Designing for Efficiency

A few years ago, it was all the rage to build a big home. Then the downturn brought us the small home movement. This small home movement provided the building industry with some much-needed shakeups in terms of how space is built into a home and how it is utilized. Devoted Builders has welcomed the challenge to be more efficient than ever with our space and materials in order to build a better home. Here’s what we have been working on: Continue reading “Designing for Efficiency”

Newest Custom Home. Rambler with Shop in Pasco WA

image1 (4)Devoted Builder’s really enjoyed working with these great home owners in Pasco WA. The couple owned their own lot and we orchestrated the hook up of all infrastructure including, electrical, water and an engineered septic system.  The owners provided us with a rough plan they had drawn and from there it was fine tuned with our designer. The home is built on a crawl space, with no steps or stairs to enter or exit the home.  The owners chose traditional yet contemporary finishes including durable wood laminate flooring, quartz counter tops, beech wood cabinets and ceramic tile.  For questions or to get an estimate to build a home on your own land/lot in or around the Richland, Kennewick or Pasco, WA area, call Jennifer at 509-947-5670 or Jessica at 509-947-2230. Continue reading “Newest Custom Home. Rambler with Shop in Pasco WA”

Should I Build a Custom Home?

If you are thinking of buying a home, the thought of purchasing either something new from a production builder or having a builder custom-build a home just for you may have crossed your mind. This can be a very exciting – and possibly scary – time! Usually buyers have a lot of questions about the process which can vary depending on if you are simply buying a home from a builder in a development or if you prefer to have a builder start from scratch on the land of your choice.

In the Tri-Cities, there are currently over 300 homes listed for sale which indicate they were built in either 2012 or 2013. Many of these homes are already finished, but there are several which are available in various stages of completion with some customization still available. Alternatively, there are over 250 pieces of land available to build a single-family home on ranging from property high on the hillsides of Richland to waterfront property along the rivers, to acres of agricultural land and even land bordering a golf course.

When we are working with a buyer who is thinking of building a custom home, we usually recommend they first think about where they want to live and HOW they want to live. For example, a buyer may be thinking of living in a golf course community because they like the access to recreation, yet they may need a three car garage and shop for their “hobbies” which may not be something that a standard lot in that type of development or homeowners association can allow. Furthermore, think about proximity to work, school, and extracurricular activities to determine an ideal radius to be within. This helps create a list of area “must haves” which is essential for beginning the search.

Then we look at new home developments within this to determine if anything that is already-built meets their needs. If the area is right, but the home or property just need a few tweaks in order to be move-in ready for the buyer, this type of new home may be a good fit.

However, if the buyer has specific wants and needs or there don’t seem to be any developments that are the right fit, then it is time to put on some boots and begin looking for the perfect piece of land. By this point, we should also have a list of home “must-haves” so we can find the right piece of land for your home. In the previous example, that buyer needed not only a garage, but also a shop. Depending on the needs of the buyer, we may also look for areas that allow homes to be above a certain height or allow a basketball court to be built in the backyard. Perhaps having some chickens is on the “must-have” list. Every buyer and list of needs is different.

Budget is also top of mind for us throughout the search and the “dreaming” process while we help our buyers find the right land fit and right builder fit. Helping find the right match and helping people live in an environment completely custom-suited to them is one of our favorite parts of our job!

If you have been wondering what it takes to buy a new home in a development, an almost-done home that requires customization, or a brand new home from scratch on your dream lot, give us a call! We are experts in helping our clients find – or build –  the right home for their needs. We are happy to consult with you to help determine the right direction. You can reach Jennifer at (509) 947-5670 or Jessica at (509) 947-2230.

Should I Buy a New Home?

There are many things to consider when buying a home – should you buy something that has been lived in before or should you splurge and buy something new? New homes are usually more expensive than their resale counterparts, but is it worth it?

Aside from the possibility of being able to customize your new home with the finishes (counters, back-splash, flooring, and sometimes floor plan) and colors you like, buying a new home can actually save you money each month.

According to the National Association of Homebuilders, a home is considered “new construction” if it was built within the last four years.  The NAHB recently cited the 2009 American Housing Survey in evaluating what homeowners spent on maintenance expenses per month. The survey found that 26% of all homeowners spent $100 or more per month on home maintenance expenses. But of the homeowners who owned a home classified as “new construction,” only 11% of owners paid this amount. What is a more startling figure? 73% of new homeowners spent less than $25 per month on maintenance.

So what about utilities? According to the survey, all homeowners spent about $.78 per square foot per year on electricity. This means for a 2000 square foot house, $1560 ($130/month) was spent on electricity. However, compare this with “new” homeowners who spent only $.65 per square foot per year ($1,300 per year or $108.33 per month for the same 2,000 square foot house).

A big difference was seen in homes with natural gas. Homeowners on average spent $.53 per square foot per year (for a total of $1,060 per year or $88.33 per month for a 2,000 square foot house) while owners of new homes paid $.38 per square foot per year ($760 per year or $63.33 per month).

And new homes that are ENERGY STAR® certified strive to be 30% more energy efficient than typical new homes. Using our example “new” 2,000 square foot home which could cost $1,300 per year in electricity, a comparable ENERGY STAR® certified home may cost $910 in electricity per year.

There are currently over 550 listings in the Tri-Cities which were built between 2009-2013 (classified as “new construction”). If you are in the market for a new home, an existing lovingly “used” home, or if you want to start completely from scratch and create something all yours, you owe it to yourself to learn your options and determine the best fit for you – and your budget. We can help! Please call Jessica at (509) 947-2230 or Jennifer at (509) 947-5670. We can show you all the costs and benefits of buying a used home versus buying a new home.