I sat down with Cody Filipczak, who owns C&M Home Builders and Real Estate with his wife Molly, to ask him what someone who is planning to build a new home would need to know. It never hurts to be prepared, right?
Cody shared five tips that can make the process the smoothest for anyone who is making their someday house a reality.
- Have fun with it! Building a new home involves a lot of steps and many decisions, but instead of getting caught up in the details, Cody urges his clients to enjoy the process. He encourages even the homeowners with minimal handyman skills to get involved in some hands-on way in the process of building their home. For planners like me, who like to keep notebooks, folders and Pinterest boards full of color swatches and flooring samples, Cody suggested they not plan everything ahead. So much can change during the process of building that it's more relaxing to let choices happen in tandem as each phase is completed. This also eases the stress of falling in love with a color or pattern that is no longer available when the time comes to install it.
- Use a local lender. Building a new home differs from a mortgage on the purchase of an existing home in that there will be checks cut throughout the process. When Cody builds a house, they bill the customer in phases as tasks are completed. It's more convenient for both the homeowner and the builder to have a local lender.
- Be flexible. Cody said, "The most stressful part of building a house is that nothing is the same and things can happen…there are so many moving parts to a house and so many people involved." This is difficult for control freaks like me who appreciate a timeline and a checklist. However, Cody said the homeowners who have the most fun are the ones who are flexible and roll with what comes.
- Build to your family's lifestyle. I'll admit, I get caught up in resale value when I think of changes to my home or features on a new home. Cody said, "Build to your lifestyle…If you live in a house now where you never use the fireplace or the whirlpool…then don't put it in." He advised that owners spend the money on what they will use the most.
- Know where to spend and where to save. Cody said, "Some people definitely go overboard on certain items." If you're building a new home and staying on budget is a concern, consider the areas where you can save. Cody gave an example from his own house regarding plumbing fixtures. He said, "In our house we have really nice plumbing fixtures in our kids' bathroom…and it's never seen." He also said it's important not to skimp on important things like extra insulation and quality siding. Some features are worth investing in during building process because it saves money in the long run. For example, a buyer can put in the tubing for in-floor heat during construction and then wait to add the boiler until it fits their budget down the road.
After meeting with Cody at his office and having Molly invite me into the living area of their home, my someday house might have morphed into my "covet house." I doubt that anyone could enter Molly's tastefully decorated space, the trend-setting painted trimwork or Cody's thoughtfully planned kitchen without a twinge of coveting. Or a lot of it. What I love most is that Cody's number one tip - the one he repeated numerous times in our interview - was that people should have fun with it. I think I can handle that!
C&M Home Builders and Real Estate is a family-owned Eau Claire real estate agency. Cody and Molly, the founders of C&M Real Estate, started their first business, C&M Home Builders, in 2005 and began building homes in the Eau Claire area. In 2011, they expanded their services to include Eau Claire realty and began C&M Real Estate.