Custom Home Builders in NJ: The 10 Most Common Questions We Get Asked

Custom Home Builders in NJ: The 10 Most Common Questions We Get Asked

As a custom home builder, part of what I do is educate folks on the building process.

I’ve talked to hundreds of people, and while they all have different priorities and concerns, there are several questions that come up nearly every time I speak with prospective clients.

What will it cost to build a custom home?

This is hands down the most common question asked by virtually every potential client. It’s a complicated question that many builders may not answer with accuracy, but by essentially building your house on paper first, working through all of the details and making selections up front, we’re able to pinpoint an exact cost for your home — something that works for your family’s budget.

Is building more expensive than buying?

As realtors will tell you, it’s all about supply and demand. When there is a lack of existing inventory on the market, demand increases and finding an existing home within your price range can become more difficult. In a seller’s market, when buyers can end up overpaying, building a custom home may be more cost effective than purchasing an existing home. You also have to factor in the costs of maintaining and updating an existing or older home versus purchasing a brand-new product with warranties.

There are other factors to consider, like our instant equity program: When you choose to build a custom home with us, you end up with a house that has a greater value than what you paid for the land and the build.

What will the property taxes be like?

Our custom home builds can save you thousands of dollars in property taxes over time. We currently have several clients saving over 30% per year compared to similar homes. If you want more details on how much you could save, go ahead and give me a call.

How do I get financing to build a custom home?

Aside from paying cash, which some people do, the easiest way to fund a custom build is through a construction loan. We’ll refer you to an expert mortgage specialist, who will be happy to walk you through the process of obtaining a construction loan in plain language. If you’ve already been pre-qualified for a construction loan with a lender that you trust, great! We’re happy to work with them.

How long will it take from start to finish?

This is another common question that many builders hesitate to answer. When you work with us, we can have you in your house seven months after securing the land. We pride ourselves on efficient and timely builds.

How do I find the best contractor?

Your decision to build a custom home may be one of the most critical investments you’ll ever make, which is why you should be 100% sure that you’re working with the right professional for the job. Ask for referrals from your friends and family, and talk with building inspectors in your area. They’ll know which contractors routinely meet code requirements. Good contractors have a solid reputation and we’re more than happy to provide references if you contact us.

What are the most important questions to ask my contractor?

Don’t get distracted by discussions about countertops, tile and wood floor finishes. Ask questions about the structure of your home, foundations, floor joist lumber, wall stud sizes and the quality of other building materials. Make sure they’re licensed and insured in the state where you’re building your home. Ask about communication, how involved the contractor will be on a daily basis, and who chooses the subcontractors. Also, make sure you ask about what sort of warranty is being offered and get those details in writing.

Is this going to be complicated?

You may have heard that building a custom home is overwhelming. There are a lot of details to nail down, but you shouldn’t have to worry about a thing. We’re really good at what we do, and we’ll walk you through everything, step by step. In the beginning, we’ll have several sit-down meetings and I’ll make sure that you feel comfortable. I’ll show you tons of examples of our work. We want you to be completely familiar with the entire process before you spend a dollar.

Should I buy land before contacting a builder, or talk to a builder first?

We work with clients who already own land and we build on their lot. But our typical model is to discuss budget, calculate size and hammer out all of the details before we search for the right piece of property. Knowing what you want before you purchase a lot can help you get a better idea of the kind of land you’ll want to buy. At the end of the day, as long as you have a place to build by the time we’re ready to start building, everything will work out fine!

What if I can’t find a property?

We’ll help you find the perfect lot in Westfield, Cranford, Scotch Plains, Summit, Clark, Watchung, Berkeley Heights, New Providence or Mountainside. Sometimes it takes some time, but we’ll get there. Our instant equity program is based in trust: We’ll get you the right lot at the right price, trusting you to build with us once you own the land.

As a future custom homeowner, did I answer all of your questions? If you have any hesitations or uncertainties, just give me a call!

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    “ I can’t say enough good things about what a great experience this has been…”

    - Heather B. | Westfield NJ