Tom Tolleson, market manager for Bison Building Supply Company in Houston, knows which products are flying off the shelves for homebuilders. Bison is a full-service supplier for lumber, engineered wood, trusses, windows, doors, moldings, and stair parts.
He said that with rising prices for products and labor, and increasing interest rates and property values, now is a good time to consider investing in a custom home.
“The timing is good,” Tolleson said. “If someone is sitting on the fence about whether to go with a new home, they’re certainly going to get a higher-end product in a custom home.”
Greg Hawes, owner of Jamestown Estate Homes, notes several reasons that custom homes are the way to go:
1. The homebuyer is in the driver’s seat.
“The buyer doesn’t need to compromise,” Hawes said. “They’re involved in every step of the process.” Since the homeowners are a major part of the project, the finished project is exactly what they wanted.
Tolleson agreed that homeowners can work closely with the builder. “That insures a high-quality product,” he said. “They get to choose the end product, and they get exactly what they want.”
W. Douglas Goff, chief operating officer for The Johnson Development Corp., said that custom homes take personal preferences into account. “Custom homes can provide solutions to the unique requirements of discriminating homebuyers,” he said.
Goff said homeowners might have multi-generational needs or need to accommodate extended families. Some want home offices, prayer rooms or recreational facilities, he added.
“One person’s need for a huge master closet is another’s passion for an art studio which can only be addressed by a custom builder, he said. “It’s not just size that matters but the ability to design exactly what suits a family’s lifestyle, culture and interests.”
2. You get a lot of bang for your buck.
“Custom homes are surprisingly affordable,” Hawes said. “They are an excellent value.” He explained that the custom-building market is competitive and that general contractors know which companies can bring the best value to a project.
“Homebuyers are not forced into packages,” Hawes added. “They aren’t faced with tens of thousands of dollars in upgrades to deal with.”
Tolleson added that skilled craftsmen are used to work on custom projects. “The quality of the product is typically better than normal,” he said.
Goff said as a development company, Johnson strives to reserve highest-quality land for custom homes.
“These locations typically include an array of amenities such as a wooded landscape, golf course and lake views or direct frontage, private gated entry, acreage size home sites and close proximity to recreational opportunities, walking trails, parks, schools, churches and shopping,” he said.
3. Custom homes stand the test of time.
“The resale is very good,” Hawes said. “Since the homes are unique, they aren’t victim to having the same floor plan down the street.” Plus, he said homeowners take great pride in custom homes.
Hawes has been a member of the Custom Builders Council of the Greater Houston Builders Association for the past two years. “The contacts I meet are an excellent resource,” he said. Hawes added that the group is also a good resource for those interested in building a home.
“Most of the members hold the Graduate Master Builder designation,” he said. “They have the experience and knowledge needed to get the job done.”
For information about the Custom Builders Council of the Greater Houston Builders Association, visit ghba.org. The Custom Builders Council is an alliance of custom builders and associate members striving to achieve the highest level of professionalism and integrity: to offer customers quality construction and excellent customer service in the industry; to offer continuing education to enhance their abilities; to provide an open forum for communication and exchanging ideas; and to strengthen their political position to help the industry.