Are there affordable home builders near me? Yes. That’s the short answer. We’ll give the longer answer to fill in the blanks, but one of the most critical elements is you. You are a critical part of the process and should feel empowered to make the decisions that will result in a beautiful, comfortable, efficient, and, yes, affordable home. Experienced South Florida home builders not only listen to your needs and wants, they put them at the forefront of their processes, so you achieve results that make you feel right at home.
New home builders in South Florida should be able to sit down and talk with you in a sensible, stress-free way about how you can make your home uniquely yours without breaking the bank. To ensure those conversations are fruitful, know these nine tips for building an affordable home:
1. Choose Energy Efficiency
The most affordable homes to build are not always the most affordable homes to maintain. Many new homes are being built with energy-efficient upgrades and smart choices in design and materials. Many of these choices don’t cost any more than traditional ones do. Even if you do pay an extra few thousand in building an energy-efficient home, but you’re saving $1,000 a year on energy bills, you quickly start to see a return on that investment.
Better yet, this improves a home’s ability to build value over time. This helps keep the home’s value more consistent during economic downturns and enables you to sell higher when the market’s doing well. And if you’re not planning to sell for another 20 years, even better – your home will already be modernized for energy efficiency, and you won’t need to remodel anything just to catch up.
It’s true: energy efficiency is one of the greatest ways to future proof your home while drawing down costs. Energy efficiency relies on floor plans where the “behind the scenes” elements such as plumbing, wiring, and ductwork are compact and efficient. Winding ductwork ends up wasting a lot of air conditioning energy, whereas efficient, compact ductwork gets that cool air into the home immediately.
A few good, energy efficient materials may cost just a little bit more at the start – but they save you a ton as you operate the home. New home builders in South Florida are well versed in what minor costs will save you the most going forward. An energy efficient floor plan combined with affordable, energy efficient materials can mean hundreds or even thousands of dollars saved each year on energy bills.
This will also prolong the life of your HVAC systems so they’ll need less maintenance. They can last years longer before replacement. Energy efficiency also future proofs your home, making it more attractive and getting a better price should you choose to sell it years down the road. South Florida home builders are well aware how much energy efficiency ends up saving homeowners money very quickly.
2. Opt for Practicality
Many trends can complicate the design of a home or create needless complexities. Does your house really need to have so many gables that it begins to look like the Overlook Hotel? Do you need a sloped roof? Does the room design create so many angles and offsets that it feels like you’re playing Tetris with the electrical, piping, and insulation? Do you need a dozen non-weight bearing pillars just for show?
We’re exaggerating slightly to show you just how easy it is to hold on to an idea that really serves no functional purpose. And remember, these little architectural oddities may seem trendy today – but be dated tomorrow.
Sure, you can have each room adhere to a different theme. Just realize that you’re going to be picking out a wider range of materials, fixtures, and decorations that become more expensive. Often, new home builders in South Florida buy materials and fixtures in bulk for a range of homes they’re building. This saves them money, which saves you money.
New home builders will usually offer a choice of fixtures they get very good deals on. These are solid, reliable, and durable. Yeah, maybe you want a cowboy themed den and a living room from space, but those unique elements are going to add up quickly and are often far less durable. When you save on the little things by keeping the entire home consistent in design, that adds up room after room. The options home builders have will still cover a wide range of preferences, and should be more than enough to make you happy with your decisions.
3. Remember to Relax
The world is overwhelming. So much information is thrown at people that it’s nearly impossible to keep up. The answer isn’t to tune it out, but we also lose our ability to separate what’s important from what’s not if we can’t enjoy some peace and quiet. A home is where you wake up, and what you return to at the end of a workday. It needs to have relaxing elements for you.
There can be very simple answers for this. A patio with a good view of the evening skies, that you can walk out to from your bedroom or living room? That offers a moment of quiet and rest that’s unparalleled.
What about an attached garage so you don’t have to step out into the blazing sun or driving rain? That takes one of the day’s first frustrations off your plate.
Your home should be close to amenities you’ll use, too. Maybe that means a park where you’ll walk your dog. Maybe it means a gym is five minutes away instead of 15. Maybe it means movie theaters are close enough you can go see a film every week. It’s different for everybody.
What you should note is that each of these things is relatively inexpensive in the grand scheme of things. Patios are not extravagantly expensive. Attached garages are more affordable to build than detached ones. Location is a matter of what you like and won’t drive up prices – you’re looking for parks and gyms, not private lakes. These are all affordable elements that will help you be able to deal with the incredibly stressful world we live in today.
4. Stay Open
Elements like floor plans that keep consistency from one floor to the next or that create a natural flow throughout the house are key. Keeping these components consistent reduces the structural elements needed to make a home work, it lets you buy in bulk, and it reduces the number of problems that crop up during design, construction, and upkeep. That can make a home much more affordable to build and to maintain.
Open floor plans are often more energy efficient to begin with, and they combine affordability with style. To start with, when you use fewer walls, you need less material. That saves you a bit, but the key advantage of the open floor plan is that it makes every space in the home feel bigger.
How do open floor plans make a home with less square footage feel bigger than a home with more? Imagine two rooms: a medium-sized den and a medium-sized living room. Each can fit a few people until things start getting crowded. Walls and hallways in between make them feel closed off from each other, and they’re barely used at the same time anyway.
Now consider a larger multi-purpose room that’s the size of both. This is a spacious area that can accomplish nearly all of what those two separate rooms can. Walls and hallways aren’t taking up living area. By centering the entire home on such a spacious central area, it all feels more social, relaxing, and useful.
You can have a central, connected series of rooms that create the flow through the main house, including a great room that’s open to some of the other communal areas. Keeping rooms along opposite sides of the home (master bedroom on one side, children’s on the other) accomplishes two goals: it allows everyone personal spaces where they can enjoy privacy, and it keeps the open section of the home centralized. This last effect helps to focus on the size of the open space that forms the core of the home’s architecture.
Everyone still has private spaces such as bedrooms, or kitchens and laundry rooms for specific tasks. That open, multi-purpose room that makes the house feel more breathable will use less materials and allow for better energy efficiency.
In other words, when you’re asking, “Are there affordable home builders near me?” be sure you follow up with, “What kinds of floor plans do they offer?”
5. Avoid Chasing Trends
When you’re trying to keep up with trends, you can very quickly let a budget spin out of control. Half those trends will evaporate in the next few years, resulting in a home that feels immediately dated. No one who invested in shag carpet in the 1980s felt good about it by 1990. Folks who had their walls sponge painted in 1998 were having serious conversations with themselves about it by 2005.
Homes with features like these lose value quickly. Homeowners often have to pay extensively to overhaul these elements before even putting a home up for sale. What does this mean for you? Don’t chase trends just because they’re popular now.
This isn’t just about resale value. Trends tend to cost more, and return very little satisfaction for the investment. These elements will start feeling ancient to you in a few years, and you’ll become frustrated with your home because of them.
How do you separate trends from improved products? If you look for elements that are getting popular, look for why they’re getting popular now. Is the reason practical? For instance, carpets are seeing a rise in popularity because they’re much better constructed, offer wider ranges of patterns, offer hypo-allergenic versions, and last much longer than they used to. That’s a practical decision based on a product’s improvement, not a trend.
If you’re adhering to a style choice that offers no real practical use, that’s what you can identify as a trend and avoid. Make sure that what you’ll choose is something you’ll use.
Trends are particularly hot at any given time precisely because so many of them will fizzle out in a few short years. When you focus too much on them, you needlessly expand your budget. Not only this, but because your home will feel obsolete in 10 or 20 years, you’re limiting the sales value down the road. You’re costing yourself more today and in the future.
Include trends you like, but don’t make it the focus of the home – or even any given room.
6. Your Friends and Kids Are Great, But They Don’t Pay the Mortgage
It’s always good to have some input from your friends. Just remember at the end of the day that they won’t be living there. You will. What goes in your home is something that you’ll interact with every day. You wouldn’t include something expensive in your home just because a friend likes it any more than you’d let your friend dress you every day. Trust yourself to make the right choices. Your friends will have all sorts of ideas about your home and what you should do with it. Take their advice, and roll it into your own decision-making. Remember that at the end of the day, it is your home – not theirs.
New home builders in South Florida will know more about whether something is a smart idea than your best friend. Similarly, take into account what your children want, but don’t give them everything if it’s going to start racking up the price. Remember that you’re the best assessment of what they need in their daily lives, and a big home expense or hard-to-maintain material might be something they forget about as soon as you spend too much money on it. Stick to your concepts and pass them by experts.
7. Tour Other Homes
Maybe you’re not buying other homes, but you should still tour a few. Make sure you also tour model homes on offer from South Florida home builders. Even if you’re having your own built, seeing other examples helps you think about what you want in a more practical way. You’ll see ways that other homes have saved on costs without impacting their livability. That can give you ideas that help you ask questions of your own home builder.
When you see their model homes, you can also point out an adjustment you’d like to make or element that you really enjoy. You may end up borrowing some of their best ideas and this is fine. After all, they’re already experts at making those ideas happen in an affordable way.
New home builders in South Florida will jump at the chance to show off their work and talk to you about it. This is their pride and work.
Everyone has the idea of a perfect home in mind, but that idea isn’t static. It’s informed by what you see, and you can’t improve and evolve that idea without seeing what else works in other homes in the area.
8. Choose Your Materials Wisely
Be willing to make concessions about material choice. The most affordable homes to build are the ones that don’t require you to pay top dollar on every single element. There are many choices that will last just as long and serve just as well.
Consider alternatives to some of your most expensive material choices. Granite countertops are very costly, for instance. Laminate can mimic granite’s look perfectly, and it’s exceptionally durable. That’s a big savings.
When you open a door, do you really find yourself thinking about its quality? Is it really going to gnaw at your soul that a bedroom door is paint grade instead of stain-grade, or molded instead of engineered wood? You’re just going to worry that it looks good, and opens and closes. Yet that difference can save you hundreds of dollars per door.
If you choose more expensive options, make sure they’re the kind that will save you money down the road. Glazed windows are a good investment because they won’t let much cool air inside your home escape. Good insulation is worth a little more to lower your energy bills and extend the life of your HVAC.
Granite countertops won’t do that. Stain-grade doors won’t do that. There are many durable materials that are less expensive than their “luxury” alternatives, they do the job just as well. Make sure you consider them.
9. Cut & Spend for Effect
This doesn’t mean you need to cut everything to the bone. You have a budget. If you cut in one place, you can still spend in others so long as you keep within the lines.
If you want an element in your home that pops out and really impresses your guests, you’re not going to put it in someone’s bedroom. It’s going to be front and center. Maybe it will be a beautiful piece of statement lighting, like this Glimmer Four-Light Island Light, in your foyer or over your dining room table – someplace where guests are sure to see it. Maybe you enjoy hosting cookouts, so you add a Holcombe Wall Lantern or two to an expanded patio area to wow your guests with a sleek, industrial design.
The flipside of that is that maybe you’re less worried about guests and more about self-care. Maybe your job is hard and you work extraordinarily long hours. The guests will be fine with a good old kitchen table or living room couch; what you really need is a hot tub or a whirlpool bath in the master bedroom. If you have trouble sleeping, smart lighting that emulates the daylight outside can be a wonderfully healthy investment. If you have kids, a big yard they can safely run in will keep them and you happy.
Saving doesn’t mean that you can’t spend a little extra on something you’ll genuinely enjoy and use on a regular basis. It means staying within a budget. Make smart cuts in some areas so you can splurge a little extra in others.
Most showrooms are more expensive than their warehouse and online alternatives. It’s smart to go to showrooms to get an idea of what’s out there, but don’t feel as if you have to make a purchase that day. Write down the makes and models of what you like, or the features that stand out most, and then look for them online and at discount warehouses.
The more you comparison shop, the more you’ll find you can save hundreds and even thousands by identifying alternatives that are less expensive without trading quality away. It’ll take a little practice to get fast and efficient at comparison shopping, but it’s well worth it. The one area we’d say to be careful is in plumbing fixtures – make extra sure that the housings match up.
Remember that the goal is to come in under a budget. It’s not to make the most affordable house possible. If you cut in one area and really want to spend in another, don’t feel bad about it. Sometimes cutting one thing out means you can add something else you’d crossed off your list. If you’re still under your budget, you’re OK. It’s your new home, and the things that allow you to live in it the way you want do matter.
New home builders in South Florida are able to find the best, most efficient ways to include the luxuries you want and need, so work with them on making your home both affordable and a place you’ll love to live.
So, if you find yourself asking, “Are there affordable home builders near me?” look for experienced South Florida home builders that can help you make the best choices from start to finish. Remember, you can realize the most affordable homes to build by letting your savvy consumer side come out! Need help? Contact Synergy Homes for more tips and advice!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2018 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.