Your home is far more than a compilation of bricks and mortar. It’s the place where you build your family and memories, a place that delivers a sense of peace and celebration, a gathering place for family and friends, a place for thoughtful solitude, and a place that gives you a sense of accomplishment. G.K. Chesterton put it well: “The truth is that the home is the only place of liberty, the only spot on earth where a man can alter arrangements suddenly, make an experiment on indulging in a whim. The home is not the one tame place in a world of adventure; it is the one wild place in a world of rules and set tasks.”
When you get the opportunity to build your dream home, you have a monumental task in front of you. The good news, though, is that you don’t have to go it alone. Omaha is home to experts in the entire process, starting with finding the right spot to build to putting together an accurate budget of costs and financing to mapping out just the right size, layout, materials, and technologies, to designing and furnishing the insides, and then settling into your dream in real time.
Centris Federal Credit Union (centrisfcu.org) offers financing for both builders and homebuyers. Their consumer-financing product is a short-term, 12-month loan that is then refinanced into a traditional mortgage upon completion of your dream home. It involves two separate loan closings, and the borrower makes monthly interest-only payments on the construction loan based on the outstanding balance. Centris works directly with your builder to manage and monitor the progress as construction is completed.
“Since our consumer financing involves two separate loans—the construction financing and the mortgage financing—a borrower will work with both our construction lending and mortgage teams,” said Centris Vice President Construction/Commercial Lending Deb Benak. “Centris Federal Credit Union has developed a program designed to take the stress out of financing the building of a dream home. The financing blueprint is handled by local team members with significant experience in their respective roles.”
If you’re contemplating building a new home, Centris Federal Credit Union encourages you to begin the mortgage pre-approval process as early as possible. Once you have identified a potential property within your budget, having been pre-approved allows the process to move along more quickly as you work to finalize your plans and contract with the builder—and helps lock in an interest rate to keep you from overspending!
Protecting Your Investment
Simply put, the housing market in Omaha right now is on fire, with 2020 recording the most single-family construction permits filed in more than a decade. When you’re ready to get started on your homebuilding project, West Gate Bank (westgate.bank) is a premier option in Lincoln for home-construction financing, including construction loans and mortgages. They’ll walk you through the entire process and make it as painless as possible for you. You don’t have to be an expert in construction planning and finance, either, because they have all the expertise you’ll need and will share it with you in terms that you can understand.
“When you choose West Gate Bank for home construction financing, our team of experienced lenders will help you through every step in the construction project, helping to protect you and your investment,” said Senior Vice President, Manager of Residential Construction Lending Taylor Ashburn. “We pride ourselves on meticulous and thorough management of your project from start to finish. By having a dedicated Construction Loan Department, your project is in good hands as we monitor the monthly construction draws, conduct on-site inspections, track lien waivers, and reconcile your project budget against the actual spend. If something doesn’t look right, we will let you know.”
Once your build is complete, West Gate has a team of mortgage lenders ready to assist you with the permanent financing of your new home. They are proud to service mortgage loans locally, which means they won’t sell off the servicing of your home loan to another bank. They also have an option for customers to lock in their mortgage interest rate up to nine months in advance of the completion of a new home.
Ensure Proper Insurance
While you don’t need to acquire homeowners’ insurance before your new dream home is complete, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to think about insurance. Before and throughout construction, your builder is responsible for carrying insurance coverage, and you should make sure they are properly covered. King Insurance (kingins.com) writes comprehensive and customized policies for builders to cover inland marine, general liability, auto liability, workers compensation, employers’ liability, and excess/umbrella liability.
“Contractors working on your home must carry liability coverage and builder’s risk insurance while the project is underway,” said Owner Rick King. “We strongly recommend that homebuyers get a Certificate of Insurance (COI) from the builder when your contract is signed. The COI is proof of business insurance and provides a snapshot of the details of the policy. This provides the evidence of who is responsible for what when it comes to the construction of your home, protecting you as the buyer.”
Limits to be aware of when reviewing the builder’s COI are General Liability ($1 million), Workers Compensation ($500,000), and Builders Risk (will vary depending on the project). King Insurance also writes personal coverage policies, including homeowners’ coverage for the homebuyer when the home is completed, as well as auto, umbrella, and specialty coverage for boats, RVs, and motorcycles.
Building a new home can be a messy process, but daily cleanup—and workers’ personal needs—can be met hassle-free when builders contact redbox+ of Omaha (redboxplus.com/omaha) and rent their combination portable toilet and dumpster roll-off. The first of their kind available in the Omaha, Council Bluffs, and Lincoln area, these roll-offs are specifically designed for use on commercial and residential construction sites, and they are truly a unique product. The bright red, powder-coated containers, which are manufactured in the U.S., are meticulously designed for durability. You—and your soon-to-be-neighbors—will appreciate daily upkeep of your home site throughout the construction process, too.
“Roll off containers are a must have for new home construction,” said redbox+ of Omaha President Mark Fredrickson. “Once framing begins, construction debris and waste piles up daily. Having a quality roll-off container and timely servicing of the container is an absolute must to assure debris is not piling up and being blown around the neighborhood.”
They come in 20- and 30-yard sizes, both Standard and Elite, which are ideal for larger projects. The Elite containers include two porta potties, securely mounted onto the front of the container, ensuring they can’t be tipped over or stolen—a common problem for the industry.
“The roll off container industry has not seen change in over 60 years—that is, until redbox+ and our patent Elite containers,” Mark said. “Another necessity on job sites is porta potties. Our Elite containers provide solutions to two required services on every job site. Another bonus with our Elite containers is that the porta potties cannot be tipped over, and the front of the Elite container provides a free advertising opportunity. There is also something to be said about job site image. With our clean, eye-catching bright red containers, you never know how many jobs could be landed by maintaining a professional job site appearance.”
A Trustworthy Guide
When it comes to selecting a builder for your project, you’ll have a host to choose from, though you may find yourself on a waiting list to get dependable contractors on the job. It’s worth waiting to get reputable contractors that will get the job done right, though. TSR Construction (tsrconstructs.com) is a Class A contractor licensed, bonded, and fully insured. Building on a tradition of excellence in house remodeling, TSR Construction provides clients with full range of construction services including roofing, carpentry, electrical, painting, concrete, and flooring. TSR is a general contractor and will manage the entire process of building your home, and they are current on all the latest trends.
“We are seeing the trend of having more open spaces like the kitchen that opens to the den and possibly dining areas,” said TSR Owner Tony Reynolds. “Efficiency is key. Homeowners are better understanding that 100% of their spaces should be completely usable. What sets us apart is affordable pricing, the quality of our work, and our commitment to our customers.”
When you are planning to build your dream home, TSR warns against having plans drafted before checking the current cost of construction. Without proper guidance, people in the early planning stages of building a house tend to skip the fundamental steps of the process. First-time planners often jump right into having the home designed and get a set of house plans drawn up even though they have no accurate guidance as to how much it will ultimately cost.
Using stonework on your new home is a great way to add a bit of class and some unique modern touches to your project, and Stonebrook Exterior (stonebrookexterior.com) is a master at getting it done. Their services include, but are not limited to, exterior wall and siding systems, roofing systems, masonry elements, windows, gutters, and metal wall panels.
“Homeowners are wanting to find ways that make their home unique, an element that sets them apart from other homes in their neighborhood,” said Stonebrook Exterior Business Development Manager TwiLea Fletcher. “Sometimes all you need is a minor change that makes a drastic difference in the exterior of your home. In many cases, commercial product applications differentiate a residence and will create a much more attractive finish.”
Minor cost enhancements or upgrades to a home will give the new owners a residence with greater curb appeal should they ever find themselves in a sellers’ market down the road. Buyers should look for design elements that will differentiate their home to give it uniqueness and personal style.
“Our team works with the customer throughout the entire process, from learning the customers’ needs and desires for the home to selecting the right quality product that will provide years of enjoyment,” TwiLea said.
The siding you choose for your home can also make or break its curb appeal and resale value, so it’s crucial that you choose the right siding for your home’s style, the neighborhood, and its longevity. Continental Siding Manufacturing LLC (sidingmfg.com) is a reputable building-materials supplier in Omaha with a phenomenal selection of siding options to fit any style and budget. That includes high-resistant siding that can withstand what Nebraska weather throws its way. Continental is the perfect guide to help you find the just-right, seamless, heavy-duty custom polymer siding that offers triple the strength of vinyl siding—and can make the difference in whether you regret or celebrate your new home!
Style for a Lifetime
Locally owned by husband-and-wife team Greg and Katie Frazell, G. Lee Homes (omahasbuilder.com) takes building to a higher standard. With expertise in new construction, remodeling, and even the buying and selling of homes, Greg and Katie can come alongside you to make your dreams a reality. Their skill set and dependable reputation has earned them a place as a one of the recommended builders in two exciting upcoming breathtaking developments emerging in the Omaha area—the Flatwater Lake Estates/Flatwater Lake, 10 minutes from Village Pointe, and Vistancia in Elkhorn. Lake homes are like taking a vacation without leaving home—but they take particular expertise to build.
“Building on acreages and lakes comes with unique challenges, which require experience and knowledge that not all builders have, but G. Lee Homes does,” said Owner Greg Frazell. “That is why customers trust us to build these custom dream homes.”
Since G. Lee Homes can work with you on so many levels—from the real estate side of things to the design-build process—it’s no wonder they have such a great reputation.
“Our dedication is evident in the fact that we have twice been selected as the People’s Choice Award Winner during the Street of Dreams, the region’s most premier home tour event,” Greg said. “We also make sure there isn’t anything overlooked in the budget so there won’t be any costly surprises down the road!”
Building your dream home is a huge undertaking, and as you can see, there are a multitude of pieces to the puzzle. Fortunately, if you contact the experts featured here, you can make your build a lot less stressful—and your dream home a reality!