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Home Matters

Custom homes

Pete and Rob think most people believe a custom home is out of the realm of affordability. Lou Lincoln from ACC Custom Homes talks to them about how a custom home can fit into your budget.

First, what is the difference between a custom home and a spec home?

A custom home is designed to your exact specifications. "I let the owner tell me what they remember growing up that brings back really good memories," he says. "If you design that feature into your own personal home, people will have those good memories for years to come."

A spec home, Pete says, is built on speculation and is "pandering to the masses."

While Lou admits that there is a pretty significant markup on materials and costs, he says "if you work with me and sweat right alongside me, we can get you into a house and make it affordable."

The solution, he says, is to do the little things yourself. "You can do a lot of little things on a job site that cost a lot of money. If you just took care of it, it saves me time and money, and we can bring that cost down."

When contracting with a custom home company, Lou says the first thing you'll do is "figure out where you're at financially." It's an extensive process, and you must be committed to it.

Next, you have to locate the land that fits you, he says, then design a home to suit you and the land. Next up is structural engineering, followed by the permitting process. "The lenders will not give you a loan until that process is done," he adds.

Homeowners, Lou says, can help save money in a few ways. First, do the little things yourself. "Do you want to pay someone $5 to screw in a door knob? No. You can do that yourself," he says. You can also help save money on the project by "shopping 'til you drop." This means getting bids from multiple companies until you get the lowest price.

Lou also adds that, to avoid additional costs for unexpected what-ifs, you should have contingency plans. Have multiple ideas for a delay so you're not losing money if your plumber doesn't show up.

Home Matters with Pete and Rob can be heard on KIRO Radio every Saturday at 8 a.m. and Sunday at 6 a.m. or anytime at KIRORadio.com. Like Home Matters on Facebook.

Cait Walsh, MyNorthwest Writer
Caitlyn Walsh is a regular lifestyles contributor for MyNorthwest. She enjoys reading and hiking, as well as perusing all the cat videos the Internet has to offer.
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