Your family is outgrowing your current home.
You’d like to be in a better school district.
You long for a shorter commute to work and amenities.
Whatever the reasons, you’re in the market for a new home. One of the first things you’ll have to decide is whether you’re going to focus on looking through your area’s existing stock of for-sale older homes, finding new construction, or building your own custom home. Although it might seem easier to buy an older or newer finished home, you might not realize how many advantages there are to designing and building your own home—or how fast, easy, and affordable it can be.
This blog article is part of Castle Brook Builders' Design and Build Process Series.
Why choose a new-construction home?
Looking at for-sale homes in your area can be a frustrating process, especially if you live in a real estate market that is as hot as Omaha’s. With limited stock available, homes are selling quickly, often with little room for negotiation. Making a rushed decision about whether to purchase a home can leave you feeling unhappy with your decision, stuck in a neighborhood that’s inconvenient in ways you didn’t anticipate, or saddled with a property that has hidden costs lurking around every corner.
Although buying an existing home can seem like a good value, making changes and updates can snowball into an avalanche of unexpected costs. Cosmetic choices to replace the cabinets, flooring, appliances, or fixtures can add up quickly, and unforeseen problems like discovering wiring that’s not up to code or asbestos floor tile under the existing laminate can add significant expense. A bathroom remodel alone costs, on average, between $4,500 and $18,000—even without discovering outdated plumbing that needs to be replaced.
By buying a new home, you’ll know that the roof, furnace, water heater, insulation, windows, and other elements are brand-new, under warranty, and at the beginning of their expected lifespan. You’ll enjoy the latest advances in energy efficiency, improving the comfort and cost effectiveness of your home.
Why choose a custom home rather than a “spec” home?
“Spec” homes are new construction homes built by developers. These developments offer affordable, cookie-cutter homes—where every house looks pretty much exactly like its neighbors. These homes can look very attractive and satisfy many of the items on your “wish list.” So why should you choose to build your own custom home instead of buying a spec home?
Building a custom home allows you to tailor your home to your needs and lifestyle. If you work from home, you can build in the office of your dreams. If you want to avoid having to pay for a gym membership but enjoy many of the spa-like perks, you can design in an exercise room with full sauna and steam shower. If you have (or want to start) an extensive wine collection, you can build climate-controlled storage right into your home. The biggest reason to build a custom home is that you can tailor your home to include exactly what you want without anything you don't want.
You might think, “That would really be great, but isn’t a custom home much more expensive than a spec home—and a big hassle on top of the cost?”
Buying a new construction spec home that has close to everything you want, with just a few changes, seems like a good deal—until you add up the costs of changing all the little things. Small upgrades and customizations like redoing the kitchen counters to be butcher block rather than granite, rewiring a bonus room for surround sound home theatre, or changing out the front door to a style you prefer can add significant cost to your purchase price. And, when you’re done making all of these small changes, you still might find that you’ve compromised on unchangeable things like the location of your laundry room or having stairs between your garage and kitchen.
Building your own custom home ensures you get everything you want in your new home without compromises. You’ll get to choose almost everything in the homebuilding process, from the furnace to the flooring and fixtures. Quality custom home builders will give you the guidance and flexibility to make choices that fit your style, needs, lifestyle, and budget.
Can I afford to build a custom home?
Many buyers think they can't afford a custom-built home, but in many cases, the costs are very comparable to updating an older home or customizing a spec home, especially in tight real estate markets. You might worry that it will take much longer to build and move into a custom home, but in fact, it usually takes as little as six months to design and build a custom home in Omaha.
If you’re concerned about getting financing for your custom build, talk to an experienced builder. A good team can help you navigate the financing process, which will usually involve a construction loan for the short-term building costs in addition to an ordinary long-term mortgage. Although it can seem more complex, your builder can help you manage the process and make sure you understand your budget and the financial details.
A design-build team that works together through the entire custom homebuilding process will help keep you on budget and on schedule. An organized build process, good communication between the designers and contractors, and established relationships with reputable contractors and trusted suppliers will help prevent issues during your home construction that can cause delays and extra costs.
Find out for yourself why Castle Brook Builders is a top Omaha custom home builder! We'll help you find land, develop a custom home design, and build the home of your dreams—on schedule, on budget, and without added stress. Click below to download our complementary eBook to learn more about our integrated design-build process and how we can help you build a custom home for your family, or contact us today to set up a consultation.