Building your retirement home in Sequim or Port Angeles can be a positive or negative experience. There really is a proven method to make it a positive experience, and a large part of that success is knowing how to avoid the pitfalls and traps for the unwary. The problem is that most people are unaware of the areas where people have the majority of the problems and stress. This blog helps consumers avoid those nightmares by revealing what the traps are, and this blog continues to educate freely to help consumers with solutions to the challenges they face in building a home. The first major hurdle every retiree will face is selecting a home builder, and that is the single most important decision you will make, because everything else (good or bad) follows that decision.
Far too many retirees select a home builder and/or an architect, but later regret their decision, because they hired the wrong person. Here is a recent comment this author received from a retired couple.
We did do our homework in trying to have our home built. We still do not understand with the market down and continuing to go down, why contractors are not interested in “dealing”. They may change around some figures, but the costs seem to still be stuck in the range of building a custom home from 3 years ago. The architect said, it is a good time to build due to cost of materials being down. I did not see that on our bids at all ! The biggest surprise was finding out about the cost of sales tax tapped on which we were not aware of. Only one architect had it listed on the bid and that is why the question came up. We were mad because we had told the architect do not give us surprises ! This was a big one which of course, cut into our budget. The word budget did not mean a thing to anyone ! . . . Our project just kept growing like a weed. . . . The eye opener for us is when we called the county to check to see if all was in order when we filed the building permit only to be told the county was still waiting for items the architect was supposed to take care of and did not. . . . There must be others out there who have been in our situation, but afraid to post or embarrassed that they got hooked.
This couple got caught by a trap for the unwary and they selected the wrong home builder and the wrong architect. That should be obvious. It seems clear that they were not treated fairly, that there were incompetent or unprofessional people involved, and that there were intentional or unintentional misrepresentations made to this couple. But ALL of these issues could have been completely avoided if this couple had made a wise decision to hire the right builder and the right architect. Who is the right builder and the right architect?
Wouldn’t you like the opportunity to decide for yourself? Honesty in your dealings from the very beginning, full disclosure, integrity in the professionals you deal with, and helping you know exactly what is involved in building your home is not something you will get from all builders, nor from all architects.
You can have a free consultation with an experienced professional who will answer your questions and help you decide how to select your home builder and your architect, and this will cost you nothing. Call Chuck Marunde at 360-775-5424 for an appointment. There are no hooks. Just honesty and professionalism combined with experience (experience from the school of hard knocks).
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Sequim custom home builder Rick Anderson builds custom homes in Sequim and Port Angeles, and his most recent home is under construction right now.
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What does it take to be a great Sequim Home Builder, or a quality custom home builder? Answer: It’s not quite what the vast majority of consumers think. Many people honestly think that all builders or most builders are pretty much the same, and that if they are given a set of house plans, the final result is the same basic construction. And believe it or not, a majority (yes, I did mean majority) of consumers who have not had the experience of having several homes built in their lifetime, think that they should go with the lowest bidder and that otherwise there really is no difference between the bids or builders.
For those of us who have been around the construction business for a long time, we know that good home builders are few and far between. Rick and Marilyn are having this home shown in the photograph built right now. Rick Anderson of Anderson Homes is building it. Watching a home like this go up from ground level and seeing the detail involved with selecting and filtering through the lumber, watching that the right sub-flooring is installed, paying attention to a thousand details that define quality, really clarifies the stunning difference between home builders, even Sequim home builders.
I recommend not just talking with Rick Anderson, but interviewing him and having conversations with him that will help you understand the quality and integrity of Anderson Homes. You’ll be very glad you spent the time.
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What if you could get three tips for building your home from a very experienced home builder, a very experienced real estate attorney, and a very experienced real estate broker? Would that advice be worth reading? Well, here it is, but let me say at the outset, most people who have not had a home built before will probably not appreciate what his behind years of experience from the school of hard knocks. Usually, as human beings we don’t realize our need for information or the relevance of information until we get burned badly. Well, here are three key tips that have relevance for building your retirement home in Sequim or Port Angeles, and hopefully this information will be useful and help you avoid the all-too-common nightmare scenario of conflict with a contractor.
1. Meet with two or three builders, discuss your home building plans, and discern the differences between builders.
Find out if your builder can actually build your home with the vision you have. Most builders, especially since the recession, have restricted their building to a limited number of floor plans, and they do not allow deviations, and if they do, the additional costs may be outrageous. What you want, to state the obvious, is a home builder who will build the home of your dreams without compromising quality at a price within your budget. While many builders will nod their heads yes, yes, yes, and have you sign a contract, many clients find out they did not get what they thought they bargained for. For many builders, it is a business and a numbers game. But not for you. Find a builder who has the kind of integrity to get on the same sheet of music as you.
2. Compare builders on prices and their contract terms.
Here is where the greatest trap is for the unwary but honest client. The vast majority of clients will use the lowest bid as the number one and only determining factor in selecting a builder. I know, you’re thinking, “No that can’t be true. I would never do that.” But after all the years of being in business for the three experts mentioned above, this really is true–to the detriment of many good people.
It is so easy for a contractor to look at someone else’s bid and undercut it. Every time. Of course, you should not show the bids to the next contractor. Let them do their own bid without any idea what the other bids are. But here’s where it gets tricky, because builders have learned the games and many know how to win, i.e. get you to sign a contract. Many bids do not include basic or standard materials or fixtures that another bid may include. Be sure you are comparing apples with apples. Once you do have two or three bids in hand, go back to the higher bidder and have him explain why his bid is higher. You may be surprised to learn that his bid may not actually be higher when you find out what the other contractors left out that you will have to add later after you have signed the contract.
3. Discern differences in construction quality.
If only clients could know what goes on behind the scenes during the construction of a home. There are so many short cuts that subcontractors and a general contractor can take, it would shock most clients if they found out. Many homes look good when they are finished, but if the clients only knew what was not done under the house, in the concrete, in the walls during framing or insulating, in the attic, and so on. I once had a client who showed up one day after it had been raining, and the subs were actually trying to close in the walls even though they had not been dried out with heaters since the rain, and the sub-flooring and walls were visibly wet. Can you imagine the mold that could build up in the walls without you knowing it until years later?
A book could be written on each of these subjects, but if you take these three tips seriously, you can avoid some major nightmares. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to email us here. All our answers are honest and consistent.
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Looking for a Sequim contractor or Sequim home builder? In the early 2000′s, builders were very busy, but starting in 2008, home building came to a screeching halt. One should be cautious when hiring a builder in these challenging times, because things are not always what they seem. One of the most important untold stories is the story of how the vast majority, I repeat “vast majority,” of home builders around the country build to look good but not with quality construction beneath the surface.
I call this the most important untold story, because the vast majority of consumers truly don’t know how building shortcuts with material and labor effect the quality and long term comfort of their home. One could write a book on this subject, but consumers probably wouldn’t read it until they had already hired the wrong builder. For now let’s just touch on one simple issue, and there must be a hundred like this one.
A client recently asked custom home builder Rick Anderson about the risk of sub-flooring getting wet and swelling, which could eventually cause problems with the flooring, like creaking. Rick is building a home for clients from Henderson, Nevada in a beautiful area not far from the Dungeness Spit in Sequim.
The vast majority of contractors will save money wherever they can, including sub-flooring. Rick explained to his client that if it rains on the sub-flooring before the house is closed in, not only does he dry the interior thoroughly with heaters before covering the floors and framing (believe it or not some builders do not thoroughly dry the interior), he also spends the extra money out of his pocket to install sub-flooring that does not swell at the seams even if it does get wet. Ever wonder why your floor squeaks? This is why, but Rick Anderson’s homes do not have squeaky floors. Not even after 10 or 20 years. Again, this is not something consumers know about, and your average builder will never raise it.
What if you could hire a home builder who cared about the quality of your home because of his own integrity? What if you could hire a Sequim contractor who was bluntly honest with you about the true costs of building your home, and didn’t use cheap materials or take labor short cuts to increase his own profits? Novel concept.
Call Rick Anderson for an appointment now at 360-452-4641.
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Interested in Port Angeles land for sale in a great subdivision? There may be a large inventory of existing homes on the market, but many retirees from California and elsewhere are not finding that perfect home with the kitchen just the way they want it, or with the right floor plan. Some who find a home with an acceptable kitchen and a reasonably acceptable floor plan often do not like the location. So do what some retirees are doing. Buy a lot in the perfect location and have a quality home builder create that perfect home for you. Here is a subdivision developed by one of the areas premier developers and home builders. Take a look at this Port Angeles subdivision by clicking on the image below.
For another view see Port Angeles land for sale.
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Are Sequim contractors building homes? Not really. The market for new homes really took a hit this past year. But there is a change afoot, and buyers are starting to build again. I spent time with two different couples recently looking at homes and lots. With as many homes on the market as there are, you would think that a buyer from out of state could come and find the perfect home and buy it at a super price in this real estate market. Not so, and this is what is causing so many buyers to seriously consider buying a lot and having a Sequim contractor build their home. Let me explain why.
After looking at hundreds of homes on the Internet and then a couple of dozen homes in the Sequim area after they arrived, Dick and Mary simply could not find the perfect retirement home. There was something wrong with each one. But after looking at dozens of lots throughout the Sequim area, one lot hit the bell, and the price was substantially below the competition.
A gorgeous 1+ acre with utilities already installed, including water, and only a standard septic system required, made this lot priced at about $100,000 (keeping the exact price confidential) about $40,000 less than the other attractive lots. There’s no water view, but there is a very peaceful view of a valley of fields and a little view of the Olympic Mountains, and it’s a short walk to the beach and the spit.
This is a case where the buyer’s perfect house plan will be built on the perfect lot in Sequim. This is what it’s all about.
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Buyers from Nevada have hired a custom home builder, Rick Anderson, because they wanted their ideal retirement home but could not find it in the existing inventory of homes for sale, even in this market where the inventory is large. How can that be?
You would think that with so many homes for sale and with prices lower than they’ve been in a long time, that there would be any number of homes to pick from, but it ain’t so!
Rick and Marilyn sold their home in Henderson, Nevada, and planned to buy a home in Sequim, their ideal retirement home, the home they plan to live in the rest of their lives. After months of communicating by email and on the phone, we narrowed down the list of prospects to about a dozen homes. But none of these homes had all of the features they wanted, and only a couple of them had the panoramic view of the Olympic Mountain range.
Some homes came close, but Rick and Marilyn didn’t want to compromise for less than they wanted, especially because this is what they are calling their last home. This is totally understandable. Who wants to live out their retirement dream in a home that isn’t really what you would call your perfect home?
While we were driving around we began to look at lots. Standing on a gorgeous five acre lot in Sequim with a stunning panoramic view of the Olympic Mountains answered their questions. Before making an offer they met with Rick Anderson to discuss building their own home, and then they spent time walking the lot with Rick to consider a site plan and their ideal house plan.
Rick and Marilyn were able to share with Rick Anderson what they wanted most in a home, and with some adjustments to a beautiful architectural plan, one Rick had built for previous clients, they were able to focus in on the perfect home on the perfect lot in the perfect little Rain Shadow known as Sequim.
Their home is a single level craftsman style with lots of natural light and huge window facing the mountains, hardwood floors throughout the house, except for the bedrooms with carpet and the kitchen with tile floors. The countertops will be granite and the cabinets are to be custom built to match the overall scheme. They chose high quality appliances, because for Rick and Marilyn the kitchen is a showroom destination in their home.
Are Rick and Marilyn excited? In abbreviated form like the texting kids do on cell phones these days, the answer would be “OMG,” which of course stands for “Oh my God!” Yes, these clients are excited. Yes, they cannot wait to get their home built and get moved in. Yes, I am invited to dinner in their new home.
If you can’t find an existing home that really turns you on, maybe you should consider building. Many are these days, and it may be the answer to living in the ideal retirement home.
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