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? That builder 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 at the very least, which ones are legitimate.
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 rollercoaster 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 wellbeing for you and your family, but it also leads to increased stability for the surrounding community.
We would like to take this opportunity to reinforce some of the many advantages homeownership can bring.
It’s nearly impossible to talk about homeownership without mentioning its most widely recognized benefit: 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 – 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.
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.
What are you waiting for? Enjoy the benefits of homeownership 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.
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 builder whose business approach aligns well with your personal preferences is essential to a pleasant home-building experience.
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:
Work Experience – You will want to find a builder with extensive experience building small or large luxury homes from plans similar to the one you want. Ask to see examples of floor plans and designs they’ve done before to ensure their company can deliver what you need. You should also ask if they have or are working toward any professional designations, which 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).
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, and if the builder met their expectations regarding budget and timing. Don’t forget the most telling question of them all: If they could do it all over, would they hire that builder again?
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.
In recent years, the tiny-home trend has taken that philosophy to the extreme. But it hasn’t quite caught on with mainstream America. The overwhelming majority of home buyers still prefer to own an abode with ample space in which to live, relax and entertain.
The median size of homes built in 2015 was bigger than ever, and the portion of those homes with four or more bedrooms grew to 47 percent. But so far in 2016, the median home size appears to have reached a plateau, leveling off after several years of gradual growth.