walk through either model homes, current projects, or previous home builds to get a real sense of what the builder can do for you. Make sure that what you see on their website on in their brochure matches what you see in person.

Don’t lose sight of the fact that it is your money that is in play when you build a new home. Investing in a home is one of the largest investments that most people make, so you need to perform your due diligence to ensure you find a builder that will build a great home.

 

Building a New Home – 5 Tips for Finding Local Home Builders

Building a New Home – 5 Tips for Finding Local Home Builders

As a builder I am always interested to hear how people came across my name when searching through the many local builders available in their area. So I always ask the question, “How did you hear about me?” The answers I have come across are quite creative and would benefit anyone who is wanting to build a new home and seeking to find home builders in their area.

5 Tips to Getting Started:

Ask your local banker I frequently hear this response and it makes sense if you think about it. Your local banker underwrites a lot of home loans for home buyers and builders in your area. Bankers are the ones who know if the home builder stayed within budget or went much more over budget. He/she knows which builders are in financial trouble and which builders are not. Most local banks require custom builders to become “qualified” or keep an “approved” local builders list on file. Asking your banker for references is a great place to begin because he/she will not suggest builders that are not top-quality. Banks want happy customers, and that translates into a custom builder who can deliver within budget and on schedule.
Open Houses/Realtor Attend open houses of previously built custom homes in your area. This will allow you to see the level of quality that a certain custom builder provides. You can see first-hand how the materials and craftsmanship of the home is aging after 3-5 years. If you like (or dislike) the house, ask the realtor, “Who is the builder of this home?” The realtor will most likely know the answer or can find out for you from the owners.
Friends Bad contractor stories spread faster than a forest fire. You would surely warn all your friends if a builder went thousands of dollars over budget and you had to acquire a second mortgage. Ask friends and coworkers if they know any local residential contractors.
Associations’ Websites Every county or city has a home building association. These home building organizations can provide a list of local builders that are members of their organization. These are good home building resources because a credible home builder will be a member of these types of home building organizations.
NAHB is the National Association of Home Builders
Your State HBA
Your City or County’s HBA
Your State Home Builder Licensure Board/Agency
Architect or Draftsman When working with a local architect or draftsman who renders your home plans, ask them for a list of local residential contractors in the area. If they are willing to provide referrals, ask if they would recommend two or three builders that they think would work well with your personality, home size and budget. Your draftsman has become acquainted with your style throughout the plans stage and they could recommend local building professionals for the bidding process.

 

Top Kitchen Trends for Those Building a Custom Home

Top Kitchen Trends for Those Building a Custom Home

Custom home builders

Most builders are already thinking about next year’s kitchen trends, and anyone looking for custom home builders is likely considering it too. The kitchen is the gathering place, and tends to be the most important room in the home so it’s no wonder it’d be on their minds.

According to interior designers nationwide, these are the top kitchen trends and they include high-tech additions, glamour, relaxed colors and more. Invest in some of these for a client or a home being planned with custom home builders so that styles are on point.

Soft and muted color choices

Custom home builders report that kitchen colors are changing. Though white as a main color will still dominate, everything else to include backslash and cabinets will be featured in charcoal, gray and pastels like pale blue and green mostly. There are also many tinted whites as opposed to standard, bright white.

So if future homeowners were hoping for bold primary colors they may want to think again. Not even as accent colors are they going to be popular, stick with muted tones as primary and accent color choices.

Lighter wood tones like whitewash, oak and walnut are going to become more popular as well. Dark was dominant the last few years so this will be a big switch.

Smart Kitchen Spaces

Be ready to include more high-tech options in the kitchen according to custom home builders, they are taking over. A featured space for smart devices is one change that many want, like hidden charging stations for phones and tablets.

Offering convenience for everyone in the family is important, especially since they are so on the go. state-of-the-art ovens, stove tops, refrigerators and even small appliances will be featured. Built in coffee makers and wine coolers give an air of luxury to the kitchen.

The ’80s are back

Just when everyone thought the 80’s had come and gone, it surprises us all with things like mirror backsplashes, brass faucets and accessories, and glossy surfaces of times gone by. Of course they have that new flair according to custom home builders, so anyone worried about implementing them should take a second look at these more elegant versions.

Metal range hoods

Metallic finishes reigned as a recent trend for kitchens. Copper, bronze and brass were all desirable. They were mostly used in small fixtures like lighting, faucets and other additions like soap dishes and drawer or cabinet pulls.

Now, metal will be much more dominant used as a range hood. The range hood will become a sort of centerpiece for the kitchen. Wooden hoods will be replaced with all or partial metal versions. The contrast with the subdued hues is stunning.

Integrated spaces

Otherwise known as an open floor plan, the majority of custom home builders are still loving integrated spaces between the kitchen, family and living room. This allows whomever is working in the kitchen to interact with everyone else in the family, or guests.

The change lies in the use of hidden or integrated appliances to converge the kitchen with other nearby living spaces for a shortened feeling.

New Traditions

Today’s kitchens will go with more simple designs according to design specialists, but that clean feel is associated with older traditions. This means it’s not the end of traditional designs. Many homeowners are happy with less details and more strategically placed accents.

Bold lines are sought after and the main elements of the kitchen will stand out. This includes the range hoods, kitchen islands and cabinet crowns among other things.

Texture Rules

Finally, among top trends released by custom home designers is that of contrasting textures. Look for texture on top of texture type designs or a repositioning of the same texture in different patterns. The subtle difference makes a big statement when done right.

 

Eliminate The Headaches When Reviewing Home Builders

Eliminate The Headaches When Reviewing Home Builders

When you buy an existing home, or if you decide to build a home, it is understandably very exciting and thrilling. This is a major investment, after all. Every single detail throughout the process has to be considered thoroughly. For those who are having their home built, this would obviously include finding home builders and then selecting the one that you feel most comfortable working with. Choosing the builder you want to work with is something that you should not take lightly, especially when you consider the implications.

Before you even begin to review builders you need to have a clear idea of what you want so that you can plan accordingly beforehand. That means that you need to consider what kind of home you want, how large it will be, what the interior and exterior should look like, the outside spaces, garage, and so on. Everything must be thought out properly.

You will more than likely need to make some adjustments to your plans. For example, you might have to rethink your budget. Also, consider what you will expect from the builder that you choose, such as warranty and maintenance, for instance. If you do this, you will be better able to communicate your needs and wants with the building company you select.

To choose the building company you will need to familiarize yourself with certain aspects of the industry. This means reading through journals, newspapers, and even information you can obtain via the local builders’ association. Use the Internet as well for information pertaining to builders and the industry. Another good idea is to frequent home shows. You might also want to consider custom home builders and new home builders. It is always a good idea to consult with the company’s clients that they have worked with throughout their history, as this will give you an idea of how the company has progressed over time.

Compile a short list of promising home builders and then visit them to ask them some important questions. Your communications with them should be candid and straightforward, as should theirs with you. Enquire how long they have been in the building and construction industry, what their experience is, what their reputation in the industry is, and whether they feel they are equipped to help you to realize your vision for your home. This is one time when being judgmental is not only called for but also advised. Of course, you do not want to appear over demanding or snobbish, since you want to be able to have a good relationship with the builders that you choose to work with.

When you are satisfied that you have covered all your bases and that you have obtained the answers that you need, you should then compare them with each other. Basically it is a process of elimination. Compile a short list of the top companies and then delve a little deeper. You can always view other building projects that they have completed or are currently working on.

Provided that you assimilate all the necessary information you can drastically reduce the likelihood of problems arising and help to ensure that the process is a smooth one. Take your time, consider all your options, weigh the feedback you have received, and make an unbiased and level-headed decision.

 

A Guide to Custom House Building and Home Builders

A Guide to Custom House Building and Home Builders

While buying a home might fulfill that long-time American dream, building a home is an even better experience. You might be afraid building your own place is going to cost you much more, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here you will find useful information about building your customized house.

Learn About The Process

Before making the decision, learn about the process of building a house. Research online, consult home builders, and compare the advantages and disadvantages.

Learn About Financing

Plenty of expert home builders can tell you that, when done right, building your own place doesn’t have to cost you more than buying one. Save money on your house is through smart financing. In order to build, you have to get a construction loan. Take into consideration that not all lenders offer this type of loan. If you don’t own the land already, you will also need a loan to purchase the land. This will incur in two loan closings and two different fees. Once you have your loans, you will be able to start your project.

You Need Land And A Plan

Research what type of house you would like to live in. From small rustic cottages to sprawling modern mansions, there’s plenty of information available online to help you make your choice. You can even consult an architect for expert advice.

If you don’t own the land already, constructors and realtors can help you find the right place for you. While looking for the land, consider the neighborhood; after all, you want to build your house in an area that appeals to your tastes and needs. You should also take into consideration the resell value, just in case you want to move in the future.

Match the land according to the house you want to build. It’s advisable to bring an expert with you in order to assess how much preconstruction needs to be done to accommodate the type of house you want to build.

Choosing Your Team

Once you know what kind of house you would like to build, it’s time to choose an architect and a home building company. These people will be the ones in charge of the design and construction of your new house, so choose carefully.

Look for an architect with experience building similar properties as the one you have envisioned. Some custom home builders offer a complete package that include the design, which is a good options for cutting costs. Look for companies with plenty of experience that also offer the right location, the right price, and the best quality. Choosing the right company helps you avoid delays as well as cost overruns.

With all these points in mind, you can make an informed decision about custom building your own house.

 

Choosing An Effective Home Builder

Choosing An Effective Home Builder

Your home is your castle, the old saying goes. It is your place of refuge from the rest of the world. It should also be a place that makes a statement about who you are as an individual or a family. If you want your new home to be individualized to fit your lifestyle and demonstrate your personality, you should consider interviewing custom home builders as potential contractors for your building project.

Custom home builders specialize in this type of personalized construction. That is what sets them apart from the development builder who only builds off a limited set of floor plans and home styles. At the same time, not all custom home builders are equal in experience and quality of work. Here are some important things to keep in mind when choosing a custom home builder for your project.

References
Never hire a contractor of any type without first asking for and checking their references. Ask for the names of clients from the last two to five years, preferably with projects that have similarities to yours. Take the time to contact and speak with these former clients about the service they received from the contractor. Did they stay within budget for the project? Did they meet the projected timeline for completion? Did any issues develop after the construction was complete, and if so, were those issue taken care of in a timely and professional manner?

Construction Documents
Any reputable custom home builder will understand the importance of providing their customers with detailed construction documents. This means that the contract will include full specifications regarding the materials to be used and labor methods employed. The contract should also provide specifics regarding terms of payment, billing schedule and the approval process for change orders during the course of the project. If the builder is also providing the plans for the project, which is often the case with custom home builders, a complete set of plans should be provided to the client prior to the construction start. Any changes to the plans during construction should be approved and provided to the client as well.

Comparing Contractors
As you interview custom builders and compare their bids on your project, make sure that you are receiving quotes that all cover the same items equally. Be on the watch for the words ‘not included’ in their specifications or estimates. One contractor may be including items that another has not. These differences need to be factored in when comparing numbers.

Regardless of the final numbers on the bids, the value of a contractor that is dependable and provides quality workmanship cannot be fully measured. It is your home. Make sure you choose wisely when determining your final choice from amongst the custom home builders on your list.

 

Custom Home or Production Home – Which Is the Better Deal?

Custom Home or Production Home – Which Is the Better Deal?

When planning a new home many find themselves faced with the decision of choosing custom homes or what is referred to as a production home. The main difference is that custom homes come from small builders and architects, and production homes come from a high-volume home builder. Which is the best for the buyers depends on a few things.

While both variations are great options, the choice will depend on the amount of advice the buyers would like to make. Either way they’ll have a relationship with the builder. Here is the basic difference between the two choices – A production builder will erect multiple homes using preset plans and some customizations like appliances, countertops, flooring and cabinetry. A custom homes builder creates a completely different home that presents buyers with a huge range of design options for the lot that they get. Read on to learn a bit more about each.

Production Builders

For those that feel production builders will be their best bet, they’ll have to choose between a local or a national company. Local builders have set communities in a city, while national builders erect up to thousands of homes every year. It’s a similar process just on a larger scale. Some of the bonuses of using production builders are:

Land and home packages for simplification
Many plans to choose from
Set styles and designs to browse from
Offer a price range for every type of buyer

Production as opposed to custom homes are much cheaper and can be the same size with the same finishes in most cases. They have a systemized approach and buy construction items in bulk, and that saves them money, those savings can be passed on to the buyer.

There’s no worry about them being focused on quality, they use solid engineered and carefully designed homes with up-to-date elements that make them highly sought-after on the market. homes will be energy-efficient and basically pristine. Do not doubt they’ll do everything in their power to make the experience fun and stress-free.

Custom Builders

For those that want the adventure of choosing their own land either remote or in an established neighborhood, custom homes may be the perfect option. They’ll get to be completely involved in every step of the process from drawing the blueprint to choosing every single element. The process building custom homes is not scripted at all like production builders. It can be built on land that’s already owned or what is sought out. Plans are completely drawn from scratch and the buyers work with the architect and builder through the entire process.

While one should expect to pay more with custom homes, if they are strict they can easily stay within a set budget. In the budget it’s important to set aside about 10% for surprises, as they are often plenty with custom homes.

The good news is that with custom homes, the choices are truly unlimited. Choose views and floorplans that work with the lifestyle of the new owners perfectly. It’s important though, to do all the necessary homework before jumping in the custom homes realm. This will keep one from suffering sticker shock. Many don’t realize that there’s a lot that goes into planning a home from scratch.

Because the process of building a custom home is so involved, it’s no surprise that the future owners will typically spend much more time than they would with a production builder.

Taking all this information on custom homes will have anyone ready to decide if they prefer custom or production style homes. Either way, if the right builder is chosen they’ll end up with a high-quality, beautiful home that they will love showing off.

 

Why More Buyers Are Opting To Invest In Custom Homes

Why More Buyers Are Opting To Invest In Custom Homes

Shopping around for your dream home can be a very frustrating experience. Existing construction always has its own unique quirks and nuances, even if you opt to buy in a large, cookie-cutter style development. In fact, finding something original and optimally suited to your tastes could prevent you from reaching your purchasing goals for some time to come. Rather than dealing with countless agents and touring numerous houses, it may be best to think about simply customizing your purchase instead.

These efforts can be as basic or ornate as you want them to buy. In fact, you can choose everything from the location, the positioning of the building structure on the selected lot to the architectural style, colors, materials and amenities. There is not one part of the building and development process that won’t receive your approval. For many investors, this is simply the easiest and surest way to get a finished product that matches their visions.

One of the major benefits in buying properties like these is the fact that they have the highest likelihood of appreciating over time. Many building companies are choosing to commit to massive property developments. The houses look identical and boast the exact same features and amenities. It’s hard to get one of these houses to stand out when placing it on the market.

Convenience is the foremost reasons for investing in a design that you have dreamed up on your own. This is an effective way to ensure that the building structure and all of its included features are best in line with the demands of your household. Each person can have building additions that support individuals hobbies, professional demands and personal tastes.

This same is also true for growing families or families that have the potential to grow. The average real estate investor turns his or her purchase around within just five years. People who customize their abodes from the ground up, however, are generally known to live in them for the remainder of their lifetimes and eventually pass them down to their loved ones.

When you are looking to make a long-term real estate investment and one that is guaranteed to provide lasting value to your household, working with a custom home builder is best. This professional can give you access to an array of exciting options. He or she can also give you expert guidance in devising housing plans that are feasible, structurally stable and guaranteed to provide an excellent return on your investment.