How Do I Ensure That Building My Dream Home Won’t Become A Complete Nightmare? – Part 1

After years of work and saving, you are finally ready to build your dream home!  But you’ve heard many scary stories about the building process being a nightmare for homeowners. How do you help ensure a relatively smooth, stress-free experience?  And how do you help ensure that your new home is the home that you want?

The average person with a job, family, and other obligations does not have the time or expertise to directly manage a home build, so hires a ‘builder” or “general contractor.” This is the key person who manages the entire process on your behalf.  Using years of experience, the builder contracts directly with various “trades” (plumbers, framers, electricians, foundation, roofers. etc.) to purchase the materials and coordinate their work on a schedule. By handling the countless details, a builder takes on most of the worry and headaches. Equally important, their expertise means they are better prepared to oversee quality.

Start by choosing your builder as carefully as you would choose a new car. Be sure you are working with a reputable company that can give you the reliability and attention you deserve. Here are some questions that you should consider and discuss with a potential builder.

Are you and your builder on the same page?

You should explain to your builder your needs, expectations and budget you have in mind.

The builder should be able to tell you if your budget and expectations are in line. It’s possible for your builder to price based on your budget but fail to meet your expectations, potentially leaving you disappointed with the final product.

Can you trust your builder’s warranty?

It’s important that you trust your builder. You will be working closely during the build, and you should feel confident that this person would stand behind their work and the warranty.  Ask if you can talk with previous customers about their experiences with this builder.  Also, check with local organizations to learn more about their reliability and reputation, such as the local Builder Industry Association (BIA), or even the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

How did your builder come up with the bid price?  

Did your builder give you an estimate based on exact bids from their trade partners? Or was this an estimate with ballpark figures from historical data, or from past experience? When the builder has specific bids from their trade partners, this takes more time up front, but it reduces the chance of surprises down the road.

Was the quote on your house based on, a full set of construction documents? Or did they use a marketing plan printed from the Internet? The full construction documents have many more details on the construction of your home and these details will eliminate cost surprises if accounted for up front. We get so excited about our interior finishes, such as cabinets, granite’s, flooring, tiles, fixtures etc., but the budget allowance must be based on the selections you have made.

Who is responsible for cost overruns?  

It’s important to understand your builder’s proposal. Many builders will quote “fixed costs.” This means that, regardless of the actual costs, your price won’t change. An experienced builder who is confident in their numbers/costs usually does a “fixed cost” quote.  If the project comes in under budget, the builder will make more money, and if they go over, then the builder will make less profit. On the other side, the entire proposal could be based on “allowances”. This means the builder put in their best guess on what this will cost. For any costs that go over the allowance (called “overages”), the buyer would be responsible for paying this difference. On the other hand, any cost savings will be credited back to the buyer. 

How does a builder get paid?

Quality licensed builders bring years of expertise, established relationships, and a warranty.

Here are 3 ways that a builder might be paid:

  • Percentage fee – They may charge a percentage on top of the total cost. Say your builder estimates that your house can be built for $200,000. A builder who works on a 10% basis would add another $20,000 to the estimate – for a total build cost of $220,000. If the actual build cost ends up being more – say $215,000 – the builder’s fee will be $21,500 with an overall total cost of $236,500.
  • Set fee – Some builders charge a set fee. If the builder’s estimate is $200,000, this builder will say my fee will be $20,000. In the end, you will owe them $20,000, no matter if the house costs more or less than expected.
  • Fixed price – you’re not going to know how much the builder makes, but you know the house will cost exactly $200,000 in the end. If you exceed your allowances, the builder may give you a change order (an extra charge due to changed specifications). If the build comes in under budget, then the builder may not credit you with those funds.

It’s also important to know how you’re going to pay your builder. Some builders will expect a deposit up front, which may be refundable or nonrefundable. The balance due will be paid at closing when you take possession of the property. Other builders will take a deposit up front and ask for periodic payments throughout the construction period. Be sure that you understand up front the points at which you are expected to make payments, and that this is spelled out in the contract.




Client Appreciation Experience at Rupp Arena 2018

This year we wanted to celebrate our wonderful clients by hosting an event at Rupp Arena. We got to play basketball on the court, take a tour of the men’s locker room, and even meet a former UK basketball player! We are incredibly thankful for this opportunity, but it would not had happened without YOU! Thank you to our past, present and future clients for having confidence in building with our team.We would like to make this celebration of you annual, so stay tuned for what we have in store for next year!

Click HERE to view photos from this fun night!

Photo by Mark Mahan

Exciting Announcement from James Monroe Homes

James Monroe, Wednesday March 7, 2018 in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Mark Mahan

 

We are excited to announce that James Monroe with James Monroe Homes has been selected for the 2018 Professional Builder® 40 under 40 award. This award is given out annually across the nation to young, dedicated home builders. The selected 40 are builders who not only show their customers loyalty and commitment but have had a strong, successful journey embracing change, creating innovative ways to build, all while serving their community.

The past twelve years, Mr. Monroe has had quite a journey. He first started the company with little to no resources, and through hard work and perseverance, Mr. Monroe has created a thriving business. Having not taken a salary until 2010 shows Mr. Monroe’s true character of placing the business and his clients before him.

Monroe’s drive to build high performance homes led to the partnership with Owen’s Corning, a global roofing and insulation company. Together, they have utilized resources to create unique, energy-efficient homes at affordable prices. Mr. Monroe’s enterprise has cemented him as one of the top builders in Kentucky.

Not only is Mr. Monroe a successful builder, but also a strong leader towards his team members, and a loving husband and father to his wife and three children.

Our team is so proud of Mr. Monroe and all of his hard work. We wish him the best of luck with this award and are eager to see what more he accomplishes in the future. Click HERE to see all top 40 Under 40 winners!

 


James Monroe Homes Design Center – Grand Opening

What have you heard about the James Monroe Homes Difference?

We have created a process so seamless that we think it will change the way people look at building their next home.  No matter if this home is a starter home or your Dream Home, we would like the opportunity to show you Why our process is different than other builders.

  1. James Monroe Homes Design Center
  2. Our App – 24/7 Connectivity
  3. Written Build with Confidence Guarantee – and we are not talking about the Builder’s warranty
  4. High Performance Built Homes

We have been working to develop and refine this process over the past 11 years.

We are excited to announce the Grand Opening to our new James Monroe Homes Design Center, located at 2250 Thunderstick Drive, Suite 1206, Lexington, KY 40505. Current and prospective clients as well as the curious shopper will be able to visit Monday – Friday from 8-4:30pm or by appointment any other time. The James Monroe Homes Design Center is available to our customers to assist turning their dreams into reality with our thousands of options and design features. We have researched the hottest trends and styles through the International Builders Show and Kitchen and Bath International Show. We have worked with all of our suppliers to bring those products into the James Monroe Homes Design Center. The James Monroe Homes Design Center is your opportunity to see, feel, touch, and create your personal style from these traditional to trending products all in one single location.

Every James Monroe Home client is given log in credentials to our software. They are also invited to download the James Monroe Homes app. This allows our clients to be connected to our process from any internet connected device.

Once logged in the client will have access to the construction schedule which is updated daily. Our clients will know where in the construction process their new home is before they drive by for a visit. All the specifications, selections, and options for their home are clearly laid out for our customers in this system. In addition to this we also link in the manufacture data on their products so our consumer can be as informed as desired. Each of the specifications and finishes can also be found in the James Monroe Homes Design Center, thus making decisions much easier. Our clients can make their selections from home, James Monroe Homes Design Center, or anywhere that is most convenient for them. If at any time the client has a message for the builder, they can post the message with pictures and most likely get a response back from James Monroe Homes the same business day. This is great because all of the communication throughout the process will come to your email but be stored and logged into our system for quick access and review. In addition, our clients will be able to access Files, Change Orders, To-do Lists, Questions, Job Log, and Warranty information while logged in. Our clients will always be, “In the Know where ever they Go”, with James Monroe Homes.

What is a Written Build with Confidence Guarantee and why is James Monroe Homes the only builder to offer it? James Monroe Homes will always go beyond to exceed the minimum standards. When you buy a James Monroe Home, you will have the confidence to know your home is a High-Performance Home built to save you money every month. It was built with quality materials and craftsmanship to give you confidence it was built right the first time. The home was designed to provide Personal Home Comfort with consistent comfort from room to room of your house. James Monroe Homes does not wait to hear from you but will reach out to check on you and your new home 4 weeks after closing and 11 months after closing to make sure your new home has exceeded your expectations. If between these follow ups your new homes does not exceed your expectations, we promise to respond to your inquiry within one business day. James Monroe Homes has partnered with Guild Quality to survey all of our clients 45 days and 13 months after closing. This shows our commitment to you throughout the entire process. This is how you can Build with Confidence with James Monroe Homes. We are so confident in the quality of our homes and service that we are the only builder who is willing to put this in writing.

James Monroe Homes High-Performance homes are designed and built to save you money every month. But beyond that they are also designed and built to give you and your family personal comfort though out your house year around. James Monroe Homes are built using the best building science techniques to create a tight building envelope. Our goal is to make your home’s internal environment independent of the harsh external environment. Our customers have the confidence to know once they step into their James Monroe Home they will be walking into their personal oasis regardless of the exterior weather conditions. James Monroe Homes High Performance Homes are tested beyond a HERS score and low utility bills, but tested by your personal comfort every day.


We got several move-in ready homes

One of the things that we hear a lot is that we want a new home but we cannot wait months to be in something. You’re in luck then, because we have homes that are move-in ready in a couple of different neighborhoods throughout Lexington. Check out homes below and lets talk.


We are phasing out of Kearney Hall in 2017

We are working on putting together a calendar of our upcoming Blog post and would like to hear from you on what would you like to see us talk about? With that being said we figured starting out with our current inventory that we have on the market and coming soon to the market would be a great place to start.

Kearney Hall Subdivision

1168 Autumn RidgeWe will be phasing out of Kearney Hall in 2017 with the Johnson, Jackson, Harrison, & the Jefferson floor plans. The Jackson and Johnson are already framed up and will be ready to move in around January or February of 2017. The Jackson floor plan is a ranch plan that we created to fit in the Summerfield subdivision but we thought we would go ahead and start one in the final phase of Kearney Hall. This plan offers a open floor concept with 1,771 square feet, 3 bedroom, & 2 full baths. The Johnson is a very similar ranch home with an option to make it a 4 bedroom or keep the Flex room for what you intend to use it for.

The other 3 homes that we have in Kearney Hall has the foundation already poured and ready for us to start building your dream home. This is your opportunity to put your special touches on the Harrison & Jefferson floor plan and if you’re looking for a nice basement lot it’s here ready for you. The Harrison at 2797 Kearney Creek Ln will boast a large basement lot that is positioned in a way were you will have privacy from your neighborhoods.

Please remember that we build custom homes on your lot if you do not want to go into one of our subdivisions. We would love the opportunity to speak to you either about a custom build in our subdivisions or some where you want to call home.  Check out our Build with Confidence Guarantee that we put in writing for all of our clients.

 


1104 Grimball Trace Lexington KY 40509 in Summerfield

1104 Grimball Trace Lexington, KY in the big 40509 zip code.  Summerfield has been growing at a rapid pace and we are glad to be a part of the growth.  Last year when the school district changed Summerfield subdivision to be included in the New High School that will open up 2017/18 school year that was a game changer in the publics eye.  But I cannot say that I blame you I mean, new home and a new high school in the future.  This seems like a win win.

The neighborhood is growing because the area is growing.  Hamburg is just around the corner and you can find everything from fast food to fine cuisine or a movie to watch before your dinner and everything in between.  The amount of shops, restaurants, Costco, Cabela’s, the New YMCA facility,  and the area has great access to the interstate too.  This is why this area is doing so well in Lexington 40509.



365 Jane Briggs Ave Lexington KY Homes for Sale in 40509

Are you looking for the best of the best in the Stuart Hall neighborhood? Then, you are about to get WOWED! This is the builder’s house of James Monroe Homes and I’m assuring you that no money was spared when designing and building this house and it’s even been on Basement Featured on HGTV’s Bang for your Buck in 2011, Winner of Best Design! From the time you enter the house with the 8-foot mahogany double front doors you will be amazed at the 18ft coffered ceiling with lighting behind the molding to the 4-inch Brazilian Cherry 3/4-inch solid hardwood floors on the first floor. Seller has spent over a $100,000 in the basement to make it as entertaining for your family as it has been for his. Call today to schedule your private showing! 859.429.1980

Presented By:

Team Preece

Keller Williams Greater Lexington
859-420-0184
Licensed In: KY
License #: 66159

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