January 13th, 2014

Samuel Taylor Homes: A Florida Home Builder with a Wide Range of Experiences

Categories: Custom Homebuilders | Tags: , , ,

Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 5.10.27 PMMatt Brandman and Hunter Collins established Samuel Taylor Homes out of Panama City Beach in 2011. The two professionals have been in the industry for many years, and they had a vision to create exceptional new homes without the frustrations that often accompany the process. Their company philosophy revolves around excellent communication and customer involvement. This means that they are there for you from signed agreement to after move-in day whenever assistance is needed.

Samuel Taylor Homes currently build in Breakfast Point, The Glades, SeaView Trace, and Whisper Dunes in Panama City. They also build in Greenway Park out of Seagrove Beach, Florida.

One of their available homes is at 217 Johnson Bayou Drive in Panama City Beach, and sits on a spacious 2,713 square feet. It comes with four bedrooms, three full and one half bathrooms, two-car garage, spacious open floor plan, bonus room, guest suite on the second floor and much more. It is located within their Breakfast Point community, which is within two miles of the Gulf of Mexico and its sugar white sand beaches.

Aside from the nearby beach, there are also parks, an aquatic center, grocery stores, shopping, dining, and health clinics all within five miles of Breakfast Point. There is sure to be something to entertain you and your entire family nearby!

The Samuel Taylor Experience is summed up completely in six steps:

1. Sales Associates: From homesite selection to design choices, their highly trained professionals will help assist you in all aspects of your decision making-process.
2. Expert Craftsmanship: Their team of architects, engineers, and construction professionals are committed to building you the highest quality home possible.
3. Sustainable Design: All Samuel Taylor Homes are built with the most cost-effective and energy-saving features available today.
4. Financial Partners: They have customer-focused mortgage partners to assist you in all financial aspects of your buying process.
5. Quality Products: They only use manufacturers with a reputation of quality for all appliances and fixtures.
6. Customer Service: Samuel Taylor has built such a successful business because of clients and referrals. Their customer service promise lasts long after move-in day.

Contact Samuel Taylor Homes to get started building your custom home in Northwest Florida. This customer-driven company is sure to be an excellent choice from start to finish.

January 2nd, 2014

Jeff Rutt with Keystone Custom Homes

Categories: Custom Homebuilders | Tags: , ,

Screen Shot 2014-01-02 at 2.25.27 PMJeff Rutt, the founder and CEO, started Keystone Custom Homes out of Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1992. He worked for ten years as a dairy farmer, before deciding he would prefer a career with lower risk and fewer hours. He gained experience in the housing market after working in real estate for several years. When founding his own homebuilding company, he teamed with three local builders to expand his knowledge of the homebuilding industry.

Jeff Rutt gained a strong work ethic and values during his time as a dairy farmer. He transferred those skills into Keystone Custom Homes to create what it is today. They started with selling twelve homes in their first six months, and now they build in over forty communities in south central Pennsylvania and northern Maryland.

Keystone makes the home-buying process less stressful for its customers, particularly during the selection process. Around 2001, they began using a web program called KeyChoices to let buyers browse more through more than 50,000 options. There are photos and each option is pre-priced to make their choices extremely easy and straightforward.

“From our standpoint, it’s convenient because we don’t have to spend the time going through and pricing everything,” says Jeff Rutt. “From the [buyer’s] standpoint, it’s huge because they don’t have to pay for something they don’t want.

In 1997 Jeff Rutt founded HOPE International, a Christian faith-based, nonprofit organization across 16 countries. In 2008, Rutt received the Hearthstone Builder Humanitarian Award for his activities associated with HOPE International. With the help of several other builders, they have built over sixty homes so far for charity.

Jeff Rutt also led Keystone Custom Homes to win the America’s Best Builder Award three times. They were the first ones to ever win the prestigious award three times, winning in 1998, 2002, and 2005. They are also in the top 100 homebuilders in the nation, out of a staggering 200,000 members.

The award is judged based on finances and operations, customer service and quality, design and construction, community and industry service, and marketing. Seeing how Jeff Rutt and his team excel in all of these areas, you will be in great hands when you work with Keystone Custom Homes.

December 23rd, 2013

Rouse Chamberlin Homes: 35 Years of Award Winning Communities

Categories: Custom Homebuilders | Tags: , , ,

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 9.19.13 AMRouse Chamberlin Homes has been building high quality custom homes in Pennsylvania since 1978. They work incredibly hard to provide beautiful new homes and neighborhoods for their homebuyers. Their reputation precedes them as very trustworthy and devoted builders. With thirty-five years of experience under their belts, you can be assured that Rouse Chamberlin builders are at the top of their field.

Rouse Chamberlin currently builds in The Woods at Clarelyn, The Links at Raven’s Claw, Parkesburg Knoll, Cowan Estates, Brandywine Hill, Century Oak, Franklin Chase, and The Enclave on Upper Gulph. They also have a community called Penn Manor at Sandy Run, coming soon to the Fort Washington area.

Their Links at Raven’s Claw community is an exquisite golf course community. Membership for the course is totally optional, but either way you will get breathtaking views complete with professionally maintained golf greens. There are a wide variety of plans available ranging from 1,874 to 3,214 square feet of personalized living space.

Springton, the largest of their Raven’s Claw models, sits on a spacious 3,214 square feet. It comes complete with four bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, and a two-car garage. One of the perks of choosing this neighborhood, is that your homeowner’s association covers lawn care and snow removal right up to your front door!

Your children will be in great hands attending the Spring-Ford School District. With Evans Elementary, 5/6-7-8-9 Grade Centers, and Spring-For Senior High School, you can rest assured knowing your kids are receiving an excellent education.

One happy Rouse Chamberlin Homeowner said, “We went from living in a townhouse to owning our first single family home. We love it. Everyone did such a great job starting with Ellen at the Sales Office, Danielle at the Design Center and the Project Manager. Walkthrough with the project manager was very informative. He went over everything with us, and even impressed our Realtor who has been in the business for 20-years. Our Realtor said that was the best walkthrough he had ever been on.”

National Association of Home Builders and Builder Magazine named Rouse Chamberlin America’s Best Home Builder. Professional Builder Magazine also named them National Builder of the Year.

If you and your family are thinking deciding on a new homebuilder in Pennsylvania, look no further than Rouse Chamberlin. Contact them today to get started building the home of your dreams!

December 16th, 2013

JP Orleans: A Family Tradition Since 1918

Categories: Custom Homebuilders | Tags: , , ,

Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 1.26.42 PMJP Orleans is a custom homebuilder who currently builds in Philadelphia, PA, Woolwich Township, NJ, Richmond, VA, and Charlotte, NC. Jeffrey P. Orleans, the Chief Executive Officer, is an accomplished third-generation homebuilder. His grandfather, Alfred P. Orleans founded the company more than ninety years ago with an exceptional level of quality and craftsmanship.

JP Orleans builds in the Lexington Mews, Spring Oak, and Scammell’s Corner communities in Philadelphia, the Summer Lake, Stonehurst, Grey Oaks, and Tarrington communities in Richmond, and the Abbington and Peach Orchard Estates communities in Charlotte.

The Stonehurst community, out of Richmond, is considered an elite west end community. It is small and upscale, and located in the Short Pump area close to Innsbrook, downtown Richmond, and Chesterfield County. They offer one-acre-plus home sites, flexible personalization options, a variety of distinguished all-brick exteriors, and much more.

You can send your kids off to school in the top notch Henrico County School District. The Stonehurst Community feeds into Kaechele Elementary, Short Pump Middle, and Deep Run High School.

JP Orleans homes come with exquisite details and amenities that your family will be sure to love. Their homes feature items like three car garages, dual staircases, second floor laundry, chef’s kitchen, tiled bath and laundry rooms, and much more. Their custom houses always offer beautiful craftsmanship and the highest level of quality.

JP Orleans has developed a great eleven step building process:

1.  Home Site Reservation
2.  Agreement of Sale with Earnest Money Deposit
3.  Design Selections
4.  Mortgage Application
5.  Your Team Preparing “Behind the Scenes”
6.  Construction Begins: Pre-Construction Review
7.  Prey-Drywall Review
8.  Pre-Settlement Review
9.  Closing and Move-In!
10.  Post Closing-Count On Us
11.  Enjoy Your New Home

When you and your family decide to build a new home in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, or North Carolina, JP Orleans is the builder for you. Whether you are looking for a bigger home for your growing family or a smaller space for the empty nesters, you will be sure to find a perfect fit. Contact them today to get started building the home of your dreams.

November 1st, 2013

There’s More to Curb Appeal Than Meets the Eye

Categories: General | Tags: , ,

Curb Appeal

When hearing the term “curb appeal”, you would probably assume it just deals with whether a house is visually attractive or not.  While this is true, there is a lot more that goes into the curb appeal of a home.  There are things a new homeowner can do, like painting the front door a warm color, planting flowers, or including a comfortable bench on the front porch.  However, there are also things that can be included into the overall design of the house during building and design stages.

Designing a new home requires a keen eye for detail, and there are many subtle things you can do to enhance the overall appearance during the building stage.  Trees and even minimal landscaping can drastically improve the look of a new house.  Builder wrote that, “a recent study at the U.S. Forest Service in Portland, Ore., found that street trees can add close to $9,000 to the price of a home.  What’s more, homes within 100 feet of a home with street trees sell for more than homes in areas with no trees”.

The same can be said for neighborhoods with varying roof levels, sidewalks for pedestrians, and homes with front porches.  Varied roof levels make the neighborhood appear more aesthetically appealing and less rigid. Sidewalks encourage healthy lifestyles, as well as an open route of communication between neighbors.  A front porch is generally the standard for an open and inviting home.  However, any form of outdoor seating area promotes the same idea of a place where neighbors can gather and catch up, while their kids play in the front yard together.

All of these things provide a feeling of comfort, and transform them from house into livable homes.  Even in new developments it pays off to vary the models that are being placed next to each other.  When purchasing a new home, most people are investing in their future as well. People want to raise a family in an area that is warm and inviting and promoting a sense of community is an added bonus.  Builder adds, “even with a rebounding housing market, you have to make your work stand.  Whether you’re building one house or 1,000, being street smart will help you get ahead”.  Adding these small enhancements to their custom home will definitely raise the curb appeal, as well as the client’s overall happiness.

August 29th, 2013

Find Your Custom Builder

Categories: Custom Homebuilders, Homebuilding | Tags: , , ,

If you’re on the hunt for a new custom home, you’ve come to the right place! Custom Builders is an online directory of the best homebuilders in locations across the United States and Canada.

However, it’s not an easy task choosing choose a builder when you’re looking at multiple impressive profiles at a time. We’ve come up with a short list to help you homebuyers select the right custom builder for your needs.

First, step back and figure out what your options are. Having financial and employment stability and determining a reasonable price range that will allow you to pay off a portion mortgage each month while still maintaining a comfortable lifestyle are very important things to take care of. After all, you can buy a custom home, but if you can’t afford any furniture, why bother?

Once you have your affairs in order and your finances figured out, take a look at the builders in your area by using Custom as a resource, along with a quick Google search of websites by homebuilders around your city.

Make a list of the companies that pique your interest and start researching each custom homebuilder individually. You’ll want to take note of locations where they build, warranty services they provide, standard features they include in each home, and the average price for their homes.

Rank your favorites from among these builders and start reaching out to them. This helps you two-fold: 1) it will allow you to get more information to make an educated decision, and 2) it will give you an impression of what to expect from them for customer service. If they are reluctant to provide you with information, never call back or reply to emails, and generally seem disinterested, that’s a red flag and you may want to focus your interest on a different company to build your new home.

When you contact these companies, ask about any model homes, check out their builder vendors and suppliers, and ask for any other detailed information you are interested in.

Your priorities should lie in quality and value, and the best way to get an accurate impression of a company’s homes is to talk to a few of their homeowners.

Word-of-mouth is one of the fastest, easiest ways to learn about a custom builder. If you have a friend, relative, or coworker who has gone with a builder you’re interested in, make sure to ask them how they like their home. If you don’t have any personal connections to a house built by a particular company, search for reviews on the internet or meet some potential future neighbors and knock on a few doors in a community where they’ve recently built.

What do you think is important to look for in a homebuilder? Leave us a comment below!


August 20th, 2013

Housing Starts Increase in July

Categories: Custom Builder News, Custom Homebuilders | Tags: , ,

Housing starts nationwide rose 5.9% for the month of July, according to an article released August 16 by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Translating into a seasonally adjusted rate of 896,000 units, according to the US Census Bureau and HUD, this number means big things for custom homebuilders.

What does this mean for custom builders and buyers?

As the housing supply began to taper off earlier this summer, this number helps show that builders are properly reacting by rejuvenating the supply of new homes. When the housing bubble burst around the time of the recession, the construction of new homes came to a halt. Thanks to the saturated market, homebuyers were able to purchase homes at unusually low prices and builder suffered.

Now, we’re at the point where the ball is back in the builder’s court, homes have been selling fast, and even communities are selling out fast. As a builder, your biggest concern lately has been about buying more land; houses are designed and constructed easily enough, but it’s more of a question of where to put them.

The increase in housing starts for multifamily units can be explained by builders responding and reacting to the market demand; their goal is to keep up with each wave of buyers.

Rick Judson, NAHB chairman and a South Carolina homebuilder, said, “Builders are making every effort to keep up with the rising demand for new homes and apartments, and construction in both sectors is running well ahead of the pace we saw at this time last year.” He continued, “However, ongoing issues with accessing credit and limited supplies of finished lots and labor are making it tough to do that, particularly for single-family builders.”

The 6% July increase supports the idea that builders builders have been increasingly able to overcome the red tape Judson discussed.

“Today’s report is in line with our forecast for continued, gradual strengthening of housing starts and permit activity through the rest of the year,” explained NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. He went on to say, “The double-digit bounce-back on the multifamily side was in keeping with typical month-to-month volatility in that sector while the sideways movement in single-family was a result of unusually wet weather in the South and West.”

A 26% gain put the market at a 305,000 unit pace on multifamily home construction, offsetting a previous dip in June; single-family housing units experienced a slight loss, declining by 2.2%.

Gains and losses for July were varied across the country. The Northeast gained 40.2%, while the Midwest rose 25.4%, and the West increased 7.2%. The South was the only region posting a decline, coming in with a 7% decline for the month of July.

The issuance of building permits also rose 2.7%, to an adjusted rate of 943,000. The issuance of building permits is typically an accurate indicator of future building activity, and it’s easy to see that builders are doing well. In order to maintain the high sales they’ve been benefitting from lately, builders should continue to keep building at a steady pace.

To learn more about this topic, start by referring to NAHB’s article here.

May 30th, 2012

New record high for nationwide housing affordability

Categories: Custom Homebuilders | Tags: , ,

More good news for our custom home builders: Nationwide housing affordability has hit a new record high! This is so for a second consecutive quarter in the first three months of this year, according to the Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) from the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo. This new HOI data reveals that 77.5 percent of all new and existing homes sold in the first quarter were affordable to families earning the national median income of $65k. This is an improvement over the previous record in the final quarter of 2011. Then, only 75.9% of homes sold were affordable to these median-income earners.

However, tight credit has remained an obstacle for many home buyers. Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Gainesville, Flordia, said that, “Homes in this year’s first quarter were more affordable than they have been at any time in more than 20 years, yet many potential sales are not happening because of overly tight lending conditions that are keeping hardworking families from obtaining a suitable mortgage. Without this significant hurdle, the housing and economic recovery could be proceeding at a much stronger pace.” Read the whole article here.

Have you seen these limitations on sales as a custom home builder? The housing market may be improving, but as we noted in the last post it’s been a tough fight. To be on the forefront of the housing market as it improves, you definitely need to consider your scheme for custom home builder internet marketing. And that’s true whether you’re in the most affordable housing market, like Indianapolis-Carmel Indiana, where 95.8% of homes, and Cumberland West Virginia where 99% of homes, were affordable to households earning the area’s median income. Or whether you’re in the bottom of that HOI listing, like in New York were just 31.5% of homes sold in the first three months of this year were affordable to those earning the area’s median income.

If you have questions about your internet marketing – from website design, to mobile websites, to SEO – contact Builder Designs and we’ll be happy to answer any question or just mention your options.

May 3rd, 2012

The virtual face of your company

Categories: Custom Homebuilders, General | Tags: , ,

As a custom homebuilder, you develop a close relationship with your clients. What kind of unique quality and emotion do you bring to them? Is it a superb professionalism, or perhaps a warm familiarity? It’s important to have a website that reflects your company’s personality. This is a crucial touchstone for any business, but especially for the custom homebuilder, who will have such a long-lasting relationship with buyers. Remember that the far majority of homebuyers find their home online!

Human-Computer interaction is where the elements of computer science, behavioral science, and design come together. Often called interface design, the right website can influence the user through emotional reaction – the same way two people would interact. When it’s done right, the personality of the product will override the computer’s inanimate coldness.

What does that mean for you, the custom homebuilder? Homeowners need to know your trustworthy. Your website needs to convey the same openness as if they were stepping into one of your show homes. You want to create a feeling of invitation, and offer information that’s readily accessible and easily organized. A poor website makes many people assume the product, and company, are equally inferior.

A designer will know all about the architecture of a site, and how to orchestrate it just perfectly for quick information and fantastic user experience. What you bring to the table is the knowledge of your audience! What makes people interested in your custom homes? Is it your luxury features, or green building, or years of experience? The right web designers can create the right influence and feel for your website.

A powerful website is full of personality, that will meet people face-to-face and win their trust. It should also be easy to change, when new communities are opened up or new floorplans drawn. And you need a way to immediately reach back to an interested homeowner and create those sales. Builder Designs offers that website and those designers. With our specialized graphic user interface, and years of experience in homebuilder website design, we can create the website that works best for your company and your potential homeowners. Interested? Contact us and we’d be happy to share the details.

April 23rd, 2012

Mobile websites for custom homebuilders

Categories: Custom Homebuilders, General | Tags: , , ,

We’ve said before that 90% of homebuyers search online for homes and custom homebuilders. That’s a significant number! For the best sales and homeowner experience, you’ll spend a lot of time thinking about the design and features of your website. But also think about the way people first find you online. That might include SEO, social media marketing – whatever your company needs for name recognition and first page Google results. One feature to definitely consider is a mobile website.

It’s predicted that by 2013, more people will access information and search on their mobile devices than on their computers. Adding a mobile website will therefore have a major impact on your business. Regular websites are difficult to load and navigate on a mobile phone. Time-consuming sites send people off looking for companies that already have a mobile site. Mobile websites allow not just rapid website load time and easy-to-navigate pages, but also immediate access to phone numbers, directions, hours, and contact information. Consider how important this is to your potential custom homebuyer.

With the majority of people searching for homes on mobile websites, having a sharp-looking site with plentiful, organized information is crucial to staying ahead of your competitors. More visibility means more sales. Companies with mobile websites are going to sell more custom homes – that’s just the logic of numbers. Consider what your company can do to stay ahead of market trends and turn potential homebuyers into satisfied homeowners.

If you have any questions about mobile websites, or site design, SEO, and social marketing, give Builder Designs a call. We’d be happy answer any questions and discuss your options.

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