Custom Home Builders Help You Create Your Forever Home

Custom Home Builders Help You Create Your Forever Home

Starter-homes were designed long ago to offer home buyers the potential of two basic opportunities: two or three small bedrooms, one or two bathrooms, a kitchen, minimal living area and a large backyard with lots of maintenance. As we progress in life, it becomes necessary to expand our available space and seek a more appealing person tough to your home. Custom building a home can be a dream come true for buyers looking for something extra special and unique to their needs. That’s the magic of building with Brookstone.


Buying a New Home

Today, buyers want more than a small shoe box home that will meet needs for just a few years. A nicer, bigger home without enough features to last for many years to come is the new standard for home owners oriented toward quality and comfort. The ‘forever’ home concept is not a fairy tale, it’s a real ideal that people follow when searching for properties to suit their long term needs. People are moving less and staying in existing homes longer these days. Rather than offering buyers starter homes to trade-up, Cincinnati home builders like Brookstone Homes are offering homes custom designed to meet all the buyer’s needs at the start of the process which last for longer as families grow.


Less Maintenance

Long-term home buyers are seeking low maintenance and energy efficiency in new properties. Features which appeal to a broad range of buyers are ideal. People are not interested in too much maintenance, so the amenities of the home have to be maintained easily with less work. Dual-paned windows with low-e coatings and high efficiency furnaces are in. Higher-quality appliances are an important feature as well. We pay special attention to the home features that have a long term impact on families and offer a wide range of energy safe and cost efficient solutions.


Future Needs

Planning for future needs and desires is key, especially for large families. Short-term homeowners don’t plan ahead for major home improvements. Long-term buyers start thinking about upgrades and improvements when shopping for a home, even if changes may not happen for 10 years or more. Buyers purchase custom-built homes with a focus on long-term benefits like a location that is going to stick with the family forever. Every decision counts when building your forever home.


Planning with Incentives

Most home buyers really love incentives when seeking that long lasting forever home. These are the details that bring an extra shine to the home environment and add another layer of comfort to the place you call home. Examples of some features families seek include:

  • Wider doorways
  • Enhanced lighting
  • Larger showers
  • Zero-step entrances
  • Living spaces for visiting family
  • Caregiver spaces
  • and more


Future planning is also about square footage and the right amount of space a family will want now and in the future. Homes that people typically buy range from 2,000-4,000 square feet of space to accommodate most needs. A home that is custom built with new-construction will focus on achieving a family’s future needs as much as immediate needs, setting you up for renovations that might be decades away. Referrals from other customers of a premium home builder is essential to ensure not only that the homes were built with quality but also that they have stood the test of time.  We’re proud of the testimonials our happy customers have offered on our behalf because it speaks to our commitment to quality and dependability in our work.


A custom dream home for you and your family is within reach. If you are ready to get started, call Brookstone Homes to meet with a home building specialist and review the many options for the place you’ll call home forever. 

What You Need to Know About Your Credit Score

What You Need to Know About Your Credit Score

While so much depends on your personal credit score, especially when buying a home in Cincinnati and surrounding areas, few home buyers fully understand how it works and what it means. Home buyers should check credit scores when considering a new home purchase because lenders will always reference this numerical marker to determine how much you can borrow.  Your credit score provides a snapshot of how you utilize credit and have handled accounts in the past. Lenders use this to make sure no errors or bad marks show up.  It’s like an indicator of trustworthiness in the financial world. Without a decent score it may be difficult to secure the necessary funding for a new custom home, renovations to your home, or re-financing opportunities. 


Your Credit Score is Your Own

Young buyers who are just getting married should be especially mindful of their own individual credit scores which are tabulated separately from one another. Having the conversation with your beloved about credit history may feel daunting but it is important to know what each of you is bringing to the table and how your credit scores measure up. Being late on car payments will only hurt the person whose name is on the loan, even if you’re married. Keeping separate accounts helps to keep catastrophic illness or job loss from forcing the other person to become liable for financial restitution. Joining a mortgage as a married couple can help credit scores especially if one is lower than the other and boost the probability of getting the loan.


Opening New Accounts

Opening up a new account for credit can be problematic if a person is cleared for a mortgage. It is best not to buy big ticket items like furniture or an automobile right before trying to obtain a mortgage. Waiting until the house mortgage is closed will help keep your credit score aloft so that the other big credit items won’t impact your mortgage approval.


Closing Accounts

It is generally best not to close out accounts since those show a credit history. Closing accounts may work against people in that it eliminates a good payment record and makes it harder to secure credit. When trying to rebuild or improve a score for mortgages, credit cards can help if payments are on time and balances are not too high.


Credit Cards

The ideal number of cards is 3-5 per person and with a reasonable balance that is paid off every month. Revolving credit on too many cards can make potential credit lenders nervous about spending habits. Never allow balances of active cards to get above 30 percent of available credit. Paying the minimum or more on time is always the best option when dealing with credit scores.


Working on these factors and maintaining good standing with your credit accounts can help maintain a positive credit score which will be a good way to show potential lenders things are looking good on the prospective buyer’s end as far as good spending habits go. It’s always a good idea to consult your credit score, and a banker, before making decisions on your dream home so that you know what your budget will be before going into the design and selection process.


If you’re ready to build the custom home of your dreams, call the experts here at Brookstone Homes. We’re ready to help you discern the health and capacity of your credit score so we can help you achieve your goals of beautiful custom home ownership.

Call us to find out how to get started!

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Building a Home vs. Buying an Existing Home

Home buying comes with many decisions, starting with whether to build that dream space or purchase an existing home. Both options have advantages and disadvantages. Here are some highlights that may serve as a guide in the process.


Advantages of Existing Home

One of the biggest advantages to buying an existing home is a quick turnaround. The process is straightforward for most people: pre-qualify for a loan, start shopping around, select the home which suits needs and desires of the buyer and close on the loan. Market conditions play a factor in the process which lists ‘must haves’ some homebuyers can complete in as little as 1-2 months.


Another distinct advantage is the potential for move-in-ready property. Most existing homes need only minor repairs and remodeling before moving in. Save a few dollars by painting and completing a few things without paying expensive contractors can still add value to the property.



It is not possible to know everything about a home even after a thorough inspection. If a person views home reno shows on television, this is case-in-point. What looks good on the outside may not look good on the inside. Existing homes sometimes come with unseen and unforseeable problems which may also be expensive.


Another disadvantage to buying an existing home is compromise. The perfect house in the wrong neighborhood, great neighborhood with a long commute to work or a few missing amenities can be big disadvantages down the road. At some point it helps to select what are ‘must haves’ and decide where compromise rests to finally settle on a home.


Advantages of New Homes

The biggest advantage of building a new home is that it can be built to individual specifications and desires. The individual picks everything. A new home will include modern, up-to-date features and designs with new appliances, eco-friendly materials and comes with more energy efficiencies to save money down the road. Depending on the builder, most new homes are available for a home warranty, ultimately saving from costly repair bills.


Disadvantages of New Homes

The biggest disadvantage of building a new home is the time commitment. More often than not, building a new home takes more time than buying an existing one. Weather, inspections, changing one’s mind on details and finishes can push final closing and completion further down the road. Construction loans must be paid while the home is being built.


Another disadvantage to building a new home is acquiring the right land. Available land for interested parties is an additional expense on top of the cost of the new home. Available, affordable land that is ready to build on may be scarce or overpriced in some markets, making it harder to find the lot to build the home of one’s dreams upon.


If you’re ready to build a custom home of your dreams, call Brookstone Homes. We will work with you to ensure we find the best available property and land for your requirements while fitting out the house to meet all your outside and inside needs. Why buy an existing home when you can build the one you really want? Call us to find out more.


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What You Should Know About Builder Allowances

When looking to build a home, it is important to understand all the nuances involved. A production house, for instance, is one where the model is repeated several times in the same community and within the builder’s other properties. This provides an opportunity to look for other places to purchase things such as carpeting and to bring appliances or other items from an old home into the new space.


How Allowances Work

If a builder is inclined to do so, the company will offer what is called an allowance. This is an amount for what it might otherwise cost to provide a product or service. The allowance is subtracted from the total contract price. When a person signs up to purchase a home for $325,000 for instance, the builder may provide a $10,000 allowance if appliances are purchased on one’s own, which brings the final price down to $315,000.


Allowances are not upgrades, chosen from a list of builder-provided choices. A better refrigerator and better flooring are good examples. Credits for an amount the builder would have paid for the item is a more way to look at allowances.


Challenges with Allowances

Builders do not always provide allowances and others may limit what allowances are provided. Scheduling is one way builders limit allowances. If countertops, for example, are purchased elsewhere and come in late, the whole job is thrown off schedule. If one item does not show up until after installers have left, the people need to come back to finish the job on their time schedule.


Another frequent problem with allowances is that the item purchased may be broken or damaged. Sometimes parts are missing or it is the wrong color. If items are scratched, dented, or not in acceptable condition, this may make more work for the fitters in the house who have to make room for a piece that is different in size or shape than originally planned. Returns and replacements are also a pain not only to the home buyer but the builder, as well, who must wait for delays to the final closing.


Different Builders

Different builders price allowances differently, so particular attention must be paid. Some give a straight dollar-for-dollar discount while others may only give a certain percentage of original cost. Say a $10,000 allowance is provided for tiling the builder does not provide. If $8,000 is for rebate, then $2,000 is for overhead and profit, the individual no longer sees that last bit of money. If tile costs more than $2,000, there may be additional charges incurred for the builder to install the tile. It is important to know all the costs up front.


To avoid some of the above challenges, make choices early. Give the builder breathing room to have correct specifications and have plenty of time for ordering. Make sure to understand the pricing policy and how it is written into the sales contract. This will make room for any last minute surprises and don’t be afraid to ask questions.


If you’re ready to build a custom home of your dreams, call Brookstone Homes. We will disclose all the information you need to make the best decision before and during the home building process. Call us to find out how to get started.


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Step by Step Guide to the Home Building Process

Building a new home is exciting but so is understanding how the process works to make sure all goes smoothly. Find some tips in the step by step guide to ensure things go to plan.


Prepare Site and Pour Foundation

Site preparation and foundation work are performed by the same crew but not on a wooded lot. Crews may clear rocks, debris, trees and more. As the crew levels the site, puts up wooden forms and digs holes in the ground, footings can finally be installed. For homes with wells, this will also be dug at this point. A hole will be dug for homes with a full basement with footings and foundation poured and formed as well. Once concrete is poured into the holes and trenches, time is needed to cure it followed by installation of foundation walls, drains, sewer, water taps, plumbing and more.


The first inspection will happen when a city inspector visits the site to make sure foundation components are up to code and properly installed. The inspection may be repeated depending on type of foundation.


Complete Rough Framing

Floor systems, walls and roof system must be completed. Plywood or oriented strand board sheathing is applied to the exterior walls, roof, windows and exterior doors. The sheathing is covered with a protective barrier to prevent liquid coming inside.


Complete Rough Plumbing, Electrical and HVAC

Once the shell is completed, siding and roofing can be installed. The electrical and plumbing contractors start running pipes and wires through interior walls, ceilings and floors. Sewer lines and vents along with water supply lines for each fixture are installed. Bathtubs and one-piece shower and tub units will be placed at this point. Ductwork is installed for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC). HVAC vent pipes are installed through the roof and insulation is installed in the floor, ceiling and walls.


The second, third and fourth inspections will be completed to look at rough framing, plumbing, electrical and mechanical systems. The framing inspection will be conducted separately from the electrical and mechanical inspections.


Insulation Install

Insulation plays an important role in creating a comfortable, consistent indoor environment while increasing a home’s energy efficiency. R-value is important which indicates how well material resists heat transfer. The following are common types of insulation:

  • Fiberglass
  • Celluose
  • Foam
  • Mineral wool
  • Concrete blocks
  • Foam or rigid board


Rounding it Out

The rest of the list may look like some of the following steps, which are just as important to ensure proper installation and future maintenance for the home owner.

  • Complete drywall and interior textures
  • Finishing interior trim with installation of exterior driveways and walkways
  • Installation of hard-surface flooring and countertops, including complete exterior grading
  • Complete mechanical trims and install bathroom fixtures
  • Install mirrors, shower doors and finish flooring along with exterior landscaping
  • Final inspection and walk through with builder to acquaint with features and operations of the homes systems


The steps to building a home may seem daunting but it is necessary to ensure a proper build from the foundation up which will keep a home safe and secure for the homeowner for years to come.


Brookstone Homes knows and understands the complex nature of building custom homes for our clients. We will walk you through each step of the way to ensure your total satisfaction, start to finish. Call us to find out how you can get started on building the home of your dreams.