Your Building Blog for the Rochester Area

Don’t Forget These Numbers When Calculating the Mortgage on Your Rochester-Area Home

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Aug 12, 2016 @ 08:08 AM

Dont-Forget-These-Numbers-When-Calculating-the-Mortgage-on-Your-Rochester-area-Home.jpgWhen planning the budget for your new home in Ontario, Webster, Perinton, Canandaigua or anywhere else in the eastern Rochester area, the first thing most homeowners think about is what their monthly mortgage payments are going to be. It’s an important first step to get at least an estimate of what your principal and interest will be.

There are a number of free online mortgage calculators you can use to help you approximate your monthly payments. You can click here to look at one from Quicken Loans, or check out one from Zillow that also includes taxes and insurance.

Those tools are helpful for providing a rough idea of your expenses. However, many homeowners overlook some figures a free mortgage calculator just doesn’t include.

  • Interest Rate Changes: Even though we’ve enjoyed low interest rates on mortgages for a long time, they can change very quickly. If you’ve budgeted too tightly, a small increase in the rate could put your mortgage out of reach. Make sure you have a bit of flexibility built in to accommodate those shifts.
  • Rising Taxes: While nobody really expects taxes to go down, many homeowners don’t consider that their property taxes could go up. As with the interest rate increases mentioned above, this could push your mortgage out of range if you’ve calculated too closely. Again, make sure you have a bit of wiggle room.
  • Emergency Expenses: Nobody likes to deal with emergencies, but sometimes unexpected events (car repairs, education expenses, medical bills, etc.) occur. Make sure the loan you qualify for leave you so strapped that you can’t handle those emergencies.
  • Those Pesky Fees: It’s easy to forget about those additional expenses for things such as utility connections, inspections, access fees and HOA dues. Individually, they may not be overwhelming, but they can add up, so make sure you take those into account when calculating your budget.
  • Changes: More often than not, homeowners find themselves wanting to make changes to the original plans in order to make their homes fit their wants, needs and desires. Sometimes the changes aren’t extravagent, but there are times when they can be significant. If it’s a change you really want to make, it will probably never be cheaper to do it than while you’re building. But if you haven’t allowed a buffer in your budget, you won’t be able to take advantage of the opportunity.

Those are some of the things a generic online mortgage calculator won’t figure for you. Go ahead and use one to get a general idea of where your budget will land, but don’t forget about these other important numbers. If you plan for “surprises” ahead of time, you’ll be a lot more confident and relaxed when it’s time to begin building.

How-to-Finance-Your-Rochester-Area-Dream-Home-from-Gerber-Homes

 

Topics: Rochester AreaCustom Homebuilder, limits of home mortgage calculators, Greater Rochester

Doors: Adding Character to Your Rochester Home, Both Inside and Out

Posted by John Graziose on Wed, May 25, 2016 @ 12:05 PM

Doors-adding-character-to-your-Rochester-home-both-inside-and-out.jpgYour doors may not be the first thing you think about when you’re considering building a new custom home in the Rochester area. Your front door, however, will very likely be the first impression guests have of your home when they visit for the first time.

If you’re building a custom home, why would you want to have a generic front door? The entrance to your home is your first chance to make a personal statement of style. And the options are nearly endless. You can choose between a single or a double front door. You can opt for a traditional squared-up front door with simple, straight lines. Or you might select an entryway door with decopage windows to add a little flair. Perhaps a door with a transom and sidelight windows will give you the look you’re after (and let extra natural light into your entryway).  Or you could use color to make an impression.

Doors are more than passages from the outside of your home to the inside. Interior doors inside your home also add character and interest to rooms. Interior french doors allow you to separate spaces inside your home while still allowing light to pass through. They afford privacy without making your home feel “boxed in.” Sliding doors can also provide privacy and muffle sound when closed, and they have the advantage of not taking up space when the door is open. By receding into the walls, these “pocket doors” create an open passageway between rooms and allow you to move freely back and forth.

You even have options in the kitchenwith pantry doors. You can have a glass door that allows you to see into the pantry without having to actually enter it,or, if you prefer, you can have a solid wood door that provides a nice contrast (or complement) to your cabinets. We’ve even seen homes that use a chalkboard surface on the pantry door for keeping shopping lists and writing messages to family members. If you’re building a custom home, you can use your imagination to come up with a solution that’s practical for you and fits your sense of style.

We invite you to check out a few of the doors we’ve built into homes in the Rochester area. Maybe theses images will give you ideas of your own about the interior and exterior doors you’d like for your new home.

download amenties that go in every home

Topics: Finger Lakes Region NY, choosing doors for new home, Rochester Area homebuilding, interior doors, exterior doors, Greater Rochester

Will Spending More on Your Rochester-Area home Guarantee You More Value?

Posted by John Graziose on Tue, May 17, 2016 @ 14:05 PM

Will-Spending-More-on-Your-Rochester-area-home-Guarantee-You-More-Value_.jpgA lot has changed in the homebuilding business since we began building custom homes in the 1950s. But one thing never seems to change: homeowners are always concerned about their budgets.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re building in Ontario, Webster, Perinton, Canandaigua, Mendon or elsewhere in the Graster Rochester and Fingerlakes area. And it also doesn’t matter if you’re looking at building a smaller, 1,040 square-foot home or a larger, 3,600 square-foot home. Your budget matters!

Of course, creating a realistic budget is a crucial part of the homebuilding process. And while it’s important that you don’t overextend yourself by purchasing more house than you can really afford, it’s also critical to make sure you don’t under-budget and spend less than you should to get what you really want. That can actually cost you more if you have to add features or space later. Here’s a post that can help you avoid those kinds of budget missteps.

That raises a couple of really important questions about how much you should spend on your home: What are you getting for your money? Will spending more money on your Rochester-area home guarantee you more value?

Ultimately, it’s not really about how much money you spend (or save), but how much value (comfort, enjoyment, convenience, sense of well-being) you get for whatever sum you decide to spend.The fact of the matter is that not every expenditure generates the same kind of value. So if you’re going to spend more on a new home, where does it make sense to invest your money? Here are a few suggestions:

Your Kitchen

In all our years of homebuilding, we’ve never had a client complain that the kitchen in their home was too big. Kitchens today are such a central room in the house, and they get a lot of use. Spending a bit more for counter space, adequate cabinet space and even more square footage is something you won’t regret.

Your Family Room

This is another room you’ll use extensively. When your family isn’t in the kitchen, this is where they will probably be. This living space should be designed to accommodate the whole family. It may not need to be cavernous, but if your budget will allow it, making this room a little larger will make it that much more comfortable and enjoyable.

Master Bathroom

Along with the kitchen, the master bathroom is the most likely room to be remodeled. Why? Because it gets used everyday, and many people feel their existing bathroom is simply inadequate. People want a space where they can comfortably get ready for their day. You don’t have to turn your master bath into a spa (unless you want to…and here’s a great guide to help you plan “the ultimate bathroom”), but you’ll want it to be comfortable and to adequately meet your needs.

Room Size

Bigger may not always be better, but building too small can turn into a problem later. A tiny bedroom may be adequate for a baby or a small child—but what about when that child is a teenager?  Increasing the size of a room or adding a new room later will cost much more than building a bigger room to start with.

While this isn’t an all-inclusive list, it should get you started in thinking about what you’d want to spend a bit more on in your new home. You may notice that the suggestions listed here have less to do with how you home looksand more with how your home feels and meets your needs. That’s how you create value in your home. Not surprisingly, it’s alsohow you’ll see the best return on investment, should you decide to sell your home down the road.

 Gerber-2016-Home-Design-Guide-Download

Topics: Rochester Area Custom Home Builder, Custom homes, cost vs. value, budgeting for custom home, Greater Rochester, Fingerlakes area

Where Will You Live While Your Rochester-Area Home is Built?

Posted by John Graziose on Wed, May 11, 2016 @ 08:05 AM

Where-Will-You-Live-While-Your-Rochester-area-Home-is-Built_.jpgBuilding a new home in Webster, Perinton, Canandaigua or elsewhere in the eastern Rochester area is an exciting proposition. It’s something you look forward to for a long time: gathering ideas, perusing a variey of floor plans and choosing the community where you’ll live.

There are occasions, however, when the timing can be a bit awkward. For instance:

  • When the house you’re currently in sells before your new home is completed.
  • When a new job requires you to move to the Rochester area and you haven’t had time to build.
  • When the lease on the home you’re currently in runs out before your new home is move-in ready.

When it comes to your housing needs before your new home is ready, a number of situations could arise that could leave you between a rock and a hard place. So what are your options?

You could try to rent another home or aparement in the area, but finding something you like on short notice can be tough. Plus, most landlords and leasing companies prefer longer-term rental or lease agreements. You could end up paying a premium rate—or be forced to choose a place that’s really not up to your standards.

Another option is to look for extended-stay housing. There are some extended-stay opportunities in the Greater Rochester area. Availability is generally not a problem, but extended-stay chains aren’t cheap. And while many extended-stay options offer adequate amenities, often they feel more like living in a motel room than a home.

We’d like to suggest a third option that could make a lot of sense for you and your family: Gerber Homes also builds rental properties in the East Rochester area. Our property management company can make arrangements for you to lease any of our available rental properties on a month-to-month basisso that you are not locked into a long lease agreement.

And it gets better! If you are building a new home with us, you will pay no rent while your new home is being built!Call us at (315) 524-7890 to find out how easy it is to get free rent while your Gerber home is being built. Or email Susan@gerberhomes.comfor more information.

 Gerber-2016-Home-Design-Guide-Download-Now

Topics: Custom homes in Rochester Area, temporary housing, Greater Rochester, free rent while building, Fingerlakes area

How Do You Know If You Can Trust a Rochester-Area Builder? Ask His Clients!

Posted by John Graziose on Tue, May 3, 2016 @ 11:05 AM

How-Do-You-Know-if-You-Can-Trust-a-Rochester-area-Builder_-Ask-His-Clients.jpgBuilding a custom home in the Rochester area takes an amazing combination of attention to important details and focus on the big picture. Choosing the right builder is arguably one of the biggest decisions you can make as a future homeowner. Interestingly enough, it can also make your decisions about the details a lot easier.

So what should you look for when evaluating builders for your new Canandaigua, Perinton or Webster home?Here’s a helpful post that outlines key factors, such as experience, a track record, location, options, helpfulness and a commitment to the community.

Those things are all critical traits for any builder you’ll want to consider, but there’s one additional characteristic that makes an enormous difference when it’s time to build your home: trust.

For many homeowners,trustworthiness is the single most important trait of all. If you trust your builder, it takes an enormous amount of stress out of the homebuilding process. If you know you can talk to your builder and ask questions and get answers that satisfy you, everything goes so much more smoothly. But how do you build trust before you even start working with someone?

Start by hearing from people who have already worked with the builder you’re considering. When you do that, make sure you pay attention to what these people say about the process,as well as the home. Try to get a sense of how they felt about how things went. That may be subjective, but it’s an extremely important part of homebuilding.

We’re delighted to be able to share a few comments from clients for whom we’ve built homes. We hope it helps you get a feel for the relationships we build with our clients while we’re building their dream homes.

  • “We can truthfully say that we are happier with our new home now, a year later, than when we first built it. It is pretty rare that a purchase of anything gets better with time, but this house Gerber built for us does. Gerber was a great company to work with. They listened and designed the home we wanted. The building process went great and the house is fantastic.” —The Lamberts
  • “This was the first time that we have had a home built for us, and we were more than a little apprehensive having heard about the troubles some have had with their builders.We were pleasantly surprised at how easy [Gerber] made the process.From the first meeting with John to discuss pricing, add-ons and terms, through the site work with Norm and Bruce and the selection process with Debbie Smith, we found the experience easy. [Gerber] really go[es]‘the extramile’ for [its] customers!” —The Palmers
  • “It was certainly a pleasure doing business with people that cared about what the homeowner wanted, and it was great knowing that everyone involved with the building process were qualified people. We enjoyed watching from day one the expertise that all of [Gerber’s] workers showed in their jobs.”—The Harleys

We invite you tocheck out additional comments from our clients here, because we think that what our clients have to say about their experience with us is much more important than anything we can tell you ourselves. Choosing a builder you can trust makes the whole homebuilding experience so much more enjoyable!

Gerber-2016-Home-Design-Guide-Download

Topics: Rochester area custom homes, trusted Rochester builder, choosing Rochester homebuilder, Greater Rochester, Fingerlakes area

Subscribe via E-mail

Latest Posts

Posts by category