When most home buyers hear the term “custom home”, they typically associate the word “custom” as meaning expensive. It’s in our nature to assimilate the two and for the most part anything “custom” generally does cost more but on the flip side, anything “custom” generally is worth more or has a higher value.
The decision for me to build a custom home vs. a new neighborhood home or even a pre-existing home came fairly easy. I did not want a home that was merely steps from my neighbor, that looked like everyone else’s house in the neighborhood or have limited choices on the finishes. Not to mention, I certainly did not want all of the other houses in the neighborhood to dictate what my house would be worth!
My home is the largest investment I plan to make, therefore I wanted to make all of the decisions that went into my investment. I wanted to be the one that determined the layout of my house and that all of the space was usable for my family.
Speaking of layout and space, I took HomeSource’s Women Centric quiz and it was spot on! Go to www.homesourcecustomhomes.com and read more about Women Centric– guys, its for you too!
I was able to save on many of the finishing aspects throughout my build so here are just a few to name!
- Kitchen, I chose a countertop surface that was within my budget, easy to maintain, without sacrificing style. Granite was all the rage at the time I was designing my kitchen, however I wanted a surface that would stand the test of time….. longer than a trend.
- Kitchen Cabinetry, I chose an all wood material that is just above builder grade, added trim and some hardware. By simply adding trim and nice hardware to your cabinetry it can really give it a more high end look without the cost.
- Flooring, I chose hardwood throughout and saved a ton by installing ourselves!
- Paint, it costs much more to have the painter use multiple colors so instead I chose to have our painter spray the entire house with an antique white primer and over the next 12 months I painted each room myself, and yes we lived in our home for 12 months with only primer on the walls and no one ever noticed!
- Light Fixtures, I immediately started buying light fixtures the minute we broke ground. Not because I was overly anxious but because I knew I could find some great deals over time. Not only was I able to find some really good prices online but since Home Depot was literally our 2nd home, I consistently scoured sale items. In fact, I still find myself checking out the sale items when I go there and was so tempted the other day to buy a beautiful chandelier that was marked down to $53.00 from $257.00!
- Landscaping, we put in a lot of sweat equity with this aspect as well as being very fortunate with timing and help. It just so happened to be the end of the season so we were able to get all of our plants, shrubs, bushes, trees, etc….for 50%-75% off. We erected all of our retaining walls with the help of friends and family. We installed the sprinkler system our self and did all of the seeding for grass. Lots of work but with the money we saved it was well worth it!
One of the biggest lessons I took away was that I did not have to have EVERYTHING on my wish list right away (nor was I going to get it). There are so many little items that can either be replaced or completed at a later date. As we neared completion of our beautiful custom home, budgets were getting tight, I made choices on items that I knew down the road I could change out, upgrade or finish. I knew in the long run it was much more important for my family to be in a home that was built specifically for us.