It's been almost a year since we discussed the benefits of building a new home - so we wanted to refresh your memory with some tips and ideas from one of our most popular posts! In a previous New Homes and Development entry, we spoke about the choices available for new homes: school choices and lot size choices, and the number of bedrooms/baths, etc.
In this entry, it's all about choices. Do you like having lots of choices, or is that too much to think about? If you’re not quite sure which side of the fence you sit in regards to making choices, here is a quick guide.
What is a Production or Tract Builder?
There are, in essence, two types of homebuilding for buyers to consider: “Production” or “Tract” building. Production builders are found in neighborhoods with several lots, with possibly hundreds of homesites from which to choose. In some cases, one builder could have the entire neighborhood. Often the larger neighborhoods, with hundreds of home sites, will have 2 or 3 builders.
The builder selects the floor plans they think will work best to suit the needs of buyers and design those plans around who might most likely fill those homes. They’ll rely on certain demographics to inform them of who their potential buyers might be. Is the neighborhood known for great schools? If so, the builder may select larger homes with lots of bedrooms, for example.
Sometimes, the demographics are simple, comparing what worked best in a recently completed neighborhood. In others, with little comparable history, a deeper demographic search may be needed.
Once the builders have targeted who may be the new homeowners, they get down to offering 2, 3 or 4 floor plans that make the most sense for that location. Furnished models are built and used to show the results to interested consumers.
Production building has evolved over the years, from offering 3 or 4 different plans, to adding a few options such as moving a wall, expanding a master bedroom size, or adding more interior/exterior selections.
They often have Selection Studios on site or at their home office, streamlining the selection process, which allows you to make all the choices in a single visit. In fact, production building has evolved so much with some builders it’s very close to “Custom.”
What is a Custom Builder?
On the other hand, if you want to make all of your own choices, you might still find them with a Production builder, even including choices about:
- Carpet style and color
- Hardwood or tile style, and color
- Counter top style and color
However, if you want to determine the overall floor plan, the overall style, exterior façade, the room-to-room layout, even the color of walls in individual rooms, you may want to consider a true “Custom” builder.
If you sit down with a builder, your agent and a blank piece of paper, start drawing out the layout of your desired house. A skilled communicator, the “Custom” builder, will ask you where you spend most of your time, where you need extra rooms, and what is your lifestyle. You may wish to concentrate as much on the outdoor living as much as interior if you enjoy gardening or outdoor entertaining.
You may wish to create an open Chef’s kitchen with top-of-the-line appliance package, or you may want to have an average equipped kitchen with four phone jacks for calling for pizza delivery each night. Either way, it’s still your choice!
It can get tedious. If you don’t want to choose where the media jack locations go, what type doorknobs to use, or choosing each of your light fixtures, floor finishes, plumbing fixtures, to some, this is a real pleasure. To others, it’s a nightmare.
The bottom line is, building a home, whether “Custom” or “Production,” requires careful consideration. Aside from location, schools, price range, having so many potential choices is an integral part of the process.
Would you prefer looking at a furnished model and saying, “I’ll take that one!” Or, would you relish the thought of helping design your layout and being in on choosing most everything? Determine what you want, along with all your other considerations, and then go out and make your dream of a brand new home come true.
It’s your “choice.”
For help in determining which direction to look, and to get more information about new housing in Hampton Roads, contact Jimmy Reece, Director of New Homes & Development, at 757-572-4640 or JimmyReece@treg.com.