Your Building Blog for the Rochester Area

How Your Rochester-Area Custom Home Values Differ Based on Age

Posted by John Graziose on Sun, Jan 13, 2019 @ 14:01 PM

How Your Rochester-Area Custom Home Values Differ Based on AgeOur tastes, interests, and needs change depending on the season of life in which we find ourselves. Things that were incredibly important to us at one stage are often replaced by other things we value more. That’s certainly true when it comes to our homes. That’s why it’s important to understand how your Rochester-area custom home values differ based on age.

When it comes to choosing the home for a particular season in your life, the decisions you’ll make will probably depend less on style than they do on functionality, comfort, and convenience. That means you’ll want to consider a floor plan that fits your particular lifestyle.

What Are Your Space Needs?

A major consideration when building a home is just how much living space you will actually need (and how much you can afford). If you happen to be a young couple without children, you may not need as much space as a family with several kids. Generally speaking, if you’re a homeowner in your 20s you’re probably pretty adaptable. You can make do with less space. But as you move into your 30s, you may have other considerations; your family may be growing and you may have young children to think about. The house you build should take that into consideration.

If you are in your 40s there is a good chance you are dealing with older children, who may require more space in their bedrooms (or who may no longer be willing to share a bedroom). And choosing the right home means more than larger bedrooms for older kids. You may also find that you (and your kids) want separate spaces where you can entertain your respective friends, watch TV, or just have some “alone time.”

If you find yourself on the other end of the spectrum (say 50 years of age or above), you’ll want to consider how your needs will change as you mature. Increasing numbers of maturing Americans want to stay in their homes rather than move into retirement communities. If that reflects your desires, you’ll need to make sure the home you purchase will allow you to stay comfortably, conveniently, and safely for years to come. You may have other considerations at this point. You may find yourself working from home more, which could make a home office a necessity. Or you could find yourself caring for an aging parent. In that case, opting for a home with an “in-law apartment” could be an attractive option. Even if no one else moves in with you, you’ll have your own comfort to think of. You may want to look at a floor plan that offers single-level living so that you have everything you want and need on the main level.

How Long Do You Plan to Stay?

Regardless of what stage you’re at, you’ll want to consider how long you plan to stay in your Rochester home. It’s important to consider both your current needs and your future needs. And while nobody has a crystal ball that can predict exactly what their future needs may be, you’ll want to keep in mind that your needs will very likely change over time. That’s why, when considering potential floor plans you’ll want to keep potential life changes in mind before deciding on the plan that’s right for you.

Seasons of life change—and each one brings its own delights and challenges. Keeping one eye on your current needs while planning ahead for future needs is a bit of a balancing act. The good news is that you have lots of options.


Topics: Custom Home Builder Ontario NY, Rochester Custom Home Value

Choosing Your Rochester Builder: The Step Too Few Homeowners Take

Posted by John Graziose on Thu, Jan 10, 2019 @ 14:01 PM

Choosing Your Rochester Builder: The Step Too Few Homeowners TakeWhen it’s time to build your new Rochester-area home there are a number of important things you’ll need to consider. Deciding on the location for your new home is a big step. Getting your budget and financing in order is critical. Selecting the right floor plan is essential. One of the most important things you’ll decide on is which contractor you’ll use to actually build your home. Building a home isn’t an overnight experience—it’s a process that has significant implications. Having the right builder can make all the difference in the world. There are a number of steps involved in selecting your builder, and we’d like to highlight the step too few homeowners take when choosing a builder.

What Most Prospective Homeowners Get Right

Most people considering building a home know that they want to deal with a trustworthy, reliable builder. They want someone who has experience building the kind of home they want. They also want someone who is going to be there after construction is completed to stand behind the work that’s been done.

Obviously, you’ll want to check out work that the builder you’re considering has already done in the area. Chances are, you’ll want to look at a number of different projects to get a feel for the quality of work—and to glean ideas. Most builders will have examples of their work for you to review. You can take a look at a variety of our recent projects by visiting our new homes gallery.

Smart homebuyers also want to educate themselves about the homebuilding process and pick up information about how to make the right choices for the home they want to build. They want a home builder who offers helpful resources that highlight their options. Our Custom Home Guide eBook is a great source of helpful and useful information you’ll need before you begin the building process.

Savvy homebuyers also know that they should check for references of recent clients. Any reputable builder worth his hammer and saw will gladly provide you with multiple references for homes he’s built. That’s just standard practice

The One Step Many Potential Homebuilders Don’t Take

What’s surprising is how few people actually go to the effort to follow up on these references. A list of names, addresses, and phone numbers won’t really help you unless you actually do something with it. A lot of prospective buyers, however, skip this step. They don’t actually pick up the phone and talk to a former client and ask specific questions.

Why People Don’t Follow Up—And How to Ensure You Do

Some people find it a little awkward to call someone they don’t know and start asking them probing questions about their homebuilder. But if your potential builder gives you a name, he’s asked permission to do so. Plus, it’s your money and your future home that’s at stake. How else will you know if your builder really does what he says he does?

One reason many people don’t take this step is that they are unsure about what questions to ask. We get that. Most people don’t buy a new home every day. They may have a hard time coming up with questions that will provide the information they really want to know.

That’s why we’ve included a few suggestions here. You’ll notice that not all the questions are about the physical process of building. It’s important that you get a sense for what it’s like to work with and communicate with your builder. 

  • Would you use this builder again?
  • What were your builder’s best qualities?
  • Why did you choose this builder?
  • Did you feel that the builder had your best interests in mind?
  • Did your builder communicate clearly with you?
  • Did this builder demonstrate character and integrity during the project?
  • How well did the builder communicate change orders to you?
  • Did your builder treat you with respect?
  • What was the worst thing that happened during the project?  Was it resolved to your satisfaction?
  • What would you do differently if you were to start over?
  • Was your project completed on schedule?
  • Did the project come in on budget?
  • Did you ever have a time when you felt the builder was not being truthful?
  • Did your builder meet—or even exceed—your expectations?
  • What would you say were your builder's limitations or weaknesses?

You’ll probably come up with a few of your own, but at least these will get you started.

If you’re more of a visual learner, you may want to start with some short-but-helpful videos that explain some of the basics of the homebuilding process. Here are three videos you find useful.

The Homesite Selection Process - How Gerber Can Help!: Watch this video and learn first-hand from about the homesite selection process.

How to Pick the Right Floor Plan - Explainer Video: Picking the perfect floor plan for your family's needs when building a new home is very important! Here are some helpful tips to consider.

The Pre-Construction Process - Explainer Video: What happens before construction begins? With Gerber Homes, we strive to keep you in the loop throughout the entire process!

There are a lot of steps in the homebuilding process. But don’t forget to take the one step that can provide you with a real picture of what it will be like to work with your prospective builder. Talk to past clients and ask them pertinent questions. We hope the questions we’ve provided here make that process easier for you!

View our Custom Home Video

Topics: Rochester Area Custom Home Builder, Custom Home Builder Ontario NY

What Does It Really Mean to Build a Custom Home?

Posted by John Graziose on Sun, Nov 25, 2018 @ 10:11 AM

What Does It Really Mean to Build a Custom Home?Often, when people think about custom homes, their thoughts turn toward luxury features. Images of expensive stonework, exotic woods, and gold-plated bathroom fixtures come to mind. But what does it really mean to build a custom home?

There’s More to Custom Homes Than Spending More Money

While it’s true that you’ll spend more for a custom home than you will for a “production” home, the custom home building experience really isn’t about opulence—it’s about customization. That means building a Rochester-area home that fits your family’s lifestyle like a glove. It means designing the space and the look of the home so that it reflects your personal sense of style—and the way you live and entertain.

Just because you’re building a custom home doesn’t mean writing a blank check. You still have to pay attention to your budget. Here’s an article that cautions about some of the surprising places that your Rochester custom home could cost more—and how to prepare for those surprises.

What Custom (Can) Look Like

Let’s look at a few areas in your home where having a custom home looks a little different. Perhaps the best way to do that is to actually show you examples of custom homes we’ve built for our clients.

What-Does-It-Mean-to-Build-CUSTOM-2Here’s a Great Room in a custom home we recently built. You’ll notice that there’s nothing “typical” about it, from the woodwork and lighting in the Great Room ceiling to the unique fireplace and the stunning hardwood floors. It’s light and bright and open (making it a great place to entertain). And even though it’s an open floor plan, there are design elements to clearly delineate between the Great Room and the kitchen/dining area.

Kitchen-1Here's a closer look at the kitchen in the same home. Even the cabinetry in this kitchen is unique—reflecting the homeowners' personal style and preference. And you can tell from the range and hood that this is a family that enjoys cooking. Your particular kitchen might not be outfitted with appliances for gourmet cooking, but this gives you an idea of the possibilities. This family wanted a kitchen island that accommodates food prep and casual dining. You might choose something different.

Master-BathThe Master Bathroom is another area where custom homeowners like to include something a little different. You can see some of the custom touches in the bathroom cabinets and countertops. There’s also a walk-in shower (with large shower head). You could also add features such as a steam shower, or heated flooring for those cold Rochester mornings.  Another custom feature that’s become popular is having the toilet closed off from the rest of the bathroom.

What-Does-It-Mean-to-Build-CUSTOM-3Here’s a Master Bedroom in a custom home that looks a little different than what you’d find in a standard “production” home.  Notice the unique ceiling that ads depth and visual space to the room. If this were your home, you might choose to extend the room to include a larger reading area—or perhaps include a built-in audio/visual center that hides away when it’s not in use.


LocationSometimes the location and lot you chose is one of the most significant custom elements of your home. You can see from this image that the custom home we built takes advantage of fantastic views of open space—including a pond in the back. It's no wonder that these homeowners opted for full-length doors at the back of the home that leads out onto a patio that lets them enjoy the scenery.



Want to See More?

Click here if you’d like to take a virtual tour of another custom home we recently built for Homearama 2018. It provides you with more ideas of ways you can make your home uniquely yours.

You Have Choices

At Gerber Homes, we offer a wide variety of great floor plans that may be exactly what you’re looking for. If one of those floor plans meets your needs, that’s great. But if you’re after something more specific—a design that really reflects your personal sense of style and lifestyle, I’d encourage you to download our free Custom Home Guide that will walk you through the particulars of setting a budget, selecting your building team, finding the right home site, negotiating the contract, and actually designing the home of your dreams!


Topics: Custom Home Building Rochester NY, Custom Home Builder Ontario NY

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