Washington Home Builder
Serving the Greater Pacific Northwest
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Realistic Expectations

Posted in: How It Works

When a person wants to buy a home, most commonly they employ a realtor to help them find a house that’s already been built and previously lived in-perhaps by several owners-and they buy that house. Even a person who is building a home from ground up often may simply hire a contractor to build a home for them on a bare lot.

However, whether buying a pre-existing house or building a new house, few homeowners see all the ‘behind the scenes’ things that take place to complete the house. They show up at the site and – – -there’s a house.

The volume home building program is somewhat different. To save the buyer money, the buyer in turn has more involvement in the process than they might otherwise have. However, to some degree this is like building your own car. It can save you money, but you’ll probably get dirty too. Few clients are prepared for what can happen during construction.

In a nutshell home construction can present several challenges for novices. This is not meant to discourage building a home; home building is also very rewarding and can be a lot of fun. The benefits of building a new home in many ways, which we will examine, outweigh the benefits of purchasing a pre-existing home. To a great degree though, whether it is a pain or is a lot of fun depends largely on the expectations you have going into the project.

The Challenge

Consider some of the possible glitches:

  • Permitting: building departments can get backed up, especially during busy times of year. Also, building officials in some areas can be inflexible. Local building codes are not always easy to anticipate and so plans can be put on hold and sent back for the contractor to make changes to meet code. As a result, the process of obtaining a building permit can take longer than expected. In some areas it can take as much as two months. However, we have seen cases of raw land taking as long as 2 years. Washington home builders often encourage the use of a professional permit assistant company to shorten the time, frustration and often the cost of building on your land.
  • Financing: the financial meltdown of 2008-2009 has resulted in lending institutions being very particular about projects and homeowners that they will lend on. Our construction lenders can help to assist you to see if you are in a position to obtain a loan at the time you’ll need one before actually ordering a home.
  • Inspections: In some jurisdictions building inspectors can be unpredictable, inflexible, and a challenge to work with. For the most part, their sole intent is to be guardians for the public, assist the builder to build a home that meets code and safety regulation for your area. They have a tough job to and often high pressure in dealing with home builders and owners. Good co-operation and well planned out designs along with quality subs averts many of these challenges.
  • Weather: In rainy or snowy weather, foundation or roofing can be held up until it is safe to get to the site and work.
  • Homeowner items: There is a list of things the home owner is required to do as part of the on your lot volume building program, such as arranging for temporary power and applying for permanent power, ordering a sani-can for the site, occasional cleanup and so on. In many cases, we cannot complete work on the house until these are done and so construction can be put on hold until they are taken care of. It’s important to stay on top of these items, and this is where True Built Home excels in providing high quality content for owners to be well organized, informed and up-to date via our website.

These are things that Washington State home builders such as True Built Home deal with all the time. We just take them in stride because they’re just part of the process. However, for a person who’s never built a home, these glitches can be surprising, and few surprises are welcome when you’re doing something you’ve never done before, especially something as big as building a home.

The good news is that you’re never alone: True Built Home is here to help you every step of the way from the time you order your home to the time you sign off on the final punch list. We have people on staff who know how the process works and whose job is to walk you through every step of the project so that surprises will be few.

The Good

Consider some of the advantages to building your home instead of buying a pre-existing home:

It’s Really Your Home: Usually when you ask a real estate agent to look for a home for you, they’ll come up with several homes that may be close to your criteria. However, finding exactly what you envision for your family is not realistically likely to happen. No matter how much you like the house, there always seems to be something that you didn’t like: the countertops, a closet location, the color of the carpet, etc. There’s a simple reason for this: The house was originally designed to someone else’s criteria. The house in your mind may simply not exist (yet), and so you may end up settling for the closest match.

On the other hand, when you contract us to build a home for you, you can either find a layout we designed that you already are perfectly happy with, or we can change a plan or design a new one for you so that it matches what you want down to the door sizes that you specify. Do you want a large master bedroom walk-in closet and small master bath? We can do that. Do you want a small master bedroom closet and large master bath? We can do that. Do you want all 36” doors? We can do that. Whatever you’re envisioning, as long as building codes permit, and it’s functional, we can do it. Perhaps for the first time in your life, you’ll be able to have it all your way-the countertops, the cabinets, the kitchen layout, and the carpeting-all will be exactly what you want from start to finish.

It’s Your Location: Maybe you do find the perfect house layout, but it’s in Omaha, Nebraska. We can take the layout you like and build it on your site. Or perhaps you inherit a beautiful piece of land with an amazing view of Mount Rainier-with a dilapidated mobile home sitting on it. We can replace that mobile or manufactured home with a stick built home and keep that amazing view!

Pride of Accomplishment: When you have your housewarming party, and your guests are all admiring the quality of your home and how well it’s laid out, you won’t have to just say “Thanks, I like it too”; you’ll be able to say “that was my idea’ I did that myself.”

Everything is Brand New: You appliances, carpet, roof, paint, everything are all brand new and at the beginning of the warranty on each item. By contrast, it is very common when buying a used home that many of those items are nearing the end of their lifespan and will within a couple of years need to be replaced.

Equity: As an example, one homeowner recently built one of our homes at a total project cost of $332,000. His house appraises today at $434,000. How long would it take an existing home to gain over $100,000 in equity? Perhaps 5-10 years. Yet his family had equity the day they moved in! This is not unusual, it often is the norm. In some cases, it might be as low as $20,000 but we have seen case of over $200,000.

So while homebuilding presents its challenges, the rewards and benefits are tremendous. We invite you to visit our iTrue system page here to see more about what True Built Home does to make the process enjoyable and rewarding for you.