Customizing a home in the 21st Century


A new report from the Urban Institute has found that millennials are buying houses at a rate lower than the previous generation. Consumer Affairs reports that this is due to millennials marrying later in life, having fewer children, and paying for university through student loans. 45% of baby boomers and generation X were purchasing houses at the same age as millennials are now, but millennials are only purchasing houses at a 37% rate. Furthermore, younger married couples are having children at a 25% lower rate than the 37% rate of 1990. The Urban Institute noted that the presence of a child or children in the home increases home ownership chances by 6%. However, millennials were the largest portion of homebuyers in 2015 and continue to be despite the surmounting college debts that they graduate college with, which are similar to the amount of a small mortgage. Home owners’ net worth averages loom around $231,420 whereas renters are a much smaller $5,200, if that’s any motivation to purchase a house.

In a housing market that is booming, a reason millennials may not be purchasing houses is due to the extremely high demand. Being consistently denied offers due to other future homeowners offering more may have millennials – and others looking to buy a house – considering building their own home as a way of beating the housing shortage. But before diving straight into the task, they should first consult with custom home builders, who would be able to give them insight into the homebuilding process and help them decide on what they want in their future home.

New home communities are popping up due to the housing shortage. These allow homeowners to choose their own layout and design of a house all within a community setting. Fashion stylist Ali Levine and her husband Justin Jacaruso did this.

“I was in heaven. There were three to four styles for each category, which included exterior lighting, garage panels, front door style, kitchen interior, counter, cabinets, flooring, carpeting and lighting fixtures,” she said, although, “KB [Homes] painted the house one color and we have the same treatment on every window. We could only choose one cabinet style for the kitchen and bathrooms. And the carpeting is the same in every room throughout the upstairs.”

This allows all of the homes within the community to share small but distinct similarities.

Marlon LeWinter and his wife, Ashley, did the same.

“As we began looking at houses, we knew that some of the older homes really needed to be updated, specifically the kitchens. Something about having a brand new house was very appealing. There were tons of young families in the same position as us, starting out and having kids, lots of people relocating from up north with the same school of thought as us. There is a nice pool, a gym, an indoor and outdoor basketball court,” he said of the decision to take over a new build contract that a buyer was looking to get out of.

The housing bust and financial crisis of 2007 impacted the home buying business highly. In 2007, 96,067 businesses were home building businesses. In 2012, that number was almost half of that, at 48,261. While the 2017 figures have not come out yet, data shows that the business is recovering, especially with the booming housing market and lack of homes.

Home building loans are different than home buying loans. With a home purchase loan, an application and paperwork has to be sent to a bank, where a lender reviews it all and approves the loan. Once a home for sale is found and an offer is accepted, the closing for both the house and the loan will be done. The monthly payments will then be made to the lender for that loan.

For construction loans, the process is more complicated. Both the lender and the borrower will have outside financial responsibilities during the build. The borrower has to monitor those expenses, along with charges from contractors and subcontractors. The lender has to do the same. The lender is ensuring that contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and the building process in general does not lead to liens being placed on the property, which would affect the mortgage that the lender has on the home construction. The lender wants to ensure that the house is completed correctly. Usually, they will give the borrower the money to pay for the construction on the home while doing inspections to ensure that it is being completed on time and the right way; the same goes for the invoices, payments, and money-related situations.

While the processes are different and the latter may be more time- consuming, for the perfect custom home, it is well worth it.

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