You might think it is more expensive to build a custom home in Delaware but that is not necessarily so. If you built a new home 20 or 30 years ago, you probably worked with a local builder and built a custom home. Custom doesn’t mean fancy or more expensive but it does mean that the builder will accommodate your specific wants and needs in the final plan. The actual price will reflect your choices and the concept of a base model price depends on the builder and the market they are trying to serve.
With a custom builder, advertising tends to focus on the quality of construction and the design of their homes. Pricing may be quoted in ranges or you may be shown similar homes that were built and how much they sold for and what was included.
Working with Buyers, we listen as we show them what is available in Delaware. We start by showing them what they think they want but we listen as they contrast and compare what they see, what they like and what they wish they could find. No two people want exactly the same thing in their new home and that’s what makes real estate a fun business.
I’d like to give you two examples of when and how it makes more sense to build a custom home.
I want a home on the water!
About a year ago we were working with a woman who had a lifelong dream – to live on the water. It didn’t really matter what kind of water but she loved to kayak and her dogs loved to jump in the water and swim. She didn’t want or need a fancy home but the location was important. We looked and looked and none of the existing homes quite filled the bill. All of a sudden, we found a great lot with water on two sides but the older manufactured home was not what she wanted. Bill researched solutions and found that we could remove the manufactured home and build a customized modular home on the property and do it all within her budget.
Can a modular home be called a custom home? Absolutely. Beracah Homes offers General Contractors a variety of floorplans and ways to customize the home. They will deliver a home with or without a kitchen, flooring, bathroom fixtures and in general they are extremely flexible. By choosing carefully what to customize and how to maximize the views with the placement of the home, our client was able to get exactly the home of her dreams without going over her budget.
I want room for my Wine Cooler and my Wolf range
When these clients told us about the full sized wine cooler they would be bringing with them and that they would immediately replace any stove included with a 6 burner Wolf range, we realized that personalization was not going to give them the home they envisioned. It made a lot more sense to see if a custom home builder could give them exactly what they wanted from the start. We took them to a local builder who is building in a great community in Lewes, Delaware.
Many custom builders have suggested floor plans or models that present a good starting point. Moving walls and rearranging things to suit your particular needs is encouraged and allowances can help you understand what a finished home may cost. As you work through the process and make decisions on flooring, kitchen cabinetry, appliances and more, the final design of your home will take shape. Only when you are completely satisfied will the final design and price be clear.
When I compared the final cost of this custom home to the average price of production homes in one of the top active adult communities, I was pleased to see that it came in right around the average price.
When you build a custom home the type of financing required is different. Unless the builder happens to own the lot you’re interested in, you will need to either pay cash for the lot up front or obtain construction financing that includes purchase of the lot and a two phased settlement. The construction loan will finance the home during construction with a structured draw schedule that will pay the builder as specific phases of the project are complete. For example, when the foundation is complete, when framing is done and the home is under roof and so on. The bank pays according to the draw schedule after an inspection and verification that payment is now due.
When the home is complete and ready for the final settlement, your permanent financing takes over and that mortgage company in effect does a refinancing and pays the bank that provided construction financing in full. Whatever amount you are paying in cash will be collected at that time less any monies paid in advance.
Which is best for you? Customization or personalization? Let’s start at the beginning and focus on what it is you want and can afford.