I am fortunate to have been building homes since 1996, I have literally built thousands of homes, and the best part of what I get to do is that I learn something new every single day. Sometimes I don’t even know I am learning until I take a moment and reflect. Right now I am learning about patience and drive, learning those at the same time can be quite interesting to say the least. In my last blog I referenced my upcoming daughter’s due date and the challenge of someone who is used to being in control having to be willing to let a little of that go. As of right now my little princess, who was due on May 30th, is 5 days late, whatever that means. As my wife Bri and I, both of whom like structure and order were pondering why or how she would possibly be late I decided to do a little math. What is funny about having a child, I can only speak from my limited experience here which is zero so far is that everyone has an opinion, wait, a fact they want to make sure that you know. Do this or do that and she will come that night. Hearing all of this all the time can be quite exhausting, for those of you who have not done the math yet my daughter is 1.7% late. As silly as it sounds that number helped put things in perspective and help me be at peace with the unknown.
Let’s get to how this could help out our potential clients. For a lot of people the process of building a home is daunting, overwhelming and at times even scary. That is where being able to step back from the noise and know that you have an advocate on your side that is able to separate the unimportant “noise” from the real information is key. In the last month while awaiting our little bundle of joy I have had the privilege of starting and finishing some amazing homes.
Just last week we moved a wonderful couple into an amazing home right in the heart of Hillsboro (pictures below)
These buyers have been a lot of fun to work with, they knew what they wanted, and it was our job to turn those ideas and plans into the home they dreamed of. This home was and is a great example of the roller coaster of emotions that is almost the same on every presold home. Just knowing this is potentially coming helps me as a builder, can help real estate agents (both listing and buyers agents) and hopefully help the client as well.
Here is a brief overview of the path of the roller coaster. If you take the emotions based on a scale of 1 (not happy at all) to 10 (completely over the moon happy) here is a snapshot of my two cents on how I think it tends to work over the building process (and I don’t think this particular couple would disagree).
Month One: (I rate this 7-9) It starts out with a little trepidation. Do we want to build? Can we build? Where do we start? Once these questions are answered we all start to get excited. In this time we generally finalize the building plans, finalize the building contract, and begin to select finishes and submit building permits.
Month Two to Four: depending on jurisdiction (I rate this 5-8) this can be the most challenging part of all for a lot of buyers. Permits have been submitted to the jurisdiction and depending on where the project is the waiting game can seem like forever. For example, the City of Yamhill, it will take 3-5 days, the City of Hillsboro 4-6 weeks. As you can imagine this time is where the roller coaster analogy starts and this is where communication is key. I can’t speak for all builders but I know for me there is no one other than the client more excited for the permits than us. We are sitting there like horses at the Belmont waiting for gate to open, not real comfortable and ready to go execute the plan we have been training for our whole life. During this time almost all buyers suffer from the “Will this ever start” blues.
Month Three: (I rate this 8-9) The party gets started – start day is easily one of the best days of the entire process. We have had buyers there with shovels, some with champagne but always with smiles. The next few weeks are so much fun. Everyday there are big changes, one day there is walls, and another day there is trusses or windows. The home is so much bigger than it looked on paper, part of this is that there is almost no way to have depth perception at this stage, especially if it’s your first time building. It is so much fun.
Month Four: (I rate this 6-9) Like all parties there is that awkward lull. The home goes from massive changes every day and then into the sheetrock stage. It’s like a gray cloud, literally and figuratively. The home looks smaller and darker than it ever will and it seems like progress grinds to a halt waiting for things to dry. The lender is calling to get additional information, more paperwork is occurring; this part is not the most fun. Then the next fun part, the “finish” schedule with a move in date included. Cabinets go in, then floors, then countertops, then trim, it’s all coming together.
Month Five to Seven: (I rate this 7-10) this is where hopefully your builder is earning his or her money. This is where the details really matter. Your vision is now there for the whole world to see. You love it and are so excited but there are a few little issues. Please, please do us and favor and TELL us, we want the home to be perfect and the only way we can make that happen is with the information. Just as with the design process, you can’t give us too much information.
Closing Day (I hope we all rate this a 10) if we have all done our jobs as planned, this is the best day of all. It is the day that the awesome house becomes YOUR home. As weird as it may seem when you get to turn the key and it’s your home – not ‘that house under construction’ it’s different. It’s yours!!!! Enjoy it.
Just this month we get to help five different families reach closing day and we have four others getting the party started. We’d love the opportunity to take you or someone you know on this journey, if you are in the market for a new home in your future. Please don’t hesitate to email me with questions or requests at firstname.lastname@example.org or just give me a call, 503 522 4357. I will do my best to answer or get back to you right away (that being said once that little lady comes I may be a little preoccupied for a day or two).