As you’ve embarked upon your new home search, you may have noticed that many builders no longer offer fully customizable homes. If you’ve had your heart set on designing and personalizing a new home from the ground up, this news can be frustrating. While the builders may (or may not) have given you an explanation for why this is the case, we wanted to take the time and explain exactly what’s happening with custom homes, and why it’s becoming harder to find possible solutions. The good news is, this is not the case with Homes By Dickerson, we’ve prepared so that you can still build the custom home you’ve always dreamed of with our same proven process, despite today’s market.
What is a Custom or To-Be-Built Home?
A true custom home is one that you can personalize from the ground up. In some circles they are called “to-be-builts” — more on that in a bit. If a floor plan you like needs one extra bedroom or a study to accommodate your family, you can add it to a custom home. You can also select all the finishes — including flooring, cabinets, fixtures, paint, hardware, and more. The result is a one-of-a-kind home built exclusively to reflect your style and preferences.
When you invest in a custom home, no part of the home has been built yet; you are working with the construction and design teams to design it from square one. Hence the name “to-be-built” (you are buying the home before it actually exists). The benefit of the custom home design process is that it allows the buyer to make selections and even change their minds about finishes up to a certain point in the construction process. Traditionally, custom builders released their purchase orders in phases to manufacturers, giving the homeowner ultimate control and flexibility.
Today, it is becoming exceedingly rare for a home builder to be able to offer these kinds of fully customizable homes.
The Supply Chain Challenge
As we mentioned in our previous Raleigh housing market update, the building materials supply chain has been disrupted by a number of factors, including:
- The initial uncertainty of how the housing market would respond to the pandemic back in March 2020 — this caused many manufacturers to reduce or halt production at that time.
- The unprecedented surge in new home demand around April of 2020 — manufacturers were left scrambling to ramp up production to meet demand.
- Pandemic-related illnesses causing workers to be out of work for periods of time – resulting in slowed production.
- And today, because some builders have limited their product offerings to cope with lack of availability, some manufacturers have taken products offline so as not to end up with an oversupply.
These delays are impacting just about every material and product needed to build a new home, including lumber, lighting, plumbing fixtures, door and cabinet hardware, appliances, and more. The end result is that builders are finding it harder to offer custom design options when there’s no guarantee they can get those products, and at what cost. Instead, builders have turned to a “quick move-in home” model.
Quick Move-In Homes
Quick move-in homes, or “available homes” as they are sometimes called, are homes where construction has been started before they are listed for sale. The builder’s professional designers have pre-selected all features and finishes based on products that have guaranteed availability and price.
The upside to quick move-in homes is that construction of the home is already in progress by the time you sign the contract and you can move-in quicker compared to a custom home. The downside is that you do not have the opportunity to select preferred finishes or customize the floor plan. Builders have turned to this model in order to guarantee a beautifully-finished home for the buyer, and also to ensure they can continue to operate efficiently.
More and more, builders across the country are turning to the quick move-in model to continue to meet homebuyer demand and control escalating costs.
Homes By Dickerson Can Do Both
Home By Dickerson is in a unique position to offer our customers both fully custom homes and quick move-in homes. As a leading local custom home builder, we have great relationships with our trade partners and vendors that allow us to continue offering custom home options to our customers. Despite the fluctuations in the market, we’re proud to be able to offer the same custom experience we’ve always been known for. While build times may be just a bit longer for custom homes as sometimes it’s necessary to wait for a delayed product, the result is a masterfully-built Home of Your Life that includes every customization, feature, and finish you could wish for.
We will also continue to offer quick move-in homes throughout the Raleigh, Pinehurst, and Charleston markets complete with high-end, quality finishes that have been thoughtfully curated by our award-winning design team.
Even though the real estate market has been impacted by events beyond anyone’s control, it remains a great time to invest in a new home. At Homes By Dickerson, we are doing everything that we can to continue delivering exceptional custom and move-in ready homes that our customers love for a lifetime.