Building a Home? (May 6, 2017)


    by Amber Cross, Nebraska Home Sales Realtor

    It sure feels like there is a shortage of existing homes in Lincoln. That makes building a home more appealing. You have more control on price, known condition, finishes, and customization. Per the City of Lincoln Community Indicators, “Based on demographic projections, Lincoln needs to add roughly 800 – 1,200 dwelling units per year. The ten-year average is currently 1,202 dwelling units per year.”

    It’s very possible you are looking to build a home. It’s important to know what questions to ask. I work with Denali Custom Builders, Inc., so I know it is sometimes difficult for buyers to know where to start. Here are a few ideas from an interview I did with partners Benjamin Carey and Samuel Swartz.

    I started by asking what makes their company special or different. They said, “Our mission statement is ‘Built to the Highest Standard.’ Building is a passion and an art form. We bring a modern edge to the construction industry. We invest in education and materials to make a solid, sustainable, trendy, smart home on a budget. Our goals is to build something that will be your own personal dream home in the most relaxed and transparent process possible.”

    I followed this with a series of more technical questions. What type of homes do you build? What price range do you build in? Can buyers see sample floor plans? How much customization is possible? How long will it take to build a custom home?

    Ask if you can visit a jobsite with the builder. Take note of their cleanliness and interactions with their subcontractors.

    Don’t forget to ask about locations. Where does each builder build? Does the builder have lots available to choose from? Can you pick a lot the builder has not purchased yet?

    Finally, be sure to ask about cost estimates. Carey and Swartz answered, “It is very important to us that we deliver you a hard cost to build number! We want the number to be right upfront so we can minimize overages at the end. We have some seriously fun apps and websites to keep you updated with your building process.”

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