A custom home is the ideal way to make sure you get everything you want out of your living space—it’s the best, most efficient way to “check all the boxes,” especially when you are on a specific budget. Think about it: you can include only the things you need and want, but not add (and pay for!) the things that aren’t important to you. If you want extra square footage in the living room or kitchen, you are able to add on. And why pay for a 4th bedroom or a 3rd bathroom if you are never going to use it? A custom homebuilder will also take the time to make sure all your finishings, cabinets, countertops, faucets, lighting, appliances, doors, etc., match your personality. These details are what help to make a house feel like it’s truly yours.
One of the first choices you have to make when opting to build a home tailored to your needs is who will build it? The right custom home builder will take your vision (excuse my pun) and turn it into a working, sound structure. They’ll ensure that a high-quality home is delivered to you, and will make the entire process of home-building smooth and free from unnecessary hassle.
If you’re looking for a custom home builder in Morgantown, WV or the surrounding areas of North Central West Virginia, you’ll find that you have have several options. However, not all home builders are created equal, and the wrong choice will turn one of the most exciting projects of your life into a stressful chore. But choose wisely and the process can be easy and—dare I say it?—fun!
With this in mind, here are some tips to follow when choosing a custom homebuilder in WV:
Decide what you can afford
The first thing that you need to decide is your price range. This will most likely be one of the first questions your home builder will ask because price will dictate the size, style, and features that are available to you. Your builder doesn’t want to design a $450,000 home that you fall in love with if your top price range is $250,000, so it’s good to know what we can work with up front.
Buying a home is often the largest investment a person makes in their life, so it’s important to feel comfortable with the amount of money you’re investing. A good place to start is using the 28% rule, which means that you shouldn’t spend more than 28% of your monthly income, before taxes, on your mortgage. So if you make $10,000 per month before taxes, then in theory you should be able to afford a $2,800 per month mortgage. Of course, this is just a guideline to get you in the ballpark—it’s always good to follow your gut when deciding how much you’re comfortable spending.
Once you have that number in mind, visit a mortgage lender to confirm what you can reasonably spend, and get pre-approved for that amount. This will be invaluable when meeting with your custom home builder. Here are some great lenders in the Morgantown area.
Choose the right custom home builder for you
Once you have a good idea of how much house you can afford, it’s time to talk to a home builder. There are many custom homebuilders in the region, but it all comes down to making the right choice for you. Your builder should be able to help you identify precisely what you want and display their understanding in the design and final product that they deliver.
Here’s how you find the right custom builder in WV:
Perhaps the most important step of looking for the right custom home builder is research. Use as many sources as you can. The first method is to ask your family, friends, and acquaintances to recommend you a home builder that they’ve had experience with. This will help to eliminate any concerns over the credibility of the custom homebuilder, and you’ll have a referral that you can trust.
Your next visit is to the internet. Dig deep and go through websites of multiple custom home builders in WV. Determine whether they have the expertise and experience on their portfolio to meet your needs.
Here are some things to look for:
- The builder’s reputation is generally an excellent guide. That goes for most any kind of purchases you make. If the company’s reputation is poor, you’re not going to want to buy from them. Homeowners in the area are a good resource when finding information about different builders. The Better Business Bureau is also a good place to check. You can find out if there have been any major complaints about the builders you’re considering. Very good and very bad builder reputations usually surface quickly. The builders who are in the middle of very good and very bad are usually harder to investigate.
- Check to see how long the builders have been in business. There’s nothing wrong with “new” builders, but nothing beats quality sustained through many years of service. You can’t fool your customers for long, and builders who provide poor quality do not survive over time.
- Look at the overall service records of the builder’s you’re considering. Ask for names of previous customers. Find out how responsive your builder has been. Has the builder responded quickly to complaints? Has the builder provided help to the customer with securing manufacturer warranty claims? Check for testimonials and reviews online—Google, Facebook, and their website are good places to start.
- Check the builder’s affiliations with professional organizations. These organizations are a good source of up-to-date information for the builder. The National Association of Home Builders provides a continuous flow of information. The highest quality builders have staff members who work with the NAHB technical departments to keep abreast of innovations in design and energy conservation.
Choose your top 3 candidates
After doing your thorough research, you need to narrow it down to your top 3 choices. After that, reach out to each of them through the contact information provided on their websites. Their responses during the initial contact should give you an idea of their diligence, professionalism, and correspondence with clients.
Schedule a one-on-one interview with them for further assessment.
This is the most crucial part of the search process. By meeting the home builders, you’ll get a clearer picture of how they function and what they offer.
Make sure to ask the following questions in the interview:
- Do you have the expertise and experience to implement the design and quality that I want in the home? How do you plan on implementing it?
- How does your budget estimating process work? How accurate is it?
- How long would my project take to complete? Who will be supervising it?
- How will you deal with challenges and address changes during the construction process?
- Can you give me references from your current and past clients?
The final word
If you want to build a custom home in WV, you need to hire an experienced homebuilder. We humbly suggest that you speak with Vision Homes first—we’ve built over 500 custom homes in WV and PA over the last 20+ years, and we take great pride in building you a house you’re proud to call home. But don’t take our word for it: take a look through some of our customer reviews and videos, and find out what over 500 customers already know:
“We couldn’t be happier in our new home and with the whole process! People always talk about how stressful building a house is, but you guys are like a well-oiled machine and really made it pretty pain-free, as well as doing an amazing job. We never want to leave our forever home, but if we did have to build again, we would pick Vision Homes again, hands down!”
Contact us today to set up a meeting—we look forward to working with you!