Frequently Asked Questions
01 What is the value proposition for having a new "Design to Build" custom home constructed - versus purchasing an already existing home?
While it may be more convenient for you to purchase an already existing home, the biggest single disadvantage is that you will not get "exactly" what you want.
You will be settling for certain things - because they are already there - and you cannot change them.
In contrast, when you choose to design and build a custom home, whether on your lot or ours - YOU make the design choices regarding everything you want in your dream home! For many, this factor alone is sufficient reason to choose designing and building, over purchasing, an existing product.
But there are many other advantages as well. For example, building a new custom home to your precise specifications can lead to a level of satisfaction that you cannot achieve through buying an existing home.
There can also be cost savings associated with a design to build project. Illustratively, you don't have to pay for anything that you don't want included in the build. You determine the cost categories of granite, flooring, cabinets, and appliances in contrast to them chosen by someone else in an already built home. In addition, you can save money on realtor fees.
Finally, there is a definite feeling of an emotional connection to designing and living in a new home that YOU have created: Examples include the brand of stove you have chosen with the exact number of burners located precisely where you want it to be, the brand and size of refrigerator you want, the number of dishwashers, specific color of stained wood flooring you picked, and the specific custom paint colors you want for the walls.
When you choose a Design to Build custom home - the home you move into is your creation! It matches your life style and personality. It is uniquely yours!
02 What are the disadvantages of a "design to build" project?
While there are a huge number of advantages to your doing a design to build project, there are also several disadvantages associated with such a project. Disadvantages include the fact that it takes a significant amount of time to design a home and have it built for you in contrast to simply walking in and purchasing an already existing home.
It can also be a complex and somewhat perplexing task if you have never previously designed and built a new custom home.
Summarily, if you try to do it on your own without guidance, the probability is extremely high that you will mess it up. This factor alone underscores the importance of choosing the correct builder. In other words, your builder must not only have the ability to build to your technical specifications, but they should also be the kind of builder who you feel comfortable discussing and collectively making decisions with - because you will doing that a lot - throughout the design and build process.
03 What is a typical time frame for a Design to Build project?
We have found that once decisions are made regarding preliminary home style, size, and price, it generally takes approximately 3 months to have the architect and ground engineer design the home and prepare build and site plans. County and Virginia Department of Transportation approval takes an additional 3 to 4 months. Following that, dependent on the size and complexity of the build, it will take from 6 to 9 months to complete the build and have it ready for occupancy.
04 Are green homes healthier and provide more cost savings than traditional builds?
This is the precise reason why our company has become qualified to build certified green LEED homes - healthier and more luxuriously elegant than traditional builds - for customers who are interested in taking advantage of building green. See the LEED section of this website.
Illustratively, on average, new green-certified homes sell for approximately 8 percent more than non-certified green homes. They also sell significantly faster than traditional homes when put on the market. Research has demonstrated that a LEED certified green home will use at least 30 to 60% less energy than a traditional build - before - the addition of solar. This provides our home buyers with thousands of dollars in savings over the five to seven years that a typical family lives in their home in this area before a resale.
Monthly energy savings, living in a healthier home that is increasing in value, and which will sell quicker than traditional homes when or if you decide to sell - a very compelling business case!
We at Virginia Luxury Homes can and do build both green certified and non-green homes- according to our homeowner preferences - and budgetary considerations.
05 Can Virginia Luxury Homes help a new Design to Build custom home buyer save money?
The following are examples of how we do so: (1) our company has compiled an extensive list of quality vendors for different home styles for every design choice decision - and we are able to recommend those vendors who compliment our customer’s life style, interests/needs, and budget for their new custom home. Our customers are able to take advantage of this list of numerous vendors, or can come up with other suppliers they would prefer, and do not need to be limited to the select few vendors generally provided by traditional builders, (2) it has been our experience that with the assistance of our involvement, the new home buyer will be able to save money on certain selections which can allow them to spend more on other selections while still staying within their allocated budget or even save money in general while still meeting their needs, and (3) we work diligently to ensure that our home buyers do not make poor design choices that could potentially have costly implications – thus saving considerable money in the process.
The reason we provide these services is to add value for our home buyers while making their decision making process as seamless, and comfortable, as possible. We have found that typical builders do not provide this level of professional expertise or offer their customers literally an unlimited number of design or support services. It is much more cost efficient to limit the number of design choices and vendors in order to minimize the amount of time spent with the home buyer. We do the opposite for our customers at Virginia Luxury Homes.
06 Are square footage costs a good differentiator between builders?
We have found that for many reasons it is not. The reason is that it often turns out to be an apples to bananas comparison. In other words, we have found that generally square footage costs in this area range from $160 per square foot to $375. Illustratively, the customer could think that for $160 per square foot, he would be receiving high end brand name appliances, hardwood flooring, cabinets, granite, and tile; instead of lower end brand name appliances, hardwood flooring and cabinets; when they are not.
Our approach is to sit down with the home buyer, explain the build process, determine where they are in regard to finalization of home style, size, and other life style preferences, together with approximate budget anticipations and constraints. Through this process, we assist the home buyer to determine precisely what they want and can afford in their new build including style, size, and features.
While our approach may take longer than other builders, our home buyers have expressed that they (1) were very comfortable with the process (2) felt they were an integral part of all applicable decisions being made regarding the home build project (3) appreciated the guidance and assistance in decision-making we offered throughout the process, (4) believed we met their budgetary constraints, and (5) were delighted with the finished home they moved into.
07 What is the builder’s value proposition?
The business mission and objectives of our company are : (1) to help our new home buyer customers comfortably design their new custom home with our assistance (2) to build our customer’s home in the time frame we commit to (3) with as few disruptions as possible, and (4) to have our home buyers so highly satisfied with their new home that they will enthusiastically recommend Virginia Luxury Homes and our build process to others.
We strive to achieve each of these objectives in a highly professional manner. This is accomplished by initially developing a close working relationship with the customer, then clearly communicating the customer's wants and needs to all company staff, the architect, and to all other appropriate artisans and vendors throughout the build process.
Interfacing with the customer in this manner, and ensuring that the new home buyer has all design decisions comfortably made within the required time frame – helps Virginia Luxury Homes achieve our goal of being able to personally and professionally delight our new home buyers during an incredibly smooth, comfortable, and complimentary build process.
08 What kind of services does Virginia Luxury Homes provide?
As a company, we believe in the importance of providing options for our customers. Accordingly:
We can build on property you already own
We can help you find land that you want us to build on
We can offer you one of our own new home construction lots that we are planning to build on, or
We can sell you one of our current Virginia Luxury Home build projects that is in the process of being finished or has just completed construction
We can offer extensive renovation services for our clients who prefer to stay in their own homes
09 Who are our clients?
Our target market is focused on individuals who are interested in learning more about having a custom Design to Build home built for them on their lot, on our lot, or on a lot we find for them. Generally, we build in the McLean, Falls Church, Great Falls, Arlington, Vienna, and Reston areas. Our clientele are from various occupations and ethnic backgrounds.
10 Do you provide a free no obligation consultation?
Absolutely. We have also found that this is the best possible way to learn more about the possibility of your building a new custom home and who and what we are as a company. We would be delighted to either come to your home or place of your convenience and discuss the entire process of home building with you as well as the advantages and disadvantages of building a green LEED certified custom home. The visit would be totally complimentary. Please be assured that that this would be a completely open and no pressure type of discussion.
11 Do you provide assistance with financing associated with a new custom build project?
Yes. Our president has excellent relationships and contacts with the banking and financial institutions in this area. Accordingly, he is able to work as a liaison between our new customer and banking institutions to secure construction loans at attractive rates, as well as permanent mortgages following the build process, per customer qualifications.