If looking at listings leaves you wanting for more, building your very own Bentonville dream home might be more to your liking. But hold on a moment, there’s a little more than just saying, “hey, I am going to build a custom home!” when choosing to go this route.
It’s important to ask yourself whether or not your builder is the right choice for your needs. Not all builds are the same. North to south, east to west, Bentonville has seen a variety of different home builds and no two are exactly alike. Generally speaking, there are three specific types of home builders you’ll see built in and around the Bentonville area: tract builders, semi-custom, and true custom. Each has their own unique attributes. By weighing the pros and cons of each, you can make a better informed decision for your new house.
Tract housing is typically found in the form of a dedicated neighborhood owned by a home builder. These homes are easily built using a set amount of blueprints which are reused throughout a subdivision. The great thing about tract builders is they generally have one or more model homes to view, which can give you a real feel for what your completed home will look and feel like. The costs are generally more in the realm of affordable pricing. The mentality is stack’em deep and sell’em cheap. There are not big profit margins in these homes so the builder must do volume to generate a profit. Another advantage is that features and prices are pretty standardized before the new home is built, giving very little leeway to budgeting and customization. This makes the process very easy. The downside is your tract home won’t exactly be unique. The choices they give are generally very limited. You might have two or three carpet choices, two or three tile choices, two or three paint choices, etc. or no choices whatsoever. It may simply be take it or leave it. Tract housing is typically an affordable, relatively quick process with few surprises. If having the most unique house on the block isn’t at the top of your priority list, tract built homes are a great option to consider.
Semi-custom home builders branch the gap between tract housing and fully custom home builds. Semi-custom built homes may or may not reuse a blueprint or other plans. The customization specs are generally limited to what will fit in with what the builder’s, and the builder’s sub-contractors, typically do in the subdivision or price range they are working in. You will typically be given an allowance for floor tile, hardwood, granite, cabinets, etc. You will meet with the suppliers and you can stay on budget, go over budget, or go under budget. If you are over budget then you will cover that out of pocket. If you are under budget you will be given a credit to spend more elsewhere or a discount off of the purchase price at closing.
Rather than costing more for a ground-up originally built home, semi-custom homes mix and match ideas regularly to balance costs with features. You’ll have access to more options for your home than you would with a tract home build, but the trade-off is you can typically expect to pay more for some installations. Even if a semi-custom builder does reuse blueprints, almost anything is negotiable. For instance, you could have them change the size or ratio of the home, reusing a blueprint but having a slightly larger house than what’s on paper. The same plan could be modified to have a larger master bathroom and smaller master closet or vice versa. They will typically align you with their draftsman or architect and allow you to tweak their plans.
Semi-custom homes allow you to mix reliability and customization. The process may take a little longer than tract builds, and a few extra costs may arise depending on the amount and scope of your customizations. You will need to keep in mind that you need to keep your home in line with the appraised value of the homes in the neighborhood or you could be paying more money down at closing to cover those expensive and unique upgrades that could send you over budget.
Custom Home Builders
With completely custom built homes, you can have almost any features you want from the ground up. The only problem is the process is going to take longer, especially when changes are made down the road. For this reason, it’s important to fully realize what you’re getting yourself into. More than one homeowner has had a long building process, only to be stuck with a partially built home and no more money to complete it. Establishing a budget is very important.
True custom builds can be a lengthy process of designs, revisions, inspections, permits, and more. While the same can be said of tract or semi-custom homes, the process can be much longer with a true, ground-up custom build home project. You also need to make sure that everything you envision will be permitted and that can take extra time and money as well. However, it’s hard to argue with the results of a professionally built custom home. By having a builder make a unique construction project, you can guarantee that no one else will have a place to call their own quite like you will. If money and time are on your side and nothing pre-planned catches your fancy, consider a custom built home for your needs.
Cody Burnett, Principal of the Burnett Real Estate Team, built homes from 1997 in college to 2007 when the market crashed. He mostly operated in the realm of semi and true custom homes. Since 2007 to now he has been a real estate broker. He learned the building business from his dad who is a master craftsman. His mother and father built custom homes since the 1970’s. The bulk of their custom homes have been built on acreage or on Beaver Lake. He can add value to all your home building endeavors.
Interested in build in Bentonville? Give us a call! While we don’t build our own, we are proud to work with many local builders who can help make your vision a reality.