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Custom Homes Offer Good Value in Today's Market Perhaps one of the best lessons from the economic chaos of the last few years is that focusing on needs instead of wants is a great place to start when making any big purchase, especially a home. The best home is one that is perfectly suited for how a family lives. Even at a time when short sales and foreclosures offer some enticing bargains, they are not necessarily the best purchase if the home is not exactly what the homebuyer needs. For the smart buyer, a custom home can offer great value -- both affordability and the ideal space for how they live – in one unique package. According to Davidson Realty, Inc. President Sherry Davidson, “We're seeing renewed interest in custom homebuilding as customers are realizing that they can get exactly what they want in a home for the long-term, and stay within their budget.” Affordability One of the brightest spots in today's sluggish real estate market is the affordability of custom home building. Homesites are priced very competitively. Materials costs are more affordable than during the boom and labor costs are down. Explains Legacy Builders President John Unkefer, “Building a custom home allows you to put your investment into what works for you and your family, not what someone else thinks you need. You can design and build for the way you live.” Quality Another advantage to new construction is the advancement of building standards. Major strides in residential building codes have created a big difference in the quality of homes built today as opposed to those built just a few years ago. Stricter building codes mean more hurricane- and storm-resistant homes, important for withstanding Florida weather and also better for resale. Higher grade materials, such as new code hurricane resistant windows, also bring greater energy efficiency and long-term

energy savings. Additionally, new green building products and practices can add to the value and longterm affordability of new homes. Design The most attractive advantage of building a home is getting a customized design. For today's savvy consumer, that means getting a home that suits the way you live now, and in the future. This longerterm thinking is evident in popular design trends such as outdoor rooms complete with summer kitchens and mother-in-law suites. In fact, detached guest suites complete with kitchens are indicative of a societal trend back towards multi-generational living – grandma coming to live with her son's family or the college grad moving back home to look for a job. The economic downturn has influenced home design as well. While homeowners are still looking for bright, airy spaces, they are increasingly less likely to overbuild. Instead, higher ceilings are used to give openness to smaller, yet more livable rooms. It also means rethinking infrequently used formal spaces, such as living rooms, and putting more thought into frequently used spaces like laundry rooms. According to Kay Green, President of Kay Green Design, Inc., “With the economic downturn, more people started entertaining and cooking at home. As a result, more thought and attention-to-detail is going into kitchen design.” She added, “People are still investing in their homes, but they are opting for higher-grade finishes in frequently used spaces like the kitchen while downsizing or even eliminating infrequently used spaces like formal living rooms.” Green design is also becoming more popular. Economic incentives for environmentally friendly building products, more attractive green options and energy savings are having a great impact on new home construction. “We're using more bamboo and coconut palm products which are sustainable, quickly growing woods that also provide high-end, quality looks,” explains Green. Choice Finally, home building provides the greatest range of choice for the homebuyer. From choosing the perfect neighborhood and homesite, to selecting your favorite homebuilder and plan, custom building allows the homebuyer to get exactly what they want. For most people, a home purchase is the biggest investment they will ever make. Thanks to more affordable market pricing, building a custom home that is uniquely suited to how you live may be one of the smartest investments you make. ###

Custom Homes Offer Good Value in Today's Market  
Custom Homes Offer Good Value in Today's Market  

White paper about the cost-effectiveness of building a custom home in a down real estate market.