Custom Home Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the building process?

New home construction typically takes around 8-9 months for the entire process, but it can vary depending on square footage and weather. You can check out a more detailed step by step timeline in our Ultimate Guide to Home Building eBook. It’s best to get started in the process earlier than you would think to ensure you have the financing and permits to get started.

What time of year should I build a house?

Although the most popular time of the year to build is during the summer, we can build houses all year long. Michigan does get some snowy weather in the winter though, learn how to plan your home build around Michigan weather here. If you want to avoid winters all together, start planning your home build during the winter months so that you can start construction in the spring and finish before the snow starts.

Why should I build a custom home?

A custom home will give you exactly what you want. There is no need to make any compromises, everything is personalized to you, from the floor plan to the doorknobs. There are many more reasons why you should a build a custom home: everything is brand new, you can build anywhere, superior quality, no need to negotiate, total privacy, energy efficient - the list goes on! Read all about it in our blog post reviewing why you should build instead of buy.

How does custom home financing work?

When building a custom home, a standard mortgage will not cut it. You’ll need to secure a construction loan. These are normally short-term loans (6-12 months) used to cover the actual cost of building a home. Once construction of the house is finished, you can either refinance the construction loan into a permanent mortgage or get a new loan to pay off the construction loan. If you are working with a custom builder, construction loans are often paired with lot financing loans.

Bridge financing can also be an important tool for you. Bridge loans are short term financings (6-9 months) designed to eliminate a cash crunch and “bridge the gap” between your two homes. For example, to help get you through the period of time before your current home is sold and when your new home is being built.

Download our How to Finance Your New Home Build infographic to learn more about financing.

How much does a custom home build cost?

Since we build custom homes, each home is customized and personalized to it’s owners. There are hundreds of variables at play, affecting cost when designing and building a new home: square footage, number of floors, materials used, etc. We work with each of our customers to ensure their home fits within their budget. We can also recommend what items to splurge on and what to save on.

Do you have floor plans?

Yes, we have several floor plans. You can view all of our floor plans in our Catalog of Floor Plans. They are a great starting off point and can be customized to your liking. If you don’t know exactly what you should include in your floor plan, download our lifestyle checklist. You can add unique elements into your floor plan that are perfect for your lifestyle. Whether that’s a custom home office, a large kitchen designed for entertaining, a serene master suite, or a beautiful backyard living space.

Do I need to have land secured before contacting a builder?

No, you don’t have to own land before you start working with us here at Elon Homes. We can help you secure a piece of land and sometimes we already have lots available to purchase. As home building experts, we can help you through the process and give greater insight on what you should look for in a piece of land. Location can add a lot of value to your home, so it’s important not to compromise location for price as it will give you a bigger return on investment in the long run. If you do already own land, be sure to bring in the county records to your first meeting with your builder.

Where do you build custom homes?

We build in West Michigan at Elon Homes. There are so many great reasons to build a home in West Michigan. From the great schools to the wonderful parks – it’s a great place to raise a family. Learn which school districts are the best in our Ultimate Guide to Home Building in West Michigan.

Grand Rapids is an emerging housing market and was ranked  2nd in’s hottest housing markets in 2019. There’s great night life in Grand Rapids and high quality breweries. It’s also a great place to retire! U.S. News and World Report named Grand Rapids one of the best places to retire based on social security alone. AARP also named it in the top five cities to retire in.

What is a spec home?

“Spec” is short for “speculative”, which means that a builder builds a home based on market demand speculating that someone will want to buy it when it’s complete. The builder purchases the lot and begins the building process before they even have a buyer. Spec homes are a great option for buyers wanting a newly built home but who also want to move in as soon as possible. Download our Spec Home Guide for more details and check if we have any spec homes available here!

Can I visit my home during while it’s under construction?

Yes, you can visit your new home during construction. We want to ensure that your dream home is just as you envisioned it. Download our Final Walkthrough Checklist to see what the process is like reviewing the home before it’s finished. It is important to note that if you visit, it is at your own risk. It is still a construction site and should be visited with the builder there too. 

Do you build energy efficient homes?

Yes, one of the many benefits of building custom homes is that they are energy efficient since they are new and have to follow newer codes that are more environmentally friendly. Choosing the right insulation, HVAC system, and windows will make your home more energy efficient. You can also customize your home to have energy efficient appliances or landscaping. Not only will you be saving the planet, but you will also have saving money on your energy bills.