Building Your Dream Home: Part 2

Building Your Dream Home: Part 2

If you are thinking of building a custom luxury dream home, this blog will help you and your family know what to expect. Based on R.E.A. Home’s 25+ years of experience, here are four phases you’ll encounter:

Defining Goals and Determining the Budget

During an initial meeting, good builders will ask what your goals, wants, and needs are in order to learn more about who you and your family are. This is an opportunity for you both to better understand each other’s motivations and expectations. Be prepared to answer these types of questions:

  • What are the top three reasons you want to build a new home?
  • What are the most important aspects of a home?
  • How will you be living in the home, now and in the future?
  • What area do you want to live in and what schools do you want your children to attend?
  • Do you have any allergies or medical conditions that might impact the design of your home?
  • Will you be entertaining –indoors and/or outdoors – at your home?
  • Do you intend to add a pool now or in the future?
  • Is a home’s energy efficiency and environmental impact important to you?
  • Are consistent temperatures, good indoor air quality, and overall comfort important to you?

Unless you are paying cash for your new home, you will need to meet with a lender to help you determine your budget and prequalify for a loan. Be sure and work with one who has specific experience with new home financing.

Also keep in mind that builders use one of two pricing models: fixed and cost-plus. Fixed price means the total price for your home is set in advance and will not change due to increases or decreases in actual costs within the scope of the contract. Cost-plus pricing means the builder will bill you for all direct costs associated with building your home and then add a fixed percentage to cover the builder’s overhead and profit margin. Each has its advantages and disadvantages but for larger projects over a half-million dollars, the cost-plus model usually offers lower overall costs and a higher quality finished product.

Finding the Right Lot for Your Home

Consider these tips when searching for the right lot for your new custom home:

  • Work with a real estate agent who specializes in finding and purchasing lots for builds
  • Involve your entire building team – agent, builder, architect, and interior designer – as they bring their own experience and expertise to the process
  • Don’t try to force a round peg in a square hole—a home needs to be designed around the lot
  • Be prepared to compromise—very few home buyers find the perfect lot. Instead, look for the lot that meets the criteria most important to you.
  • If you find a lot you feel could be the right one, have your agent make an offer to keep someone else from grabbing it. If you find something else, you can always withdraw your offer and move on.


Lasting between three to five months +, this phase can be the most demanding. You need to be easily accessible during this time to make design decisions, discuss potential issues, and review materials. The stages in this phase are:

  1. Pre-construction agreement and due diligence where you state your commitment to build the home and the builder works with civil engineers, architects, city building departments, and other parties to ensure the feasibility of the project.
  2. An architect’s initial home design including sketches of the exterior, basic floor plans, and more.
  3. A detailed and reliable budget. Be prepared to work with your builder on making decisions about everything from paint colors to flooring to appliances.


Second only to moving into your new home, ground-breaking is one of the most exciting moments of your home building process. While most of the big decisions were made during the pre-construction phase, there is no shortage of smaller decisions here. While the builder will oversee the daily activities throughout this phase, you need to be accessible.

Your home’s construction is a complicated process requiring thousands of man-hours and expertise across many different disciplines. The five building stages are the foundation, framing, rough plumbing/mechanical/electrical, insulation/drywall, and paint/trim/finishing.

During construction keep these tips in mind:

  • Ask for walkthroughs
  • Communicate concerns you have with your builder
  • Take LOTS of pictures
  • Trust your builder
  • Prepare to move
  • Enjoy the experience!

If all goes as planned, you can expect to be living in your custom luxury dream home in as few as 14 months. Having a good team to guide you through each phase is critical. R.E.A. Homes builds custom luxury homes with a family’s entire well-being in mind. Their hand-crafted High Performance Luxury Homes℠ use best building practices, modern design, and smart technology to create ultimate living experiences that are more comfortable for families and better for the environment. To learn more, call 314-400-2119.

If you would like more in-depth information about topics covered in this blog, request a free copy of the e-book Building Your Dream Home or contact Jeff Bogard at 314-400-2119 or jeff@reahomesllc.com

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