First-time homeowners Derek and Jessica Roylance recently moved into their new Drees home. For years, they had been watching the market, hoping to discover the perfect resale home in their desired school district. They were surprised to learn that they could build a brand new home for around the same price as resale homes they were considering. The couple shared, “We never dreamed that we would build our first home and had such a wonderful experience.”
Derek and Jessica sat down to provide us with insights into their personal journey, sharing their top takeaways and bits of advice as first-time homebuyers.
What floor plan did you choose and what attracted you to this design?
We chose the Saxon. The things that most attracted us to this design were the layout, upgrade options, efficiency rating, exterior options and price. Some of our favorite things that come standard with this floor plan are the upstairs laundry, giant owner’s suite, food pantry, family foyer mudroom, huge windows throughout and open-concept design. We chose to include some upgrades too and loved personalizing the well-designed layout.
As you have watched your new home’s design come to life, what have been your favorite spaces and features?
We visited our home site every weekend. We liked checking on the lot and dreaming about what it would be like to live there. The excavation and foundation work was exciting—we got down into the hole and really got to see the dimensions. A few weeks later, we drove down the street and saw our entire house framed. That was a wonderful surprise. It went up so quickly. We could actually see where the rooms would be and get a feel for what would become our home. Later, when we saw our kitchen cabinets and finishes for the first time, we screamed with excitement! When we would go to watch our home come to life, it would take our breath away. We’d get so excited. We never wanted to leave!
What did you enjoy most about the building process?
Working with Drees! Every team member was on time, prepared and friendly. The whole Drees team was very professional. Every question we had was answered, every concern was addressed and they produced quality craftsmanship in a timely manner. Our builder was also very personable and knowledgeable. He sent us email updates throughout the process, and we could email him with questions anytime.
Construction started just after the Coronavirus pandemic began. We wondered if it would be delayed, but Drees quickly made social distancing and safety guidelines, and continued working without missing a beat.
What advice would you give others who are interested in building a home?
Build with Drees!
Prioritize structural changes over finishing upgrades.
Don’t be intimidated by the building process. It took time and there were a lot of decisions, but it was fun to choose everything that was important to us. If we weren’t sure about things, we got reasonable advice from the Design Center team and our builder. We were really happy with the end result and it was so worth it.
Why did you choose to build with Drees?
We chose to build with Drees, because the community was in the school boundary we wanted, the cost was very reasonable, our lot has woods behind it and we loved the neighborhood.
We looked at buying a home in 2018 and were disappointed with our options. We decided to wait, pay off our car and save up a down payment. We stayed in an apartment for two more years to get ready. While we worked and waited to buy a house, we regularly looked at homes for sale. At the beginning of 2020, we had seven months left in our rental lease and came across the Drees online listing. We were really impressed with the reasonable price point for a new construction home. The cost was comparable to listings of similar, older homes. Within two weeks, we chose a floor plan and signed a purchase agreement. Drees set their own high standard and then delivered it even sooner. We were promised the moon and then got it on a silver platter!
Even though we built one of their smallest floor plans, we were given excellent service and attention. We never felt like because we weren’t giving them a huge sale that we weren’t important.
Drees really pays attention to all the million details that go into a home. We are really impressed with how functional and efficient our home is, and beautiful too. We did base-level cabinets and flooring, and really liked the options and quality. Our carpet is stain-resistant and wears well. Our kitchen turned out really beautiful, and we enjoy all the cabinet and counter space.
It was luxurious to choose features that were important to us before the home was even built. We added windows and a rough-in full bath in the basement, the owner’s suite garden tub, nine-foot ceilings and a fireplace. Making those changes later would have been so much more expensive. We love that we got what we wanted up front.
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