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8 Things to Consider When Getting a Mortgage for Your New Home

Buying a home can be a fun and exciting experience, but finding the right home is only one step in the process. It’s a big financial commitment that involves a lot of paperwork, which is why finding a home loan can be just as important. If you’re not prepared or aren’t organized, you could deal with some frustrating delays. Proper preparation and understanding of how to get a mortgage before you start the process will make sure the process goes more smoothly.

Here are some things you should consider while you’re looking for a mortgage on your new home.

new home keys

#1: Start Saving for a Down Payment

Depending on the lender and the type of loan you choose, your required down payment can be 3-20% of the home’s purchase price. Having a monthly budget will help you set aside enough money for your down payment. Once you have determined what your budget will support, think about automatically depositing the money from your paycheck or bank account to a savings account because it will be easier and more convenient to put money away every month. If you’re not able to come up with a large down payment, you should look into getting an FHA loan (which helps homebuyers who can only make a small down payment).

#2: Check Your Credit Report

Having a strong credit profile will put you in a better position to get the best deal on a home loan, so it’s a good idea to get a copy of your credit report before you start the process. You’ll be able to see what your credit profile looks like to a potential lender, so you can take steps to improve certain factors or correct any inaccuracies. You can get one free copy of your credit report every year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies by going to www.annualcreditreport.com.

#3: Organize Your Financial Documents

When you apply for a mortgage, you’ll need to give the lender a number of financial documents because it will make the loan application process go more smoothly. You should at least be prepared to give them your last two pay stubs, your most recent W-2, your tax returns from the last two years, as well as any current bank and brokerage statements.

#4: Use a Mortgage Calculator

Mortgage calculators are great tools that can help you understand how much you can afford. They’re easy to use, and they can show you how much your monthly mortgage payment would be under different home prices. They will even allow you to work through different down payment and interest rate scenarios.

#5: Learn How to Compare Offers

Not all mortgages are created equal. Even if loans have the same interest rate, there may be differences in the points and fees that can make one offer more expensive than another. You need to understand all of the things that go into determining the price of a mortgage, because it will allow you to compare different offers. You also want to understand the different parts of mortgage pricing.

#6: Start Tracking Interest Rates

This will be one of the biggest factors in determining the cost of your mortgage. They change almost every day, and it can be helpful to know which direction they’re going.

#7: Get Pre-Qualified

Many real estate agents want you to get pre-qualified for a loan before they will even work with you. It’s a simple process that usually requires some financial information. This will include your income, any amount of savings and investments you have, as well as a credit check. Once you have been pre-qualified, you’ll have a better idea of how much you can borrow and what types of homes you can afford.

#8: Understand the Different Loan Options

Your parents might have had a 30-year fixed-rate loan, while your best friend might have had an adjustable-rate loan. But it doesn’t mean that either loan is right for you. Some people like the predictability of a fixed-rate loan, while others prefer to have a smaller upfront payment that can come with an adjustable-rate loan. Every home buyer has their own unique financial situation, and you need to understand which type of loan will work best for your specific needs.

If you’re looking for one of the best custom home builders in Corpus Christi to help you design your new custom home, be sure to get in touch with Devonshire Custom Homes.


Are You Financially Ready to Buy a New Home?

If you’re thinking about buying a home, you should first get your finances in order because you need to make sure that you’re ready. It’s so important that you should look at them well before you’re ready to apply for a mortgage. That way, you’ll have some time to improve your finances and your credit.  While many people say that everyone should buy a home, it just isn’t true. If you sign on the proverbial dotted line for a new home when you’re not financially ready, it will turn out to be a curse instead of a blessing. The house will own you instead of the other way around. But if you’re financially ready to purchase a home, it can be a wonderful and rewarding experience for you and your family.

When You’re Financially Ready to Buy a House

You’re ready to buy a new home if the following are true:

  • You’re free of debt with a full emergency fund — This means that all of your debt is paid and you have saved up enough for an emergency. You have no more credit card balances, car payments, student loans, or anything else for which you owe money. Once you have all your debts paid off, you will need to have an emergency fund that will pay for 3-6 months of all your typical expenses.
  • You have a good down payment — The best way to buy a house is to put 100% down. But if paying cash isn’t within your reach and you want to take out a mortgage, you will need to make a good down payment. A 20% down payment is ideal, because you’ll avoid having to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI). It’s a fee that insures the lender (not you) if you don’t make your mortgage payments. If you’re a first-time home buyer, a 5-10% down payment is okay. But you should plan on paying for PMI and getting rid of it as soon as possible.
  • You can afford to pay monthly house payments and home maintenance — You’re ready to buy a house if you have enough money to make the house payments, which should never be more than 25% of your take-home pay. If it stretches beyond that, your budget will be much too tight.  Tying up that much of your income toward a house payment won’t leave you with enough money to put toward other important financial goals (such as saving for retirement).
  • You can pay your own closing costs — Some home sellers will offer to pay for closing costs so they can “sweeten the deal,” but you’ll never benefit from it. The buyer’s portion of the closing costs will be approximately 3-4% of your home’s purchase price. So for a home that’s worth $300,000, it will be anywhere from $9,000 to $12,000.
  • You can cash flow moving expenses — Buying a house will also mean that you’ll be moving, so you need to make sure you have a separate pile of cash saved up for that expense. It may be as cheap as getting a few pizzas to bribe your friends into letting you use their trucks. But if that won’t cut it, you can put aside some money for a moving and storage company.
  • You plan on staying put for a while — You also want to think about whether you’re ready to stay in your home for more than a few years. In fact, buying a house is a bad idea if you’re not planning to live in it for at least five years. It takes at least that long for a home’s value to grow enough to where you’re not losing money when you sell it. If you’re in an area where home values have increased over the last five years and houses for sale don’t spend a great deal of time on the market, buying a house in this area might work in your favor.
  • You have an experienced real estate agent you can trust — It can be hard to find a home you love that’s also within your budget, but it can be a lot easier if you’re working with an experienced real estate agent. In most cases, the home seller pays the commission to your agent. So, you pay nothing for their help. A buyer’s agent can also save you thousands of dollars on your dream home by working for your best interests during the negotiation process. This person will also be able to take care of all the proverbial red tape with regard to the laws and regulations that are specific to your area.

If you’re looking for one of the best home builders in Corpus Christi, be sure to get in touch with Devonshire Custom Homes.


Finding the Right Location for Your Custom Home

If you have built a custom home in the past, you know that location is everything when it comes to the construction process. It sounds simple, but it can affect every part of the decision-making process. If you take the time to find the right place for your custom home, you can reduce your land and purchase expenses by a significant amount. It can also make the building process easier, because you may have to deal with fewer regulations. It can even help you to sell your home at a higher value later on.

empty lot for home

Things to Consider While Finding a Custom Home Location

While the decision about where to build your custom home can seem overwhelming, following some simple steps can help you to find the right place. You most likely have an answer in your head already, but you need to decide whether you want to be in a city, suburb, or rural area. You also need to think about what kind of lifestyle you want to have. If you want to raise your own chickens and don’t like closing your blinds, an urban setting might not be the best choice.

You may not think about it while you’re looking for the right location, but it’s a good idea to think about what kind of amenities you want. If you have children or plan to have them, you should think about how close the schools are and whether they’re of good quality. How close are you to work, and do you have access to other facilities (such as transportation stations, shops, and hospitals)?

Make a list of the people you want living nearby and whether you want close neighbors. What kind of people are living in each neighborhood, and what are the locals like? Getting answers to these questions can help you to determine if you’re building your home in a good area. You also want to think about how close you are to friends and family. Some people don’t want to build a house within 50 miles of their extended family members. And while it is a personal decision, it’s something you should take into consideration.

Geographical Features to Consider

This is one part of the decision-making process that you have less control over, and it’s something you may not have thought too much about. It does, however, affect the overall cost of building your custom home. The slope of your property can cause a significant increase in the cost of construction. A house that’s built on a steep ridge will cost a lot more to build than one that sits on a flat lot. Things like extra time, building materials, and risk are all things that contractors will consider.

There are a number of other factors that will cause the price to go up. Some of them include the following:

  • Sunlight — Most homes are designed in a way that will bring more sunlight into the rooms you want by adding larger and more expensive windows, and you need them to face the south. Adding larger windows will bring in more natural light and will lower your heating expenses. But if your house is facing the north or east, it can be a logistical nightmare.
  • Utilities Placement — Does your lot already have utilities, or will you need to add them beforehand? Most utility lines are located within 30 feet of the building pad and are supplied with taps, but it isn’t always the case.
  • Soil Condition — The type of soil and the amount of growth will determine the cost of clearing the lot and compacting the soil for construction. It will also determine the type of foundation that’s most suitable for your site. You should do a soil test before you design a foundation, because it will make sure the plan is suitable for your site. Active soils will need a sturdier foundation with deeper beams, more steel reinforcements, and more concrete. Some of them will even require concrete piers.
  • Grading and Drainage — This is an important consideration for building any custom home. You need to have a level site that has been well compacted. After the foundation has been poured, you need to grade it in a way that will allow dirt to fall away from the foundation while also moving water into draining swales.

If you’re looking for one of the best custom home builders in Corpus Christi, be sure to get in touch with Devonshire Custom Homes.


Budgeting for Your New Custom Home

You might be ready to have that perfect home with all the space you need and in the style you want, but you might be wondering how planning a custom home budget actually works. Taking the time to figure out what you’re looking for and how much you want to spend on it is an important step in starting a home building project. A budget will allow you to determine what you can realistically accomplish in your custom build. It will also have an impact on what type of land you build it on, how big you can really go, and the quality of materials you can use.

planning a new custom home

Starting the Construction Loan Process

Once you have an idea of what you want to build and have put together a rough estimate of the design and building costs, it’s a good idea to start the process of applying for a construction loan. All you want to do at this point is to get pre-approved, because it will determine if you have the money to build the house you want.

If the construction loan pre-approval amount is lower than you expected, you may want to think about a production home in a developed area or design a different custom home. You don’t want to spend too much more than what you’re pre-approved for (unless you plan to pay for any extra costs with cash out of your own pocket).

Breaking Down Your Home Building Budget

Once you have a rough idea of what it’s going to cost (most home builders and contractors will give you a rough range in cost per square foot), you need to take that number and start to build out your budget breakdown. And there are some costs you need to consider as you put together a custom home budget. Some of them include the following:

  • Cost of the lot — This is going to be one of the biggest costs for any home building project, so you want to take a look at any lots in your ideal area that can accommodate the size and type of the home you want to build.
  • Cost of excavation, building tear-down, and lot prep — It’s better to purchase a lot that’s ready for building. In fact, a lot of homeowners don’t think about the work that goes into making a lot ready for building. If you purchase one that isn’t connected to services (such as gas, water, and sewer), you’ll have to pay for those extra utility fees. If it hasn’t been excavated or leveled, that’s another expense you need to think about.
  • Cost of home designs or floor plans — The cost to put together a design can be a big one. But no matter who you decide to work with (whether it’s a design-build firm, a dedicated architect, or a builder who has a few set floor plans), there will be a cost associated with designing the home and making the construction drawings. The cost will vary according to whoever you decide to work with and what you’re looking for.
  • Cost of the home build — This part of the home budget is associated with any task related to building the home (from laying the foundation to installing the windows). Any work that’s done to create the structure that will become your new home is part of the building costs. The cost of building the interior will make up a large portion of the building costs, so be sure you have enough room in the budget for this part of the project.
  • Cost of finishes, selections, and appliances — This is another big-ticket item in your custom home budget. It includes everything from the cabinets you want in the kitchen to the type of bathtub you would like in the master bath. The color of your exterior siding, finishes, and other selections you made will make your home feel more complete. That’s why you need to set a budget for and make decisions on what you want sooner rather than later.
  • Cost of landscaping — Most builders offer minimal landscaping in their contracts. Grass seed or sod is usually included. But if you want any foundation plantings or specialized landscaping, you’ll have to hire a landscaping company that can come up with a design for your lot.

If you’re looking for one of the best custom home builders in Corpus Christi, be sure to get in touch with Devonshire Custom Homes. We would be happy to speak with you about your specific needs!


7 Great Ideas for Your Custom Bar

While the last few years haven’t been the best times for large gatherings, the season of entertaining is well upon us. That’s why custom bars are being built in a lot of homes. It’s the perfect solution for a small family kitchen, because it takes up much less space than a table and chairs. It can also double as an area for preparing and presenting food, but the best place to install one will depend on the shape and layout of your home.

Here are some great custom bar ideas that you can add to this part of your home.

#1: Adding an Island

Having a dedicated area for serving drinks will be more complete with an island that resembles the look of a cocktail bar because it represents the epitome of luxury when it comes to entertaining. It’s a great focal point around which guests can gather, especially if it has a curved shape. It’s also a great area for you to show off your ability to make cocktails and serve drinks — all while keeping the back part of the bar free for doing prep work. It can even be a useful area for drink fridges and ice makers, which will be out of site but close enough for easy access.

#2: Getting Creative in a Small Space

Having a small bar with an eye-catching design will look much more exciting than fireplace alcoves and bookshelves. With some magazines, you can make a small space stand out even more. You can have a lot of fun decorating a home bar with a playful design.

#3: Getting Stylish Under the Stairs

Using the space under the stairs can make your bar area more stylish. It can also be more rewarding than filling it with coats and shoes. Your guests will appreciate it more, especially during party season. You can follow the rise of your staircase to gain as much height as possible. You should also think about adding a contrasting timber or color to separate it from the rest of the staircase. Adding a small amount of brass or any other reflective surface can make the space stand out even more, and it will turn that awkward space into one that can be more easily enjoyed.

#4: Connecting Rooms

You can make an open-plan kitchen even more sociable by adding a built-in bar between your cooking and living areas. If it’s inside an island unit or peninsula, a well-appointed bar can draw guests away from the business end of your kitchen while making sure the conversation flows. Whether it’s below the counter with open shelving and a wine fridge, or has cabinets above the counter to show off your collection, an island or peninsula is a great place to add a custom bar.

#5: Getting Mixers on Demand

If your home bar doesn’t have easy access to the kitchen sink, you should think about adding a tap for boiling water. It’s a lot faster than heating it in a kettle, and it’s more energy efficient. It will also make it easier to serve hot beverages. You can even add a tap that can give you cold, sparkling water (which is great for making cocktails and long drinks). It will take some of the pressure off your fridge.  While you don’t need a large sink to support a boiling tap, having a small prep sink can be useful for rinsing glassware and getting rid of dregs.

#6: Adding Appliances

If you want to build a dedicated space for a home bar, you shouldn’t skimp on any of the functional details. You may want to add a wine cabinet, so your favorite spirits are kept at the right temperature. You may also want to add a second one for storing juices and soft drinks, so you can free up space for your kitchen fridge. You should, however, check the volume levels to make sure a running dishwasher doesn’t drown out any conversations.

#7: Adding a Home Bar in the Dining Room

Having a home bar in your dining room will not only give you a space to host after-dinner parties but will also add more useful places to store your less decorative cookware, as well as your more commonly used tableware and practical accessories. If you paint the joinery in the same color as the walls, you’ll be able to create a sleeker and more minimalistic look that won’t turn the eye away from the rest of the space.

If you’re looking for one of the best custom home builders in Corpus Christi, be sure to reach out to Devonshire Custom Homes.


Cool Ideas to Help You Plan Your Game Room

Game rooms are used for both electronic consoles and old-school games that use dice and boards. They’re also growing in popularity for both homeowners and home renters. If you’re ready to explore some game room ideas, your options are far from limited. But you should design it in a way that fits your personality. You want to find furniture that will cater to the needs of the people who use it the most, but it needs to be both flexible and versatile. Children will outgrow games, and so will you. So, if you leave some room for the space to evolve, it will change with your specific gaming preferences.

game room design in new custom home

Here are some cool ideas that can help you plan your game room.

#1: Add Physical Elbow Room for VR Games

One of the biggest and most exciting trends in gaming is the rise of affordable virtual reality (VR) consoles, but too many VR gamers have found their immersive experiences disrupted when they run into a wall or hit their shin on the couch. If you’re into VR games, you should either have a dedicated open space or fill your game room with light furniture that’s easy to move. That way, the only limitation you have is the signal range of your goggles.

#2: Use Full-Sized Arcade Machines

There’s probably nothing more retro than a full-sized arcade game. There has been a recent spike in retro video game parlors, so it has gotten easier to find vintage arcade game cabinets. But before you start buying these machines, you should think about your room’s size. The bulky nature of these game cabinets (which are taller and wider than most people) will mean that only one of them can dominate a small room. If your space is big enough, there might be a retro arcade game out there waiting to add some old-school charm to your new game room.

#3: Include Beverages on Demand

Any beverage tastes better when it’s poured fresh from the tap, and the possibilities for a well-designed bar are practically limitless.

#4: Add Escape Room Puzzles

Escape room puzzles have become increasingly popular in cities all over the world. A group of strangers are locked inside a room. Inside, there’s a “danger” that could be anything from an actor dressed as a zombie to a model atomic bomb. The group must be able to work together to solve a set of challenges that will test both their brain power and their dexterity — many of which will require some level of teamwork to solve. If you’re able to set up this kind of brain-teaser, you can give your game room a more novel twist. It will also guarantee that visitors will be challenged and entertained.

#5: Make it Look Larger

The perfect game room will have plenty of space for people to jump up and move around. But even if you’re working with a limited amount of square footage, you can create a room that looks more inviting. Anything from light-colored flooring to the creative use of reflective surfaces can make a tight space feel larger than it really is.

#6: Add Vintage Lighting

You can contrast your high-tech gaming consoles with the vintage look of throw-back lighting. Edison bulbs and old-style chandeliers can give your game room a kind of funky chic that may be irresistible.

#7: Use Soft Fabrics and Throw Rugs

Game rooms aren’t just for playing fast-paced video games. They can sometimes be used for a more casual and romantic night in. With a stack of soft blankets and throw pillows on hand, you can turn any game room into a cozier and more laid-back space for dining and low-key fun.

#8: Add Pixel Art Decorations

Fill your game room with images of some of your favorite games and activities. And for a lot of people, the 8-bit artwork of games from the 1980’s and 1990’s is both nostalgic and heartwarming. There are a number of artists who create paintings and graphics that are based on that pixelated style, and these images are available on everything from wall hangings to throw-pillows.

#9: Add a Brick or Stone Facade

You can give your game room a more unique feel with a brick or stone facade, which weighs a lot less than the real thing. Because it’s easier to install, you can give your game room the look and texture of exposed brick at a much lower cost. It’s also perfect if you’re looking for game room ideas that will make the space look like a traditional brick home.

If you’re looking for one of the best custom home builders in Corpus Christi, be sure to get in touch with Devonshire Custom Homes.


Should a Master Bedroom be on the First or Second Floor?

 The location of the master bedroom is one of the biggest deciding factors for people who are thinking about buying or building a home. There are a variety of options, which gives homeowners a lot to think about. For many people, the master bedroom is a sanctuary where they spend a third of their day. So, location is important.

Your final decision might be influenced by the shape of your homesite and how it relates to your floor plan. You may end up giving up some backyard space by building your master bedroom on the first floor. If you want enough outdoor space that you can use for entertaining guests, a swimming pool, or other exterior structures, it may make more sense to build a second-floor suite. But long-term thinking might motivate you to build it on the first floor, which can be perfect for empty nesters.

master bedroom on second floor

Pros and Cons of a First Floor Master Bedroom

Having the master bedroom on the first floor can be extremely convenient, because it can give you the benefit of single-floor living. If you still have kids at home or have a lot of overnight guests, having your master bedroom on the first floor can be an attractive option. You can be locked away inside your own bedroom suite without hearing slamming doors, loud music, or arguments about who uses the bathroom first.

While moving to a warmer climate may be the dream of some retirees, a lot of people are choosing to retire-in-place. According to the AARP, 87% of people who are 65 and older want to stay in their current homes. When you put your master bedroom on the first floor, your home won’t need as many “costly modifications” for when you have mobility issues.

First-floor bedrooms are great for people who want to stay in their homes over the long term, because it can make your space more accessible for people who want to stay in their homes as they age. Families with small children and older adults who have trouble with stairs can also benefit from this type of floor plan.

First-floor master bedrooms can increase your home’s resale value and can even lower your utility bills. If no one is using the second-floor bedrooms, you might be able to get away with minimal heating and cooling for that entire part of your home. But despite their advantages, first floor master bedrooms have their drawbacks. They can be noisy, especially if it’s too close to the gathering room or kitchen. If it faces the front of the house, traffic noise and headlights may disturb your sleep.

Depending on your floor plan, adding a master bedroom on the first floor may not make a lot of sense. This is especially true if it requires you to build out and expand your home’s overall footprint. Your yard may be too small for a master bedroom on the first floor, or you may have children and don’t want to reduce the size of the outdoor play area.

Master Bedroom

Pros and Cons of a Second Floor Master Bedroom

If you’re a light sleeper, it can make sense to have the master bedroom away from the heart of your home. If you have it on the second floor, you’re less likely to be bothered by noise in the living room or kitchen. Even though it’s on the same floor as the other bedrooms, you can still have some privacy by having it at one end of the hall. You can also get a better view if you have your master bedroom on the second floor. Second-story master bedrooms are great for growing families who need extra space in lots that aren’t large enough for a first-floor suite.

There are some drawbacks to having a second-floor master bedroom. Unless you live in a 15-bedroom mansion, you’re most likely going to get some noise coming from the other bedrooms. While climbing stairs may not be a problem now, you might not be able to get to your bedroom if you break your leg or have mobility issues as you get older.

Adding a master bedroom to the second floor will require may require modification to your current design plans. Your main-level floor may also need some structural reinforcement to support the second level, which could make it more costly. Not to mention the disruption it will have on your current living space during the construction process.

If you’re looking for one of the best custom home builders in Corpus Christi to help you create the perfect master bedroom, be sure to reach out to Devonshire Custom Homes.


Tips on Finding the Best New Home Builder for Your Project

If you want to build a new home, you should shop for builders as carefully as you would for a home that has already been built. Whether you’re buying a condo, a townhome, a house in a subdivision, or a custom-built home, you want to know that you’re getting a quality home from a reputable builder. But choosing from a list of custom home builders can be difficult. Texas has no licensing or “watchdog agency” that consumers can turn to if building their dream home turns into a nightmare. There’s nothing that can prevent builders from engaging in bad behavior, and these kinds of stories come up all too often. That’s why you need to be careful about who you hire to build your custom home.

Here are some tips on how you can find the right custom home builder for your project.

new home builder plans

#1: Get Preapproved for a Construction Mortgage

You should get preapproved for a construction mortgage before you even start the process, because it will confirm your budget and financial credibility to builders and real estate agents.

#2: Identify Your Needs

Make a decision on what type of home you want, what you need to have in it, and how much you want to spend. Most builders “specialize” to some degree, and they may be able to build within a certain price range or type of home. Whether you’re a first-time home buyer, a move-up, an empty-nester, or just want to build a custom home of your dreams, you should look for a home builder that will meet your specific needs.

#3: Be Clear

You want to compare custom home builders and what they can offer you, so you should be as clear as possible about what you want from them. You may want hardwood floors or an all-season sunroom. But if you don’t mention that to prospective builders, they may not be able to give you the information you need.

#4: Look at Experience

You should find out how long each company has been in business and how long its principals have been building homes. You want to hire a seasoned professional, so don’t be afraid to ask them what kind of work they have done in the past.

#5: Look at Reviews from Previous Customers

If you’re planning to build in a community, be sure to ask your neighbors some questions. Ask them if they’re satisfied with their home and if they would build another one with the same company. You should also ask them if they would recommend that builder to a friend or relative and if they were satisfied with the company’s service. Did they communicate effectively? If there was an issue, did they respond in a reasonable amount of time? If you’re building on a scattered lot, ask the builder for references from previous homebuyers.

#6: Ask About Warranties

Every product you buy comes with some type of warranty.  Because it’s your largest investment, the same is true for your custom home. Having a long-term warranty that’s more than just a promise from the builder to perform will make sure that any problems will be taken care of, even if the builder has gone out of business.

#7: Use Your Powers of Observation

After you have come up with a list of custom home builders by going through all the necessary steps, you should take the time to look at their model homes. If it’s possible, you should look at any homes they have under construction. Pay attention to the quality of the workmanship and the materials they’re using. Do they use products from quality brands? Are the design features attractive, and do they use floor plans that are suitable for your lifestyle? Look at whether they pay attention to detail and if the people they work with are professional, experienced, knowledgeable, and courteous. You also want to look for any “red flags” (such as safety issues) at the job site.

#8: Talk to Experts

Lenders, real estate agents, builder material suppliers, builders associations, and code inspectors will be able to give you a unique but helpful perspective on custom home builders in your area, so you should ask them what they believe to be the top three or five local builders and why. You might be able to see a pattern, and you can use that list as a starting point for your research.

If you’re looking for one of the best custom home builders in Corpus Christi, be sure to get in touch with Devonshire Custom Homes.


Energy-Efficient Features for Custom Homes

Your home is more than just a structure that has been built with flooring, four walls, and a roof. It’s made out of a collection of complex machines, appliances, and systems — all of which need energy to work. As technology continues to advance and people become more aware of the need to conserve energy (both to cut their bills and to protect the environment) homeowners are better able to reduce their dependence on grid-supplied energy than they have in the past.

energy efficient home

What is Considered to Be an Energy-Efficient Home?

An energy-efficient home will give you all the comfort and utility that homeowners wants while using the least amount of energy. A modern American home will use energy for the following areas:

  • Heating and Cooling — Most of the furnaces and air conditioning units in American homes are powered by either electricity or natural gas, which will be supplied by a local utility company.
  • Hot Water — This is probably the most underestimated appliance inside a home. It instantly provides heated water for your shower, faucet, dishwasher, and washing machine. In most cases, it will be powered by either electricity or natural gas.
  • Appliances — Not all appliances are created equal. There are different brands and models of refrigerators that will consume electricity in varying degrees of efficiency, and the same is true for all your other appliances.
  • Lighting — The kinds of bulbs and light sources you use in your home will affect your energy usage. The same is true for “smart” monitors that control when and how lights are being used.
  • Complex Systems — Every appliance can differ in how they use electricity, and the same is true for your home’s entire electrical system. Your home’s furnace, air conditioning unit, and ductwork can also be different in terms of efficiency.

There are many elements that go into making your home more energy efficient, but these are some of the primary examples.

How to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

If you’re a homeowner, today couldn’t be a better time to cut your energy usage. You can start by making an assessment of your current and future energy needs. You also want to make sure all the elements of your home can operate in the most efficient manner possible.

Here are some things that you should consider adding to your custom home design:

  • Installing Solar Panels — A lot of people talk about “renewable energy,” which involves the use of natural forces (such as the sun, wind, or moving water) to produce electricity. Solar panels turn the sun’s rays into useful electricity, so they can be used to power some or all of your home’s appliances, lighting, heating, and air conditioning.
  • Use Tankless Water Heaters — A standard water heater must be able to keep an entire tank of water (which is 40-50 gallons in most homes) heated at all times, but a tankless water heater instantly heats the water as it comes out from the main water source. It heats the water as it passes through a coil of pipes, which can be done through electricity or natural gas. So, it only uses energy when hot water is needed.
  • Purchase Energy Star Certified Appliances — Any home appliance, lighting fixture, hot water heater, and HVAC system can get Energy Star certified from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). They work as well as any non-certified product, but they use a lot less energy.
  • Install LED Lighting — LED bulbs have done a lot to make home lighting more energy efficient. They’re 75% more efficient than standard incandescent bulbs. They can also be programmed to turn on and off at specific times. They can even dim or shut off when no motion has been detected for a certain period of time.
  • Use Spray Foam Installation — Installing quality insulation in your floors, walls, ceilings, and attic can make your home’s heating and cooling system more efficient, so it won’t cost as much to operate. Insulation blocks the transfer of heat, so it will keep it in during the winter and out during the summer.
  • Purchase Smart Home Devices — Smart technology can help you to limit your home’s energy usage by making automatic adjustments at times when energy is or isn’t needed. A smart thermostat can adjust your home’s temperature during periods of peak activity or when no one is home. It can even adjust the temperature when it’s time to sleep.

If you’re looking for one of the best custom home builders in Corpus Christi, be sure to get in touch with Devonshire Custom Homes.


6 Benefits of Building a Custom Home

Your home is more than just any building. It’s a place where you can get away from all of life’s pressures. It’s also a place where you can make lasting memories with your family. Because you will spend so much time in your home to relax with your loved ones, entertain friends, and enjoy various hobbies, it must be able to accommodate your specific needs (all while reflecting your personal style).

When the time is right to build your “forever home,” one of the first and most important decisions you will have to make is whether to purchase an existing property or build your own custom home. While both have their pros and cons, here are some of the benefits of coming up with your own custom home design.

#1: Customized Options

Building a custom home is all about the ability to make choices. You will have the freedom to pick everything you want (including appliances, wall and floor coverings, trim designs, cabinetry, as well various amenities). If you prefer hand-painted art deco tiling instead of granite for your kitchen counters, you can have it. If you want to have a lot of natural light, you can install skylights in every room. You’re in charge of everything that goes into your new home, right down to the finest detail.

#2: Functionality

Everything in your custom home (including your floor plan) is built around you. Instead of working with a pre-existing floor plan or the limited options of a semi-custom home, you can tailor every inch of usable space to meet your specific needs. You’ll be able to eliminate any unused space, so you can adapt your home to meet your needs and lifestyle. Whether you prefer an open floor plan or want each room to be clearly defined, you can make it any way you want it. You can put a spiral staircase in the middle of a room, or you can build a customized wall of bookcases for your own private library (neither of which will be possible with a pre-built or semi-custom home.

#3: Personal Expression

A custom home design can be a direct reflection of your personal style, tastes, and personality. If you work with an architect or interior designer, you’ll be able to create a home that will become your “dream home.” If you’re an art collector, your home can include gallery-style walls with specialized lighting so you can showcase your most prized pieces.

If you like to enjoy a cup of coffee outdoors before you start your day, you can build a terrace coming off your kitchen or even your bedroom. Whether you like Mid-Century Modern, Greek Revival, Ranch, or Contemporary, your custom home can include whatever your heart desires.

#4: Lot Choices and Privacy

Whether you want to build your home in an active community or prefer the seclusion of a wooded lot, you can find the perfect spot. You can even design your home for the most amount of privacy or to take advantage of an amazing view.

#5: Material Quality

If you buy a pre-existing property or a semi-custom home, you don’t have a lot of control over the quality of the materials being used. The grade of the materials will vary from room to room and will include prefabricated materials that are lower quality, but a good custom builder will work with trusted tradesmen who will do quality work and use quality materials. With a custom home design, you will know it has been built with the best products, materials, and brands.

fancy custom bathroom

#6: Budget Flexibility

You may think that building a custom home is more expensive than a pre-existing or semi-custom home, but that isn’t always the case. It’s only more expensive if you want it to be, because you have complete control over how it’s built and the amount you’re willing to spend. Different features and materials will have a variety of price points, and the same is true for everything else that goes into a custom home design. When you work with a custom home builder, your budget is always taken into consideration — from when you start the design process to the day you move in.

When it comes to building a custom home, it’s important to work with someone you trust. If you’re looking for one of the best custom home builders in Corpus Christi, be sure to get in touch with Devonshire Custom Homes. We would be happy to speak with you about your specific needs!


You Dream It, We'll Design it, and We'll build it!

Devonshire Custom Homes
2129 Airline Road
Corpus Christi, TX 78414
(361)946-8208nzarg20@yahoo.com