Category Archives: New Home Builder

Different Kinds of New Home Construction

There are essentially 4 types of newly built homes you could choose from if new construction is what you have to have.

1.) Fully Custom – Just as its name states, custom homes are as YOU want them. As the prospective home owner you would be expected to hire an architect whereby with regular meetings you, your architect, and home builder would design a home according to your direction, and vision. After you have signed off on the design of your home it then has to be stamped by a licensed engineer to make sure its design features are structurally sound. Beware of a fully custom home because they take much longer to build, and they require many many meetings with a plethora of different people all of which are there to make sure you get exactly what you want. Also, here in Charleston, South Carolina, downtown specifically there is an ARB (architectural review board) which over-sees the construction of every building in historic Charleston. However, there is a good reason for this. Aside from the normal responsibilities of ensuring the safety of each property, it too is responsible for preserving the look and historic significance of one of the United States most respected and historically relevant cities in the country. If you are considering building in Mount Pleasant, Folly Beach, Isle of Palms, or surrounding areas there is less chance you have to be too concerned with having each phase of your design and construction signed off on from an aesthetic point at least. However, many newer suburban communities also have restrictions and rules that have to be adhered to there to preserve a consistent feel of the neighborhood. For instance Kiawah Island home builders have to make sure their customers know that they can not use white for their exterior trim color.

1.a  Next are the finishes, i.e. type of cabinets, trim, hard wood floor species, stain colors, electrical fixtures, plumbing fixtures, tile, exterior materials, carpet styles, paint colors, and many more options. It is common for your builder (general contractor) to have a few design partners that will help you when choosing from the hundreds or thousands of options available to you with each phase of construction. It is fairly safe to say that the more elaborate and detailed your home is with design elements the longer it will take to build.

2.) Semi-Custom – A semi-custom home usually refers to a type of new construction home whereby the builder will either provide you with a multiple different home plans to choose from if they already own the dirt.  Yet the home buyer can make small changes to the plans, but usually not to the structural elements as well as they get to choose the finishes mentioned in 1.a. This kind of home is probably your most commonly used option, and many of your local & national home builders prefer to offer this as it is the most flexible to most people. Here is one example of Mount Pleasant Builder offering new homes.

Let Us Build You a New Home

You feel as if you are getting a fully custom home without having the additional time, and expense of hiring and meeting with an architect. Since the builder is familiar with the floor plans they usually are fairly confident with giving you a estimated close date and cost depending on the finishes you choose.

3.) Spec (Speculative) – Spec homes are where a builder (national or local) will pre-build a newly constructed home, choose the floor plans, and the finishes, landscaping, etc. hoping that a prospective buyer will be interested in buying it as he or she designed it. They are “speculating” that there are enough interested buyers in the market, hence the name “spec home”. These homes are usually built in established neighborhoods often times in nicer communities consisting mostly of custom homes.

4.) Tract Home – Usually your most affordable option – As defined by Wikipedia – Tract housing is a style of housing development in which multiple similar homes are built on a tract of land which is subdivided into individual small lots. Tract housing developments are typically found in North American suburbs that were modeled on the “Levittown” concept and sometimes encompass large areas of dozens of square miles.

These types of homes although new are usually of lesser quality then the first three options because the builders know exactly what it costs them to build each home as cheaply as possible because believe it or not their profit is in the land. Most of the national builders whose names you’d recognize such as: DR Horton, Beazer, Pulte, KB, and Centex, are considered tract builders. The expense and “power” is in the dirt. If you own the dirt or tract of land to build then you have the power because buyers have no other choice other than to buy your product if they want to live in certain areas. These builders will buy large pieces of land all over the country and develop the dirt, but in order to compete with local builders will many times offer a semi-custom feature into their plans. Whereby, they will have usually offer 6, sometimes 8 floor plans to choose from, and offer a hand full of different finish options. Such as: 3 types of pre-finished hardwood flooring, 4 types of ceramic tile or vinyl, 3 styles of carpet, 3 different exterior wall coverings, etc.

Precision Construction is Charleston’s SC best Affordable Home Builder

To Buy or Build Home, That is the Question?

This is a tricky question, because it really depends who you ask.

If you ask a mortgage loan officer they are going to try to steer you toward buying a built home instead of building because getting a construction loan is a almost impossible these days. Trust me I know because I was in the mortgage business for over 12 years.  My suggestion is if you absolutely have to have a new home, then try to find a semi-custom “spec” (speculative) home. Meaning a developer buys a large plot of land and has multiple house plans from you to choose from. IF you and your real estate agent get under contract on a home that is in the middle of construction but not yet sold your home builder will usually let you pick out many things that fit your taste. Like: the type of flooring, paint colors, trim packages, counter tops, cabinets, even type of roof material, and landscaping so you get a new home with a custom feel without all the hassle of having to hire an architect, permitting, etc.

Since I am real estate agent, built my own home, and once owned a mortgage company I will answer the question for you from my experience.

To be honest with you building is kind of a pain, unless you have a great home  builder and bank. Right now banking and mortgage lending is NOT smooth sailing. It was a pain getting a construction loan when anyone with a pulse could qualify in 2004-2006.  So getting a construction loan now is even more of a nightmare. As an ex- mortgage loan professional I would not suggest building just for that reason alone.  You have to put down a lot more money then you would have to for just a traditional purchase.

If you still want to build just be prepared for a busy few months. Depending on the size of home, the finishes, the town you are building, among others, the process can be from 4 months to 2+ years. There are many meetings involved, decisions to be made, and things to consider, and with a lot of people. IF you really do your homework and find a great reputable, experienced builderthen you can make your process a little easier. In any event building a home is not usually an enjoyable experience, simply because there are so many choices and changes, that can test your nerves.

Precision Construction is Charleston’s best Affordable Home Builder

In closing my suggestion is to seriously think about it before making a decision. You may even consider buying an older home, or a foreclosure and renovating it to look new. If you want a like new home then I suggest letting me find you home that needs a lot of work then let a contractor redo it to your liking. Then you can make changes, additions, and improvements that will suit you. Sometimes when doing a renovation it too can also be a difficult process for getting money from a bank, but one loan that is tailored for this type of process is a 203k from FHA. Make sure you specifically ask about this type of loan and make sure your loan officer is very very familiar with this type of loan.

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