Happy Holidays!

Renee and I would like to wish everyone the Happiest of Holidays!

This has been another banner year for Pacific Coast Construction Group, Inc. and we want to express our sincere thanks to all of our wonderful buyers and clients, as well as those that work hard every day to help us keep delivering high quality homes at a fair price.

Modifying an Existing Floor Plan

Lately we have worked with quite a few clients that visited one of our homes and liked almost everything about a floor plan but desired some small changes to make it perfect for their family.   It has been everything from converting a bathroom to a Jack and Jill style for two children, reconfiguring a great room a bit, to just moving a fireplace or a kitchen island.

Often times a potential buyer may not have any idea how feasible it is to make such changes.  The real estate professionals we work with try to encourage open communication and an exchange of ideas.  There hasn’t been a client that we haven’t been able to accommodate yet.  We have all of our plans as CAD files, and making changes is very straightforward.  Sometimes it takes a couple of revisions to get exactly what the client is looking for, but working together we will get there.

We receive a lot of comments about how many great floor plans we have.  That is because we are dedicated to listening and making sure we have floor plans that reflect the way most people want to use and live in the space.   Buyers can have different needs and desires though, and that’s where making changes, or doing a complete design/build process comes in. By being dedicated to building the home the client wants we end up with extremely happy and satisfied homeowners.

One Way to Get the Home You Want

We do quite a few design/build projects, but we often have clients that aren’t comfortable with designing a custom home from scratch because they want to be able to actually see the spaces beforehand.  Not everyone is comfortable assessing what a space will be like from a blue print, or even a 3-D rendering.

One solution that has worked well for many of our clients is to visit several of our homes and talk about spaces they like, how they  may like to change or reorient  certain spaces, etc.  For example, we recently had a couple that really liked our Chukar Butte 4 car garage floor plan.  They have two daughters and really wanted a Jack and Jill bath for them.  The standard floor plan has a second master suite and they didn’t want one daughter feeling the other had a better room with her own bathroom.  Other than that, the floor plan is perfect for them.   Very simple solution, we are reorienting things a bit to add a Jack and Jill bathroom with each girl having her own vanity on her side of the bathroom, and a shared tub/shower and toilet area.  Where a full hall bath was will become a powder bath for guest use.

We are currently working with two other clients that are making some modifications to our popular Grouse Valley floor plan to make it ideal for their families.   Being able to actually stand in the various rooms of the home and talk about the way their families live and use spaces makes it a very natural, easy process.  We are very involved in the process and are there to answer questions about costs, load bearing walls, truss changes, etc., so the client is aware of the options and costs, and what may or may not be feasible.

Such personal attention is one of the advantages of working with a boutique builder like Pacific Coast Construction Group, Inc.

How to Spot Enduring Quality

Have you ever noticed something that most new homes and model homes have in common?  They all look great when they’re new.  Unfortunately, many builders cut corners on some methods and materials and such homes may not stand the test of time as well as one with better craftsmanship and materials.   There can be tremendous difference between the quality of materials used, even on homes in the same price range.  I hope to give you a few things you can look for to help you spot some common differences and make a more informed buying decision.

One of the areas where many builders try to save a few buck is on carpet.  Face it, most carpet looks pretty nice when it’s new.  Many buyers rely largely upon the feel of the carpet, but that doesn’t always tell the whole story.  There are carpets that may feel or look luxurious, but they may be inexpensive carpets that don’t wear well.  Don’t hesitate to ask what type of carpet is in a home, and then check with a floor covering store in the area and ask questions about it.  Don’t just get the brand, get the name of the specific carpet.  One thing to watch for in two story floor plans is if the carpet in the living areas is the same as on the stairs.  Some builders will use an inexpensive carpeting in the living areas, but know that if they use that same carpet on the stairs, it will be obvious how inexpensive and sparse the threads are where it wraps over the stair bullnose.  They will use a better quality carpet on the stairs.  Make sure you know what type of carpet you are getting in a potential new home. It’s a wear item, and it’s something that builders like Pacific Coast Construction Group, Inc. considers when choosing carpet for our homes.  We use a better grade of carpeting than the majority of our competitors do even at higher price points.  We don’t want the carpeting in our homes to only look good on the move in day. We want it to endure for many years.

Don’t assume those great looking wood floors are really wood.  Many builders install click style laminate flooring, and once it’s down, it can be difficult to tell the difference and unless you ask, you may not know until it’s too late.  There are many traditional and engineered hard wood flooring products that wear and last much better than the inexpensive  laminates that many builders are installing.  Again, they look great when new.   Another option for some people are the luxury vinyl products like luxury vinyl planks (LVP). Most folks can’t tell the difference between a high quality LVP and real wood, and it wears extremely well. In fact, it’s often used in high traffic commercial applications.  Know what’s on the floors of the homes you are looking at.  If two similar homes have similar prices see if one might be using vinyl flooring in bathrooms where the other may be tile.  You don’t always pay more for a home with higher quality materials, and over time such materials actually save money on maintenance and replacement costs.

When you are touring a home take a look under the kitchen sink and the vanities.  See if the craftsman that installed the cabinets just cut a large square or rectangular hole in the back of the cabinet to go over the plumbing protrusions, or if they cut individual holes for each of the penetrations.  It’s an easy way to check on the builders commitment to spending a little more time to do a better job.  If they’re focused on bottom dollar pricing they probably utilize a cut-rate craftsman that cuts corners where they can to save time.

Try to go through builders homes at various stages.  Go through at the framing stage.  Look to see if there are multiple nails protruding through the top plates of the walls, and if many nails missed the studs and are just sticking through the sheathing, not hitting any framing members.  In general, does the builder keep the job site clean and safe?  See if you can go in a home right after it’s insulated, but prior to drywall being installed.  Look behind insulation to see if there is sawdust and debris from plumbers and electricians drilling through the studs.  The vast majority of builders leave such debris because they know it will never be seen.

During construction is the job site kept neat and orderly, free of excess debris? Often attention to such things can be an indication of a builders overall level of concern for details and worker environment and safety.

If any of us at Pacific Coast Construction Group, Inc. can be of any help, or answer any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

How to Find a Builder When Moving to a New Area

Each year there are a number of families that find themselves moving to a new area due to a new job,  a job transfer, or to be closer to family.  Whatever the reason you may find yourself moving and looking for a new home, you may find yourself wondering how to go about finding a home builder you can trust to build your new home.

If you are working with an agent on the sale of an existing home you can ask them to find you an agent to work with in the new area.  This may not always be the best choice. If your agent works for one of the nationally franchised offices they are likely to refer you to an agent that works for the same agency in the new area.  That may not always be the best choice for you.  Either ask your agent to find you an agent that specializes in new construction, regardless of agency affiliation, or conduct the search yourself.  Typically the referring agent will get a referral fee from the other agent, so don’t be shy about asking them to do a little work on your behalf to make sure they find an agent that suits your needs.

Remember that Google is your friend.  Try different search terms to find home builders in your new area.  Check out some of their websites and compile a list of the builders that appeal to you the most.  Call and talk to a couple of builders and see how you feel about them after talking and asking some questions.  Find out if there are particular developments or areas they may be building in.  They may have lots available in an area that you are interested in.

Most often when visiting a builder’s website you will see which agent is representing the builder.  You may start to notice there are agents that represent more than one builder. There are agents that specialize in new construction and represent more than one builder. When using Google to search terms related to home building you may also find agents specializing in new construction. Contacting one of these agents may be a very good idea.  They can be a great resource for information about which areas are most desirable, new subdivisions that may coming online, and general pricing information for new construction.

By doing a little online research well in advance of your move you can save quite a bit of time and help ensure a good experience when you are ready to start the exciting process of building a new home for your family.  When you have a chance, if you have picked an agent, spend some time meeting with them in person, and schedule meetings with the builders on your short list.  Visit some of the builder’s homes.  Typically there will be a builder that you click best with, and the best way to find that builder is to spend some time talking with a few.  In a future article I will talk about some of the questions you should ask a prospective builder.

Fantastic Double Master Spec Started!

One of the things that we have heard a lot during the last year is a desire for double master bedroom floor plans.  There seem to be a variety of reasons for this desire, from an older teenager having their own space, or for a parent living with the family, or simply for a nice guest suite.

We have just started a wonderful new double master floor plan at 8153 W. 9th Avenue in the ever popular Hansen Park development.  The trusses were just set yesterday, and it is abundantly clear already that this floor plan is amazing.  Soaring 11′ ceilings in the living, kitchen, dining and den areas.   As soon as you step through the front door you immediately feel a sense of volume and space.  The living area features one of our signature large window units that have been so popular.  I will post pictures and updates as this home progresses.

This home will no doubt sell prior to completion. If you are in the market for a wonderful new home in one of Kennewick’s best areas with great schools, and have considered a double master floor plan you need to call our professional broker Chris Powell.  Priced thousands below comparable homes this one won’t last long.

Open Houses This Weekend!

If you are one of the families that decided to stay off the roads and stay closer to home this weekend we will have a couple of open houses for you to attend.

 

Saturday the 1st our home at 90502 Summit View Drive will be open from 1:00 – 3:00.  This home is completely done and the landscaping will be completed next week. This home sets on a very nice 1/2 acre lot that will be fully landscaped and irrigated.

 

Sunday the 2nd our home at 635 S. Hawaii Place in desirable Hansen Park will be open from 1:00- 3:00. This home is fully landscaped and is move in ready in the beautiful lake area.

 

It will be the builders, Jeff and Renee Kruger hosting these opens. Stop by and check out these beautiful homes and chat with them.