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What You Should Know When You Want to Build on Your Lot

March 28, 2019

Have you ever looked at a piece of land and envisioned living there? Did you picture your perfect home (and life) on this property? Maybe you’re ready to pursue this dream. McGuinn Hybrid Homes has plenty of experience at this type of homebuilding, and here’s what you should know when you want to build on your lot. Talk to a builder before you buy the land. The location and the view might be everything you’d hoped for in a piece of property, but if it’s not buildable, find out before you sign on the dotted line and take ownership of the land. If the land fails the perc test, for example, you can’t build on it. Period. In other instances, the land presents considerable challenges to excavate, which runs into more money that you might not want to invest. For these reasons (and more), find a builder who has the experience in building on a customer’s property, outside of a developed neighborhood. If you’re looking in the Columbia, SC, area, talk to Tim Rawlings at McGuinn Hybrid Homes. He’s our resident expert on the subject and will gladly look at the land you’re considering and give you an honest evaluation. Don’t be fooled by “price per square foot”. We frequently hear the question, “How much does it cost to build a new home?” Think of it like this: How much does it cost to go out for dinner? It depends on the place and the meal, right? You could grab a quick sandwich or go for 5-star epicurean experience. When a builder quotes a price-per-square-foot, you need to understand what’s included. The bottom line will depend on their construction methods, ability to purchase materials affordably, and the areas where they build. A custom builder might charge more to go out of the area where he’s currently building, because he doesn’t have the same efficiency as within his current territory. If you don’t know what’s included in the price—and, more importantly, what’s NOT included—you’re at risk for unwanted price increases. We had a homebuyer who was interested in building a home. We estimated it would be $320,000. He talked to a custom builder who made a lot of promises, committing to $360,000 for the home that this buyer described. Before the contract was signed, that price soared to $420,000. This customer returned to McGuinn Hybrid Homes and we built him that home, as specified, for $320,000. We don’t like surprises any more than our homebuyers, so our price is our price. It doesn’t change unless the customer changes their mind. In our area, McGuinn Hybrid Homes builds new construction, single-family homes for $60 to $84 per square foot. Custom builders here cost about $120 per square foot. We leverage economies by using our own floor plans. We’ve built each one many times, and we know how to do them efficiently and correctly. There are no glitches to be worked out, no unforeseen “uh oh’s”. Because we keep to our portfolio, we can also purchase building materials more cost-effectively, rather than buying custom items here and there. Be clear on the warranty coverage. Your new home is a major investment. Be sure you have a home warranty included in the purchase. This protection usually covers the structure for a specified period of time, often the first year. It’s during this time that construction defects are noticed, as the house settles a bit. The warranty gives you peace of mind that the builder takes responsibility for their work. Some homebuilders contract the warranty service to an outside company to handle any claims. At McGuinn Hybrid Homes, we chose to keep this process in-house. We take pride in our work and our commitment to our customers, so we don’t divert them to a third-party when an issue arises. We prefer to continue our relationship with the homeowner long after the home is finished. When you’re ready to build a home on your land, talk to Tim at McGuinn Hybrid Homes. He’s available to answer your questions, look at your property, review floor plans and options, and discuss the process so you have all the information you need.

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