Choosing a Home Builder: Where to Start

custom built homesAccording to Zillow, 48% of homebuyers look for new homes that have no previous owners. Because of this, custom built homes are becoming more and more popular choices. A custom home is a great way to ensure your home is exactly what you need and want. And to make this happen, you need to find a reputable builder to take on the project. This article is going to discuss a few ways to choose a home builder.
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Custom Home Market Continuing to Expand

luxury homesIf you’re considering building or buying a home this year, custom seems to be the way to go. According to Builder Magazine, the market for custom homes is continuing to expand. Despite a recent focus on entry-level homes throughout the housing industry, demand for custom luxury homes has been steady in recent years. Both owners and contractors are continuing to invest in property that allows them to build a custom design.

Custom luxury homes can offer homeowners immense benefits. From being a cost-effective solution to allowing homeowners to choose every detail, custom homes are being more and more popular. If you do decide to go the custom home route, there are a few things you should determine before making a final decision. Let’s take a look at a few things homeowners should think about in order to decide if a custom home is the right choice.

Do you have the right budget? Before you even begin planning a new home, you need to create a budget. In doing this, you can ensure you’ll be able to afford the home you want. Additionally, a budget will allow you to be able to pay for any unforeseen emergencies during the home building process. Many homeowners get too excited and go through their available funds too fast. It’s important to determine your financial situation before making a final decision.

Where do you want your new home to be located? There are a lot of factors to consider when determining your desired location. Unfortunately, 52% of homebuyers say that finding the right property is the most difficult aspect when buying a home. While it may be difficult, it’s important to not settle for something you don’t want. The neighborhood, school district, and daily commute can all be contributing factors to your final decision.

Do you have the time and patience needed to build a custom home? Custom built homes are a big commitment. You need to be ready to dedicate a lot of time to plan every aspect of the home. Additionally, custom luxury homes have a slower building process to make sure the house is constructed to your exact wants and needs. If you don’t have the patience or time to wait for a custom home, it might not be right for you.

If you do decide a custom home is the right option for you, it’s important you work with qualified, experienced contractors. Custom homes require a lot of planning and you want a contractor who will take the time to understand your wants and needs and give you a home you can truly be happy with.

Looking to Buy a New Home? Make Sure You Implement Energy Efficient Features

luxury homeWhen it comes time to look for a new home, more and more people are choosing custom luxury homes. With all of the options a custom home offers, buyers can ensure their new home has the features that mean the most to them. One popular feature people look for in a new home is environmentally friendly options. In fact, 48% of buyers looking at new luxury homes cite “energy-efficient” as their most desired quality. If you’re looking for a new home, this article is going to discuss a few reasons why you should consider energy efficient features.
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Considering Renting Instead of Buying? Here Are Some Pros And Cons To Consider

custom built homeMany people consider buying their first home to be a major accomplishment. While there are some benefits that come with renting a luxury home, buying a home allows you to build equity and invest in your future. However, before you decide whether renting or buying is right for you, it’s important to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages that come with renting. Here are just a few basic pros and cons to consider when deciding whether to rent or buy your next home.

PRO: Renters aren’t responsible for maintenance
In most cases, people who rent aren’t responsible for their apartment or home’s maintenance. This means that if any issues arise with utilities or appliances, it’s your property manager’s duty to resolve them. While this often alleviates a lot of stress, it can also mean that your property manager may have to enter your home or apartment more often, so be aware.

CON: Lack of equity
As mentioned, many people see renting as essentially throwing away your money because of the simple fact that you aren’t gaining equity. Your rent payment goes to the property manager and it’s easy to feel like you’ll never see it again. Even though renting provides stability, this is the main reason it doesn’t typically work well as a long term financial option. When you own a home, on the other hand, you’re investing in your financial future and can eventually resell the property and get back the majority of your investment.

PRO: Speed of moving process
One benefit of renting is that renters can typically relocate slightly faster than homeowners in the event that they receive a job opportunity, quickly change financial status, or have another unexpected life situation. However, homeowners can often make decisions that expedite their relocation processes as well, such as renting out their current home. Fortunately, about 92% of people now use the Internet in their home search, making it simple to browse homes for rent or for sale online.

CON: Lack of individuality/personalization options
Finally, rental properties can’t typically be individualized or personalized. This means that you can’t just make renovations without getting permission from the property manager, which is often difficult if not impossible. When you buy a home, on the other hand, you’re free to make any renovations you want, or you can even invest in your own custom built home and make the house of your dreams appear before your eyes!

When it comes down to it, making the decision to rent a home is sometimes a viable option, but buying your own home is easily the wisest long term financial decision for most people. Knowing the realities about both renting and buying is the key to making the choice that’s right for you. If you do feel as though you’re ready to browse new homes and become a homeowner, consider looking at custom built homes for maximum flexibility. For more information about owning or renting custom built homes, contact Stony Brook Estates.

Popular Myths About Custom Homes, Debunked

new homeMany communities around the world are incorporating the idea of custom-built new homes into neighborhoods. Designing and building a custom built new home can be an extremely rewarding experience, but custom built homes can sometimes be feared. Especially since 32% of people who are looking to buy a home are first time home buyers and might be hesitant to go custom for their first home. Popular myths about choosing a custom built new home make people hesitant to choose a custom design for their new home. Here, we’ll debunk these myths and prove custom built is the way to go for your new home.

  1. Custom built homes cost way more than other homes. Often times, people hear “custom” and automatically think “expensive”. They also dear that once they start the project, they will have to pay for many additional expenses throughout the project, leaving the final prices way more expensive than they originally planned. However, custom built home companies will help customers select their own products they want to put into the overall budget. This allows total transparency and no hidden expenses.
  2. Custom-built homes take too long to build. Another fear people have about custom built homes is that they take too long to build and end up going way past the intended schedule. In actuality, like regular homes, the custom built home building process should be outlined and really take only a few months to be completed. This small time investment is worth the wait to have a home tailored to the homeowner’s lifestyle and desires.
  3. Communication with custom built home companies is not effective. Like with any construction project, effective communication depends on which company you choose. Most custom built home companies are extra involved in communicating with customers because they want to ensure that they get exactly what they want out of their home. They often walk the customer through every step of the process and handle any issues that may arise quickly and efficiently.
  4. Building a custom home is just too complex. Along with the fear of expenses, many people may also fear that choosing to new custom homes will simply be too complicated. Whether it’s the finding the right design or selecting the right materials, people think the entire process will be too overwhelming. In reality, custom built homes can actually be quite simple. Working with an experienced contractor will provide you plenty of guidance and advice along the way. This will ensure you understand the process and are aware of any options you can choose from.

It’s important to be aware of these myths, and the truth behind them, because going custom for your new home is an excellent idea. You not only get to have a say in every aspect of your home, but you and your family will have a home made just for you for years to come.

Don’t Skip The Details On Building Your New Home

new custom homesHomeownership is an exciting thing, but finding the best home for you and your family can be difficult. According to Zillow, nearly half (48%) of individuals want a home that has never been lived in. New homes can be difficult to find, however, and that’s why some potential home buyers turn their attention to building their own.

Custom built homes have many benefits compared to pre-built ones. You get to design it to fit your needs and wants, ensuring that you have the perfect home for you. However, these new custom homes also have a lot of risks, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. To help you build your new luxury home with as few mistakes as possible, we’ve found a few of the more common blunders made by homeowners:

Thinking Only In The Short Term
For a lot of homeowners, new custom homes are their dream. They don’t plan on leaving until they’re dead and gone. However, there are some issues with that level of thinking. You need to prepare for the future if you’re going to live there forever. Reduced mobility is the price of age, after all. Take these things into consideration when you’re building your new home. Having a spare bedroom on the first floor to move into when you’re older, for example, can be a smart choice.

Skipping Inspections
Just because you have a warranty from the contractor that helped you build your new home doesn’t mean you should skip the inspection. You should have a third-party inspector come in and look through your new space before you move in. If you avoid this step, small problems might slip past you and turn into a disaster later.

Not Thinking About Ducts
Ductwork is one of the most neglected aspects of a home. You want to make sure that you have the highest quality sealing and insulation on these systems. It will help you save money on energy in the warmer or cooler months, as well as give you a better and more efficient HVAC system. Don’t make the mistake of overlooking these systems when building.

New custom homes can be a thrilling thing to invest in, but you can’t afford to make mistakes when building them. They’re going to be where you live for a long time if everything goes well. Make sure you do your research and cover all your bases during construction.

5 Benefits of Investing in a Custom Built Home

custom built homesWhen you start to think about buying a home, whether it’s your first or fifth, you can be bombarded with overwhelming choices. On top of having a plethora of homes to look at, it can be difficult to find a house that has everything you want. Building a custom home can be an easy way to make sure you get everything you want out of your home. Not only do you get exactly what you want, but there are also many benefits to building a custom home. Read below to find out some of the top benefits of going with a custom built home.

  1. You can design the floor plan yourself. Do you want a big, open floor plan, but could never find a house that had one? Well, with custom built homes, you can have whatever floor plan you desire. Privacy is also another factor to consider — you can choose to have your home facing the direction that allows for as much privacy as you’d like. You’ll have many floor plan options, especially when choosing a luxury homes neighborhood.
  2. New custom homes can come with the most updated energy-efficient technology. With things like windows, insulation, and solar energy, you will have the ability to update your home with the latest technology, which is becoming more and more important to home buyers. In fact, 48% of home buyers interested in brand new homes have “energy-efficiency” at the top of their desired features list.
  3. Custom built homes also allow homeowners to choose the most updated, efficient appliances. Without having to worry about who lived in the house before you, you will have the opportunity to pick out the features that will be most beneficial to you and your family.
  4. It may seem like custom built homes cost more, but in fact, they may actually save you money in the long run. If you choose to move into an older home, you will have to put money into it for upgrades, maintenance, and additions to make it into your dream home. It can be difficult to compare luxury estate homes to older homes, since custom homes are often more spacious and modern.
  5. The ability to build your dream home is priceless. You get to be a part of every step of the design process, from the floor plan to the building materials. The end product will be something you can be proud of and a place you can truly call your own.

Since you’re hopefully going to be staying in your next home for a long time, it’s important that you get what you want. Do you want to spend years renovating an old house to get it up to your standards? Why not just start from scratch and ensure you have your perfect home right from the start.

To start planning your dream home, contact local building companies for information on a custom home in Princeton NJ today.

3 Considerations When Buying a Custom Home

custom homesHome ownership is at the very heart of the American dream. Taking a piece of land and making it your own, creating a space where you can raise your family is central to the idea of what it means to be an American.

New custom homes have long been seen as the best possible way to fulfill this dream. In fact, according to Zillow, 48% of home buyers prefer a home that has never been lived in; they want something untouched, something that they can truly shape to their own vision.

If this notion is appealing to you, then we have some tips to help you better realize your vision. We have put together several of the most important considerations for you to keep in mind when search through custom homes.

  1. Green Highlights
    Whether or not you believe in an environmental imperative for sustainable materials and greener appliances, there can be no debate that they are a great way to reduce the cost of your monthly electricity bill.

    Choices as small as a design that emphasizes passive cooling and Energy Star appliances to full out solar panels and geothermal wells, making sustainable choices can greatly improve the energy independence of luxury homes.
  2. Floor Plan
    Do you prefer an open floor plan or do you like each room to have its own identity? While the battle is still being waged on cable real estate shows, if you are looking at new houses, then it is important that you know what sort of layout you might want.

    The best way to make this decision is to consider hosting a party. Do you want a large gathering of people, all chattering and hobnobbing with some music playing in the background? Or do you prefer a more intimate environment, ruled by conversation?
  3. School Districts
    Whether or not you are a parent, the school district you belong to can have a large effect on your experience in a given neighborhood. From taxes to the behavior of your local neighborhood children, schools play an important role in the way a community comes together.

While buying a new home is an exciting and rewarding experience, it can also be difficult if you haven’t thought through your options. Hopefully, this guide will help you when looking for custom homes.

Looking To Buy A Kid-Friendly Home? Keep These Tips In Mind

real estateIf you’re getting ready to buy your first family home, you’re certainly in good company. recently predicted that 61% of homeowners in 2017 will be under the age of 35. Whether you’re a couple planning to raise a family or you’ve already added children to your brood, there are certain considerations to keep in mind when looking at houses for sale. For many, kid-friendly features are a must. Here are a few things to keep in mind to ensure your final real estate purchase will work for your family.

  • It needs to fit your lifestyle
    When it comes to family-friendly real estate, size matters. This is especially true if you may expand your family in the near future or plan to stay in your first home for the long haul. While there are bound to be new homes that offer more space than you might realistically need at present, remember to keep your future requirements in mind. With one or two extra people (even small ones), that charming kitchen might seem a bit too cramped. Having a dedicated room for play and an outdoor space may be of particular importance. So too are having a laundry room, mud room, and storage and closet space for many families. If you’re buying a new home, you don’t want to outgrow it within a year or two. Think of both the present and the future before signing on the dotted line.
  • Your home needs to be safe
    Another primary concern when buying a new home is the safety of your family. Many families prefer an open floor plan that allows them to keep an eye on their children no matter where they are on the first floor. For others, steep stairs, pools, and non-fenced-in yards may present big problems, especially with young children. You should carefully inspect any home you look at and identify potential hazards before ever making an offer. In addition, you’ll want to extend your gaze beyond the property itself: is it in a quiet neighborhood, or are you adjacent to a busy street? Are there lots of other families around? What about the proximity to hospitals, firehouses, and police stations? While you might not immediately think of these factors, they should play a part in your decision-making. Isolated neighborhoods without other kids or in high-traffic areas may not work for your family.
  • The neighborhood should meet your standards
    You can tell a lot from an area from how it makes you feel when you arrive. Aside from traffic and other families, you’ll need to think about location in your real estate search. If you already have kids or plan to, school districts are often a top priority. You may also want to think about how far the home is from reputable day care centers, sports leagues, and other activities you plan to participate in. Finally, you need to examine whether the neighborhood is walkable. If it’s centrally located near shops, restaurants, and entertainment, the area may be able to work for the entire family.

Is your family just beginning your search for Hopewell real estate? Stony Brook Estates can provide a sense of community and luxury that may fit all of your needs. For more information, get in touch with us today.

4 Tools To Help Gage a Neighborhood’s Walkability

homeWalkability is an important issue for many first time home buyers. It allows people to stay active and reduce the amount of money spend on transportation costs. It also helps to foster a stronger sense of community and increases local engagement.

But how exactly do you decide whether a neighborhood is walkable when looking for a new home? After all, more than six in ten adults, or 63%, will move into a new community at least once in their lives, oftentimes in pursuit of a job or fresh start. Even the 37% who never leave their hometowns might not be entirely familiar with every neighborhood in town.

If you are looking at a new neighborhood and want to understand if it is a walkable space, then here are some of the key factors to look for.

A Center
Whether it is your small town main street, city hall, or public space such as a park or other venue, a walkable town should extend from an epicenter. This can be tricky, as some towns will have a main street that is not really the center of the town. In order to determine this one, ask yourself: does this feel like the town is growing out of this point, or is development scattered between several disconnected points.

People AND Businesses
This might seem obvious, but without enough people to keep businesses growing, then there won’t be enough to support a walking community. It is also important to notice that a healthy mix of people from a number of backgrounds is also an important factor in walkability.

Public Spaces
If the only places available for people to gather and relax are businesses, then the neighborhood will be less likely geared towards community and walkability. Public spaces allow residents to gather regardless of income and situation.

Pedestrian Friendly Design
Again, some of this is obvious: if there are no sidewalks, then the neighborhood is not safely walkable. But other parts are subtle. While driving through a neighborhood look to see where the parking lots are located. If the buildings are set back from the street with the lot in front, then drivers are clearly the neighborhood’s priority.

When buying a new home, walkability is an important factor to remember. Many luxury houses and tracks are constructed in areas that, while beautiful, require a car to travel to even the most mundane destinations.

Stony Brook Estates offer the most walkability for any Princeton new homes for sale. Contact us today to learn more.