Ron Cuny - ARK Builders LLC

Notes from the builder…

ARK Builders Custom Home Builder talks gives tips about choosing a lot on which to build your home.

Amy & Ron talk about lot slopes and what to consider when buying a lot on which to build.

Pre-Qualification/Pre-Approval Checklist for Building or Buying a Home

Are you thinking about building or buying a new home?  Get ready for the pre-qualification and pre-approval process.

Being pre-qualified for a loan is not be the same as being pre-approved.

Pre-qualifications is the start of the mortgage process and tends to be simple and quick. When you do this, you meet with or call the lender and give him information about your assets, income and liabilities. Based on what you tell him, he will make a rough estimate on how much you can borrow. Pre-qualification is neither as detailed as pre-approval, nor does it carry as much weight for the loan.

When you step on to the pre-approval process, the lender will verify your employment and financial information and will check your credit. This reaffirms your ability to qualify for a loan as well as specifies with certainty how much of a loan you can get. Typically, the pre-approval is good for 90 days.

AWith pre-approval, the lender checks your credit and verifies your financial and employment information and documentation; this not only confirms your ability to qualify for a mortgage but approves a specific loan amount (usually for a particular period, such as 90 days).

  • Get a free credit report:  ftc.gov/consumer-protection/get-my-free-credit-report or by calling: 877.322.8228.
  • If you have any issues, file a dispute to get the problems corrected.
  • Find and make copies of your past tax returns for 2 years &your proof of income via pay stubs or W-2.
  • If you are self-employed, you will need to provide a copy of your profit and loss for last year or two (dependent on your lender’s requirements).
  • Know how much you’re are putting down for your home as well as have ready the funds for closing with the bank. (Gift funds must be explained to lenders if you receive them.)
  • Should you be in a rental, get together 12 months of proof that you have paid your rent and on time via check copies or money order receipts. It would be great if you can get a referral from your landlord or rental company to the lender.
  • You will need identification, like a driver’s license, passport, social security card, etc.
  • If you are divorced, you will also probably need to provide a copy of divorce papers; so, be prepared.
  • If you are receiving funds income on a steady basis from (for example) child support, the government or Social Security, you will have to provide proof if you are using the income for the loan.
  • You will also want to get copies for your lender of all of your account balances, such as, checking and savings accounts, IRAs, retirement accounts, annuities, etc.
  • Proof of any other property owned by you will probably be required by the bank. Disclose any money held in the stock market.
  • If you have filed bankruptcy in the past, you will want to tell your lender. Any surprises uncovered by him might delay or hinder the loan process.
  • Keep your credit score healthy. Make sure to NOT do the following:
    • DO NOT apply for new credit.
    • DO NOT create new debt or make large purchases.
    • DO NOT spend more than usually in any credit card or other accounts.
    • DO NOT cancel any credit accounts.
    • DO NOT ask any creditor to lower your limit
      • Of note: you may have a great credit score when you apply for the loan, but if your score goes down during the entire mortgage process, you may NOT qualify for the loan.
      • After all these steps are done, the lender will provide you with a good faith estimate. This will include approximate general costs of the mortgage should you choose him to do your loan.
    • Now that you have all your info together, go to another lender for pre-approval all over again.  Understand that you will not offend lenders. They know people shop. Most people don’t know they can do this. Then, choose your lender and communicate with him regularly to make sure the process flows smoothly.
    • For any questions or more details, please contact your mortgage lender.

 

What do you want?

*trends in Baldwin County in new construction, custom home building
2017.9.21®

By Ron Cuny, Sr. | Builder – Owner | ARK Builders, LLC
251.422.2709 c | 251.621.1752 o

We’d like to update you guys on trends we are seeing in new home building and some surprising request by home owners. Tell us what features would you want in a home when you build.

Interior trends:

  • Open concept floor plan
  • Gray interiors
  • White quartz
  • Lighter colors in granite
  • Subway tile
  • Hardwood throughout entire home
  • Flat panel cabinets
  • Stainless steel hinges, door knob, cabinet pulls & knobs, lighting, plumbing fixtures
  • Smaller square footage (less to upkeep)
  • Barn door
  • Reclaimed doors for interior doors and pantry
  • Center island
  • Double islands
  • Interior storage
  • High ceilings, 9’ +
  • Lots of trim, around doors and windows, and features like ship lap and wainscoting
  • Neutral décor
  • LED lighting
  • Stainless steel appliances
  • No dining room
  • Larger kitchen and breakfast areas
  • Mud nooks/benches
  • Brick, ship lap and other interior aesthetic features

Exterior trends:

  • Front porch
  • Back porch
  • Screened in back porch
  • Energy efficient HVAC (air conditioner) unit
  • Sprinkler system
  • Tongue and groove porch ceilings
  • Low maintenance yards
  • Concrete board
  • Craftsman and farmhouse style homes
  • Neutral exterior colors
  • Fence
  • 2 car garage
  • Gold fortification

And, finally, some requests that you might find unusual; but, we are finding interesting to do:

  • Pocket doors
  • USB ports built into electrical outlets
  • Baby/pet ½ door pocket door
  • Dog door
  • Central vacuum system (helps keep the dust at a minimum)
  • Electrical outlets in the pantry (to hide the kitchen appliances)

By far, the most unusual thing we have been asked for is, drum roll please, a MOAT around the yard/home to help keep the rodents at bay. What?

Leaving you on a couple of final thoughts: HGTV and DIY on tv have had a significant impact on buyers’ requests. We also find buyers are researching on the internet on HOUZZ and Pinterest. Buyers are more educated today and know what they want. So, there you have it, ARK’s list of what is on trend here in Baldwin County…at least what we see as of right now.

Call | text to set up an appointment to discuss building your new custom home today: 251.422.2709

Share your thoughts with us @ https://www.facebook.com/pg/arkbuildershomes

 


QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN CHOOSING A CUSTOM HOME BUILDER

BY:
ARK BUILDERS, LLC | RON CUNY, SR | HOME BUILDER
251.422.2709 ARKBUILDERSLLC.COM

house plan house screwsChoosing a good builder can be stressful when you finally make that decision to build a custom home. You want to have a good rapport with the builder and trust/communicate with him. You want to feel confident in your choice; so, how do you know that you are working with a good builder?

When you make an appointment with a builder, ask for a step-by-step guide of how he builds a home. Ask for specific costs and timelines. Do ask for references from previous builds. To help you with the selection process and to make that important decision, we suggest asking these same questions to all of the builders you are interviewing. So, here they go…

  1. How many years have you been building and how many years have you been in business? Have you always operated under one company name? How many homes have you built and how many do you currently have in process now?
  2. Are you licensed and insured in Alabama and Baldwin County? Get a copy of the builder’s current license with the State of Alabama Home Licensure Board.
  3. Are your sub-contractors licensed and insured in Alabama?
  4. Do you have a website, social media site(s), pictures of previous homes, interiors and exteriors?
  5. Are you a member of the Better Business Bureau?
  6. Have you been in any lawsuits since you began building?
  7. Do you have a home I can walk through to get an idea of how you build?
  8. Can I choose my subcontractors or do you use yours? (Keep in mind, the builder has spent years vetting these subs and know they will do a good job AND the builder has negotiated prices for not just one job but multiple jobs, which translates into savings for you better than if you use your subs for a single project.)
  9. Do you provide a warranty? May I have a copy of it? What is and is not covered? Do you or the manufacturer warranty the appliances, HVAC, plumbing fixtures, electrical fixtures? For how long are these warranties?
  10. How do you handle changes along the way? How do you handle overages, if there are any? When are changes/overages paid for by me? How/when can I make changes/upgrades to my home in the process?
  11. What are the energy saving features of your homes? What brand of appliances do you use? What appliances are included in the home?
  12. Do you build only the plans that you have or do you custom draw each plan? Will you build a plan I own?
  13. Who will be managing my project? Will you closely monitor my home? How often will we meet and/or get updates from you? (Open and construction communication is key to enjoy your home building process. Find a builder you trust.)
  14. What are the standard features you provide in your home? What options are available for upgrades?
  15. Can I have access to my home throughout the building process? Do you allow me to make changes with the sub-contractors or do I have to go through you?
  16. How quick do you call me back and respond to emails?
  17. How long will the building process last?
  18. Is there an architectural review committee in the neighborhood in which we want to build? Is there a home-owner’s association and how much is the transfer fee and annual dues and when are they due?
  19. What is your process for inspections and walk throughs/final walk throughs?
  20. Do you build Gold-Fortified homes? If not, how much will that cost me?
  21. What type of insulation do you install? Do you provide a termite bond with Formosan rider upon sale of home?
  22. Do you finance the construction project or do I get the construction loan?
  23. When do I need to get decisions made on paint colors, cabinets, lighting, flooring, plumbing fixtures, doors, door knobs, vinyl, roof color, etc.?
  24. What are your strengths and weaknesses? Why should I use you to build a home over another builder?

Again, for consistency, ask these questions of each builder you interview. By comparing apples to apples, you will be able to feel good about your selection. In the end, you want to feel secure you have chosen wisely and will enjoy the process.

Call | text us for your appointment to build your dream home today! 251.422.2709 or 251.709.4331

#livethecustomlife #yourlifelongresidentcustomhomebuilder #easternshore #baldwincounty @arkbuildersllc

Member: Better Business Bureau, Alabama Home Builder, National Association of Home Builders, Baldwin County Home Builders Association, Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce

Social media: Facebook, Google +, Instagram, Linkedin

www.arkbuildersllc.com | 2017.8.16

 


Today, more than ever, homes are becoming more and more energy efficient. Energy efficiency is better for the environment, easier on your wallet and you’ll notice your savings quickly. So, why are new homes more energy efficient than existing homes? Let’s explore a couple of reasons for this fact; and, by no means is this a comprehensive list of reasons – only a few of my thoughts.

ENERGY (E-GLASS) EFFICIENT WINDOWS  

Because of new code and window standards, energy efficient windows will save you 30% upward on your annual utility bills. These windows cut down on the light entering the home and save you on your cooling bills.

ENERGY EFFICIENT APPLIANCES AND ELECTRONICS

Through the new appliances standard by the Energy Department, manufacturers are developing ways to save energy and money. From TVS and cell phones to dishwashers, microwaves and dryers, the makers of these products are helping put the money back into our pockets by thinking outside of the box. And, you reap the benefits when you build a new home with these newer appliances.

HEATING AND COOLING

New homes take so much less energy to heat and cool. This is due to a couple of factors. First, the insulation used is new homes is better. New homes are built “tighter” with minimal air escaping through exterior doors, window and even insulated garage doors. Another interesting thought, down South, we don’t use the heat as much as the Northern and some Western states, so the energy bills are less down here. A side note…great reason to move to our area!

LED LIGHTING

LED lighting is becoming widely used in new home construction. LED lighting differs from compact fluorescent and incandescent lighting as they require less wattage that the latter lighting, which makes the LED bulb last longer than CFL and fluorescent lighting (…more energy efficient).

ROOFING

Lighter colored material has become the norm for new homes. The lighter roofs reflect light and don’t absorb heat, which means the home is cooler in hot weather saving on the air conditioning bill.

One final note, we are noticing that people are trending toward nicer outdoor spaces with screen porches. If you could have more heated and cooled square footage or a nice back porch with a tv and screened porch to enjoy in our spring and winter months, would you choose the porch? We are finding more and more are making the porch choice. This means you are cutting down on your heating and cooling bill, which equals saving energy.

There are many things you can do when building a home to save energy and money. Contact us @ 251.621.1752 and let us help you build your dream, ENERGY EFFICIENT, home today.

www.arkbuildersllc.com | 2017.7.24

Why would a new home be more energy efficient that an existing home?

ARK Builders, LLC | Ron Cuny, Sr. – Builder, Owner


Today, more than ever, homes are becoming more and more energy efficient. Energy efficiency is better for the environment, easier on your wallet and you’ll notice your savings quickly. So, why are new homes more energy efficient than existing homes? Let’s explore a couple of reasons for this fact; and, by no means is this a comprehensive list of reasons – only a few of my thoughts.

ENERGY (E-GLASS) EFFICIENT WINDOWS  

Because of new code and window standards, energy efficient windows will save you 30% upward on your annual utility bills. These windows cut down on the light entering the home and save you on your cooling bills.

ENERGY EFFICIENT APPLIANCES AND ELECTRONICS

Through the new appliances standard by the Energy Department, manufacturers are developing ways to save energy and money. From TVS and cell phones to dishwashers, microwaves and dryers, the makers of these products are helping put the money back into our pockets by thinking outside of the box. And, you reap the benefits when you build a new home with these newer appliances.

HEATING AND COOLING

New homes take so much less energy to heat and cool. This is due to a couple of factors. First, the insulation used is new homes is better. New homes are built “tighter” with minimal air escaping through exterior doors, window and even insulated garage doors. Another interesting thought, down South, we don’t use the heat as much as the Northern and some Western states, so the energy bills are less down here. A side note…great reason to move to our area!

LED LIGHTING

LED lighting is becoming widely used in new home construction. LED lighting differs from compact fluorescent and incandescent lighting as they require less wattage that the latter lighting, which makes the LED bulb last longer than CFL and fluorescent lighting (…more energy efficient).

ROOFING

Lighter colored material has become the norm for new homes. The lighter roofs reflect light and don’t absorb heat, which means the home is cooler in hot weather saving on the air conditioning bill.

One final note, we are noticing that people are trending toward nicer outdoor spaces with screen porches. If you could have more heated and cooled square footage or a nice back porch with a tv and screened porch to enjoy in our spring and winter months, would you choose the porch? We are finding more and more are making the porch choice. This means you are cutting down on your heating and cooling bill, which equals saving energy.

There are many things you can do when building a home to save energy and money. Contact us @ 251.621.1752 and let us help you build your dream, ENERGY EFFICIENT, home today.

www.arkbuildersllc.com | 2017.7.24

E-Glass vs. Impact Glass for Windows

Which glass should you use in your windows when you build a home? I will layout the pros and cons of each below so you can decide which suites your needs.

E-Glass Windows (Low E)

Pros Cons
• Double paned

• Energy efficient

• Cuts down sunlight helping to decrease power bills

• Mostly the standard being put in new construction today

• Tilts out for cleaning purposes

• Costs about 1/3 of impact vinyl windows

• You still have to put up hurricane shutters when one is approaching, which can be an issue with many folks since it takes time and effort when putting them up (think of times when you have had to “board up your windows and doors” for an approaching hurricane).

• Aesthetically, the attachments for the shutters are on all windows, doors, siding and brick. Some feel that it detracts the look of the home.

• Slight tint to the window

Impact Windows

Pros

Cons

• Double paned

• Energy efficient

• Cuts down sunlight, helping decrease power bills

• Tilts out for cleaning purposes

• Strength of the glass- provides protection up to approximately 150 mph winds during a storm

• Protects against water and debris from entering your home. No boarding of the windows and doors when hurricanes approach

• Aesthetically pleasing as it does not have any attachments or connectors to the door/window frames, siding or brick

• Cost of the window can be around 3 times the cost of a standard vinyl e-glass window

• Cost of this window is about 2/3 more than the standard vinyl e-glass window

• Cost of wood & vinyl impact window can be anywhere between 4-6 times higher than a vinyl impact window

 

What does this mean? You need to think about where you live and what you are willing to spend. If you live in a coastal area, buying impact windows is a smart investment. Discuss specific pricing with me or any other builder you choose.

Ron’s Corner
ARK Builders, LLC
4.24.2017

DREAM, DREAM AWAY!

Deciding to build a home can be stressful; but, it doesn’t have to be. Planning and thinking logically through your needs/wants makes you fall in love with your new home. The process of planning is not too hard to tackle. Here are some suggestions that we want you to think through before you meet with a builder to discuss your “perfect” home.

  1. Plan, Plan, Plan! – some of the things you need to decide on are below:
    1. Monetary planning: How much do you plan to spend on your home? Have you been pre-qualified through a reputable mortgage lender? How much will you have to come up with to build this home? Have you thought about larger items that you may want to purchase, or accounts (that affect your credit score) set up, before the home building process begins? Large purchase and applications for credit cards affect your credit score. We recommend not buying furniture, cars or anything that requires financing during the loan. And, you sure don’t want to open that clothing store credit card to get a discount while building either. If it affects your credit score, DON’T DO IT!
    2. House plan: You don’t want to buy a plan before talking with a builder. It may not fit on your lot. And on the plan, reputable builders won’t want to have lots of waste. They know the sizes lumber come in to frame a home and can make logical suggestions for plan design.And, while we are at it, make sure you and your builder are a good fit. If there is miscommunication from the very start of the process, chances are, it will only get worse during the process. Side note: don’t forget the porches. Wrap around, large back-screened in porch or small front porch that is open?
    3. Size of home: How many bedrooms and baths. Style is an important thing. If the neighborhood requires certain materials be used on the outside. Do you have to build a style of home such as Craftsman, Farmhouse, Colonial, etc.? Will the home fit on your lot? What are the setback lines? If you have acreage and place it toward the middle or back, there are additional cost to run power, water, sewer lines. The driveway will be longer = more concrete and more concrete labor.
    4. Closets: Determine where you will need closets and how big. Will you want a closet in the foyer? Home owners in the warmer climates don’t have as many jackets/bulky jacket being stored at the entryway. In the bathrooms, each will need some type of linen closet to store towels & washcloths, extra soaps & shampoos, etc. Maybe you need a hamper or basket in there to put your dirty laundry in. Do you have blankets, a vacuum, games to store? You might want to think about a hall or several hall closets. Is there a need for walk in closets in your bedrooms? Do you need two closets in your master bedroom/bath & do you want lots of shelving and/or shelving and cubbies?
    5. Placement of rooms:
      Garage: Do you want or need a courtyard entry, side entry or back entry. Does your neighborhood require no front entry garages? Does it have to be on a certain side of the home? Remember to have enough depth and width (and height) to park your cars. Additional space may be needed for storing that lawn mower and yard tools. Also, think about size and location and whether you want it enclosed or open.-Laundry room: Consider whether you want it close to master bedroom or other bedrooms. What about the floor, 1st or 2nd (and will you need a laundry shoot). Do you want an enclosed laundry with one door or will you want a walk-through from the master bedroom, bath or closet with a pocket door too?-Space for pets: Will you be needing a place to put Butch, your Golden Retriever when you are gone? Do you want to keep him out of the bedrooms, living areas, halls? Is a built in ½ pocket door the solution? Are you wanting to have a doggy bath/shower area? Where is it going to be located? Extra costs include plumbing for sprayers and the sprayer itself. Need a doggie door? Decide on size and location as this is put in during the framing stage.

Small children: Do you want your kids’ bedrooms close to yours? Do you need a built in ½ pocket door? Will the fireplace hearth be flat on the ground or will it be raised for extra seating?

Bedrooms: Most want their bedrooms placed as far away from noise as possible. Do you want your bedrooms on the same size of the home or do you want a split plan? Upstairs or down? Do you want your master bedroom close to your laundry? Another suggestion, don’t put your master near your living area. TVs and noise will affect your sleep.

Kitchen: You will want your kitchen close to eating areas such as breakfast room or dining room for easy access. Also, having it close to an entry or garage makes lugging in groceries sooooo much easier. Do you need more space for that large fridge? Where will that deep freeze or ice maker go?

Extra rooms: Do you need room for your pool table? Do you see a mother-in-law suite needed in the future? Want sewing space but need an office too? Underutilized rooms are just that – never used and a waste of space. Gone are the days of media rooms. People tend to congregate around the kitchen and great room area; so, maybe, just maybe, you won’t need that formal dining room. You won’t miss it! Consider making that extra room you do need a multipurpose room. Tip *adding a closet will make a room a bedroom. And, where do you want these rooms: upstairs, in the back of home, near the garage, detached from the home, over the garage?

2. Decorating: Are you wanting soaring ceilings and tall doors? Will your doors be hollow core or solid? Door knobs: how much is your budget-and do you want special knobs, like glass ones similar to the ones your granny had? Will your great room be vaulted? Do you want beams, ship-lap or brick walls? Is your home going to be trimmed out nicely? Do you want your windows to have trim or do you want wainscoting? Built-in cabinets in the living area are nice; but, they come at a cost. Are you putting carpet, hardwood, laminate, tile or scored flooring in; and, which flooring will put in which area? Do you need impact resistant windows because you live in an area that attracts hurricanes? Those windows come at a cost to you. Countertops in the bathrooms, kitchen and laundry areas are things with which most struggle. So many decisions to make. Talk with your builder about budgets and your needs vs. your wants.

3. Cabinets: Where do you want them? Do you want something special like a coffee bar or homework area? Do you want something special like a paper towel holder or spice drawers?

4. Lighting: Don’t make your home look like a dungeon. Lots of natural light brightens up a home. Each room needs a window and the bigger the better. And, don’t forget can lights. How many do you need and in which rooms? Do you have adequate lighting in the bathrooms? Will you want gas lighting or electric on your front and back porches? Will you need ceiling fans? We recommend ones with light kits. Is your outdoor fan damp rated? Under and/or over cabinet lighting? Pendants, flush, semi-flush or chandelier?

5. HVAC: Don’t make the mistake of over or under buying your system as it will over-perform or under-perform. It might not cool as much as you need it to during those hot months.

Don’t start sweating yet! Get yourself a good builder who goes over all these things with you so there are no surprises. Find someone who is realistic, tells you a budget, guides you through the process and helps you stay within budget, is flexible and is honest. There are many decisions to be may before you start building. Get with someone who will guide you every step of the way. The process should be enjoyable. Take time to plan ahead – you will be so much happier and less stressed. So, go out there, and BUILD A GREAT HOME!

Ron Cuny
Builder | Owner
ARK Builders, LLC

3.30.2017

251.422.2709 c | 251.621.1752 o

WHAT DO I DO HERE ON THE EASTERN SHORE?

Fairhope
Fairhope Arts & Crafts Festival
http://thefairhopeartsandcraftsfestival.com/

Something fun to do in Fairhope is the annual Arts & Crafts Festival. This year marks the 65th anniversary of the event and is Friday & Saturday, March 17 & 18(10-6) to Sunday, March 19 (10 am to 5 pm). This event is held annually in Downtown Fairhope.

Free to attendees and located in Downtown Fairhope, over 230 vendors exhibit their creations for you to view and/or purchase. There are plenty of places “to get your food on” at the festival. Also, you can catch some live entertainment enjoying our warm weather and ever present sunshine. For directions, parking and shuttles: http://thefairhopeartsandcraftsfestival.com/page/Directions-Parking-Shuttles.  In the heart of the festival you can visit the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce’s information booth to get a map of the festival.

See you there!

Amy Cuny
3.6.2017

 

How Much Does That New Home Really Cost?

You’ve made the decision to build a home. You want to know “How much is this going to cost me? Can I afford it? Where do I go first?”

Your mind is running wild. You start to look @ Google, Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia and builder websites. You may even look on social media sites such as Facebook, Linkedin and others. Be careful here, you may find inaccurate information on the market in which you are building.

Typically, a new home buyer has a preconceived notion of what they think a home should cost. Sometimes, we find, that those wanting to build often have disbelief and are frequently disappointed to find that the price they thought this new home should/would cost is much higher than what they thought.

We want to offer some insight on this subject because there are many factors that play into the equation.

First and foremost is the budget. Get with your mortgage lender and determine if you can buy a home and find out your mortgage options.  You need to know what your “all in” budget is. And, don’t over-extend yourself. This only creates pressure that you don’t need. If you don’t have a lender, ask your builder to give you some lenders that will help you through the process and have a proven track record.

Next is the land. Do you own your own lot or land? Are you looking to buy a lot or land? How sloped is the land? Are there drainage issues? What type of foundation are you thinking on which to build? Is there a forest that you are wanting to level or is the land sparse of trees? Is it on waterfront or on dry land? Are you wanting standard construction or concrete block? Do you need it engineered a certain way? What amenities do you want in your home? What do you need vs. what do you want?

Then, the actual cost to build becomes a factor. Since the crash, construction costs have been on the rise. Most people don’t get this. They don’t believe the builder when he tells them the cost and explains that material costs have risen and labor charges have risen. It’s not so cheap anymore when you go to build. And, to add insult to injury, land is getting scarcer and scarcer in the “hot to build” locations. And, mortgage rates aren’t trending down right now.

What we strongly suggest is to contact a builder from the get-go. Call one, or more, and discuss these questions. He is qualified to find out your specifics and give you an accurate quote. Don’t buy your plan. Wait until you meet with the builder. Buying a plan ahead of knowing what land on which you are putting that house means wasted money and frustration for you!

Ask your builder to take a look at the property. Then, go sit down. Make a list of items you want in the home and be HONEST. If you are wanting that clawfoot tub, tell him. That tub costs more to buy and the faucets are usually more expensive. If you want high end granite, your builder should ask you to shop before he quotes because these particular costs increase the price and price per square foot for the home.

Be smart, don’t assume that you have researched enough to know what you should pay.

Finally, when you have made that decision to go with a builder, reign yourself in. Let him guide you and try to stay within or under your budgets. Your home building experience will be much more enjoyable when you are confident and happy with your choices | decisions.

And don’t forget that we are here to help you. For your free meeting, on the property you are interested in buying or that you own, and a quote, call us: 251.422.2709 c | Ron Cuny, Sr. Builder-Owner.

Now, go build your dream home.

Do I need a lot before finding a builder?

Well, this is a tricky question.  If you already have a lot or property, have your potential builder come by with you to look at the lot. This will give him/her idea of the lay of the land. The lot/property affects the price of the home because the builder will have to determine whether there is fall that would require extensive foundation work. If it is a flat lot, he can price it accordingly. If there is fall, he is better able to explain the increase in work needed and the approximate price of that work. This affects the over all price of the home.

Also, consider…if you paid $35,000 for the lot and it requires $30,000 worth of foundation work (above what would normally be charged for a foundation), then you basically have paid $75,000 for the lot.

If you have not purchased a lot, by all means get your potential builder to go with you (and your Realtor if you have one) for this same reason. Just because the Realtor says the lot is flat, he/she may not know the approximate fall. A builder knows what to look for and is better qualified to determine this. You do not want to make this mistake and be unhappy with the lot (and possibly the Realtor).

Another thing to consider is the plan that you want to go on this lot/property. The plan you want may not fit there. With lots there are setbacks and you may or may not know them. The builder does. When you are considering that dream plan, you have to remember not only the width of the home and the setbacks but the driveway footage needed for adequate turn around space and/or extra parking.

We also advise our potential clients NOT to purchase a home plan before the builder sees it. Often, we see that people get excited, buy a plan and either it won’t fit and it is not engineered for the area in which they are building. So, work with your builder, design or buy a plan that works and is functional.  Your builder should guide you by offering advice and thoughts/pricing info regarding a plan. He/she can make sure the plan is functional, doesn’t have wasted space and is cost efficient.

So, yes, do take your builder out there. And, most builders won’t charge you for this service. Don’t make a mistake that you may regret.

If you have questions about this topic or want us to meet you at the property you want to build on (or if you have property on which you plan to build), call us at either 251.621.1752 or 251.422.2709.

We are here to help you make sound, well thought out decisions. You won’t regret it.

Want something to do in January in Mobile or along the Eastern Shore? Check out these ideas and events from Mobile Bay Magazine. Great way to thwart of the cold January blues.

http://www.mobilebaymag.com/Mobile-Bay/January-2017/Top-10-Things-to-Do-in-January/?utm_source=+Mobile+Bay+Mag%2C+01%2F04%2F17&utm_campaign=MB+Newsletter%2C+1%2F04%2F17&utm_medium=email

Well, we all know that new construction is booming now, especially on the Eastern Shore. In the last quarter of this year, residential spending is up 1.6%.  I don’t anticipate this figure to level off or drop during the first quarter of 2017. All the trends and data lead to a steady rise in construction cost.

What does this mean?
Where there is a climbing level of construction spending this usually results in improvement in consumer spending in other areas. When people start to build new homes, the start buying other things to go inside the home.

This is valuable info. So check it out.

Value of Construction Put in Place at a Glance

October 2016

My previous blog post talked about residential construction spending is up. One area that contributes to the increase is what new home buyers are buying for their new homes.  Not that we encourage this spending on “must haves”; but who doesn’t like a new couch or new rugs to really make their home homey.

Source: Lea Schneider is a professional organizer who provides great tips to realtors and homeowners on the best pieces of furniture to purchase first for a new home.

 

5 Furniture Must-Haves for First-Time Buyers

Daily Real Estate News | Thursday, December 22, 2016

While empty rooms are filled with potential, it might take your first-time buyer some time and mental energy to see what you see.

Read more: What First-Time Buyers Need From You

Potential buyers, especially those buying for the first time, can be intimidated by the amount of space a house has and don’t know where to begin when it comes to furnishing it and making it their own. However, it’s easy to customize an empty home to fit your personality. Help them focus on the five basic pieces of furniture they will need to feel settled and at home.

  1. A Place to Lay Your Head

The bed is the largest item in the room, so it’s certainly a design focal point, not to mention a place where we spend a third of our lives. Homeowners should take time to select a great headboard and bedframe that they’ll enjoy for many years. Later, they can match the other pieces in the bedroom to the headboard style.

  1. Pull Up a Seat

A house becomes a home based on the memories created there, many of which happen during meals. Nothing is more symbolic of together-time than the dining table, so a table and chair set is an important item to focus on for new homeowners. A good, high-quality set will allow for all-important family meals and provides a space to gather with family and friends for many years. Advise your homeowners to consider the following:

  • Choose a set with more chairs than you need. This allows you to have guests and host gatherings.
  • Choose chairs with an easily wiped surface, such as wood or leather seats. This will help ensure they look great for a long time, especially for families with young children.
  1. It’s OK to Be a Couch Potato

Being a couch potato can be a good thing: It requires choosing your couch wisely. A couch can be a costly investment, and new homeowners will want to select one that will be comfortable for a good number of years. Here are some things for your buyers to keep in mind:

  • Measure to see what size couch will fit.
  • If you need extra sleeping room, look for a sleeper sofa.
  • Like to put your feet up? Pick built-in recliners or an ottoman.
  • Make sure to ask if it can be cleaned and check if there is a warranty.
  • Going neutral means your couch will work in your decor for a long time. However, lighter colors may be difficult to keep clean with young children.
  1. Snug as a Bug

The old saying about being as snug as a bug in a rug is a true one. Rugs bring in warmth and tie together a conversation area. Homebuyers should keep the following in mind when choosing rugs for their new home:

  • Measure to see what size rug you need.
  • Regular vacuuming is the key to making a rug last and look great.
  • If you have a high-traffic area, pets or small children, you might want to try an indoor-outdoor rug because they are easily cleaned.
  1. A Place for Everything

Clutter doesn’t make for a peaceful or inviting home. New homeowners should consider storage pieces as a key first purchase when filling their new home. A dresser is a great investment, because over the years it can serve many purposes. Buying a new piece, refurbishing an old one or hunting for an antique can be just the ticket for the foyer, den, dining room or bedroom.

There are so many pieces of furniture to add to a new home. Instead of getting overwhelmed by a long list, homeowners can focus on these five basics to get a great start on making their new house a home.

Source: Lea Schneider is a professional organizer who provides great tips to realtors and homeowners on the best pieces of furniture to purchase first for a new home. A headboard, frame and mattress are some of those foundational items. You can check out a selection of each here at The Home Depot.