Most people know what they want in their new home and see Dennis to discuss
those ideas and iron out the wrinkles. However, some people in the very
early planning stages have a need to sort through so many choices. The
steps below were compiled by one of our many homeowners to assist those
people. We hope you find them useful for organizing your home building
- Custom home vs. Market home. The differences between
these two types of homes is important and will impact your feelings
about your home and its future market value. Chiefly, market homes have
simple exterior and interior styling with standard features and floor
plans all designed to reduce the cost of construction. Buyers of market
homes have few feature choices, design options and less space between
their neighbors. Deciding to build a custom home allows the buyer to
purchase a larger lot and to get numerous upgrade features (like better
construction materials and building practices, better insulation packages,
larger individualized kitchens, baths, and family rooms, and better
quality windows). Of course, personalized architecture from the outside
to the inside is the hallmark of a custom home.
- Check your finances and calculate what you can comfortably afford
for a downpayment and as a mortgage. This will help you decide
on the lot size as well as the approximate size of the home. Some homeowners
use a price per square foot rule of thumb to estimate building costs
(excluding the lot). Depending on the features you choose, this cost
can range from $90 to $140/sq. ft. or even higher. Click here to use
a Mortgage Calculator.
- Pre-qualify for a loan through a financial institution. It's
never too soon to find out for sure what you can afford.
- Scope locations, neighborhoods, towns. Narrow down your
list of favorite areas for lots by picking the best school districts,
reasonable drive times to work and shopping, and affordable tax areas.
- Ask for and read all lot covenants and building restrictions
on size, style, and construction quality before purchasing your dream
- Research home designs. Obtain back copies of home plan
magazines. Primarily, look for floor plans that work best for you. Secondarily,
look for any house front style that you like. It's more important to
first pick the best floor plan sketching desirable alterations than
choosing the best exterior design and being "stuck" with the
associated floor plan. Later, you'll choose a designer architect to
fit your favorite exterior to your best floor plan.
- Ranch or two-story. If a two-story, then master on first
or master on second. If this is your dream home and you have plans to
retire (someday) with this home, it's a good bet that you'll want a
first floor master suite.
- Exterior features. Decide between brick and siding. Hipped
roof lines or straight gables. Drive around lots of neighborhoods and
take lots of pictures. Doing this step will help you picture what looks
good from the front. Discovering what is "appealing from the curb"
will make selling your home later a snap.
- Interior features. Room sizes. Kitchen, nook and family
room combinations. Kitchen arrangements. Visit model homes, attend Homearama
and the annual Cincinnati or Dayton Home Show for lots of interior ideas.
- Arrange financing. Understand rate locks and ask about
lock extensions in case your project is not finished on time or your
existing residence has not sold. Ask about front end vs. back end closings
and which is safer to you. Ask about the bank's opinion on transferring
your lot to the builder before you build and discover which practice
is safer to you as lot owner and future homeowner.
- Gather Builder Names. Ask friends, family and locals
from the neighborhoods surrounding your lot. Look for a builder that
is smaller and local to your area. Remember smaller and local means
personal attention will be applied to your project. Look for builders
that allow you to maintain ownership of your lot. Include DW Homes and Dennis Wesselman on your short list.
- Call Dennis! You can work with him. He is reasonable.
He does quality work. He has practical experience. He has the best pricing. And, he will be present on your project every day. Call now!