Welcome to Southern Serenity Homes

Top 5 Things Overlooked When Picking Out Floor Plans

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When you are building a new home, choosing a floor plan is one of the first and most important decisions that you will make. Choosing a floor plan requires that you consider your current needs as well as your future needs. As you consider which floor plan is best for your family, keep these top five factors in mind.

1. Traffic Flow

Unless you live alone and do not have people over, choosing a floor plan that facilitates good traffic flow will be important. Some considerations with traffic flow include the placement of heavily or frequently used rooms, such as half-baths and kitchens. Placing these two rooms too close to each other can create a traffic headache during the busiest times of your day.

2. Accessibility

Choosing a floor plan for your home also requires that you keep accessibility in mind. If you plan to live in your new home for a long time, you may wish to include features such as wide doorways that could accommodate a wheelchair or walker. You might also want to consider accessible plumbing fixtures, cabinets and drawers. These features will allow you to enjoy your new home and will allow you to accommodate guests with disabilities.

3. Schedules

If you are an early riser, you may not want your master bedroom or child’s bedroom to be located directly above the kitchen or garage. Kitchen activities and the opening and closing of the garage door produce a lot of noise that can disturb other members of your household. Although schedules can change, it is important to consider when and how each area of your home will be used.

4. Safety and Privacy

Your home’s floor plan will have a considerable impact on its safety. You may wish to have some areas of your home more private so that guests do not have access to them. This might mean a second-level master suite and nursery. You may also wish to have a sort of buffer zone between your front door and living room or your attached garage and the living areas.

5. Room to Grow

If there is a possibility that your household could grow in size because of a new baby, a child returning home after college or even the addition of a family pet, choose a floor plan that offers room to grow. Flexible spaces such as dens that double as bedrooms may be a good option for growth.

Why Choose a Custom Home Builder Instead of Spec or Tract

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Most people can easily understand the difference between a custom home builder and a production builder, but what about tract and spec builders? How do they truly differ from each other, and why is a custom home builder generally considered to be the best choice?

A Matter of Building Volume and Design

The residential building industry is cyclical for reasons that transcend economic conditions. During peak periods of housing demand, for example, production builders tend to be very active because they are able to add many housing units in a reasonable amount of time. In other words, production builders are able to stabilize the market to some extent.

Tract builders are high volume residential developers that can add single-family residences or condominium units very quickly and efficiently. Tract builders are experts at managing large projects and saving money with cookie-cutter floor plans; they can also reduce costs by cutting back on features and extras.

Betting on the Housing Market

Active housing markets are also stimulated by speculation, which is when spec builders come in. “Spec” is short for speculative, which explains the risk that these builders are willing to take.

Spec builders usually develop smaller neighborhoods where they can apply a certain architectural vision they hope will attract prospective buyers. Spec homes tend to cost a lot more than those developed by tract builders, and they tend to be driven by an interesting strategy of neighbor envy.

A typical move by spec builders is to enter a master-planned development experiencing demand. After some market research, spec builders choose a few floor plans that they can offer with extras and special configurations that merit a higher price. The idea is to develop with more aesthetics to provide higher quality of life and attract buyers who are willing to pay more than their neighbors.

The Role of the Custom Home Builder

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If you want to own a property that you can really call your own, you should contact a custom home builder. As long as you follow the residential zoning laws and abide by municipal codes, you should be able to partner with a custom home builder who can bring your residential vision to life.

Large home builders these days may conduct tract and spec building operations and still operate a custom building division. Custom builders listen to their clients before presenting floor plan ideas. One of the immediate goals is to provide flexible choices that fit the budget of prospective home buyers.

The advantage of the custom builder option is that you get to be involved in the design and construction process as it is being developed. Unlike with tract and spec builders, you can influence the finished property according to your needs.

Luxury Home Building Tips

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If you are planning on paying a premium to create the home of your dreams, you deserve a contractor that will respect your investment. Since not every luxury home builder is created equal, you should take your time before deciding on the contractor that will meet your needs. What exactly should you be looking for before making your decision?

Is Your Luxury Home Builder Ethical?

It is critical that your builder will act in an ethical manner at all times. This means that he or she will observe building codes, labor laws and any other rules that may come into play when building your home. It is also important that he or she is honest about how much the project will cost and the materials that are used in its construction.

Will Your Luxury Home Builder Make Changes If Necessary?

Before any work begins on your home, you and your contractor should go over exactly what is being done, when it will be done and why it is being done. If for any reason you decide to change your mind about the appearance of your home, the contractor should work with you whenever possible. For instance, if you want another bedroom instead of an office, your contractor should do his or her best to add a closet or extend the room to make it big enough for someone to live in.

Who Will Your Contact Be?

If you choose to work with a small contractor, the owner of that company may handle your project directly. However, if he or she owns a large company, you may get stuck talking to a secretary or someone else paid to talk on behalf of the owner. While it is likely that your contact is knowledgeable and cares about the quality of your project, only the owner can personally put his or her reputation behind every project completed. Therefore, it may be a good idea to ask if the owner of the luxury home builder that you hire will either oversee the project or can be contacted if necessary.

Your luxury home should have everything that you want and need. It should also be built by a contractor who cares about your desires and will do whatever it takes to get the job done right. Otherwise, you will either have a home that you don’t like living in or will have to pay twice to get it built to your specifications.

Questions To Ask Your Builder When Building A Custom Home

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When you don’t like any of the homes currently on the market, it may be worthwhile to build your own home from scratch. This provides you with an opportunity to customize it to your liking, which increases the odds that you will live there for many years or decades to come. What are some good questions to ask when building a custom home?

Who Is Doing the Work?

Among the questions to ask when building a custom home is who will be doing the work. While you may know who the general contractor is, you shouldn’t assume that he or she will do all of the work. It is common in construction projects to delegate tasks to subcontractors. For instance, the general contractor may have another company work on the kitchen or hire a plumber to install your pipes. While there is nothing wrong with subcontracting, it is important that you know who did the work in case there are issues in the future.

How Long Will the Project Take?

It may take several weeks or months to build a custom home. This is because the contractor will need to coordinate with other parties to get materials and ensure that there are enough people on hand each day to stay on track. Delays could also occur if the weather is poor or the roof shingles or other materials show up late or are defective.

How Can I Protect My Investment?

One of the most important questions to ask when building a custom home is how you can protect your investment. New homes are generally more expensive than existing homes because you are paying for material and labor in addition the land and other costs related to getting a mortgage. Therefore, you should find out what type of warranty exists on the home and how long it lasts for. You should also ask about any exclusions that could leave you on the hook for expensive repairs if anything breaks or stops working properly.

Building a custom home can be a great way to get what you want without having to do any house hunting. You also control where the home is located, which means you know where you are sending your kids to school or if there is a main road nearby to make your commute easier. Assuming that you have a good rapport with your builder, there is no reason why you can’t get your dream home at a reasonable price and in a reasonable amount of time.

Why A Custom Built Home?

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When most people go through the home buying search, they limit themselves to homes that are already on the market. However, there may be a better alternative to finding your dream home. A custom built home could be the best option to fit your needs and your budget both today and well into the future.

Build a Home That Has All of Your Wants and Needs

A custom built home can have as many rooms as you need, as much square footage as you need and all the finishes that you desire the second that you walk in. When you build a home from scratch, you don’t have to worry about termite damage, mold or other issues that may be present in an existing home. As your home is already built to your specifications, you don’t have to spend time painting or ripping up the carpet when you first move in.

Give Your Home as Much Character as You Want

There is no law saying that a new home has to lack character. By opting for wood siding or a stone exterior, you can create a look that is decidedly yours without having to search for a home that is 100 years old or located in a neighborhood that isn’t to your liking. If you want to opt for a modern look in the living room while opting for a more rustic look in the bedroom or basement, you can get that without having to sacrifice elsewhere.

Your Custom Built Home May Have a Warranty

When you buy a home, you buy it in the condition that it is in. Therefore, you are responsible for replacing the water heater or putting on a new roof if it goes bad. However, with a new home, you don’t have to worry about maintenance for several years after you purchase it. In fact, you may be able to transfer the warranty to the next buyer, which means it will be more attractive when you ever have to put the home on the market.

When you can’t find anything to your liking among existing homes on the market, a custom built home may be for you. You get to customize it as much as you like, which means you get the home that you want and need as soon as you move in. This makes it more likely that you will stay in the home and a part of the community for many years to come.

Aging in Place: What Baby Boomers Want in New Homes

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Ask a Baby Boomer to characterize themselves these days and chances are he or she will be quick to tell you not to label them a senior citizen, a retiree or – heaven forbid – elderly. Rather, terms such as “keenager” or “seasoned citizen” or even “sonic boomers” are more accurate descriptions of those born between 1946 and 1964. It’s impossible to generalize about this generation, as they are changing the perception of what it means to be today’s elders in society. Many work well beyond “retirement age” – whether by choice or necessity – and are more active socially and recreationally than the generations before them. These empty nesters have lived through recessions and are typically savvy consumers with an intelligent approach to buying. They have a mature vision for their future, and those looking to purchase a home are likely seeking features that will not only meet their wants and needs now but also down the road.

Whether they are looking simply to downsize or envision a long-term strategy for independent living without the retirement home scenario, the concept of “aging in place” is being embraced. Defined as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level” – this stay-at-home approach requires planning. There’s no one-size-fits-all design, but when it comes to homebuying with an eye to the future, everything from the floor plan and amenities to the community in which the house is built matters.

The folks at Southern Serenity Homes know that retirement homes or communities, condos and zero-lot homes – while appealing to many – should not be the only choices that Boomers have. Their choices should refelct their vibrancy while also meeting their long-term goals. We are reaching out to that population — one that knows and appreciates quality — with our portfolio of home plans that accommodate their present and future needs. Further, the ability and willingness to upgrade features and customize the build ensures that buyers are getting the low-maintenance, energy-efficient home that suits their lifestyle and adapts to meet the realities that come with aging.

Some design concepts to keep in mind, then, include:

— Floor plans on one level or with the master bedroom downstairs ensures there are not eventually places in one’s own home that can’t be accessed.
— Open floor plans and homes with smooth, flush floors make it easier to safely navigate the house with a walker or other mobility device.
— Doorways should be sufficiently wide to accommodate a wheelchair.
— Varied or adjustable counter heights and wall cabinetry and shelving at lower heights minimize reach, therefore minimizing falls.
— If grab-bars are not already in place near the toilet and bathtub, is blocking available to support their installation?
— Bigger windows allow in more light, a plus as vision becomes weaker.
— Flex/media/office space: because Boomers are active (workout and hobby space), tech-savvy and not necessarily retired.
— Community amenities and the development’s layout should facilitate the ability to interact with neighbors.

Baby Boomers are sophisticated buyers who know not only what they want, but what they need if they are to comfortably age in place. They want quality and options, independence and security in a sound investment. Helping them to attain these goals is not only something at which we excel; it is our privilege to see these goals made a reality.

Building A Custom Home

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The process of building your dream home involves aspects that run the gamut from financing to furnishings. When you get down to it, you’re going to be building not just a home, but a relationship with the folks who are helping you realize your dream – you’ll be spending months and months together, after all! It is crucial to be armed with information when undertaking what is undoubtedly one of life’s biggest investments.

How do I select a builder?

There are many builders out there, and finding one who is not only a good fit for your project but who has impeccable credentials is vital. What it boils down to is experience and reputation. Your builder should, of course, be licensed and insured but also willing to provide information regarding his education, training and experience as well as membership in professional organizations and industry awards. Check with the Better Business Bureau, where you can find if there have been complaints and, if so, whether issues were adequately resolved. Ask for references. A reputable builder should have no qualms connecting you with previous clients who can share their experience of going through the homebuilding process with your potential contractor. Nor should he have reservations about allowing you to tour sites and see construction progress for yourself.
The fact that Southern Serenity has been involved with St. Jude Dream Home since 2008 is testimony to the dedication and quality of the homes founder Greg Bridgers builds. Thousands have toured these homes, inspecting his work, and he has twice been awarded the St. Jude National Dream Home® Builder of the Year.

How much does it cost to build a custom home?

The cost of building a custom home depends on many variables; land, materials, size and amenities are but a few of the considerations. A good builder will act as a guide on your homebuilding journey; he will advise you along the way, helping you make smart decisions. Southern Serenity takes pride in their ability to address homebuyers’ “wants” and “needs,” weigh them against matters of budget and come out at the end with happy, loyal customers. They also will not “overbuild,” a practice in which a builder lets a homeowner sink too much money into a house which ultimately the market cannot support. While generally you will spend more on a custom home than a production home, Southern Serenity is committed to building top quality homes for less, ensuring value in your investment.

Can I use my own floor plans?

Many builders have a portfolio of floor plans from which homebuyers can choose to customize, but perhaps you’ve already been working with an architect, drawing up the blueprint for your dream home. The custom builder and the architect each have very specific skills sets and will bring something different to the table. You need to find out if what you want is in your builder’s wheelhouse. Southern Serenity has the depth of experience and expertise to tackle any project presented to them, not to mention a relationship with a roster of architects with which they can work to modify, customize or adapt plans as necessary to accommodate site features as well as meet planning and building codes.
Know, too, that if you’ve purchased “stock” plans, they may essentially end up being merely a guide as there is really no one-size-fits-all scenario in homebuilding.

Can you build on a lot I already own?

If you already own a lot, you have one step of the homebuilding process behind you. Find out if a potential builder has the reach and willingness to build where your property is located. Many builders specialize in building on improved lots in planned communities where infrastructure is already in place. Some builders specialize in building on land that requires improvement. Southern Serenity has the expertise to do both, with founder Greg Bridgers boasting more than 4,000 new home builds in the last 25 years.

Why should I do business with Southern Serenity?

While you are making an investment in your home, constructing a quality home is an investment in a community. Southern Serenity founder Greg Bridgers’ philosophy of “quality, value and integrity” ensures that when you take that leap of faith, he and his team will see you through the process of making your dream a reality. Greg is a hands-on guy who just may be the person who picks up the phone when you call. He takes a personal approach, knows what’s going on with every home under construction and goes to great lengths to follow through on his promise: to deliver the home of your dreams with no detail overlooked.

Choosing a Home Builder in Collierville

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When you are getting ready to build a new home, it is important to choose the right home builders in Collierville. You will be working hand in hand with the home builders throughout every stage of the project, which means that you will need to have strong communication, a solid foundation of trust and the assurance that the work will be done to your specifications. These tips will help you to select the best home builders in Collierville for your needs.

Important Questions to Ask Your Home Builder

When you are talking to prospective builders, there are certain questions that you should ask. These questions will help to give you a feel for the way they do business. The answers can also help you to decide which building company is best suited to your personal style and your goals for the project. Some important questions to ask home building companies include:

  • How many home building projects have you completed?
  • Does your company do all of the work or do you use sub-contractors?
  • How many houses do you build at a time?
  • How long would it be until you could get started on my project?
  • What types of fees and deposits do you require?
  • Would you build on my property or on a lot that I purchase from you?

Getting References from Other Homeowners

When considering which home builders in Collierville to hire for your new home, you may also want to get references from other homeowners. Most home builders will be able to provide you with a list of references. You can then contact those people and ask them about their experiences with the builder. You might also be able to arrange for a tour of one or more homes that the company has built.

How to Check a Home Builder’s Credentials

Another important aspect of deciding on which home builders to hire is to ensure that they have the proper credentials to build a home in Collierville. Home builders must be licensed, bonded and insured in Tennessee. You can check on their business licensure and insurance documentation. You may also want to check their rating with the Better Business Bureau. You should also search for any lawsuits or civil penalties pending, or judged against, the home builders.