Building a house can be a very daunting endeavor. Between the dozens of decisions and the time intensive process, many couples wonder if their relationships can make it through the perils of building a new home. As a newlywed, I am even a little nervous about “making it through” the process with my wife. The undertaking of such a monumental, emotional, “planning based” task conjures nightmares of wedding planning. No one wants to volunteer for the fights, stress and analysis paralysis that riddles the process of making important joint decisions. From what suits the groomsmen should wear or something as small as where to have Tuesday night dinner, it's often not an attractive option.
After taking couple after couple through the building process, I have seen relationships grow, strengthen and thrive right before my eyes. I decided to sit down with one of those strengthened couples, to get some insights on what the experience is really like building a house together.
At first glance Jonathan & Meghan Socko pass the millennial home buyer eye test. They are young professionals, full of energy, fresh perspectives with a very distinct, yet flexible style. After being married only a couple months they decided to take on the task of building their first home.
Why did you all decide to build a house together as your first home?
“While browsing all the typical websites, we noticed that just about every house we saw had something that at least one of us did not like or that we would want to change once we moved in. This is ultimately going to be the home that we start a family and raise children in. The idea of us being the first ones to create those memories in the home was another huge selling point.”
What type of research did you do to decide on the floor plan, community & builder?
We drove around to different neighborhoods of different builders in our price point to see which builder had the style of houses we each liked. It was important to us that the neighborhood had enough diversity of the homes to avoid the cookie cutter look. We went to the sales office and told them what we were looking for and they provided us with 4 or 5 different floor plans. We then toured all of those models or inventory homes to get a true feel of what the floor plan would offer. Ultimately the decision was easy because as soon as we walked in to our model (or should I say the private patio off the master bedroom) we were sold. It sounds cheesy, but with both the home and the neighborhood, once you get that feeling, you know it is “the one”. (In this case, "the one" was our Willmington II floorplan.)
What was the most stressful part of building a house together?
The most stressful part of the process had nothing to do with the home building itself, but rather the lending process before and during building. Luckily we didn’t run in to any one particular issue in this part either, but the waiting game to hear from the lender was difficult. It was constant back and forth between all of us right up until the day that we closed. That is normal though, so that definitely needs to be expected.
What part was the most fun?
As to be expected, the most fun part was selecting all of the styles, colors, and finishes. It was like a real life Pinterest board, but this time we’re not just daydreaming about what our “dream home” would look like, we were actually choosing it! Part of what made it fun, too, is that we knew the general look we were going for ahead of time so making these types of decisions was not difficult at all. The entire building process was also exciting. You go from standing in just the frame, imagining that one day you will be standing in your loft, to all of a sudden, you’re on the couch in the loft watching TV. It’s hard to look back now and imagine that it was ever just a wooden box!
Were there any compromises on style, colors, finishes made between the two of you?
Thankfully we both have the same general taste so, believe it or not, there were not too many compromises. All of the ideas that were tossed around and started out as a compromise wound up great decisions. For example, Meghan has never been a fan of the color blue. But we decided to go with a dark blue front door and shutters, and it complements the other colors and stone on the exterior very well. The blue has also carried in to the house and is now used as an accent color in the master bedroom, which was never expected.
How did this 6 month project impact your relationship, if at all?
Truthfully, we had very minimal arguments throughout this process. Arguments that we did have were over small things that didn’t matter in the end and likely came from just overall stress from such a big life change. It definitely brought us closer together because we made legitimate life and financial decisions together and lived to tell about it. We are now both homeowners for the very first time and are doing it together. It’s just a different feel when you create your home and do it with the person you just married, while thinking about all the things that will happen in that home in the future. This place is truly OURS, in every sense.
We would like to thank the Sockos for sharing with us their home building experience as a newlywed couple. And from all of us here at Eastwood Homes, we wish them many years of happiness in their new home! If you'd like to fall in love with your new home like the Sockos, please visit our website and let us know how we can help!
Searching for a new home can be complicated and time consuming. However, it doesn't have to be! Simply chatting with our internet team first can make your visit to the community even more productive and enjoyable. Here's how!
Whether it's a snow day in the middle of winter, or a rainy day on a summer weekend, parents often need ideas to keep their children busy when they are stuck inside. We have compiled a list of fun, DIY projects for the home that are also safe for kids!
There’s nothing like kicking off a New Year with New Year’s Resolutions that include fitness! Instead of going out to the gym, many people opt to bring the gym home. A home gym helps to save money over the long term, and provides much needed flexibility for busy homeowners. Knowing how to organize a home gym can seem daunting. We have tips on how to begin!