How long does it take to build a custom home?
Generally, we ask for 6-8 months to complete from the time the house is started (footers are poured). It depends on the complexity of the home and how much the owner is involved in the building process. If we think your particular plan could take longer, we will let you know that up front.
Can I use my land as down payment?
Yes. When you apply for your loan, the lender will order an appraisal for the house and property together. Since the land is paid for, whatever value they give to the land will be considered as cash. If you have enough equity in the land, you can use part of it to pay closing costs, etc.
What is the square foot price of your homes?
Square foot prices are used by Realtors when they are selling an existing home when the price is set, and the square footage is known. A builder’s square foot price has absolutely no bearing on his estimate to build your home. In our company, all our standard homes have the same level of amenities – cabinets, flooring roofing, siding, faucets, etc. – and they still range from $125/SF to $175/SF. That is because most of the cost, approximately 55%, in a house is the structural design. You also have every builder calculating his square foot price differently. Is he including decks, porches, garages, basements in his square foot price? Or, like Craftsman, do they only use the finished square footage? In our calculations a $20,000 garage added to a 1500 square foot house just raised the square foot price by $13. Most builders will still use their, say $140/SF, but over here you have a separate upgrade for $20,000.
Can I make changes to your plans?
We will sit down and make any changes you would like to fit your needs or budget that make structural sense. We will talk about the things that are important to you and will often suggest changes to make the plan better or more affordable for you.
What if I already have my own plans?
We are a custom builder, so we are happy to work from our plans or yours. We will ask that you make an appointment with one of our consultants to sit down and review the plans and to tour our selection center so we have a better idea of what you’d like to see in your home.
What is included in your price?
There are three parts to the price of a custom home. There is land, house construction and site prep. Most builders, including Craftsman, separate the site prep from the cost to build the house. The reason is that the cost to build is based solely on the plan you have chosen. However, the cost to prepare the site (excavation, driveway, septic, well, etc.) is based 90% on the site you are using and only 10% on the house itself. So, our price includes everything in the structure of the house itself, from basement to shingles and everything in between.
Will we need a Construction Loan?
In general, if a builder is building a home on his own property, he will ask for a substantial down payment, usually 20%-25% and he finances the project himself using the land as collateral. With custom homes, we are almost always building on your property. In that case the builder cannot borrow money to build the home on someone else’s land, so a Construction loan is necessary. There are builders who will still finance the project, but they will ask for a Deed of Trust to the property. Most don’t explain that process in a lot of detail, but bottom line, if for any reason you don’t make the scheduled payments to the builder or bank, the builder has the right to conduct a non-judicial foreclosure – that is, sell the property without first getting a court order. It is not a situation most homebuyers want to be in.
Can you assist with financing?
Yes. As a matter of fact, we can recommend the best lender for your situation and our preferred lenders give our customers better terms on their loans. They know because of our unique process, we are the only builder who will give you a price and, other than your adding something, that will be the price at the end. That takes a tremendous amount of the risk out for the lender and so they will require less down payment. We also have dedicated loan officers at each bank so they know our process and can move your financing forward much quicker.
How much does site prep usually run?
Once we have a plan and visit your site, we can give you an accurate cost. But for you to figure a number, it will typically run around $35,000 for a rural property, one that needs a well, septic, excavation, driveway, possibly clearing, grading, and seeding. It will often be less if you are building in a subdivision with public utilities. The lots are usually smaller in a subdivision so things like driveway and clearing can be much less. We will get accurate estimates on everything that needs done, handle all the work, and only charge you the actual cost of the work with no profit or overhead added.
Will Craftsman help with the up-front work like soil testing and applying for all the permits?
Yes. Unlike other builders, we will arrange for soil testing and handle all applications for permits. Building your home on time is critical to our business and permits have become a time-consuming and complicated task. There are zoning permits, well permits, septic permits, septic designs, earth disturbance permits, operations permits, storm water management plans, and, of course, building permits.