Category Archives: House Building Tips

Builders: How to Assess Online Reviews

archival designs | house plans | construction plans

If you visited a dozen websites and read hundreds of reviews just to decide on which new television to purchase, then how about when it comes time to select a home builder? Builders will be doing a significant amount of work to your biggest investment: your home. So choosing the right one is a paramount decision.

If you are like most home owners, you will likely do a significant amount of online research to find the builder who is best suited for you and your home plan design. But with all of that collective “wisdom” available online, it can be hard to tell which reviews are the most accurate, or which ones are legitimate.

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Homeownership Benefits Extend Beyond Property Boundaries

Homeownership Benefits | House Plans | Floor Plans

Homeownership Benefits

Most Americans consider homeownership to be the single best long-term investment and a primary source of financial security, especially as home values continue to strengthen. Despite the economic roller coaster during the recession, homeownership has endured as the foundation of the American Dream. For that reason, the home building industry is celebrating National Homeownership Month in June.

Building your own home from pre-designed house plans  provides numerous benefits and huge savings compared to custom architectural fees. It not only helps build financial strength and emotional well being for you and your family, but it also leads to increased stability for the surrounding community.

Financial Benefits:

It’s nearly impossible to talk about homeownership benefits without mentioning the most widely recognized: financial fortitude. Beyond the appreciation factor (home values were up 6.3 percent nationally in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the first quarter of 2015), the monetary advantages of owning a home become most evident around tax time.

American home owners saw their tax bills trimmed by a total of more than $100 billion in 2014. Those who itemize their federal income tax deductions can deduct 100 percent of their mortgage interest payments on a first or second home, up to a maximum mortgage amount of $1 million. Other deductions include the interest paid on up to $100,000 of home equity loans, state and local real estate taxes, and any potential mortgage insurance premiums.

Sense of Community:

Homeowners’ commitment to their community is often expressed through a higher level of civic participation.  Whether via volunteer programs, church and school activities, and property maintenance – resulting in a positive impact on their “social capital.”

Recent studies also have consistently shown homeowners are significantly less likely to become the victims of a crime. Stable neighborhoods with a predominant structure of homeownership consistently display stronger social ties among the residents. This generates added motivation to maintain a safe environment for themselves, their families and their neighbors.

Quality-of-life Enhancements:

Above all else, having full control of one’s own home can be the most satisfying benefit. There’s an intangible sense of accomplishment that comes from being the owner of a new home. Archival Designs offers the freedom to personalize and make improvements to all home plan designs that will help build equity in the home and increase satisfaction for the entire family.

Take the next step towards building your new home by calling our home plan specialists.
Take the next step towards building your new home by calling our home plan specialists.

What are you waiting for?  Enjoy homeownership benefits and build the house you’ve always desired.  Archival Designs offers a wide variety of architectural styles such as craftsman, southern, rustic, and luxury.

To learn more about the benefits of homeownership, visit nahb.org/forconsumers.

3 Questions to Ask When Choosing the Right Builder

Archival Designs | Luxury Floor Plans | Ranch Floor Plans

Though builders might generally use similar tools and materials when building custom home plans, not all are alike when it comes to things like technique, training and customer service. Finding the right home builder whose business approach aligns well with your personal preferences is essential to a pleasant home-building experience.

Keowee Lake Cottage | Rustic House Plans | Luxury Floor Plans
Keowee Lake Cottage | Under Construction

Questions for Your Home Builder

The builder will be asking you plenty of questions during your initial meeting to discuss the home you envision. But the questions you ask the builder are equally important to determine if it’s going to be a positive partnership. Consider asking the builder about the following:

  1. Work Experience – You will want to find a home builder with extensive experience building small or large luxury homes.  It is important to show the builder plans similar to the one you want. Ask to see examples of floor plans and designs they’ve done in the past.   This will determine if the company can deliver what you need. You should also ask if they have or are working toward any professional designations.  These show that the builder has advanced training in a particular area. A few examples of such designations include a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS), a Graduate Master Builder (CMB), and a Certified Green Professional (CGP).
  2. References – Any high-quality builder should be ready to provide you with several names and phone numbers of satisfied customers. If they can’t, consider that a red flag and walk away. When reaching out to those former clients, ask about how well the builder followed through on the initial plans. Also, if the builder met their expectations regarding budget and timing. Don’t forget the most telling question of them all: would they hire that builder again?
  3. Communication Style – Many builders will do their best to accommodate your communication preferences. But it’s always best to establish expectations as early as possible. The frequency (weekly, monthly, as-needed, etc.) and method (phone, text, email) of how you communicate early on with each other is something that will set the tone throughout the whole building process.

For more information about how to find the right builder to create your dream home contact the National Association of Home Builders.

Multigenerational House Plans: A Growing Need

After increasing dramatically during the Great Recession, the need for multigenerational house plans shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, a record 60.6 million people lived in multigenerational homes in 2014, according to Pew Institute analysis of census data. The Pew research center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about issues and attitudes trends shaping American and the world.

Pepperwood Place | Multigenerational House | In-law Suite
Pepperwood Place | Multigenerational House | In-law Suite | Archival Designs

This means that nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population lives in households consisting of two or more adult generations. There are many reasons for the trend of multigenerational house plans, reflecting both economic realities and cultural preferences.

The recession caused many adult children to return home after college, either because they weren’t able to get jobs that would cover rent, or they wanted to save up to buy homes of their own. Significantly, living with parents was the most popular housing option for adults ages 18 to 34 in 2014, according to the Pew Institute.  In-law Suite home plans offers separate living spaces for adults.  Archival Designs offers stock home plans, for example, the Pepperwood Place and the Tilly which accommodate adult privacy.

Tilly | In-Law Suite | Multigenerational House Plan
Tilly | In-Law Suite | Multigenerational House Plan | Archival Designs

Multigenerational House Plans

For many ethnic and immigrant groups, multiple generations of a family living together is a common cultural custom. The country’s growing Asian and Hispanic populations helps contribute to the formation of multigenerational households, too.  However, Pew research shows that multigenerational house plans are increasing in popularity with nearly all racial groups.

Multigenerational house plans are increasingly popular in cases where grandparents want to help take care of their grandchildren.  With this in mind, it allows their children to care for them as they age.  This type of arrangement can ease financial burdens as well, with several generations contributing to the mortgage payment and not having to incur the expenses of childcare, retirement housing or professional care-giving environments. The house plan designer at Archival Designs has implemented the need for American families by offering  an entire portfolio of multi-generational home plans.

Adeline House Plan | Multigenerational House | In-law Suite
Adeline House Plan | Multigenerational House | In-law Suite | Archival Designs

Home builders and remodelers are building and renovating homes to meet the needs of multigenerational households. These designs allow families to live together under one roof with private areas, as well as combined living space.

Features of multigenerational home plans can include in-law suites within the main home with separate areas for independent living. These often have kitchenettes and en suite bathrooms, and sometimes private entrances from the street. They frequently include “universal design” features and products, which focus on maximum usability by people of all ages and abilities. Examples include wider hallways, walk-in showers, smooth flooring transitions, and cabinets with pull-out drawers.

To learn more about multigenerational house plans call our home plan specialists at 770-831-6363.

New Home Plans: What Do Consumers Want?

With so many house plan designs available today, there is no doubt your perfect home is waiting for you.  But, what does perfect mean?  What do you want out of your new house?

Housing preferences consistently evolve as the needs of homeowners change and technology advances.  Many times, age can play a significant role in what buyers want to see in a potential new home.   The most compelling evidence was recently released by the NAHB in their latest study¹ and HousingEconomics shared an independent survey² revealing what consumers are most likely to request this year.

Family Triangle with Central Island

Open-layout great rooms are at the top of the list for consumers.   To illustrate, large family areas with uninterrupted views from the kitchen, to the living room, to the dining area allow for easy entertaining and pay homage to more contemporary design.  Elegant and continuous woodwork on the ceiling ties the spaces together and brings back a touch of traditional design.  Central islands serve as a multi-functional space for cooking, eating, and entertaining.

New home plans
Savannah House – European/French Design  – Family Triangle Design. Exclusive at Archival Designs

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