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Six Tips for First Time Custom Home Buyers

Considering building a custom home? While the process may seem stressful, the result is quite rewarding. However, not working with an experienced and reliable builder, or incorrectly planning the layout of your home, can make the building process feel like a disaster. Building a home will likely be one of the largest projects you ever take on, and we want the process to be enjoyable. Here are our top six tips for a dreamy custom home-building experience!

Location. Location. Location!

We’ve all heard it before — location is king! Deciding where to build your home is critical. Visit potential communities and take a walk around while looking for a location. When deciding on a neighborhood, there are many elements to consider, and you may learn about some of them simply by your visit.

Consider whether the neighborhood is close to your workplace, shopping, and other amenities. If you prefer quiet, more suburban or rural areas, you are unlikely to lean towards a neighborhood in the heart of the city. Also consider access to main thoroughfares and highways, which could be important for commuting to work and other facilities.

Finally, and very importantly, is to find out if your builder-of-choice is a permitted to build in your preferred neighborhood. Many communities limit the number of builders allowed, while others have an open-builder policy.

Deciding On Your Builder

Trust is paramount when deciding on a builder for your new custom-built home. Gain confidence by first asking about their previous work — speak with their past clients. Tour one, two…or more of the builder’s homes! If possible, try to see both in-progress builds and finished jobs.

Before hiring a builder, inquire whether the builder offered good communication. Was the job completed on the scheduled time and on budget? Learn about homeowner satisfaction and the quality of workmanship. Another important factor to consider is the builder's relationships with suppliers and subcontractors — do they pay their bills? A builder who is behind on payments will most likely experience delays in receiving materials and will struggle to retain a quality crew.

Overall, getting a clear picture of a builder’s overall relationship with both homeowners and industry colleagues will help determine whether or not they are a match!

Consider Hiring a Designer  

Decisions, decisions. How will you ever decide? There will be many areas throughout the building process where you'll have to decide on what kinds of flooring materials to use, and where to use them. What kind of countertops should you install in the kitchen? What hardware for the cabinets? What finish for the cabinets — stained or painted? Even down to the door knobs and porch lights — the decisions seem endless.

However, you can hire an interior designer to help with decision-making, which can significantly decrease the amount of stress. At Paul Gray Homes, we offer our own design team but offer the option to work with a local designer of your choice. Ultimately, the goal is to find a partner who can be on-site and has an understanding of local building codes and your desired results.

Understand Your Budget

Making sure to understand where your budget can be flexed or adjusted will provide some relief when faced with some of the many decisions you’ll be making. However, it’s important to also know your limits. Understanding your budget up front will help determine where you may need to compromise and where to adjust in order to include key features that are most important.

Most first time home buyers think about all the options they can get for the money. They will fall in love with the initial price, but feel disappointed a few years down the road when they wish they would’ve have spent more on added flex-space that would have worked better for their lifestyle, versus the high-end lighting fixtures they opted for instead.

Built-in Efficiencies

Plan ahead. A good builder will ask the questions you may not think of, like where to install electrical outlets and plumbing. In modern homes, you need to have easy access to power for all your gadgets. Additionally, plumbing should make sense and be installed where it’s needed in the home both now and in the future.

As we start to care more about being more ecologically friendly and sustainable, custom builders are a great choice to meet these necessary elements. More and more people are becoming concerned about the environment, and your new home can have many useful features if you plan ahead while designing it.

Enjoy the Process!

And finally, enjoy the ride! It’s not every day you get to build a custom home. And yes, there are challenging moments. But it’s worth stopping by the block every now and again and truly enjoying the sight of your very own home coming together.

Contact us today for more information about Paul Gray Custom Homes and start the conversation. Schedule your initial consultation by calling 316-978-9047!