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Working with a custom homebuilder can be a daunting task for anyone, regardless of experience level. From coming up with a timeline to talking about costs, building your dream home can quickly turn frustrating. But, with some forethought, the whole process can be much more manageable. By working with a trustworthy homebuilder and having a clear plan of action, you’ll feel confident that your dream home is in the works.

Here are five tips on negotiating with your custom homebuilder:

1. Set Your Limits

Part of doing your research is knowing your costs. As you go in to talk, you should be armed with the knowledge of how much your project might cost. From there, you can determine how much you’re willing to spend.

Have a starting number, something you can come into the negotiations with, so you can establish the range you’re working in. That starting number should be lower than your ideal price, giving you the room to go up to it if need be.

You should also decide on an upper limit, a number that you absolutely cannot pass. The range between those numbers will give you some room to work as you discuss the project. Coming to the table with this range lets you and your custom homebuilder establish an agreement that works for both of you while also keeping costs down.

The best case scenario is that you get everything you want for much cheaper than you anticipated. Of course, the likelihood of that happening isn’t exactly sky high. But either way, deciding what range you’ll be working with allows you to set expectations and move forward accordingly.

2. Understand What’s Included

When discussing costs with your custom homebuilder, make sure you’re both clear on what comes in the agreement. Before you both decide on something, you need to figure out exactly what falls within the purview of the deal. A good plan would be to start at the low price point, then work within your budget to secure what upgrades you can as you address the specifics of the build.

When you’re working within a budget, you’ll need to put in the extra effort to get everything you can with it. If you change from one appliance to another, can you also secure additional lighting fixtures? What about the fixtures themselves? Have you looked at all the options? Working with your custom homebuilder will help you get the most, while still sticking to your budget.

3. What About Changes?

Before you leave the table, be sure to decide exactly how any change requests will work. It’s something many prospective homeowners forget, but it is by far one of the most important things to figure out ahead of time.

Ideally, everything in the initial plan will go off without a hitch. Things rarely ever work out perfectly though, and you need to know exactly what the protocol is for any adjustments you need to make along the way.

Without planning ahead, change requests can provide major hurdles for both parties. Your custom homebuilder needs to know as much as possible upfront to be able to budget and plan the project, and throwing off the balance of those plans can mean huge delays and extra costs for you. Coming to an agreement ahead of time will ensure a smooth process, saving everyone a massive headache.

4. Communicate Regularly

Throughout the whole process, it is imperative that you keep an open dialogue with your builder. You’re both on a team now and good communication is the cornerstone of any collaborative effort.

On your part, that just means you accurately convey what it is you want. Whether that means you use pictures as examples, read and cite articles on the subject, or sit down and take some time to write out exactly what you’re looking for is up to you. What matters is that you put in the extra effort to ensure you’re coming across as clearly as you can. Your custom homebuilder needs all the help they can to fully understand what you want the finished project to look like. Tell them what you want, then let them get to work.

While communication is important, you also need to give your custom homebuilder time to do what they need to do. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is any house! By putting in some forethought, you can accurately communicate your ideas and let the homebuilder get on with the actual work. Give them space and time, and you’ll be pleased with the results.

5. Make Sure You’re Both on the Same Page

Before you actually sit down to talk with anyone, do some research with your spouse or partner to become well versed in the home building market. Today, that’s as simple as sitting down at the computer and doing a few quick searches.

Look for any information on similar houses in your area to get an idea of how much money your home should cost, along with an estimate of how long it will take to complete.

Decide between the both of you what you want to communicate so you are asking for the same things and not giving mixed signals. Set which of you will be the primary contact for your homebuilder. Don’t make any decisions without consulting each other, as that will only lead to confusion down the road. If you want to communicate clearly with your custom homebuilder, you’ll need to first communicate clearly with each other.

If you make sure you’re armed with all the appropriate knowledge before beginning negotiations, you’ll have a more concrete idea of what to discuss, a clear idea of what you want, as well as the language to articulate it is the foundation of any project.

With that squared away, you can spend the time talking about what you want done, as opposed to learning the process during the meetings with your builder.

With your plan set, your budget decided upon, and your vision clarified, you’re well on the way to your dream home!

The post 5 Tips to Negotiating with Your Custom Homebuilder appeared first on Mitchell Homes.

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It’s no surprise if your New Year’s resolution was related to keeping your home tidy. After all, the benefits of a clean home are widely known. Reduce the clutter in your house and you’ll reduce the chances of your family getting sick and facing allergic reaction.

Just as important, a clean home will noticeably alleviate your stress and anxiety and can even lead to improved physical fitness. So, by tidying up, you’ll actually be keeping several resolutions all at once!

Of course, this is all easier said than done; as the years go by, it’s natural to accumulate more and more stuff that you’re just not willing to part with yet. Everything from kitchen gadgets, to books, to treasured children’s keepsakes will all need places to go.

And while you may face a surmountable challenge if your home is already maxed out on storage solutions, you can seamlessly establish useful solutions in your newly built home, especially if you start with the floor plan.

Do your current floor plans take into account needed storage? Here are a few tips to add more storage space that will ensure a tidier 2018:

Add an Attic

The garage is always the go-to location when deciding where to put something that just doesn’t belong anywhere else, but that’s also why it’s such a challenge to find anything in there. And, where are you parking your car? Are you currently forced out to the driveway?

Adding an attic in your home will help alleviate some of this burden. Add a small nook above the garage, in the hallway near the bedrooms, or really anywhere your heart desires. Work with your home builder to adjust your floor plans to meet this need.

Consider a Three-Car Garage

You probably have a garage now? If not, that’s probably on your must-have list. But while you may have been hoping for a two-car garage, maybe a three-car garage would better suit your needs?

How many vehicles do you expect to park at your home? Even if just one, do you anticipate adding another in the next few years? If your ideal situation would include some room for storage while also parking two cars in the garage, a three-car option may be the way to go.

Slip in a Crawl Space or the Addition of an Extra Large Closet

A crawl space is something that’s less common in newly constructed homes, but is a small nook where you’ll need to literally get down on your hands and knees to access. While this might sound dreadful, if you expect any children to live in your home, a crawl space added into their bedroom might be the perfect solution for their toys or a fun hiding spot they can escape to.

Similarly, if you desire a larger closet, as you are establishing your floor plans with you home builder is the perfect time to put in the request. Simply say, “I see there are plans to add a small closet here. Would it be possible to make it larger?” Depending on your current plans, it may easy to add either depth or width to a pre-existing plan, improving upon the storage space you desire.

Make Use of Hidden Storage

While there are many ways to add storage into your floor plans, it’s also something you can incorporate as you move into your new home.

While you will likely bring much of your furniture over from your previous abode, when buying new staples, consider how else it could or should be utilized. For example, you might want a spare bedroom to double as an office and guest room for visitors. Then spring for a bed that will fold up into the wall or one that pops out from a couch (they are much more comfortable nowadays).

Similarly, raise your bed to store items underneath or get a brand new frame that has drawers build right in.

Then, add ottomans to complement the furniture you already have in the family room. You’ll instantly add extra seating when you hold your housewarming party or other gathering, and can store anything from pet toys to blankets or knick-knacks in there.

Add a wall-mounted cabinet where you can also hide your television and your home will feel significantly less cluttered than the last.

Get Creative With Shelves

Additionally, one of the best things you can do to increase storage space in your home is simply to add shelves. The great thing about shelves is that they’re extremely flexible both in placement and design.

Add shelving near your entryway can become the perfect place to hold keys and mail, and display family pictures. Then add some more in the kitchen to store cookbooks, coffee mugs, and family mementoes.

Carefully placing shelves throughout your floor plan can free up a lot of room and make your home feel significantly less cluttered.

If you have items that you don’t want in plain sight, such as filing cabinets or papers, you can set up shelving with drawers, and of course, you can choose shelves in pretty much any style and color now to match the aesthetic of your home. From large, stained wooden shelves, to sleek modern metal ones, your options are practically unlimited.
 
Think About Future Needs

While there are many ways to maximize the storage space of an existing area, you will have even more possibilities in your new construction home. Having your home built on your land from the ground up gives you a wide berth to customize your floor plan to your individual needs. Need more closet space? No problem.

When you work with home builders, like us at Mitchell Homes, you have the option to make tweaks to meet your family’s needs. And, since we’ve worked with so many families, if you share your storage concerns, we’ll recommend solutions we know will work for you.

The post How to Add More Storage into Your Floor Plan for a Tidy 2018 appeared first on Mitchell Homes.

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Thinking about custom building your own home? You’ll want to approach it from the ground up, or in this case, from the floor up. Finalizing your floor plans will be an important step in the home building process. After all, you can’t begin construction if you don’t know what you’re trying to construct.

However, there are some things you’ll want to consider before selecting a floor plan. At Mitchell Homes, we have 25 years experience designing custom stick-built homes for homeowners-to-be. From our extensive experience, here are five things you’ll want to finalize before nailing down your floor plan.

Budget

The first thing you’ll have to decide on is a budget. Just as a homebuilder has to work within the boundaries of the design plans, you’ll have to work within the boundaries of your budget as well. Prioritizing and knowing how much you have available to spend is the perfect place to start. In fact, we’ll even recommend a lending institution where you can get pre-approved.

At Mitchell Homes, we strive to build an affordable place that you’ll be proud to call home. Unlike many other homebuilders in your area, we require no down payment or upfront construction costs. We’re confident in the quality of our work and are able to build your home on the strength of our company alone. WIth Mitchell Homes, you will also not pay closing cost nor any construction loan interest. When all is said and done, we have the potential to save you up to $15,000 on a $250,000 loan. So if you’re working within a tight budget, we’ll help you build a quality home while staying within your means.

Contractor

Once you’ve settled on a budget, the next thing you’ll want to do is locate a reputable homebuilder. Do your research by asking around and taking a look at the company’s prior work. What do former clients have to say? Mitchell Homes has a long list of positive client reviews and testimonials.

Our work is also backed by our guarantee. We offer a 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty, which means we’ll provide you with 1 year of workmanship coverage, 2 years of systems coverage, and ten years of structural coverage. You’ll be able to sleep sound in your new home knowing that it’s been built to last.

It’s important to hire a homebuilder early in the process so that you can work together to come up with the floor plan that will suit you and your property best. Consulting with a professional will provide guidance and peace of mind as you consider your options.

When you meet with your future contractor, be prepared to discuss your home’s location. The type of land you’ve selected will often influence the design process. You’ll want to be able to discuss specifics with your new home consultant. For instance, is there an existing home on the lot that will need to be demolished? Is there municipal water and sewer or will a well and septic system be required? Are there any soil factors present that would require a reinforced footing and/or foundation? Knowing these details will help us select the right floor plan for your needs, no matter where you plan to build.

Size

Next, you’ll want to decide on the size and layout of your new home. When thinking about your floor plans, it’s important to plan ahead. For instance, how likely is it that your family will grow? A two-bedroom home may suit your needs now, but if you plan on expanding your family in the coming years, you may want to think about building a home with a little extra space for comfort.
Likewise, if you have a baby on the way or plan to have one in the near future, you’ll want to make sure your floor plans are child appropriate.

Or perhaps you like to entertain and have guests over on a frequent basis. In that case, maybe you want to consider having a guest bathroom located off the living area and an open floor plan that allows you to mingle with family and friends while preparing dishes in the kitchen.

Design

Once you’ve made these decisions, it’s time to focus on the design of your new home. This is the fun part where you can let your imagination run wild. Look for inspiration on design sites or allow one of our 34 pre-designed floor plans to be your guide.

Are you looking for cozy comfort or a spacious, open layout? We offer both, and if we don’t have something you’re looking for, we’ll help create it. You will also be able to choose from a variety of custom upgrades to enhance the areas of your home that mean the most to you.

As you can see, there are a number of considerations to keep in mind as you finalize your floor plans. It may seem like a lot at first, but your new home consultant will go over everything in great detail with you.

Personal Touch

Now that you have the major decisions out of the way, it’s time to add your personal touch to your home’s design. Want to add more windows to take advantage of that ideal view? We can do that for you. Or perhaps you’re planning to spend a lot of time grilling in the backyard. We can add an outdoor grilling area with extra outlets and a gas line for you to entertain friends and family outdoors. Your home should be an expression of you and a reflection of your personal tastes. We can help you put your own unique stamp on your house so that it truly feels like home.

Our professional experts will provide both guidance and reassurance throughout the building process. You come up with the concept and we’ll take care of the rest. Together, we’ll help take your dream home from idea to design to reality. So get ready to rest easy in the comfort of your new home.

The post 5 Decisions to Make Before Finalizing Your Floor Plans appeared first on Mitchell Homes.

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The decision has been made; you are building your brand new home! Now comes the questions, what to do next? First, you have to decide who to build with, and Mitchell Homes is an ideal choice if you’re looking for custom home builders in or around Fredericksburg, Virginia.

When it comes to building custom homes there are many options that can come your way, which is why it’s important to pick builders with experience and most importantly, the company that will make your money go the furthest. Mitchell Homes is the only builder that can offer you the chance to build with no down payment, no construction loan, and no closing costs.

Once you’ve figured out whom to build with, you can focus on the next question: do you want to build a one or two-story house? There are pros and cons to both choices and luckily Mitchell Homes offers plenty of designs for either option.

Your Neighborhood and Town

When building a custom home one of the best things you can do is look to the future: how will your house do on the market? Taking a look at your local real estate can help keep your home competitive and thereby making it a solid investment for your future. For example, if you live in an area where there are more growing families, then a second-story home might fit in best. However, if you live in an area where older adults are looking to retire, then a one-story home may be the better option.

After assessing your town’s real estate market, it’s important to look even closer at your specific neighborhood and land. Take a look at what sells in your area and what stays on the market. Consider the size of your land and see if you have the space for a one-story or if you need to build up with a two-story.

Knowing how the market works in your town and specifically in your neighborhood will help you make the best financial decision for your custom home.

Family Needs

Moving forward on a custom home means the choices are put into your hands so the next step is to figure out what your priorities are and that starts with your family.

Privacy: One-story homes tend to have large living spaces, as less space is allocated for a staircase, but this also means less privacy. A two-story home has more private areas which can come in handy for teenagers. This may limit the living space, but it will give everyone in the family a bit more privacy.

Safety: When it comes to safety for family members, a one-story home definitely offers a good option. For families with young children, a one-story takes out the danger of a staircase and allows for more kid-friendly zones. Similarly, a one-story home is a benefit for the elderly since stairs often become a hindrance and can cut them off from parts of the house, limiting their mobility and independence.

Noise: Sound control is another benefit to consider. With a one-story, there is less noise carried throughout the home as you won’t have people pounding up the stairs or hear the pitter-patter of feet as they scamper around the second story. Two-stories do offer more privacy, but as everyone is on top of one another, the sound carries more.

The Outdoors: If having a yard for your family is a big priority for your custom home, then a two-story home may be a better option. This is all dependent on how large your land is of course, but if you have limited square footage then choosing a two-story home with a smaller foundation will help open up space for a yard. Not only that but a two-story offers a potential view and that can be a valuable asset to your home. A one-story home tends to cover more square footage and may limit your options for your outdoor space.

Longevity: If you’re building a custom home, chances are you are planning to stick around for awhile, but taking a look at your family’s future can be beneficial when designing your home. For example, for a young growing family, a one-story home is the perfect choice for the short-term, but may be a problem as the family grows. So before choosing a design, consider how long you plan to remain in your home and what kind of custom home will best fit your needs.

Financial Considerations

Once you have assessed what it is your family needs, it’s time to figure out the best financial choice for your custom home.

The Build: Two-story homes tend to have an advantage in the building process since construction costs chiefly mount up in the excavation stages. With a two-story house, less excavation is needed. They have a smaller foundation and therefore this stage tends to be less expensive.

Two-story homes also have the added advantage of needing smaller roofs than one-story homes, which can save a great deal in the build. However, one-story homes are less expensive in construction materials and also have a quicker construction time, which makes them competitively less expensive in the overall build. Before beginning, it’s important to discuss the different stages with your custom builder to make sure that you understand the costs before breaking ground.

Utilities: Depending on your environment, it’s also crucial to consider the weather and how that impacts your home. It costs a great deal less to heat and cool a one-story home than it does a two-story and if you live in a region with extreme weather that can be a serious factor in your design decision. Asking your custom home builders of Fredericksburg, VA about utility costs for one-story versus two-story house can give you a better financial idea of how much your home will cost to maintain.

Choosing between a one-story and a two-story comes down to your life trajectory and what you need out of your custom home. When looking for custom home builders in Fredericksburg, VA, Mitchell Homes is there to assist you with your needs. Having a professional looking over your financials and you and your family’s needs can help you answer the question of which custom home option works best for you. Once you are able to establish what your priorities are, then you are ready to pick a design and begin the journey to your custom home.

The post How to Decide Between a One or Two-Story Home appeared first on Mitchell Homes.

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You’ve owned land for years. You’ve dreamt of all the things you could do with your property. You’ve envisioned a home, a place where the kids can roam, a place where you can do anything you please.

But for one reason or another, it hasn’t happened yet. Your property sits empty no matter how many dreams you’ve had for building a house on your land.

Is it time to take action? Is it time to sell? Or is it time to build?

What’s been holding you back?

Reason #1: Financing

In general, construction loans for a build-your-own-home can be rather pricey. They often require you to make a down payment of 20 to 25 percent of the entire cost of the structure, including permits, site preparation, and the construction itself. Most lenders will finance it for up to a year, and when the construction is complete, they require you to refinance it into a permanent loan.

This is where we differ and what may make building now more appealing than ever before. We know how frustrating applying for a construction loan can be. That’s why we don’t require that you have one.

Instead, we arrange for one of our partner lending institutions to meet with you and work with you to find a mortgage program that suits your budget and needs. You lock in competitive interest rates and then we handle the rest. That means no down payment, no closing costs, no discount points, and no construction loan. Your first payment doesn’t start until after you close on your new home.

That relieves the pressure of finding and financing the right loan before you even move in. It gives you more flexibility staying on a budget while juggling living in a home while building your dream home.

Reason #2: Confusion

People often buy land with the hopes of building their dream home, only to confront all the tiny details that go into building and stop short of making it a reality.

Let’s face it, even in the best of conditions building a new home can be a stressful experience. But when you move beyond the typical experience of new construction in a new subdivision and move to your own land that gives you unlimited possibilities, it increases your stress levels tenfold.

All of a sudden you have a lot to consider. From permits to selecting contractors, you have a whirlwind of decisions to make, all before you put up the first board in your new home. And that can be scary.

How do you choose each piece, select the right people to come together and give you everything you need to have a well-built, high-quality home you’ll love for years? It can be overwhelming enough to put the brakes on indefinitely.

That’s why we approach the building process differently. We know your ultimate goal is to build your dream home on your land. So we have everything in place to help you accomplish that, from your first decision to your last. We’ve taken all of the horror stories within the building industry and turned them into a positive, enjoyable experience. We make it easy from beginning to end.

See how easy it can be? Feeling more comfortable with your decision to build? Then you’re ready to move to the next phase; to start the process of building your dream home in the next few months. But where do you begin?

Choose Your Starting Point

You have the land in place. You’re ready to begin. But what does that mean?

For most people, that means designing a floor plan you can live with.

We make that process easy too. Instead of starting from a pencil and paper concept, we give you ample ideas to begin with. Want three bedrooms or four? Prefer two bathrooms or three? Want a two-story, a Cape Cod, or a ranch? Looking for a particular square footage?

With our home selection system, we can show you sizes and styles that meet your needs. This is your starting point. Then your customization can begin from there.

Study Your Land

How well do you know your land?

What are the setbacks on your lot? Setbacks are the guidelines the state has in place for how close to the border of your property you can build. It can impact where you put your house and can sometimes dictate the size of your home’s footprint.

How will you get utilities to your home? It’s important to understand the nuances of getting power and water to your home. Before you proceed with your plans, you’ll need access to water (either from a utility company or a well), waste (either septic or sewer), power, gas (either from a utility company or a propane tank), and phone or internet service.

Are there natural resource rights? Depending on where your land is, you might have natural resources running through your land that can hinder new construction. These can include things like water rights, mineral rights, timber rights, or access rights.

It’s also important to understand the restriction on the property. Will you be building in a community that has Covenants, Codes, and Restrictions? Is there an Architectural Control Committee that has to approve design and landscaping before you begin? Some areas are zoned for specific uses. This could prevent you from building out a barn you’ve always dreamed of having, or even adding a mother-in-law cottage behind your main house.

Customization

The next step is the fun part. This is where you can add in the little details that will turn your house into a home.

Our floor plans range from 1,000 square feet to 3,000 feet and beyond. Want a bonus room? We can handle that. Always dreamed of having a wrap around porch? We can handle that too.

Each of our floor plans is available as a starting point. From there, customizing it can bring in the elements you’ve always dreamed of. It’s the best way to customize everything inside and out.

Chances are you have a file with ideas in mind. Have you pinned ideas on your Pinterest board? Saved ideas to your Google Docs folder? Or maybe you still believe in the old-fashioned way of cutting and clipping your favorite ideas from a magazine. No matter how you prefer to create your design, we can use them as a guideline to take down a wall for an open-concept or create a better flow from the front to the back. We get construction. And we know how to incorporate your ideas into your final design.

Discover How Easy it Can Be

In most cases, building a new home will take a few months from beginning to end. Once everything is designed, and in place, the process can start.

But keep in mind that it all begins with you. The more customization you desire, the more time it will take to get everything approved. Simple changes are easier to put into place.

Know your goals and deadlines when you start the process but be aware that at any stage things may get adjusted as the process moves along in order to stay on track.

Now, if you’re ready to get started on building a home on your land, we can help make building your dream home a reality.

The post Love it or List it: How You Know it’s Time to Build a House on Your Land appeared first on Mitchell Homes.

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When it comes time to design your dream home, it can be both exciting and nerve-wracking as there are so many considerations that go into making this important decision. You’ll want to be thorough and take all the right steps to ensure you and your family have a comfortable place to live for many years to come.

So, before you jump right in, take a step back and ask these six questions before committing to a home design, and just as important, a home builder.

First, how big is your family and how long do you plan to live in your new home? Everyone’s situation is different when they delve into the home buying process. Sometimes it’s a young couple who comes to us. They inherited land and are ready to start their lives together in a home of their very own. Other times, a mother with three kids is looking to settle down in a new community. And, just as often it’s a couple on the verge of retirement who is moving to a warmer climate and want a one-story home that doesn’t require a lot of upkeep.

No matter what your situation looks like, we will work with you to identify the best floor plan based on your plot of land, the size of your household, and your individual needs.

Next, identify what is most important to your family. If you have children, will they be sharing a room or does each person in your household need his and her individual space?

Would you prefer a two-story home where you can separate your main living space from your sleeping quarters, or would a one-story floor plan best accommodate your family?

Additionally, if you enjoy spending time outdoors, consider adding a wrap-around porch with screens to keep the pesky southern bugs at bay.

Once you decide on what is most important in the design of your dream home, then you’ll have a baseline for choosing your future floor plan.

Now that you’ve chosen your floor plan and it’s time to construct your home, you will need to decide on interior features. At Mitchell Homes, our eye-catching, energy efficient options come standard in all houses, but do you want any upgrades?

Take time today and see what a custom home in Virginia looks like.

Take the time to browse through home renovation and interior design magazines, visit some local building supply stores, consider what you adore in your friend’s house, and see if it is within your budget to upgrade and further customize your home.

For example, instead of brushed-nickel interior door hardware, you may prefer oil rubbed bronze. Or, you may want to switch out the laminate countertops for granite or quartz. Just these two changes are an affordable way to improve upon your kitchen design and increase the resell value of your home, should you ever decide to move.

Another important question to consider is, are you ready to advocate for what you need? When you work with a home builder, you need to ensure you choose the one you trust. The people you work with at this company will steer you down a path of decisions that will lead to the completion of the home you will live in for years to come and you want to be happy with the outcome. Home builders are intimately familiar with the process and what goes into it, but this is likely new to you, so you’ll be relying on the company as a knowledgeable guide.

So, when stepping into this adventure, do choose a home builder you can trust. But also remember that no one knows what your family wants and needs better than you do. There may be moments when you need to clarify those needs to ensure you end up with a home that is best for you. This step is just as important as any other in the building process.

Another great question is, what am I forgetting? There is so much to ask when constructing a brand-new home that it becomes easy to gloss over things that you don’t initially think are that important. You don’t want to wake up once you’re all moved in only to think, “I wish I would have . . .” So, here is a short list of the not so obvious things you may be forgetting.

     · Where you want outlets, both inside and out.
     · Where you want your laundry room (somewhere convenient, but not disruptive).
     · If you want a fireplace.
     · The height of your ceilings.
     · The width of your doorways.
     · Where you want extra storage.
     · If you want to add extra windows and/or doors for added light.
     · Depending on your plot of land, which way your home (rooms) should face based on the sunrise and sunset.

Also, really take the time to consider, what is the financial commitment? At Mitchell Homes, we help families build the home they’ve always wanted, without a burdensome financial commitment. You might wonder, “How is that possible?” Well, unlike some home builders, you are not required to get a construction loan, there are no closing costs, and many of our home buyers don’t even provide a down payment.

We even work with great lending institutions that will help families repair their credit to prepare them for home ownership and securing a mortgage loan.

While a home is still a financial commitment, the elimination of these common fees provides a smoother path to ownership.

As you step into the processes of starting to design your dream home you will learn that there are many more than six questions to ask. Make sure each question is answered and you feel confident moving forward during each phase.

The post 6 Questions to Ask Before You Design Your Dream Home appeared first on Mitchell Homes.

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Are you ready to build a custom home of your very own? Do you have your lot picked out? If so, your next step should be to hire a custom homebuilder. But you’ll want to choose carefully. Building a custom home is an important financial investment and you’ll want to choose the most compatible company to work with.

Your custom home should be everything you envision it to be, so you’ll want to choose a home builder you can trust. Here at Mitchell Homes, we have the experience and knowledge to help you get exactly what you want, but don’t just take our word for it. Here are a few key things you’ll want to find out before making your final choice.

First, you’ll want to look at the company’s track record. Is the company a reputable one and are the builders qualified to custom build your home? Take a look at the company’s former projects, for example. Are the company’s prior projects similar in scale to one you’re considering? Also, what do former customers have to say about their experience with this homebuilder?

These questions are incredibly important when determining who will design and construct a new home, so look at online reviews and testimonials provided by the company. Also, ask the company if they can put you in touch with current and past clients. This will give you a sense of the customer service you can expect during your own home building process. At Mitchell Homes, we strive to make the home building process as easy and enjoyable for our customers as possible. The home builder you ultimately choose should do the same for you.

Another way to determine the quality of the company you are considering is by the warranty it provides. Any reputable home builder should be confident in the quality of the company’s work. This will be reflected in how the company protects your investment. At Mitchell Homes, for instance, we protect your investment in a few different ways. We offer ten years of structural coverage, which includes footings and foundation, load-bearing walls, beams, and girders.

We also offer two years of systems coverage and one year of workmanship coverage. We partner with 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty, one of the few home warranty companies approved by HUD (the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development). Your custom built home will be one of the most significant investments you make, so why not protect it with the very best coverage?

Speaking of investment, many home builders will require you to make a hefty down payment before they begin the work. Look instead for a home builder that is able to stand by its reputation and doesn’t require a payment until the work is complete.

For instance, did you know that Mitchell Homes does not require a construction loan? In fact, we offer one-of-a-kind financing advantages for our qualified clients so that you can avoid a steep down payment and the costly expense of construction loan interest rates.

We’ll even foot the bill for your closing costs so you’ll save even more money at the closing table. With other custom home builders in Virginia, you could wind up paying close to $15,000 in closing costs on a $250,000 loan. With Mitchell Homes, you’ll pay absolutely nothing. That means you’ll have no upfront costs and will not be responsible for a single payment until after you’ve already closed on your home!

Worried about your credit? Even if you have less than perfect credit, we can work with you to secure financing. We work closely with lending institutions and credit repair agencies that have experience in helping people in similar situations. Even if you feel that building a custom home is outside the realm of possibility, we will do everything we can to help make it a reality for you.

Once you have the list narrowed down to your top three, your next step should be to schedule an interview with each. Discuss your design plan, budget, and financing needs in detail. Your custom home builder should be able to answer any questions you have confidently and clearly.

Additionally, you should be prepared with a list of questions for them. This guide to hiring a designer offers great examples of questions you should ask. It also provides a list of the documents that the builder should be able to provide you during this initial visit.

Finally, do your research. Check the company’s rating with the Better Business Bureau, for instance. You can see that Mitchell Homes has an A+ rating with the BBB. Anything less than an A rating should give you pause. With an excellent rating like ours, you can have confidence in the quality of work the company provides.

You’ll also want to make sure any company you contract is properly licensed. Custom home builders in Virginia should have a license or certificate from the Virginia Board of Contractors to do construction work. You can contact the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation or check out this link to make sure the company you are considering is properly licensed.

Building your own home from the ground up is an important life step. At Mitchell Homes, we want to make it well worth your while. We have confidence in the products we deliver and know that you will be satisfied with the results.

We would love to take your home from design to conception. But even if you opt for another home builder, keep these points in mind. Your custom home builder should be selected only after careful consideration. Choose wisely so you’ll be able to sleep soundly at night in your new custom home.

The post 5 Things to Look For When Choosing a Custom Home Builder appeared first on Mitchell Homes.

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Looking to relocate to a peaceful, scenic area away from city living? If this sounds appealing, consider Lake Gaston as your new location.

With over 350 miles of stunning coastline, Lake Gaston provides residents with beautiful views and a multitude of activities to enjoy. These lakefront homes exemplify Southern living at its finest. Consider these ten reasons if you are thinking about relocating.

1. Peaceful camping is just a short hike from your door

The campgrounds at Lake Gaston lure campers of all experience levels. Camp right on the water at the Lake Gaston Americamps camp grounds and enjoy waking up to a shimmering sunrise over the lake. Campers can spend the days soaking up the sun on the manmade beaches, fishing, or splashing around in the lake with friends. End your day cooking dinner over a roaring fire in the fire pits located at each campsite.

The grounds offer other activities, including mini-golf, horseshoe pits, a playground, and even a pool for those squeamish about lake water. Not one to rough it in the wild? The campgrounds have bathrooms, showers, and even a laundry room.

2. Water sports make summer all the more exciting

It is no surprise that Lake Gaston residents spend their summers enjoying the huge variety of water sports. Wakeboarding, water-skiing, tubing, kayaking, and boating are just a few of the activities popular with locals. Nearby shops provide rentals for visitors or residents that do not own water equipment, such as boats and jet skis.

Even residents with less active lifestyles enjoy sunbathing on the shore or a quick dip in the water. Activities on the lake infuse endless enjoyment into residential life during the long summer months.

 3. Your back yard is a sanctuary for abundant wildlife

Located along the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail, the wetlands of Lake Gaston are home to dozens of bird species. A glance along the coast might yield a sighting of a majestic Egret or Great Blue Heron.

The shallow waters attract other waterfowl during the winter, including American Black Ducks and American Widgeons. Occasionally, bald eagles make their home in the nearby woods along Lake Gaston. Even nature enthusiasts that know little about the sport of bird watching will enjoy spotting these majestic animals in their natural habitat.

4. Your home becomes the place where everyone wants to gather

When holidays like Easter and Thanksgiving roll around, don’t be surprised when friends and relatives beg you to host. Lake Gaston straddles the North Carolina and Virginia border and is located off the I-95 and I-85 corridors, making Lake Gaston a convenient destination for visitors.

With beautiful landscapes and quiet living, Lake Gaston makes the perfect location for family events. Visits from family and friends become much more frequent when you have a home in a prime location like Lake Gaston.

5. Lake Gaston is a golf lover’s dream

Avid golfers find Lake Gaston a prime place to relocate. Lake Gaston Golf Club includes 18 holes of varying difficulty, challenging golfers of every skill level. A dozen other golf courses are within a short drive of Lake Gaston, making the location a golfer’s paradise. If competitive golfing interests you, the Lake Gaston Golf Club hosts tournaments and championships throughout the year.

6. Delicious local dining options abound

Whether a casual night out or a big date night is on the horizon, Lake Gaston has restaurants of every caliber within a short drive. A popular spot for locals, The Pointe at Lake Gaston, offers casual dining during the day and formal dinners in the evening. Live music often draws residents to this charming waterfront restaurant.

Nearby Watersview Restaurant combines the allure of fine dining with frequent live music and pristine lake scenery. Watersview’s chefs serve up the best in coastal seafood as well as mainland favorites like their signature rib eye. You can’t go wrong when dining at this local gem.

7. The land is affordable

Affordable waterfront lots give home buyers an excellent reason to consider building a new home and moving to Lake Gaston. Starting around $60,000, prime lakefront lots are more reasonably priced and numerous than acreage in close cities such as Raleigh and Richmond.

When you buy a property along Lake Gaston, you purchase land that maintains its value. Precautions set in place by groups like the Lake Gaston Association prevent pollution and chemicals from destroying the immaculate landscape. Their environment committee meets monthly, ensuring that the lake area stays clean and beautiful for residents and visitors alike.

8. You’re never far from civilization

Find cultural refinement in neighboring Virginia and North Carolina cities – many less than a two-hour drive from the lake. Enjoy day trips with friends and family to museums and historical sites in Richmond or Petersburg, Virginia, both less than an hour and a half drive from Lake Gaston.

Take a trip to local outlet malls close to the Raleigh-Durham area for some retail therapy. The proximity of urban entertainment balances out the quiet lakefront living that Lake Gaston offers residents.

9. The lake is an excellent fishing hole

Avid anglers flock to Lake Gaston’s fully stocked waters year-round. The lake is well stocked with largemouth bass, walleye fish, and several varieties of catfish. Lake Gaston holds both professional and amateur tournaments due to the favorable fishing conditions.

If you take a more relaxed approach to your fishing expeditions, you’ll discover open and calm waters with plenty of room for casting and reeling. With over 20,300 acres of surface area, the lake has become a favorite spot for fisherman of every expertise level.

10. Your porch overlooks a stunning lake view

Worn out after so many activities? Kick back and end the days enjoying perfect sunsets that can only be found in idyllic places like Lake Gaston. The serene waters provide a calm backdrop for residents, making it an ideal place for homebuilders looking for a laidback lifestyle.

The beautiful landscape and clean, fresh water of Lake Gaston give new residents the benefits of lakefront living without crowded shores and overpriced real estate. Whether you are drawn to water sports, weekend camping trips or simply desire a slower pace for your life, relocating to Lake Gaston guarantees the luxury lifestyle that will fit your needs.

The post 10 Reasons You’ll Never Regret Relocating to Lake Gaston appeared first on Mitchell Homes.

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Lake Anna State Park used to be called “Gold Hill” because of the local Goodwin Gold Mine. Although there is no longer a gold rush to bring new residents to Lake Anna, there are still plenty of reasons to relocate to this valuable piece of paradise. If you are interested in a new home, consider building a custom Mitchell Homes’ waterfront or water view house at Lake Anna. It will be the best decision you’ll ever make.

Luring In The Big Fish

Anglers from all over the country come to Lake Anna to fish in one of the most well stocked lakes on the east coast. Lake Anna contains over thirty species of fish, including largemouth and striped bass, catfish, white and yellow perch, crappie, and bluegill. It is a premier recreational destination for fishermen and offers opportunities for every level of angler.

Lake Anna also hosts local and regional fishing tournaments and consistently ranks in the top three places in Virginia for the largest number of largemouth bass. With easy access from Interstate 95, fishers frequently flock to Lake Anna from nearby cities like Richmond, Charlottesville, Fredericksburg and Washington, D.C. on the weekends.

Boating & Other Water Sports

Water sports are a prevalent pastime in the Lake Anna community. Numerous centrally located marinas offer slips available to rent on a monthly or yearly basis, making Lake Anna a popular family spot for jet skiing, tubing, wakeboarding, and many other water sports.

Are you looking for a new hobby to fill your days? Sailing and canoeing on Lake Anna are both enjoyable and popular pastimes for local residents. When you build at Lake Anna, your family can experience fun-filled summers for years to come.

Enjoying The Great Outdoors

Want more off-water activities? Several golf courses are in close proximity to Lake Anna that offer avid golfers a place to unwind and play on well-maintained courses.

And if wining and dining is more your style, dozens of vineyards are only a quick drive away. Plus downtown Fredericksburg gives Lake Anna an array of top-reviewed restaurants within an hour’s drive.

 If you are interested in making a full day of it, Skyline Drive is a short distance away. This scenic drive gives nature enthusiasts plenty to see, especially with its reputation for memorable fall foliage.

Lake Anna State Park

‘Even closer to home, the Lake Anna area provides residents with acres of stunning scenery and wildlife. Take a drive through Lake Anna State Park and experience extensive woodlands, or appreciate the peaceful backdrop for a relaxing picnic. The park has eleven trails that provide more than fifteen miles of paths for multiple uses. Hiking, biking, and horseback riding are all available to visitors of Lake Anna State Park.

In warm weather, Lake Anna State Park’s beach area keeps visitors coming back. Concession stand refreshments and the public area’s bathhouse make the beach an inviting destination for residents and visitors alike. The park is a popular spot in summer for visitors fleeing from nearby sweltering urban areas, but with miles of beach available nearby, it maintains that small-town watering hole feel.

Building vs. Buying

Building a custom home instead of buying in the Lake Anna area can ensure that you get everything you want in a new home. By customizing a house to suit your needs instead of trying to find that elusive already-built “dream house”, you’ll save yourself a lot of time money! While waterfront lots of Lake Anna are $150-250K on average, depending on size and location, waterfront homes can sell for more than $1 million.

As one of Virginia’s largest and cleanest freshwater lakes, Lake Anna is a pristine and beautiful place to raise a family. Get the ultimate in lakefront living and build your new dream home on Lake Anna with the help of Mitchell Homes.

The post Why Building A Custom Home On Lake Anna is the Best Decision You’ll Ever Make appeared first on Mitchell Homes.

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So you’ve decided it’s time to build a new home? If you’re like many other prospective home owners, you probably have a picture in your mind of what your dream home will look like. Building your next home, rather than buying an existing home that doesn’t exactly match your vision, allows you to fully customize your space. However, coming up with ideas and organizing the vision of your dream home can be extremely challenging and even overwhelming at times. To help inspire you, we’ve put together a list of the absolute best resources to use when designing your dream home.

Pinterest

With over 30 billion Pinterest pins to date and more than 70 million Pinterest users as of 2013, Pinterest is the perfect place to start brainstorming ideas to incorporate into your new home. Whether you know exactly what you’re looking for or you’re just searching for inspiration, you won’t have a problem finding it on Pinterest. If you’re new to Pinterest, start by creating a board and titling it “My Custom Dream Home” then begin browsing the Home Décor category to see if anything catches your eye. Then start searching for features you know will be important to you and your family in your new home. For example, try searching “breakfast nook” or “dark kitchen cabinets”. If you see something you like, pin it to your new Dream Home board. Pinterest makes it easy to both find design inspiration and organize your ideas.

Houzz

Houzz is a great tool for finding design inspiration, product information, and professional reviews to help you turn your ideas into reality. Because Houzz separates photos and products based on specific rooms of the home, it’s easy to find exactly what you’re looking for. You can also use the filters on each page to narrow down your search results based on style, budget, price, layout, material, and more. If it’s your first time using Houzz, start by browsing their photos and reading their Ideabooks. You will want to make sure to setup your own ideabooks to save your favorite images. Your ideabooks can be categorized however you see fit and you can also share these ideabooks with family members or your custom home builder. At Mitchell Homes, we love it when our customers share their ideas with us and we are confident that Houzz will provide you with lots of great inspirations for your new home.

Open Houses

Though it’s not quite as easy to organize your ideas with this method, attending open houses is another easy way to find inspiration for your dream home. This provides a chance to see what you like and what you don’t like in person. Look for open houses in the area you’re thinking about for your new home. As you explore the home, take notes and even pictures of features you like. These might come in handy as you choose products and materials for your new home. You may find unique decorating ideas here too!

Mitchell Homes Floor Plans

With over 30 fully customizable floor plans designed to match the look and feel of Virginia neighborhoods, our home designs are another great place to look for inspiration for you dream home. Don’t see a floor plan that matches your needs? Let us know, we can work with you to modify any existing plan or we can design a custom home plan just for you! We have lots of floorplans that we’ve built over the past 22 years that aren’t in our standard plan library, but our New Home Consultants are great at listening to your needs, desires, and budget and then offering their expertise to choose a plan that is perfect for you and your family. Interested in learning more about our floor plans? Request a free plan book that includes floor plan details, photos, prices specific to your area of interest, and much more.

Designing your dream home is an exciting, and sometimes overwhelming process that requires lots of planning and organization. Luckily, these resources along with our expertise will make finding design inspiration and organization much easier!

The post Absolute Best Resources to Use When Designing Your Dream Home appeared first on Mitchell Homes.

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