Is Building a Custom Home Right for You? Exploring the Costs and Benefits

Hey there, dream home seekers! At Hostetler Family Homes, we know that finding your perfect home is more than just a task – it’s a journey of turning your dreams into reality. Whether you’re eyeing that cozy corner in the countryside or dreaming of a modern masterpiece, we’re here to collaborate with you every step of the way.

Home Purchase Options

Let’s start by exploring your home-buying options. Whether you’re leaning towards buying an existing home or pondering the idea of building a custom one, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons.

Existing Homes

Ah, the classic choice of buying an existing home. It’s like finding a hidden treasure – ready for you to move in and start making memories. With established neighborhoods and cozy corners, existing homes offer a sense of warmth and familiarity.

But there’s more to consider – while existing homes have their charms, they often require some TLC to make them truly shine. You’ll likely need to invest time, money, and even a bit of sweat equity to bring them up to your standards. From updating the kitchen to redoing the bathroom, making an existing home look and function the way you want can be a labor of love.

Plus, many existing homes were built according to older building codes. That means they might not meet the same safety and energy efficiency standards as newer homes. From outdated wiring to inefficient insulation, these older homes can sometimes pose safety hazards and lead to higher utility bills.

Sure, they might come with a lower price tag, but there are trade-offs. Limited customization options mean you might have to compromise on that dream kitchen or cozy reading nook. And let’s not forget about those surprise maintenance visits – they can really throw a wrench in your plans.

Production Homes

Now, let’s talk about production homes – the middle ground between existing and custom homes. They’re like the canvas waiting for your personal touch. With a set design and quicker construction timelines, production homes offer a blend of convenience and customization.

But here’s the thing – production homes are often built to the minimum building standards allowed. They’re value-engineered to cost less to build, which can sometimes come at the expense of quality and functionality. From thinner walls to cheaper materials, these homes may not offer the same level of durability and craftsmanship as custom-built ones.

Production homes often come with limitations on lot choices and building locations. Builders typically construct these homes within their own neighborhoods, not scattered sites or on acreage, meaning your options may be limited to their specific developments. This can restrict your ability to choose a location that perfectly suits your preferences and lifestyle. 

So while production homes offer convenience and affordability, it’s important to consider whether the available locations, options, and quality standards align with your vision for your future home.

Custom Homes

And then there’s the pièce de résistance – custom homes, our specialty here at Hostetler Family Homes. Picture this: a home that’s as unique as you are, crafted to match your dreams. From the floor plan to the finishing touches, every detail is tailored to your vision.

Now, let’s talk about customization – the heart and soul of custom home building. With endless possibilities, the world truly is your oyster when it comes to designing your dream home. But we understand that the sheer number of options can sometimes be overwhelming for our customers. That’s where we come in.

At Hostetler Family Homes, we’re here to guide you through every step of the customization process. From helping you design the perfect floor plan to selecting the finishes that reflect your style, our experienced team will make sure your vision comes to life without the stress.

But here’s another tidbit – not all custom home builders are created equal. Some have reputations for quality craftsmanship and exceptional customer service, while others have left customers with nothing but headaches and regrets. With Hostetler Family Homes, you can rest assured that you’re in good hands.

Our commitment to excellence and our unwavering dedication to customer satisfaction set us apart from the rest. With a proven track record of delivering stunning custom homes that exceed expectations, we’ve earned the trust and admiration of our clients time and time again. So why settle for anything less than the best? Choose Hostetler Family Homes for a custom home experience that’s truly second to none.

Is Building a Custom Home Right for Me? Assessing the Worth

Now, let’s talk turkey – is building a custom home the right choice for you? Well, if you’re anything like our past customers the answer is a resounding yes!

With our collaborative approach and commitment to integrity, we’ll make sure your custom home journey is as smooth as possible. From finding the perfect location to selecting the right finishes, we’ll be by your side every step of the way.

Building a custom home is a big decision. It requires time, money, and careful planning. But for many, the benefits far outweigh the costs. The ability to choose your location, design, and builder gives you unparalleled control over your home-buying experience.

Sure, it’s a significant investment, but it’s one that pays off in the long run. With the right builder by your side – like Hostetler Family Homes – you can rest assured that your dream home is in good hands.


So, there you have it – the scoop on finding your dream home with Hostetler Family Homes. Whether you’re ready to dive into the world of custom homes or just dipping your toes in the water, we’re here to make your dream home a reality. Ready to take the plunge? Let’s chat and turn your dreams into keys.

Schedule a free consultation with us today and start your custom home journey.

Building Your Dream Home: Choosing the Perfect Builder Before Design Begins

Building a custom home is one of the most exciting, and potentially stressful, ventures you will ever embark upon.  The most important decision you’ll make during this process is selecting the right builder for you.  A trustworthy and professional builder will not only ensure the construction of a high-quality home designed just for you, but also provide an enjoyable building experience.  In this blog post, we will discuss some strategies to use when selecting your builder for your forever home.

Define Your Needs and Expectations: Before searching for a builder, it’s important to define your needs and expectations. Consider your budget, preferred location, style, size, and any specific features you desire. This will help you narrow down your options and find builders who specialize in the type of home you want.  At this point in the process DO NOT focus on floor plans.  A professional builder will be able to design a plan specifically tailored to your lifestyle and tastes.

Research Builders: Once you have a clear idea of what you’re looking for, start researching builders in your area. Review their websites, social media pages; and look for indications of involvement in the industry and community.  Also read testimonials or reviews and ask friends and family for recommendations.

Create a Short List and Reach Out:  Narrow it down to a list of no more than 3 custom home builders who specialize in the type of home you’re looking for.  Reach out to them through their website contact form, email, or phone.  Use this to ensure that they respond to your inquiry in a timely manner. Builders who have poor communication with their clients also tend to have poor communication with their suppliers and subcontractors, which tends to lead to delays on site and quality issues. At this stage you are looking for reasons to disqualify a builder from your shortlist, such as if they don’t respond to your inquiry in a reasonable time frame.

Schedule a Discovery Call: For the builders that do respond, invest 15-20 minutes into an initial phone conversation. Expect a professional builder to be asking you a lot more questions than you ask them at this stage, so they can understand your desired end result.  If the call goes well, schedule a site visit with a builder.

Site Visit: A professional builder will be prepared to meet in person to show you a portfolio of previous projects, share transparent pricing, and discuss their building processes and systems.  This is also a great time to address additional questions you may have, such as the builder’s relationships with vendors, subcontractors, and building inspectors.  During this time discuss construction slot availability, the timeline to build and additional customer references they can provide.

When you choose a custom builder you are entering a partnership relationship with them that may last over a year.  If you don’t feel comfortable with them after your initial meeting, it is time to move on.

Check Credentials and Experience: Verify the builder’s credentials and experience in the industry.  Follow up on the customer references they provided and research their involvement in professional organizations and their community.  Ask about their experience in constructing custom homes and their familiarity with local building codes and regulations. A builder with extensive experience and a solid reputation will likely have the knowledge and expertise to handle your project efficiently.

Subcontractor Relationships: Builders often work with subcontractors for various aspects of construction. Inquire about the subcontractors the builder employs and if the builder has longstanding relationships with them. Quality subcontractors are crucial for delivering a well-built home.

Communication and Collaboration: Effective communication and collaboration are vital throughout the custom home building process. During your initial meetings, assess how well the builder listens to your ideas and addresses your concerns. A builder who communicates clearly, provides regular updates, and involves you in decision-making will ensure a smoother and more enjoyable building experience.

Transparency and Contracts: Ensure the builder operates with transparency and provides detailed contracts. Review the contract thoroughly and clarify any doubts before signing. Pay attention to essential details such as timelines, payment schedules, warranties, and any provisions for changes or unforeseen circumstances. A reputable builder will be transparent about costs and timelines and address your concerns adequately.

Selecting the right builder for your custom home is a decision that requires careful consideration. By defining your needs, researching builders, reviewing portfolios, checking credentials, seeking references, and emphasizing communication and transparency, you can make an informed choice. At Hostetler Family Homes, we believe that building a custom home is a collaborative process, and choosing a reputable and trustworthy builder is essential to contribute to a successful outcome and a home that truly reflects your vision. Contact Us today to learn more.

From Concept to Creation: Navigating the Timeline of Building Your Dream Home with a Custom Home Builder

Building a custom home is an exciting and rewarding experience. It is also a complex process that requires careful planning, communication, and collaboration between the builder, the homeowner and other professionals involved in the project.  If you are considering a new custom-built home for your future, you will want to have a realistic view of the potential timeline and typical stages of the building process. 

Phone Consultation, Initial Meetings, and Land Acquisition (2-4 weeks)

The first step toward building a custom home with Hostetler Family Homes is scheduling a free, no obligation phone consultation to get to know each other and discuss your custom home project.

Based on our conversation, if it seems like we are a good fit to work together, we will schedule an in-person meeting to learn more about you and your plans for building a custom home, as well as tell you about our company and unique processes.  We will also review photos and videos of our recent projects, so you may get a better idea of our quality and pricing.  During this phase, it is necessary to discuss the vision, budget, timeline, and any specific requirements of the project. 

If land and lot location has yet to be determined, Hostetler Family Homes can help you assess land options. It’s important to keep in mind that identifying the right property could add weeks or months to the process. 

Concept Agreement – Planning and Design (1-3 months)

The next stage of building a custom home is planning and design. When you’re comfortable with our quality, processes, and price range, we enter into a concept agreement and take a small deposit that covers the costs of your custom home design with us. During this phase the homeowner works with the builder to define their needs and wants for the home, including the layout, style, and features they desire. This stage will include conceptual drawings, floor plans, elevations, and 3D renderings to complete the concept.

Financing & Selections (1-3 months)

When the plans are completed, we will finalize the pricing and enter into a Construction Agreement.  This construction agreement, along with the construction drawings will need to be submitted to your bank to initiate the financing process.  The bank will conduct an appraisal on the to-be-built home, as well as collect various documents from you to finalize a construction loan.

If you don’t require financing and will purchase your home with cash, the process can be expedited, and we can begin obtaining permits for your new custom home.

During financing and permitting phases, you will be working with our Selections Coordinator to pick the materials, finishes, and color palettes for your new home.

Permitting (1-3 Months)

Before construction can begin, and after your financing has closed, Hostetler Family Homes will obtain the necessary permits and approvals from local authorities. This process can take several weeks to several months, depending on the location and complexity of the project. 

Rough Structure Construction (2-3 Months)

Once the permits are finalized, the builder will begin site preparation, which includes clearing the land, grading, and excavating for the foundation. The foundation is the most critical component of the home, and it must be built to exact specifications and inspected thoroughly.

When your foundation is complete, we will begin framing the home. This includes constructing the walls, roof, and floors, and installing windows and doors. This phase is critical for ensuring the structural integrity of the home.

Mechanicals & Exterior Finishes (1-2 Months)

Once the framing and exterior work are complete, installation of the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems can begin. This stage involves the wiring, plumbing, ductwork, and other components necessary for the operation of the home.  Attention to detail and coordination with other subcontractors is crucial to ensure everything is installed correctly and meets local codes and regulations.

Interior Finishes (2-3 months)

After the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems are installed, work can begin on the interior finishes of the home. This includes installing drywall, flooring, cabinetry, countertops, and fixtures. Effective collaboration is key in coordinating schedules and executing this stage, which is when the home begins to take shape and the client’s vision becomes a reality.

Final Touches and Move-In (1-2 months)

The final stage of the building process involves completing any remaining details and performing a final inspection of the home. The builder will also address any issues that arise during the inspection and make any necessary repairs. Once everything is complete, the homeowner will move into their new custom home.

In conclusion, building a custom home requires careful planning and execution to ensure that the final result is a beautiful, functional, and structurally sound home. By understanding the timeline of a build, homeowners can work with their builder to manage expectations and ensure that the process runs smoothly. Contact us today to start your journey home.

Aging in Place: Designing Homes for Comfort, Safety, and Independence

Building a custom home is an exciting opportunity to create a space that is tailored to your needs and lifestyle. However, if you or a loved one plans to age in place in your new home, there are specific features that should be considered to ensure that it remains safe and comfortable for years to come. In this article, we will discuss some of the most important features to consider when building a custom home for aging in place in Northeast, Ohio.

Single-Level Living

One of the most critical features to consider for aging in place is a single level living design. This layout means that all essential areas, including bedrooms, bathrooms, and common spaces, are located on the same floor, eliminating the need for stairs. Stairs can be challenging and dangerous for those with mobility issues, and a single level living design provides the necessary convenience and safety for aging in place.

Wide Doorways and Hallways

Another essential feature to consider is the width of doorways and hallways. To accommodate wheelchairs, walkers, and other mobility devices, it is crucial to have wider doorways and hallways throughout the home. A standard doorway is around 30 inches wide, while a wheelchair requires a minimum of 32 inches to pass through comfortably. For hallways, a width of at least 36 inches is recommended to allow for easy navigation.

Easy Access Showers and Tubs

Bathrooms are one of the most dangerous rooms in the home for those with mobility issues. Therefore, it is crucial to consider the design and layout of the bathroom, including the shower and tub. Installing an easy access shower or walk-in tub with grab bars and non-slip flooring is essential for those with limited mobility. This feature also allows for independent living and eliminates the need for assistance when bathing.

Non-Slip Flooring

Falls are a leading cause of injury among older adults. Therefore, it is crucial to choose non-slip flooring throughout the home, particularly in high-risk areas such as bathrooms and kitchens. Non-slip flooring provides traction and reduces the risk of slips and falls, ensuring that the home remains safe and comfortable for aging in place.

Lever Door Handles and Faucets

Traditional doorknobs and faucets can be challenging to operate for those with arthritis or limited hand strength. Lever door handles and faucets are an excellent alternative, providing easy operation with minimal effort. Installing these features throughout the home ensures that every aspect of the space is easily accessible for aging in place.

Ample Lighting

It is essential to consider the lighting throughout the home. Adequate lighting is crucial for those with visual impairments or limited mobility, providing visibility and reducing the risk of falls. Installing a mix of natural and artificial lighting, including task lighting in high-risk areas, ensures that the home remains safe and comfortable for aging in place.

Zero Entry Doors

Another critical feature to consider when building a custom home for aging in place is zero-entry doors into the house from the garage and exterior. A zero-entry door is flush with the ground, eliminating the need for a step or threshold. This design feature is particularly useful for those with mobility issues or who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices. Zero-entry doors provide easy access into the home and reduce the risk of trips and falls, ensuring that the space remains safe and comfortable for aging in place. Additionally, a zero-entry door also makes it easier to move larger items such as furniture or appliances into the home, providing added convenience for homeowners.

Building the Future of Aging in Place with a Custom Home

Aging in place is a trend that is gaining popularity in Northeast Ohio, and custom home builders have a unique opportunity to design homes that are well-suited for this lifestyle. By incorporating elements such as single level living, wide doorways and hallways, easy access showers and tubs, non-slip flooring, lever door handles and faucets, and ample lighting, custom homes can provide a safe and comfortable living environment for older adults. Additionally, custom homes offer the flexibility to adapt to changing needs over time, ensuring that homeowners can age in place with confidence and independence. As custom home builders, it’s our responsibility to create homes that support aging in place and provide a foundation for a fulfilling life in the later years. By building the future of aging in place, we can help ensure that our clients can continue to enjoy their homes and their lives for many years to come.

Contact us today to start your journey home.

Location, Location, Location:  Why Choosing the Right Lot is Critical for Your New Custom Home Build

At Hostetler Family Homes, we believe one of the most important decisions you will make is choosing the location for your new custom home. The location you choose will have a significant impact on your lifestyle, your home’s value, and your long-term satisfaction with your investment. That’s why it’s essential to take a systematic approach to selecting a building lot location that meets your unique needs and preferences. Here’s a complete checklist of considerations to keep in mind as you evaluate potential locations.


Consider the overall quality of the neighborhood, the proximity to schools, shopping, and other amenities, and the level of traffic and noise. Evaluate the accessibility of the lot, including the proximity to major roads, highways, and public transportation. Take a drive through the neighborhood at different times & days to get a feel for the patterns, determining if this location will best suit your family’s lifestyle and needs. 

Avondale – Canton, Ohio

Comparable Homes & Tax Rates

Comparing homes and tax rates when considering where to build a new custom home is important because it helps you make an informed decision about the overall cost of living in a particular area.  Understanding the cost-benefit analysis will help ensure you are getting the best value for your investment. Comparing homes will give you an idea of what features and amenities are available in different areas, allowing you to find a location that meets your needs and lifestyle.  Tax rates can vary, and it is important to know how they will impact your budget.


Check with local zoning laws and regulations to make sure the land you are considering can be used for the purpose you have in mind. It will be important to research the area’s outlook for growth. If there are vacant areas around you, will there be potential for development, both residential and commercial?

Topography & Soil

Evaluate the terrain of the lot, including any slopes or hills, to make sure it can accommodate the type of home you want to build. Check the soil quality and type to ensure that it is stable enough to support your home’s foundation and to avoid drainage issues. Consider environmental factors that may impact your home’s value or your quality of life, such as flood zones, wetlands, or protected species habitats.

Avondale – Canton, Ohio


Determine if the land has access to utilities such as water, gas, electricity, and sewer lines. If not, find out what the cost and feasibility of installing these utilities will be,  whether private well or septic.


Consider the view from the lot, including the scenery and any potential obstructions. Will your home face North, South, East or West? You will want to evaluate the lot’s exposure to sunlight to determine how it will impact your home’s energy efficiency and natural lighting.

Marlboro Township

Legal Considerations

Check for any legal considerations, such as easements or encumbrances, that may impact your ability to build or use the land.

Establish a Budget

Evaluate the cost of the land, including any fees, taxes, and other expenses associated with the purchase and development of the property. It will be important to include the possibility of a Homeowner Association Fee if your location is within a development or Subdivision. 

Don’t Get Lost in the Lot Selection Process- Let Us Guide You Home

By keeping these factors in mind and using this checklist, you can make a well-informed decision when choosing a building lot location in Northeast Ohio. If you’re still uncertain or would like assistance, contact Hostetler Family Homes today! We will be happy to help guide you through the process and provide valuable insight.  With years of experience, we understand Location is the most important decision you will make in the process of building your dream home on the perfect property, to create memories and build your legacy for years to come.


Designing for the Future: The Advantages of Building a Multi-Generational Home.

In recent years, there has been a notable increase in the popularity of custom-built multi-generational homes and homes with in-law suites. According to a study by the National Association of Home Builders, around 18% of homebuyers in 2020 were looking for a home that could accommodate multiple generations. This represents a significant increase from 2012, when only 11% of homebuyers were interested in multigenerational living.

What is a Multi-Generational home?

In short, it is a home custom designed to accommodate the housing needs of more than one generation of a family. It can be as simple as having a second bedroom suite or as elaborate as having multiple living, kitchen, and dining areas similar to an attached apartment.

Why have Multi-Generational Homes become so popular?

The reasons for this trend are multifaceted. One major factor is the changing demographics of our society. As people live longer and have fewer children, families are becoming smaller and older. This has led to a growing number of households with aging parents or grandparents who need assistance with daily living activities.

Another reason for the popularity of multigenerational homes is budget. Combining the purchasing power of multiple generations can open more opportunities for custom home designs. By pooling their resources of more than one generation and living together, families can save money on housing costs and other expenses or buy a larger or more attractive piece of land to build on.

Custom built multigenerational homes are designed to meet the specific needs and preferences of each family, allowing for more flexibility and customization. For example, a custom-built multigenerational home might have a separate living area for aging parents with mobility issues, or a dedicated floor for a young couple with children.

Custom built multigenerational homes also offer a greater degree of privacy and independence for each family member. This is particularly important for aging parents or grandparents who may want to maintain their own living space and routine. By having separate living areas, family members can maintain their own sense of autonomy while still feeling connected to the rest of the family.

In conclusion, the recent increase in popularity of custom-built multigenerational homes is a reflection of the changing demographics and family dynamics in modern society. These homes offer a flexible and adaptable living space that can accommodate changing family needs over time. With the right design features and customization, multigenerational homes can provide a comfortable and functional living space for everyone in the family.

Interested in Exploring a Multi-Generational Home?

Hostetler Family Homes has specialized in custom multi-generational homes for many years, and builds 2 or 3 every year for customers. Our unique and flexible approach to designing and building a custom home makes the process enjoyable and rewarding for you and your family. If you’d like to learn more, please schedule an exploratory phone call with us today!

Drone image of Multi-gen Home Built in 2022 by Hostetler Family Homes
Drone image of Multi-gen Home Built in 2022 by Hostetler Family Homes
Exterior of Multi-Gen Home Built in 2022 by Hostetler Family Homes
Exterior of Multi-Gen Home Built in 2022 by Hostetler Family Homes
Exterior of a 2-Story Multi-Gen Home Built in 2022 by Hostetler Family Homes
Exterior of a 2-Story Multi-Gen Home Built in 2022 by Hostetler Family Homes
Drone image of a 2-story multi-gen home built in 2022 by Hostetler Family Homes
Drone image of a 2-story multi-gen home built in 2022 by Hostetler Family Homes

Strong Foundations – 2019 Parade Home, Jackson Township, Ohio

This is an exciting week for Hostetler Family Homes. After a month of pre-construction activities (home design and specifications, quotes & estimates, scheduling, permits, etc.), we are finally beginning construction on our Parade home at 9023 Clubview Street NW in Jackson Township.  It may seem odd that, after all these years and hundreds of projects completed, we still get excited when starting a new home, but we absolutely do. This is a time to celebrate new beginnings, to dream big – our opportunity to create something unique, beautiful and enduring for a family to enjoy for decades to come. Read More »


6 Things You Must Know Before Designing a New Home

Download our free homebuyer's guide to get answers to some common questions about custom home building.


6 Thinks You Must Know Whitepaper