5 Common Myths About Custom Homes

Brown paper bag filled with plants next to a front door.

A custom home may not be as out of reach as you believe.

Sure, building a custom home sounds great. But how could you afford it, right? The truth is that a custom home may be closer in reach than you think. Perhaps you’re turned off by the prospect of a long wait time to move in or maybe you just don’t think you can afford a custom home, but as it turns out, you may be wrong about custom homes.

Below, we bust the five most common myths about custom homes.

Myth #1: Custom homes are only for wealthy people.

“Depending on size, style and level of detail, custom homes can range in price,” says John Judd, Jr., co-owner of Judd Builders, a custom home builder in Asheville, N.C. “People assume that building a custom home has to be an overwhelming process that involves more time and money than most people have.”

That means that even if you have a modest budget, you can build a custom home. Building a custom home just means that you’ll make all the choices about what materials are used, how big the home will be and what other features will be included. The right custom home builder can help you find the right floor plan for your budget and lifestyle.

Myth #2: Building a custom home takes longer than building a spec or production home.

Building a custom home doesn’t necessarily take longer than building a spec or production home. The time to complete a custom home can increase since you have more choices to make.

“Custom homes typically take longer because the client has more options to choose from,” Judd says. “The faster a client can make selections and decisions, the faster the process will go. Also, a builder who has an in-house crew can schedule and plan better than a contractor that subcontracts everything.”

Other factors that can increase a custom home’s build time include the materials used (that Italian marble you want for your bathroom is going to take longer to obtain than ceramic tile) and the home builder’s wait list. Essentially, you are building something that hasn’t been built before, while a production builder already has floor plans to work from.

Myth #3: My custom home price includes the lot.

In most cases, your custom home price will not include the price of the lot. “[Those who are building] a custom home have a very special lot or parcel in mind where they want to build a special home,” says Jerry Grodesky, a broker with Farm and Lake Houses Real Estate in Loda, Ill.

If you do not yet own land for your custom home, talk with your builder to find a lot that has everything you need to build the right home for you. Choosing the right lot after all, is just as important as choosing the right floor plan.

Myth #4: Financing a custom home is the same as financing a spec or production home.

As stated above, you own the lot or land where your home will be built. That means that you, not the builder, is responsible for financing the home. You will likely need a construction loan to have the home built. These loans are different than mortgages. They are temporary and will change into a regular mortgage once the home is completed.

Throughout construction, your builder will be able to make draws from the loan at certain intervals of the project. This type of loan may be more difficult to obtain because it’s for a home that doesn’t yet exist and may take longer to be approved because a lender will require details about the project. Talk to your builder about financing options available for your custom home.

Myth #5: I need to know about design or architecture to build my custom home.

You don’t need to know about design or architecture to buy a custom home — that’s what your builder is for!

“Having a good sense of what you like and what your style is helps, but isn’t necessary,” Judd says. “Your architect or builder should be able to help you with big-picture design and you can hire an interior designer for the small detail items and furnishings.”

If you want your custom builder to design the home, rather than first hiring an architect and then a builder to design what architect’s plans, there are design-build firms that can handle the design element, too. That way, your home won’t be a jumble of styles.

Now that you know a custom home is within reach, it’s time to find the right custom home builder. Search NewHomeSource for custom home builders in your area.

Patricia L. Garcia is an award-winning journalist and former content manager for NewHomeSource. You can find her on Google+.

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