Q: Should I buy an (1) existing home, (2) build on a custom builder’s lot, (3) have a custom builder build on my lot or (4) be my own builder on my own lot?

  1. A:Existing homes may be outdated, especially in the energy saving department, costing you more on your monthly utility bills. To please someone in the family, there maybe remodeling costs. The existing home will be priced to include realtor fees (owner builders do not have any realtor fees). Everything you pay for in the existing home will be in the mortgage with interest and that is usually for 30 years. You will not get this home at builder cost and it’s unusual for you to have any instant equity.
  2. A: Custom Builders (CB’s) have overhead, staff salaries, the CB’s salary, marketing cost, profit margins, benefit plans for employees and a system you have to fit into (build one of their plans or pay more to modify one). CB's buy at builder cost and then markup prices to their clients on almost everything, especially what is contained in their options show room, like wood flooring, tile, appliances, roofing, counter tops, plumbing fixtures, lighting, and cabinets. You can call their show rooms the “Profit Room.” Oh, and don’t forget the lot premiums for trees, location and lot views!
  3. A:Same answer as (2) above except you dodge the lot premium and lot markup.
  4. A.:As an owner builder, what you don’t pay for or save will never cost you a dime in principle or interest. Again BIG SAVINGS.

Owner builders buy at builder cost, often buy their land from secondary markets at big discounts, have none of the overhead costs that Custom Builders incur and are only concerned about saving margins, not profit margins. As an example, on the lot purchase, one of our clients recently purchased in the secondary market a near perfect 1 acre + lot for $35,000 less than market value. That $35,000.00 stays in his pocket and goes straight to equity on the final appraisal.

Q: Are you saying being an Owner Builder is the Best way to get my Dream Home at the very best price?

A. Yes. Absolutely. Sure is. Yep. No doubt. You bet it is. But most important - TRUE! Here’s why: TRUE Custom Green Built Homes is the ONLY ( yep that’s correct the ONLY) company to educate clients through our 24 FREE Builder University classes on all aspects of building your Dream Custom Home on your own lot so you will know:

  1. What are the TRUE secrets of
    1. How to save $30,00 to $100,000 or more when building on your own lot
    2. How to get instant home equity (10 - 25%) when you move in.
    3. How you save a bundle on mortgage finance & principle payments over 30 years. ($50,000-$200,000)
    4. How to save $100.00 to $200.00 or more per month on your energy charges.
    5. How to save money by selecting the right lot.
  2. What’s TRUE about the costs of building your custom home on your own lot?
  3. What’s not TRUE about the costs of building your custom home?
  4. Why it is best to build instead of buying existing homes.
  5. What are the good/better/ best green methods to get the good/better/ best return on your initial costs?
  6. Select custom components from anyone & anywhere in the world with no builder markup.
  7. Know exactly what your costs are with no add-ons such as markups, surcharges, fees, hidden costs etc.
  8. For the first time, be in total control of getting what you want at the cost you want.
  9. Have unlimited options for components in your Dream Home. If you love to save money, you can shop anywhere and everywhere in the WORLD to find the very best price on anything you want in your home. Again, this is something you cannot do when building with a custom builder. They want you to order through them and then they, yes you guessed it, will mark it up, charge a change or handling fee (or some new fee name) and make more money off you.

Q: What’s in it for me?

A: In addition to the answer directly above, you will have the personal rewarding satisfaction of knowing exactly what’s in your home, what’s behind the walls and have your personal stamp all over your Dream Home. We call this the TCGBH Signature Home Program. We will have a special gift for you when your home is done to make sure everyone knows it’s your unique Signature Dream Home.

Q: What am I expected to build as my own builder?

A: Surprise, you don’t have to build anything. No swinging hammers, wiring the home, painting or whatever unless, of course, you want to. Sweat equity, in this case, means only sweating when you are standing around in the heat and supervising your project. Some folks like and want to do some tasks in their home. It is another way to save some money. If you were working with a Custom Builder, they would most likely say no - you can’t do anything until the home is finished. But as an owner/builder, you make the rules to your own liking.

Q: What different roles will I have to perform as the owner builder/General contractor (call yourself what you want)?

A: Design your own home (fun), work with the architect to get the plans drawn, consult with us on your budget, work with your HOA if you have one, get permits (we will tell what ones you need and where to get them), order soil test and foundation engineering (again we will give you sources), hold your breaking ground party. schedule the work, order the work materials, select and order your custom finishes like cabinets, counter tops, flooring, tile, paint and so on, and make final selections on what subcontractor will perform the work. Use one of our site supervisors or go yourself to supervise and inspect each phase of building. You will learn in the TRUE Builder University classes what you are looking for. Enjoy the process with pride and a sense of satisfaction. Hold the open house. Yea! And no you do not have to memorize this. We have a book with all this info contained therein.

Q: Will I be able to do this without building experience?

A. If you can plan, talk (in person and on the phone), read, write and think you have the skills you need. One of the insiders secrets is this is not rocket science. It is helpful and saves time if you have a computer and use email (beats snail mail from a time perspective). Many folks, from all walks of life and ages have done it before you. We know from experience you are up to the task. We have never had a home that was not completed to our client’s satisfaction!

Q. When do I need to start this process?

A. Whenever you want to. From a planning perspective sooner rather than later is best. Our TRUE Builder University classes are ongoing all the time. If your time is short we can compress TRUE Builder info into the necessary number of one on one session with our clients. If you have time and plan to build our Dream Home in the next 1- 5 years come out and get smart about how to build the best at the best price. Remember it may take a while just to find the land you what. There is a lot you need to know about the lot (pun intended) before you buy it. If you already have your lot we will educated you on how to best place the home and what you can do to make the home as green as practical.

Q. How much of my time will this take?

A. In the early stages of designing and deciding what you want in the home, you can spend 5-15 hours a week. In the actual construction stages it will be 10-20 hours a week. Most families do this while both work full time jobs. So let’s just focus on the 6 months it will take to build your home. That’s 40- 80 hours a month x 6 months = 240 to 480 hours total. If you save $50,000.00 on your project, that means you will be paying yourself $104.00 to $208.00 an hour for the time you spend with your part time love affair/hobby/dream fulfillment/having fun/getting what you always wanted. Oh, and by the way, that equity is income tax free.

Would that be good value for your time? Since I don’t know what you make, I will leave that answer up to you. Some folks might see that as really good money.

Thinking About a New Home? Here Are Your Options

Buy an existing home

  • Check NoSaves on Land
  • Check NoSaves You Money
  • Check NoLeast Expensive
  • Check NoBest Savings

Buy new from a builder

  • Check NoSaves on Land
  • Check NoSaves You Money
  • Check NoLeast Expensive
  • Check NoBest Savings

Hire to build on your own land

  • Check YesSaves on Land
  • Check NoSaves You Money
  • Check NoLeast Expensive
  • Check NoBest Savings

You Build on your own land

  • Check NoSaves on Land
  • Check NoSaves You Money
  • Check NoLeast Expensive
  • Check NoBest Savings

We're Ready To Help! Contact Us Today!

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What Our Clients Are Saying ...

"I am most impressed about the energy efficiency. Summer and winter, my highest bill is $90, but the average is about $65 with the lowest being $35. My home in California could easily cost $400/month to heat or cool. Thanks for helping this all happen."

–Lloyd Serra

""With the many opportunities for saving money, having equity in our house, having the green features we wanted, upgrading where we wanted to (my wife is a devotee of HGTV) and total control of the project I was very interested in working with Build Green Custom Homes to build our dream home. My big questions were could we do this from a time and skills perspectives? Attending Builders University and having both the Built Green Team and their written system to answer all my questions."

–Michael and Carol Sullivan

"I am most impressed about the energy efficiency. Summer and winter, my highest bill is $90, but the average is about $65 with the lowest being $35. My home in California could easily cost $400/month to heat or cool. Thanks for helping this all happen."


Call 512.730.3950 to get started building your new custom home

Proudly Serving San Antonio, Austin, and New Braunfels, Texas

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