Choosing A Builder, Suriano Team, Uncategorized

Factors To Consider When Building vs Buying A Home

The housing market has truly begun an upward trajectory in the Myrtle Beach area, including most of the Grand Strand region.  We are seeing an increase of foot traffic in our model home in WATERBRIDGE and we are learning many people are beginning to “kick the tires” on the idea of home buying again.

One of the trends I am seeing as I host people in our model home, that many are in their last push towards their dream home.  They don’t just want another tract house or pre-fab home.  They also are not interested in a re-sale.  What many in the market in this population are looking for is a tailored house design and build.  I want to share four different factors in custom home building that may help your process in knowing when to chose a builder, buy a lot, sign a contract and dig in with your big decision.   As a custom home purchaser, knowing when to lock in for the home build process can make a difference on many levels.

  1. Prices
  2. Availability/land
  3. Delivery
  4. Control Of Decisions
  1.  Prices- Simply every year as with most fields, prices go up.  As the market increases, supply and demand play a role.  Although some goods remain constant, most of the supplies in building increase every January 1.  Therefore the quote on a 2017 house will not be the same headed into 2018.  This is not to rush a buyer, but it is a factor that those ‘kicking the tires’ on home buying, especially in the custom home industry must understand and deal with.
  2. Availability/Land-   While we are able to build on any lot of land and there are plenty of lots/land in Horry County and the beach area, as time goes by, lots that were once plenteous in custom home developments are significantly reduced as people take the first step in building their dream home, purchasing the lot in which they build.  Many HOA’s are offering a relaxed time frame in which lot owners are forced to build by.  Some have removed all restrictions.  Premier lots and often the best ones are snatched up quickly.  So one thing to consider if you know the community in which you want to build, it is a good thing to consider purchasing your lot while the market is on the uptick.  Of course markets go up and down, but if you want to build in the next 1-5 years, it may be something you want to consider. In this market, trends show prices are going to be on the upswing.
  3. Delivery-  Custom Home Builders are mostly not nationwide companies.  I believe that is a good thing.  When you go big box on everything, you may get speed and replication, you often lose charm and quality.  I have always been a big box grocery chain shopper to save money and maximize take home goods, but even I have become more interested in the smaller grocers and produce stands.  It takes longer to shop at several locations but I have become a believer that the shopping experience is not as draining and the quality of food is better for our family health. As the market grows, Custom Home Builders cannot just throw together houses. There is a delivery threshold.  Making sure to link up with a builder that is poised to handle growth but not to “overgrow” will be advantageous.  This is all a delicate balance but you can be sure in the months ahead the demand for custom homes and custom home builders will be increasing.
  4. Control Of Decisions-  The best time to buy a car is when you don’t need one.  You are in control.  You are not moved by specials, or discounts unless you are ready. You don’t “HAVE” to buy, but you can investigate and watch for a season.  I think the people who most enjoy the custom home building process are committed to building a dream home, but are not in a hurry.  Having time to make decisions unhurried, means less regret later.  You can investigate different builders. Compare how they frame, put up sheetrock, finish, design, serve the customer with communication etc.  Of course life doesn’t always allow us this kind of freedom, but if we can control it, we should make sure we investigate what it is we are looking for in a builder and then watch their delivery.

These are a few common factors to think about when you are beginning to think about building your own home.  Many of these factors go out the window when buying a resale home or a tract home.  All things are not equal in home buying across the different types of homes and home builders.  Custom Home Building is a very different type of process than simply buying a new home.  I hope you have excellent success in your journey and please contact us at Suriano Homes if you have any questions.  Our sales team is available Monday- Saturday each week to spend time and work through all of your questions.  Let’s build!

Choosing A Builder, Custom Home Building, Uncategorized

Choosing A Custom Home Builder

download (11)Not all builders are the same. Like any industry you have seasoned builders, specialized builders, new and eager builders, quality builders and poor builders.  Similarly in other areas of profession: Coaches, Teachers, Police, Doctors,  all vary in degrees of expertise, skill and competency.

What makes a builder great obviously is that they produce a dream home that the client desires.  One that is built well, lasts long, with quality products and professional craftsmanship.  The problem is that for most of us that are novices in the home building industry, simply walking into a home we simply are not prepared to ask even the right questions.

Sometimes people want to know “the bottom line price” or “price per square foot.”  As being the highest value ($), yet this can be misleading, depending upon who you are asking.  Some may quote $110 a square foot yet use inferior insulation and poorly designed windows.  While the $120 per square foot builder uses superior products.  We have seen also that initial quotes may not include total square footage but only heated square footage etc.  I don’t mention this to scare off anyone from building a custom home. Again, has anyone been taken to the bank by a hospital, teacher, or car dealer? The goal here is to broaden the preparation and education for the custom home buyer so that one of the top two decisions (lot selection (location) / builder choice) can be done more intentionally and informed.

One thing that Tom Suriano has put together to help prospective Custom Home Build Clients is a “NEW HOME CHECK LIST”.  I posted the document on this blog post.  The motivation as Tom says is to “compare apples to apples.”  Suraino Homes, Inc. frames new homes using Douglas Fir wood, while most builders in South Carolina use Pine.  Do we both use wood?  Yes, that is apples to apples.  But what about the “type” of wood. Some builders build their exterior walls with 2″ x 4″ framing, while Suriano chooses to build with 2″ x 6″ framing.  This enables the homeowner to have a better insulation product and helps with efficiency among other things.  What most of us see when we visit a model home to judge a builders craftsmanship are the finished walls with trim. What is behind the walls?  What gauge wiring?  What grade of plumbing piping?  Apples to apples means that you as a consumer are knowledgeable about the product that each builder communicates they will use and how they will build the house you pay for.  Trust me, not all builders then, like other professionals are the same.

In the New Home Check List we deal with these areas of building: Foundation, Framing, Roofing, Siding, Windows, Doors, Electrical, Plumbing, HVAC, Interior Trim, Insulation, Painting, Flooring, Cabinetry, and Options.  There are other considerations of course.  Do you get charged making changes to your floor plans?  How much time is allotted for staff to guide you as a client before you get charged extra?  What is the process for choosing appliances, flooring, paint, cabinetry, etc?  This is one of the reasons we provide this document so that you can know the “right” questions to ask.  If any of you are interested, just send me a request for our document and I will be happy to send it to your email. Reach out to me at stuartsurianohomes@gmail.com.   This document will help anyone, not just Suriano Homes clients.  That has always been Tom’s heart as a Custom Home Builder.

Custom Home Builders integrity is one of the highest values you need to look for in choosing which builder to hire.  Do they do what they promise, when they promise it? Are they honest?  Did they work to the expectation that was clearly defined in the floor plans and the contract both signed? One of the best ways to find this out in advance is to talk with others that the builder has built for, research their business reviews online and talk with other people that know them.  We all know that sometimes builders in competition will speak negatively of other builders.  We find that unnecessary, but that should be a red flag if that is offered up freely.  Good builders let their “work do the talking”.  The better you have researched, and learned the right questions to ask, you will find the better prepared you will be to make your decisions for the builder choice and the discussions you will need to have with him so that you can feel secure and have all your questions answered.  You deserve it.  It is your home!