My Home Buying Experience
Builder: Texas Classic Homes 512-750-7625
Builder Direct Contacts: Donald Barron
Realtor: Shelly Roark @ Prime Lending 512-470-4808
Insurance: Art Sandoval @ Diversified Insurance 512-292-3650
Title Agency: Tara @ Trinity Title Company 512-308-0900
I want to start by saying that this is written from my real experience. Not paid by anyone but want to give credit, where credit is due. -- Janie
Buying a house is definitely exciting but also nerve wrecking at the same time. You have to look at the Pros and Cons for buying either a pre-owned home or going with a new build and also trying to determine where you want the house to be located at. Although I love the doors, I really enjoy living in the city. My boyfriend, John, on the other hand, was raised in a small town so he is not a fan of the big city and traffic. As it is, he had a hard time adjusting to living in a small apartment since he loves being outside grilling, working on the yard, etc.
As we shopped around, we looked at pre-owned homes in Austin and Pflugerville area. Then I started looking in Del Valle, Kyle and Buda. All nice places but of course; my boyfriend and I are not fans of Austin traffic, so we wanted to look at areas away from the city. We then started looking at Manor and Elgin. Both were nice areas but still, they didn’t have what we were looking for. One of my co-workers mentioned she lived in the Bastrop area and said that it was a perfect place to live because you’re not far from the city, yet you still have that small town feel.
John and I drove out to Bastrop and came across Tahitian Village. We fell in love with the area. It was literally love at first sight. We loved the big trees, the bigger lots. We could literally picture ourselves living in this neighborhood and enjoying the outdoors. I called a Realtor that I found online and told him that I was looking to buy a home in Bastrop. We made arrangements to meet one afternoon. When we met, he drove me to KB Homes. It was located in Bastrop, had nice amenities but it was not what I was looking for. I wanted a spacious yard, not one where you could open the window and see your neighbor right there. I told him that I was interested in Tahitian Village. I also told him that I had seen a sign of a home builder when I had previously driven around. I told him the office showed that it was located in a certain area. He agreed to drive by there to meet with this builder. Well as we drove around, we found that their office was not there. We saw an office in the same area so the Realtor walked in to find out if they knew where this builder was at. Turns out, the office we walked into was that of a Custom Home Builder. Not just any custom home builder, but Texas Classic Homes. My Realtor exchanged a few words with him, gathering information on what he builds. For some reason or another, I felt that my Realtor wanted me to sign up with KB Homes. But I had to put my foot down and told him, “Look, I know that KB Homes has nice amenities but I’ve had these amenities before and never used them. I want something in Tahitian Village so help me find a home.” He then tells me, “Ok. Let me get with Donald at Texas Classic Homes and we’ll set up an appointment so you can talk to them.”
We met on a Saturday morning. Donald explained that he has been in business for many years and that he started when he was young, working for his father. I could tell that he had a passion for building and took pride in his work. He took out an iPad and showed me photos of his accomplishments, as well as different house plans he’s built. He also introduced us to Linda, TCH Designer. She was the sweetest lady. Donald spoke very highly of her and her work as a Designer. He gave her a lot of credit for the work she’s done for him. This really gave me a good feeling about this. After our conversations, I told Donald that I wanted him to build my home. I had no doubt that He was our Builder. Donald stated that he would start working on my plans and once he had them ready, he would call my Realtor and I so we could come sign the contract. So on May 8th, 2015, I signed my contract to start building my home.
A few years ago, I worked for a home builder, who let me just say, was not a custom home builder. Nonetheless, I did have a good understanding of the building process and was aware that it does take time to obtain loans, permits, etc. With that said, John and I would drive out to the lot on weekends, just to see if there was anything different. We drove out there for a few weekends and still didn’t see anything. I emailed Linda to find out how things were going and if she needed anything from me. She replied and said that things were going slow due to the bad weather. I must say, May was a very wet month. She replied that once we got closer to the build, she would contact me so we could pick out options.
A couple weeks went by, and again, John would drive out there but still, we did not see anything different. The lot still had not been cleared, nothing had changed. I then started getting worried, wondering what was going on? By now, they should have started something. I started to become frustrated because I hadn’t heard anything new.
I called my Realtor and asked him if he had heard anything about my house but he did not answer. I left him a couple of voice messages but still no call back. Finally he calls me and tells me that he did not know what the status was but would find out something for me. He then calls me back and tells me that he spoke to Donald who said that the bank was taking long but that they were about to close in a few days. I was not happy with this answer because I felt that someone should have at least kept me in the loop, at least to tell me, “hey Janie, we just want to let you know that we’re moving along but we’re trying to get the bank to close on the loan.” That’s not too much to ask for, right?
I told my Realtor that I did not want to move forward with the home because no one is talking to me. He tried to talk me out of it, saying... “Janie’ Donald told you originally that he was backed up on work”. Mind you, this was not what I wanted to hear. I told him that I wanted out and did not want to move forward. I also sent my Realtor an email letting confirming my decision. He then forwards the email to Donald. As soon as Donald sees the email, he calls me and asks to meet with me.
I met with him the following Monday, and he explained the hold up. He said that he was scheduled to close on the construction loan the next day. He was very clear with me and told me that he would love to build this house for me, if i was willing to move forward. Again, we had good conversation with but I wasn’t too happy with the situation. Mind you, I didn’t blame Donald for this because when a Realtor is involved, it is the Realtor’s responsibility to be the middleman and be the one to communicate between the Builder and the Buyer. I went home after meeting with Donald, but my pride kept telling me to cancel. So I sent Donald an email and said I was going to cancel, despite of our conversation.
We had lots to think about. Were we letting our ‘home’ go? Was this something that could have been avoided? Did we really want to start all over again, looking for a home, knowing that our hearts were really tied to this place? That next week, I put my pride and stubbornness aside and called Donald. I didn’t want my Realtor to be the middle man anymore, if he was even ever the middle man. I wanted to talk to Donald directly and ask him if he was still willing to build my home. Donald and I spoke for a bit. I let him know how I felt and that I still wanted him to build my home... Donald was very understanding and we agreed to move forward. Donald explained to me that when he works with Realtors, the Realtor is usually the person he communicates with. He said that he learned a lot from this experience. He stated that he would not allow this to happen again. If a Realtor is involved, and even when there’s not much going on with the home, he will do his part and make the attempt to call the Buyer and give them a status. I was happy to hear this.
I met with Linda again to sign the floor plans. My Realtor was there on this day. He stated that he is used to working with home builders but that this was the first time he had ever worked with a custom home builder. He said that normally, when his buyers sign contract, he steps away and lets the Buillder work directly with the Buyer. He then comes around right before they sign off on the house to make sure loan info is complete and that his Buyer is satisfied.
After signing the floorplans, I must say, the process went by quicker than expected. It was all very exciting, except for bumping heads with my boyfriend as to what we wanted to do with our backyard. J I stayed in close contact with Linda as we had to make selections. She was always available and if she did not answer, she would call me back as soon as she was available. We spent time at Home Dept , selecting flooring, backsplash and other items. I would email her my selections and at times she would come back with better deals. She was very easy to work with, knows her stuff and has phenomenal taste.
I took photos of each phase. Donald and Linda also kept me in the loop of the progress. I have to say that I was very impressed with the work and communication. On the day that we were scheduled to close on the house, we had a delay. We were waiting on HUD to submit paperwork. Mind you, one of the reasons why this occurred was because my Lender was able to get me a better rate but had to resend the paperwork to HUD so they could sign off on it. I did not mind waiting since it was for a good reason. The paperwork finally came in but it was too late to close on that day. However, Donald, Linda and Shelly spoke to Tara at the Title Agency, who agreed to meet us on Saturday morning. We met Saturday morning at 9am and were able to close on my house. This team made it happen for me. I am now a PROUD owner of a beautiful home. It was built by the BEST team at the price range that I was looking for and in the Community that we fell in love with.
I highly recommend this Team, especially Donald and Linda, at Texas Classic Homes.
Donald and Linda, Thank you. --- Janie Villanueva and John Garcia.
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Texas Classic Custom Homes
1800 Linda St.
Bastrop, TX 78602
Phone: 512 750 7625
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