McKee Homes 2014 in Review

McKee Homes continued its growth in all areas including homes built, homes sold, staff, and community involvement in 2014 and even made the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing private companies in the U.S. ranking no. 562 nationally and no. 13 in North Carolina.

McKee Homes staff, 2014

While some of our most popular neighborhoods such as Patriot Park Village in Fayetteville, N.C. and Forest Hills Pointe in Aberdeen sold out last year, we opened some highly anticipated new communities including Plantation Pointe in Mid South Club which is within walking distance of the clubhouse, pool and tennis courts and close to the Talamore Golf Resort in Southern Pines. Another popular new neighborhood is Hanover Reserve in Wilmington, within five minutes from downtown and some of the best beaches in the area. Construction began in The Willows and Lanvale Forest in Leland in 2014 as that area continues to see growth and has become a popular tourist and retirement destination. While we started Summerwind Plantation in Garner at the end of 2013, it saw major growth in 2014 and has become one of our most popular and fastest growing neighborhoods.

The McKee Homes staff grew dynamically in 2014 with the expansion of our construction team to include Kevin Kozlowski as Director of Construction and two additional builders, Paul Endricks and John Sykes. Tish Oakley joined our team as Director of Purchasing, Matthew Meyerhoeffer is our new Purchasing Estimator, Jennifer Buckwalter became our new Production Coordinator and Erin Buchanan joined the team as our new Purchasing Coordinator. McKee Homes continues to attract some of the best professionals in the area and has become one of the area’s premier builders.

McKee Homes settled in to the new office and Design Center in downtown Fayetteville in 2014, and our Selections Coordinator Amy Kahler has done a great job adding the finishing touches and samples to the Design Center where she meets with new home buyers to walk them through the selections process.

McKee Homes’ commitment to giving back also grew in 2014 as we became the Presenting Sponsor for the Eastern North Carolina Chapter Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s. The Eastern North Carolina Walks, which include the Smithfield, Wilmington, New Bern, Fayetteville and Raleigh areas, raised a grand total of $349,971.41 to help North Carolina families dealing with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

McKee Homes has continued to grow and build a dynamic company through the past five years and is looking forward to more growth, prosperity and community involvement in the coming years.

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Secure Your Dream Home with a Contingent Offer

You’ve crossed the threshold and stepped into the foyer, and you suddenly realize that you have entered your dream home. Adding to your excitement is the for sale sign on the front lawn. The perfect home is within your reach.

Most people who are considering upgrading to a newer home, or are relocating because of job or military transfer, begin their home search before they have sold their existing home. What do you do if you’ve found the perfect new home but still need to sell your existing home first? Consider making a contingent offer.

Secure Your Dream Home with a Contingent Offer

What is a Contingent Offer?

A contingency means that the buyer makes an offer, and the seller accepts the offer, but the final sale is based upon certain criteria such as the sale of an existing home. Most importantly, a contingent offer means you will not miss out on buying the home, especially in this environment of low interest rates, while you take care of selling your house.

New Home Construction

Using a contingent offer will safeguard you in the purchase of a new home that has not been built. Frequently, the builder will wait until the contingency has been satisfied prior to beginning construction. However, if the builder begins construction ahead of the contingency being met, the builder assumes all of the risks if the sale should fall through. Either way, you will have secured your neighborhood lot choice and don’t have to worry about waiting to start the process until after you sell your home.

If the builder accepts your contingent offer on a move-in ready new home, you may be in a “bumpable” position. In this case, if another buyer makes an offer on the same home for which you have made a contingent offer, you may have only 24-to-48 hours to lift the contingency or lose the house to the other buyer.

What if I’m waiting on mortgage approval or transfer orders?

In North Carolina, as of 2011, everything other than the sale of an existing house has moved from contingency criteria to “due diligence.” There is no longer a financing contingency. In addition to earnest money, a due diligence fee is paid by the buyer to the seller and a due diligence period is agreed upon. During the due diligence period the buyer, at their own expense, will conduct inspections, appraisals, document review and obtain financing and insurance for the home. If the buyer backs out of the deal before the end of the due diligence period, they will usually have their earnest money returned but the due diligence fee is the seller’s to keep. However, as long as the deal goes through, the buyer will have the due diligence fee amount credited back to them at closing.

New Home Financing

McKee Homes makes securing favorable financing easier through our preferred lenders, and when you use one of them, McKee Homes will pay the closing costs on the purchase of your new home. We have the experience and expertise to help prospective homebuyers through the entire process. Our preferred lenders have knowledge and experience with a wide array of new home financing options, and they will help you find the right mortgage to fit your needs.

McKee Homes will work with you on a contingent offer to make sure you get the home of your dreams even if you still need to sell your existing home.

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Best Neighborhoods near Fort Bragg, NC

Whether you are a looking to purchase your first home or anticipating retiring close to world class golf courses to master your putt, McKee Homes in the Fort Bragg area of North Carolina has the ideal neighborhood for you. You may be facing budget constraints, looking to upgrade your existing residence or simply want a more maintenance free home. McKee Homes carefully designs and plans its neighborhoods to meet your specific needs and fulfill your desired wish list as well.

country club living

For first time homebuyers, military families, retirees on a fixed income and renters looking to begin the rewarding journey of home ownership, McKee Homes has several delightful neighborhoods from which to choose. River Glen, close to Fayetteville, offers family friendly floor plans that start in the high $100’s. This affordable community has walking trails, country living and a clubhouse with pool to be built next year, in addition to being located within the Cumberland County School District.

Another budget-friendly community is Sinclair with over 200 acres of lush countryside and views of the greenbelts from nearly every home, as well as a community pond for fishing and other recreational activities. Sinclair is just 15 minutes from Fort Bragg’s Manchester Gate. If extra security is on your must-have list, the neighborhood of Oakmont features a gated entry. For those who simply cringe at the acronym DIY, The Cottages at North Ramsey feature maintenance-free exteriors with long lasting cement board lap siding, soffits and eves. In addition, The Cottages offer excellent proximity to Fort Bragg, the Goodyear plant, hospitals, diverse restaurants and easy access shopping. Moreover, each neighborhood is located within excellent school districts: Sinclair in Moore County School District, Oakmont in Harnett County School District and The Cottages at North Ramsey in the Cumberland County School District.

Perhaps your family is growing or you and your spouse simply want more room, then McKee Homes has neighborhoods that offer larger homes with square footage that ranges from 2,000 to 3,900 square feet and prices from the low $200’s. Liberty Hill at King’s Grant offers close proximity to golf courses, Fort Bragg, the Goodyear plant as well as easy access to highways, shopping and dining. If you want to live near Pinehurst, NC on the west side of Fort Bragg, Forest Hills Point is within 15 miles of 43 golf courses, while the golf community of Legacy Lakes is nestled on over 400 verdant acres of pine trees and natural lakes.

Whether you are retired and looking for a community that offers easy access to professional level golf courses or just like to get out on the course during the weekends, avid golfers can tee off at one of the many golf communities offered by McKee Homes. Legacy Lakes offers the Nicklaus Design Legacy Golf Links, or if slicing a fuzzy yellow ball over the net is more your style, The Racquet House Racquet and Fitness Club has six stunning clay courts, as well as a pool and clubhouse. Legacy Lakes and Forest Hills Pointe are in Moore County close to west gates at Fort Bragg.

Other communities offering easy access to world-class golfing are The Cottages at Carriage Creek and Valley Streams in Anderson Creek Club. Enjoy living in a secure, gated community with a golf course as well as a clubhouse with a state-of-the-art fitness center, pool, tennis, basketball, baseball, volleyball, parks, playgrounds and tranquil walking trails.

One of the most upscale McKee Homes neighborhoods is Plantation Pointe, which is located in a private gated community in Southern Pines. This beautiful community features all the amenities and extras for those seeking the country club lifestyle. A trip to the clubhouse, tennis courts, pool, driving range and golf course is an easy stroll from your home. Moreover, Plantation Pointe offers such upscale amenities as energy efficient open floor plans, granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances and designer cabinets to create a unique ambience that truly reflects your individual personality.

We all have different needs and wants at various times in our lives. Whether you’re looking for your family’s first new home, a new home for a growing family, or want to retire in an active adult or golf community, McKee Homes offers new homes in a perfect neighborhood for your family. From entry level new homes to upscale communities with invigorating hikes along verdant trails and lush golf courses, McKee Homes has a neighborhood for you.

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Custom Home Vs Personalized Production Home Builder Touch Points

This is part five of our series of articles comparing custom homes to personalized production homes. This article will focus on the touch points with the homebuyer offered by custom home builders vs. personalized production home builders.

If you are considering the purchase of a new home, you may be trying to decide whether to buy a custom home or a personalized production home. There are very distinct differences between a custom home and a production home; therefore, you should spend some time learning the specific details of each before you make any decisions.

home builder touch points

Some of the questions you will need to have answered are:

Cost: What is the square foot cost for each type of home?

Time to Build: How long does it take to build each type of home?

Pros/Cons: What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type of home?

Options and Selections: What options and selections will you get to choose?

Warranty: What level of new home warranty should you expect with each type of home?

Touch Points: How much personalized service will you get from each type of builder?

Learning everything you can about the different types of new homes selections available will allow you to make a more educated decision about which option is best for you and your family. Please read our series of articles on this topic for more information and answers to all the above questions.

Custom Homes

When building a custom home, you generally acquire your own land, design your own floor plan (or have it designed) and submit it to the builder. Additionally, you will be directly involved in the planning and development of every aspect of your new home.

Custom home builders are able to offer you a more personalized service because they only build a limited number of homes each year and therefore have the extra time to spend with each individual customer.

Being involved in the building and decision making processes can be exciting but it also requires a fair amount of time and effort on the part of the homebuyer, so if you decide to have a custom home built, be prepared to spend many evenings and weekends with the builder working out issues and making decisions and choices for your new home.

Once the home is complete the builder will walk through the home with you and explain how to use all the systems in the home as well as create a punch list to deal with any unfinished items or issues that need to be corrected before move-in.

Personalized Production Homes

When having a personalized production home built, it’s customary for the home and land to be offered as a package deal. You will have the ability to choose from a variety of home floor plans and new home options; therefore, with a personalized production home, you will still have the opportunity to customize your home to a certain extent.

Production home builders may build hundreds of homes per year and therefore cannot offer as many personal touch points as a custom home builder. However, good production builders have well trained project managers and customer service representatives who will meet with homebuyers and their agents at specific times during the new home building process. Each team member will help the customer make their new home selections, review the progress of the home and make sure all options and selections are correct.

While you won’t have as much input into your new home with a production home builder, you also won’t have to spend as much time and energy making decisions and selections for your new home. You will generally have a comprehensive selections meeting before the home is started to make selections and choose options for your new home. You will also get to see the home being built and should get at least two or three detailed walks through the home with the project manager during construction of the home. Once the home is complete you will have a final walk through the home with the project manager who will show you how to use the systems in the home and make sure all selections are correct and the home is move-in ready. The project manager will create a punch list to take care of any issues that need to be addressed before you move into your new home.

The Bottom Line

The decision about whether to buy a custom home or a personalized production home is a very personal one and one only you can make. You should take as much time as you need to study all your options, and then will you be able to make the decision that is right for you and your family.

If you find yourself torn about which direction to take, you may want to visit some personalized production home builder locations to get a feel for what they have to offer. If after that you don’t find anything that suits your needs, you can always contact a custom home builder to compare the costs and options they have available.

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Custom Home Warranties Vs Personalized Production Home Warranties

This is part four of our series of articles comparing custom homes to personalized production homes. This article will focus on the warranties offered by custom home builders vs. personalized production home builders.

If you are considering the purchase of a new home, you may be trying to decide whether to buy a custom home or a personalized production home. There are very distinct differences between a custom home and a production home; therefore, you should spend some time learning the specific details of each before you make any decisions. Some of the questions you will need to have answered are:

Cost: What is the square foot cost for each type of home?

Time to Build: How long does it take to build each type of home?

Pros/Cons: What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type of home?

Options and Selections: What options and selections will you get to choose?

Warranty: What level of new home warranty should you expect with each type of home?

Touch Points: How much personalized service will you get from each type of builder?

Learning everything you can about the different types of new homes selections available will allow you to make a more educated decision about which option is best for you and your family. Please read our series of articles on this topic for more information and answers to all the above questions.

Custom Homes

When building a custom home, you generally acquire your own land, design your own floor plan (or have it designed) and submit it to the builder. Additionally, you will be directly involved in the planning and development of every aspect of your new home.

Each builder will have their own specific new home warranty and levels of that warranty. Most custom home builders cannot afford to include a custom warranty that will cover a home’s structure for up to 10 years. They generally only give the home buyers a one year builder’s warranty. However, some custom home builders will take care of problems with their homes beyond the required warranty. Each builder is different and it’s up to the home buyer to find out the specifics of the different new home warranties that each builder offers.

There are numerous home warranty companies that offer extended warranties for new and older homes, so even if your builder only offers a one-year builders warranty it is possible to buy additional coverage. It’s important to research new home warranty companies before purchasing coverage to make sure you are getting the coverage you need at a fair price from a reputable company.

Personalized Production Homes

When having a personalized production home built, it’s customary for the home and land to be offered as a package deal. You will have the ability to choose from a variety of home floor plans and new home options; therefore, with a personalized production home, you will still have the opportunity to customize your home to a certain extent.

When it comes to offering a warranty, each production home builder is required to offer a one year builders new home warranty for their homes. However, some builders offer custom home warranties, such as the 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty® offered by McKee Homes that covers the material and defects for one year, the home’s systems for two years and the structure for 10 years.

Having a good quality home warranty provided by your home builder saves money over the years as you don’t need to purchase additional coverage after the first year. Another advantage of the 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty® is that it is fully-transferable, which increases the resale value of the home, should you ever need to sell it.

210 Home Buyers Warranty

2-10 Warranty Coverage Details:

  • Ten (10) years of structural defect coverage for load-bearing components.
  • Two (2) years of systems surety coverage against defects in wiring, piping, and ductwork in electrical, plumbing, heating, cooling, ventilating, and mechanical systems.
  • One (1) year of surety coverage against defects in workmanship and materials.

The Bottom Line

The decision about whether to buy a custom home or a personalized production home is a very personal one and one only you can make. You should take as much time as you need to study all your options, and then will you be able to make the decision that is right for you and your family.

If you find yourself torn about which direction to take, you may want to visit some personalized production home builder locations to get a feel for what they have to offer. If after that you don’t find anything that suits your needs, you can always contact a custom home builder to compare the costs and options they have available.

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Pros and Cons of Custom Homes Vs Personalized Production Homes

This is part three of our series of articles comparing custom homes to personalized production homes. This article will focus on the pros and cons of custom homes vs. personalized production homes.

If you are considering the purchase of a new home, you may be trying to decide whether to have a custom home built or buy a personalized production home. There are very distinct differences between the two, so you should spend some time learning the specific details of each before you make a final decision.

custom homes vs production homes

Some of the questions you will need to have answered are:

Cost: What is the square foot cost for each type of home?

Time to Build: How long does it take to build each type of home?

Pros/Cons: What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type of home?

Options and Selections: What options and selections will you get to choose?

Warranty: What level of new home warranty should you expect with each type of home?

Touch Points: How much personalized service will you get from each type of builder?

Learning everything you can about the different types of new homes selections available will allow you to make a more educated decision about which option is best for you and your family. Please read our series of articles on this topic for more information and answers to all the above questions.

Custom Homes

Advantages:

  • You will be able to choose the location of where your home is to be built.
  • You will get to decide the details for every product and feature of the home.
  • Your new home will be unique from every other home.
  • The quality and functionality of the home will meet all your requirements and standards.

Disadvantages:

  • Custom homes are expensive to build compared to personalized production homes.
    • A custom home builder is not able to buy the supplies needed in bulk, making the materials for the home more expensive.
    • Labor will be more expensive as a custom home has never been built before and many details and problems will have to be worked out during construction.
  • In most cases you will have to find and purchase your own land to build the home on.
  • Custom homes take significantly longer to build than production homes.
  • You will have the added expense of hiring an architect to design the home, or have purchased plans modified, as well as finding a contractor who builds custom homes.
  • A custom home will depreciate faster than a production home.
  • It is difficult to get the home appraised for the total build cost. Thus, most banks will not lend the entire amount needed to build the home requiring a significant down payment from the homebuyer.

Personalized Production Homes

Advantages:

  • You have the flexibility of choosing from a variety of price points.
  • The land comes with the price of the home.
  • Production home builders offer a variety of floor plans to choose from.
  • There are fewer decisions to make which leads to less stress and less hassle.
  • A personalized production home is much less expensive to build than a custom home.
  • A personalized production home can be built much faster than a custom home.
  • A selections coordinator will help you make the best selections for your new home to personalize it to fit your needs.
  • Production homes are priced to meet comparable appraisal values enabling homebuyers to borrow the entire amount of the cost of the home depending on the type of loan chosen.
  • Many production builders offer comprehensive warranties such as the McKee Homes 2-10 Warranty Program that covers the structure for up to 10 years.
  • In many cases, you will have the added benefit of living in a community with access to amenities such as: golf course, clubhouse, fitness center, pool, tennis courts, basketball courts, baseball, volleyball, a park, playground and walking trails.

Disadvantages:

  • You won’t be able to design every aspect of your new home.
  • You won’t have as much input in how the home is constructed.
  • You won’t have unlimited land options from which to choose.
  • Because production builders build a large number of homes each year, they cannot offer as many touch points with their homebuyers as custom home builders.

The Bottom Line

The decision about whether to buy a custom home or a personalized production home is a very personal one and one only you can make. You should take as much time as you need to study all your options, and then will you be able to make the decision that is right for you and your family.

If you find yourself torn about which direction to take, you may want to visit some personalized production home builder locations to get a feel for what they have to offer. If after that you don’t find anything that suits your needs, you can always contact a custom home builder to compare the costs and options they have available.

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How Long Does It Take To Build A New Home?

This is part two of our series of articles comparing custom homes vs. personalized production homes. This article will focus on the amount time it takes to build custom homes vs. personalized production homes. The time needed to build a home is an important aspect of a home buying decision especially if the buyer is selling their current home and/or is relocating to another area for work or military reassignment.

new home under construction

If you are considering the purchase of a new home, you may be trying to decide whether to buy a custom home or a personalized production home. There are very distinct differences between a custom home and a production home; therefore, you should spend some time learning the specific details of each before you make any decisions. Some of the questions you will need to have answered are:

Cost: What is the square foot cost for each type of home?

Time to Build: How long does it take to build each type of home?

Pros/Cons: What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type of home?

Options and Selections: What options and selections will you get to choose?

Warranty: What level of new home warranty should you expect with each type of home?

Touch Points: How much personalized service will you get from each type of builder?

Learning everything you can about the different types of new homes available will allow you to make a more educated decision about which option is best for you and your family. Please read our series of articles on this topic for more information and answers to all the above questions.

Custom Homes: Time to Build

The time it takes to build a custom home will depend on the size and complexity of the home, where it’s being built and the time of year. It could take anywhere from 10 to 16 months to build, depending on its size and assuming everything goes according to plan. This timeframe is based on the lot (land) being clear and ready to build on and that there are no construction delays due to weather conditions, change orders or any other factors beyond a builders control.

One of the biggest variables in custom home build time is the customer. There are many decisions that have to be made along the way, and if they are not made in time to get selected items when they are needed, the contractor can lose weeks of time during the build process. Change orders will usually extend the build time as well, and can cause substantial delays if they occur later in the build process rather than near the beginning when the structure has not yet been built.

In addition to the time it takes to build the home, you will need to account for time to have the home designed, or purchased plans modified, as well as having the plans approved by the local building department. For an architect-designed custom home, the design process can take three-to-six months or longer plus an additional month for permitting. If you are having purchased plans modified and checked by an architect, the timeline is considerably shorter, but can still take two-to-three months including permitting.

Personalized Production Homes: Time to Build

The building process of a personalized production home usually takes between three and four months to reach completion; however, it can sometimes take up to six months, depending on the weather, construction supply delays and any requested customer design changes that are implemented along the way.

Because the floor plans offered by production builders have been built many times before, there are usually no delays in getting them through the local building department and starting home construction. The contractor knows exactly what materials are needed to build the home as well as the subcontractors that will be used. The subcontractors know what materials they need for the project as well because they have worked on the same or similar floor plan before. This allows all materials to be ordered at the proper time to ensure that the home construction flows smoothly.

The production home builder, or their selections coordinator, will meet with the home buyer to go over new home selections and options before the home construction is started to ensure that all selection items are ordered and will be available when they are needed to avoid delays.

Just as in custom homes, the buyer is the biggest variable in production home building, if they buy the home before it is built. If they are not available to make selections in a timely manner, or make changes along the way requiring change orders to be generated and produced, there can be delays in the build time.

Most production home builders have developed good processes to avoid delays and can get a new home built with final inspection complete before the projected close date so the buyers can move in when needed, especially if they are on a tight schedule because of relocation or the sale of another home.

The Bottom Line

If you are on a tight schedule, or have a specific date that you need to move into your new home, but you still want to have a home built so you can make personalized choices, going with a personalized production home is a safer bet as custom homes can often take longer than expected to build.

The decision about whether to buy a custom home or a personalized production home is a very personal one and one only you can make. You should take as much time as you need to study all your options, and only then will you be able to make the decision that is right for you and your family.

If you find yourself torn about which direction to make, you may want to visit some personalized production home builder locations to get a feel for what they have to offer. If after that you don’t find anything that suits your needs, you can always contact a custom home builder to compare the costs and options they have available.

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Cost of Custom Homes Vs Personalized Production Homes

If you are considering the purchase of a new home, you may be trying to decide whether to buy a custom home or a personalized production home. There are very distinct differences between a custom home and a production home; therefore, you should spend some time learning the specific details of each before you make any decisions. Some of the questions you will need to have answered are:

Cost: What is the square foot cost for each type of home?

Time to Build: How long does it take to build each type of home?

Pros/Cons: What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type of home?

Options and Selections: What options and selections will you get to choose?

Warranty: What level of new home warranty should you expect with each type of home?

Touch Points: How much personalized service will you get from each type of builder?

Learning everything you can about the different types of new homes selections available will allow you to make a more educated decision about which option is best for you and your family.

This article will focus on cost of custom homes vs personalized production homes. Please read our series of articles on this topic for more information and answers to the above questions.

Cost of Custom Homes

When building a custom home, you generally acquire your own land, design your own floorplan (or have it designed) and submit it to the builder. Additionally, you will be directly involved in the planning and development of every aspect of your new home.

It’s extremely hard to determine the cost per square foot for a custom home because there are so many variables. But as a general rule, a custom-built home will cost you twice as much as a personalized production home will. And the land cost is usually not included in that figure. You can expect the cost of a new home to average between $200 and $400 per square foot.

Hiring an architect to design a custom home will generally cost between 2-15 percent of the total construction costs, however the architect, or a representative from their firm, will usually oversee the project to make sure everything is done correctly.

It is possible to buy home plans online for less than $2,000 but it’s a good idea to pay an architect an hourly fee to review the plans before using them make sure they will work on your building site and meet the local planning and building department codes.

You will also need to pay for a building permit for your home which can add several thousand to tens of thousands of dollars to the building costs depending on the region where you are building. Most custom home builders will include this cost in their contract, but it’s important to verify this to avoid unexpected costs for your project.

Additionally, custom homes often cost more to build than the final appraisal amount, requiring a significant cash down payment by the homebuyer in order to procure a mortgage on the home.

Cost of Personalized Production Homes

When having a personalized production home built, it’s customary for the home and land to be offered as a package deal. You will have the ability to choose from a variety of home floorplans and new home options; therefore, with a personalized production home, you will still have the opportunity to customize your home to a certain extent.

A personalized production home is a great option for those who want to customize their new home but don’t want the expense of having a custom home built. Or spending the time and hassle of trying to find just the right piece of land, at the right price, in a convenient location.

Just like a custom-built home, the cost per square foot for a personalized production home can vary widely depending on the home’s variables. However, with a production home, you won’t be paying separate costs for the land and for the home. The average cost per square foot of a production home can range between $75 and $115 or more depending on the builder, the location and the quality of materials being used.

Production homes builders offer a variety of floor plans to choose from, so there is no additional cost for plans or architects. All of the floor plans have been built many times before so there won’t be any surprises or design problems as often happens with custom homes. Production builders have their floor plans modified to meet building codes for each region and neighborhood they build in, so all of the planning has been taken care of in advance. The building permit and all fees are paid by the builder and included in the cost of the home.

Additionally, production homes are priced to meet comparable homes in the area and therefore generally appraise at or above the offered price.

The Bottom Line

The decision about whether to buy a custom home or a personalized production home is a very personal one and one only you can make. You should take as much time as you need to study all your options, and then will you be able to make the decision that is right for you and your family.

If you find yourself torn about which direction to take, you may want to visit some personalized production home builder locations to get a feel for what they have to offer. If after that you don’t find anything that suits your needs, you can always contact a custom home builder to compare the costs and options they have available.

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Second Floor Laundry Room

House floor plans have changed significantly over the years.  Everyone has an opinion on where things are best suited.  So one of the questions we get asked is “why is the laundry room on the second floor?” 

McKee Homes developed all of its floor plans with living in mind.  We thought about how people use their homes and what makes the most sense for ease of use.  While we offer several ranch floor plans that have the laundry room on the first floor, we also have many two- and three-story floor plans that have the laundry room on the second floor. 

Most people have experienced lugging laundry baskets, bundles of bedding and hangers up and down stairs time and time again.  With a laundry room on the second floor your days of lugging up and down the stairs are over.  Since the majority of laundry and bedrooms are on second floor, why not have the laundry room up there as well.  In all of the laundry rooms, folding stations have been added.  A folding station is an open front cabinet with cubbies and a flat top to make folding and sorting laundry easier.Many of our floor plans also offer sinks in the laundry room to assist with those messes that need a little extra attention. 

second floor laundry room with folding station and sink

Now some people might worry about the hassle of getting the washer and dryer to the second floor.  While it might be slightly difficult initially, you likely won’t be moving the appliances.  In a McKee home, the stairwells are wider making moving furniture and washers and dryers easier.  Another concern that homebuyers may fear is the washer overflowing.  McKee Homes has created a solution to this problem.  In all second floor laundry rooms, McKee Homes has installed trays that the washer sits in with a drain that connects to the main plumbing drain line.  This way if your washer overflows you won’t have a big mess to clean up.

So here at McKee Homes we like the second floor laundry rooms (in two- and three-story homes) because it helps make our homes a little more livable.  Come by one of our neighborhoods and check out the laundry room for yourself. 

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What is the Difference Between a Septic System and a Sewer System?

If you are in the market for a new home, you may have noticed that some neighborhoods are on public utility sewer systems and some neighborhoods use septic systems. Generally speaking, cities and towns, and their immediate surrounding areas, will be on sewer systems that are maintained by the local public works department. If a neighborhood is outside the area serviced by the local sewer system, the homes will generally use a septic system to handle waste water.

Large public sewer systems charge a monthly fee for their use, but offer the convenience to the homeowner of not having to maintain anything related to waste water outside of their home. Septic systems are the responsibility of the homeowner to maintain, but have no monthly fee, so are usually less expensive in the long run. However, some septic systems can be more expensive to maintain such as Low-Pressure Dose Systems that uses a pump to move effluent to a drain field or conventional systems that don’t percolate well and have to be pumped frequently.

If you are looking at homes in multiple neighborhoods, you will need to make quite a few decisions and choices in order to make the best decision of where to buy. Having some basic knowledge of the pros and cons of each type of waste water system will help in choosing between neighborhoods that are on public utility sewer systems compared to those on septic systems.

septic system

Where does the waste go?
Septic System: The waste goes into a holding tank.
Sewer System: Sewers lines carry waste to a treatment facility.

How does it work?
Septic System: Bacteria break down the solid waste and the liquid effluent is then released into the drainfield.
Sewer System: The facility removes contaminants and then discharges water back into local water supplies.

What is the cost?
Septic System: If buying a new home from a reputable new home builder, then the cost of the septic system is included in the price of the house.
Sewer System: The cost to use a public sewer system varies depending on location.  Some areas separate the cost of water and sewage, while others combine the two.

What type of maintenance is needed?
Septic System: Depending on the usage, septic tanks need to be pumped out yearly or every few years.
Sewer System: None

Who is responsible for the maintenance?
Septic System: It is the homeowner’s responsibility to maintain the septic system.
Sewer System: Your local municipality is responsible for maintaining the public sewer system.

What do you do if it fails to work?
Septic System: Call a professional septic repair company.
Sewer System: Call your local municipality public works department

What are the benefits?
Septic System: If maintained properly a septic system generally has fewer ongoing costs.
Sewer System: Sewer systems are very convenient and the homeowner has no responsibility for repairs.

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