Building Your Dream Home in Lincoln, NE


Building Your Dream Home in Lincoln, NE

While everyone’s vision of their dream home varies, a few key things that remain consistent in regards to dream homes are the design, craftsmanship, and logistics of building them from the ground up, start to finish. As the process generally isn’t a walk in the park, largely due to so many working parts of the project, the future homeowners must stay patient and make sure that the entire operation is managed and performed by experienced professionals in the industry. This will ensure an exceptional finished product that fits all specifications to a T, along with helping to establish an accurate timeline to keep everything on track and moving forward. Fortunately for those in the Lincoln area there are many options in regards to these professionals and their practices. By focusing on starting effectively, successfully designing, strategically financing, and integrating trades, before you know it the idea that was once your dream home will be reality.

Starting Effectively

The best way to begin such a big undertaking is to consult with business professionals with years of experience in the field. Whether it is a builder, contractor, leader of a housing development, or realtor, any help and service is beneficial to the process. Along with the introduction to the building process, there are other considerations to think out before making any sort of rash decision in regards to the house itself. For example, if you have children, what is the school district you are partial to? Or what type and style of home are you desiring and will it work and fit in with your preference of neighborhood?

Builders/Contractors/Housing Developments

Chad Lyon Keystone Homes

Chad Lyon
Keystone Homes

A few key pieces of knowledge to start with going into the building process is what the process and timeline will be and trusting your builder. Chad Lyon of Keystone Homes ( advises, “Compile a list of desired features in your new home and make sure your budget allows for what you have included on your list.”

He also explains that it is beneficial for you to get involved with your builder as early as possible. “Get to know your builder and let him or her use their experience to help you plan your home and maintain your budget. As a future homeowner who has chosen to build a new home, there is nothing more deflating than coming to the end of the planning stage and realizing that the house that you have planned for will not work with the budget.”

Keystone Homes, in partnership with Dennis J. Lyon Architects, works as a company to address issues including site selection and major design and construction features that impact cost. They advise their clients to invest in areas of their new home that they will spend most of their time. Commonly this is the kitchen, but if they are big entertainers, then it would pay off to invest in a nicer living room area. Yet, to future homeowners, Chad Lyon insists on not rushing into building your dream home. In regards to the old adage, he agrees that a failure to plan is a plan to fail.

Jeff Mann Mann Customs

Jeff Mann
Mann Customs

Jeff Mann of Mann Customs ( also offers key advice towards building your dream home, having been an industry professional for years.

“One of the first pieces of advice I offer to potential clients is to be comfortable with the builder you choose. Be open with expectations and convey them to your builder. At Mann Customs, our approach is that we are not building our clients a house one time, but we are building them a home with meaning–and we take pride in that. We want their experience to be a wonderful one. If it is your dream home, remember that it is your dream and have fun building it. Take pride in making the dream become a reality.”

Mann Customs focuses on good design more so than trends. Open floor plans, home automation, eat-in kitchens with a walk-in pantry, outdoor living spaces, and environmentally efficient building practices have been around for years and are still wonderful additions to any new home. The company advances right along with them without thinking of them as trends, but as features that will be here to stay. As such, the team at Mann Customs focuses building a home that will withstand “here today, gone tomorrow” aspects of new home building in order to provide a finished product that will last the tests of times and trends.


Jeff Johnson
HOME Real Estate

Furthermore, Jeff Johnson of HOME Real Estate (, representing The Preserve at Cross Creek, advises that they are seeing a lot of similarities between the overall design of new homes and trends that are commonly incorporated.

“We are seeing a lot of open floor plans being used with the incorporation of tall ceilings. Custom cabinets throughout the house are almost always used these days in newer homes and are typically a great add-on to adding more value to a home. Tile and hardwood flooring is a commonality flooring-wise throughout the first level of the home. As for the exterior of the home, 4-5 stall garages and even occasionally 6 stall garages are being added onto a home. There is also a great about more of stucco use and finish.”

Common advice Johnson finds himself offering to clients who are building a brand new home is to build a relationship with the builder. It is essential that both parties are able to communicate effectively. He also emphasizes that within this communication, clients should be educated regarding the different levels and qualities of materials available to choose from based on preferences and budget. A lot of the time, this miscommunication is why a client can go over budget.


Building a home can be a process of many stages and decisions. By working with a real estate professional who is familiar with new construction, you will have someone to help guide you through the process and to ensure things go as smoothly as possible. The professionals at HOME Real Estate are not only experts at selling existing homes, but they are knowledgeable in the building process as well. This means you will have someone to help guide you through the process and ensure you that things go as smoothly as possible.

Sherri Walker HOME Real Estate

Sherri Walker
HOME Real Estate

As far as building a new home goes, Sherri Walker of HOME Real Estate ( explains, “A benefit of building a new home that’s attractive to most homeowners would be customization. Customization provides a personal touch to your new home by choosing from a wide variety of floor plans, color schemes, and interior and exterior styles. New construction offers more selections and options compared to our existing market. Also, with new construction, remodeling and repairs don’t need to be in the budget. Building a new construction home means just that, it’s brand new.”

She also strongly advises taking price, time frame, and the area of town into consideration when questioning whether to build or buy. Researching your builder is also pivotal to building your dream home. It is important to know what plans and specifications they offer. When choosing a builder, a way to get to know them better is to tour their previous work and talk to a realtor who is knowledgeable in new construction. They have tools and information that can be helpful in making this decision.

Lindsay Hotovy HOME Real Estate

Lindsay Hotovy
HOME Real Estate

Lindsay Hotovy of HOME Real Estate ( notes, “When building, there are many steps to go through when making such a big purchase. First, find a realtor that you feel comfortable with and trust. From there, start interviewing builders, tell them your wants and needs. They should be able to give you a pretty accurate estimate, walk through of current homes they have built, and issue referrals. It is important to figure out the pros and cons of each and see who would be best for you.”

Being prepared for upgrades also holds significance. More times than not, once you get to the vender something will catch your eye that is not standard. Hotovy also explains, “You will have to make the decision to bite the bullet now or wait until later to do that upgrade. Be sure to have good communication between the builder and your realtor because just because something may seem clear in your thoughts, that does not mean everyone thinks the same way as you. Being involved and knowing what going to happen next are great considerations. When the closing date is a couple weeks away, go through the house with the builder and your realtor and make a Punch List of everything that you expect to be done and touched up before closing.”

While opting towards the purchase of an established home might seem like the easiest and best option for many, building a house actually presents the greatest possibility of getting everything you dream of in a home. But, this does still largely depend on your budget. It is pivotal that you pick out which areas of the home are most important to you, so you can spend a little bit of extra money on that area verses another area that is not as important to you and your family. A new home will also be more budget-friendly in the long run, with greater efficiency as well as fewer repairs and maintenance as you’re not only enjoying brand new everything, but you’re protected in the beginning with a one year builder’s warranty (or an even longer warranty in some cases).

There are also aesthetic and lifestyle factors to take into consideration when building from the ground up. Newer homes typically have smaller yards, no mature trees, and less architectural detail and charm. Remember, if you are one of the first homes in the neighborhood, there will more than likely be construction going on for a while.

As every person committing to the construction of a home should, make sure you are keeping resale in mind when building. As a word of caution, do not add so many upgrades that it would overprice your home in comparison to others in the neighborhood, and ask yourself if the features you are considering will appeal to others. Newer homes are attractive to buyers, so that’s a benefit you’ll enjoy in the event that you’d be looking at selling as long as everything else you’ve incorporated is reasonably in line with expectations and taste.

Yet, when building your dream home, it is important to remain patient with the process. The client must understand that both they and the builder want the same thing; to get the house built in a timely manner. There are many decisions that will need to be made when building a home. Having a qualified realtor to help you through the process and be there to represent you and your interests is essential.

Derek Kats - Real Estate Avenues: The Brokerage, LLC - Buying a Home

Derek Kats – Real Estate Avenues: The Brokerage, LLC

In agreement towards the wonderful customization aspect of building your dream home, Derek Kats of REA: The Brokerage (www.reathebrokerage.comadvises, “Newly constructed homes can give the buyer an option to customize the floor plan or finish materials, but are typically less negotiable on price, which can also be a benefit of using the Realtor Representative of the Builder, whom oftentimes can offer added incentives. Our newly constructed homes built by Third Generation Builder feature quality materials and workmanship with a modern design, and are built to last. This combination is perfect for the more selective homebuyer that wants more personalization and a completely new home.”

As the owner of Real Estate Avenues: The Brokerage, Derek Kats always tries to take a bottom-line business approach to real estate purchases and sales. Many buyers can get emotionally caught up in customizing their home in ways they feel will suit their lifestyle, but more often than not, the home you are purchasing will be the home you are selling in years to come. So, by keeping resale in mind, you will always continue climbing up the property ladder.

An aspect of the building process to always be considered is using a realtor that acts as a buyer’s agent. Having an independent advocate has an added value to you as the consumer.

Having an extensive knowledge about the industry, Kats also tells, “In a market such as today’s, with such a low housing inventory, many buyers are choosing to purchase a new construction home or will opt to go through the process of building their home from the lot up. This is an entirely different process than purchasing an existing home, so utilizing the Builder’s Realtor Representative may be the best option. As a Realtor Representative for Third Generation Builder, I have first-hand experience with the home building process and its potential pitfalls, inherent delays and other various inconveniences.

Because of this I urge all potential new construction home buyers to consider contacting a Realtor Representative of the builder, who is familiar with the builder’s standard practices, to assist you in the process, from finding a floor plan and a lot that suits your needs to aiding in the selection making and walkthroughs. The process of building a home can be time-consuming; working with a realtor who has experience with the builder streamlines the process and allows for a more enjoyable building experience.”

In building your dream home, although you’ll have the help of numerous professionals who are the experts in their respective fields, you’ll need to ultimately maintain some level of control as the customer. Based upon what’s currently available for those who are building a home, there are a lot of beautiful, amazing things out there to choose from so it is easy to go overboard very fast. By the time you figure out how much you spend, you are committed, so it is pivotal to be cautious. But something great that a brand new home, no matter what the cost, brings to the table is that it is safe to assume that you will not have to worry about or replace those in the first 10-15 years.

Brad Hulse Lincoln First Realty

Brad Hulse
Lincoln First Realty

Having a realtor by your side to speak on your behalf to the builders is a great asset to your building project. Brad Hulse of Lincoln First Realty ( specifies, “Communication, in general, is always a potential problem that can arise while building a home. Many times people will see a home that is already sold or has a great location and they gain certain assumptions while failing to communicate any of them to the builder or realtor. By diving in with more detail, the builder, realtor, and the customer will feel like they are in the loop completely.”

One benefit of building a new home as opposed to settling in an established one, these days, is really based off of the current housing market. It is more of a seller’s market and the lack of homes for sale in comparison to those looking to buy is astounding. When you are building, you have a lot more control of what you are going to get in comparison to settling in an already established home. Those building homes are not as likely to have to compromise as those looking for established homes.

Terry Lindstrom EXIT Realty Professionals

Terry Lindstrom
EXIT Realty Professionals

A common problem that many may overlook when building a home is compaction. Terry Lindstrom of EXIT Realty Professionals ( explains, “There can be many problems that can come up when building a home. One is ground compaction. Watch any lot that may have been filled. For the most part today there are government agencies that watch the compaction, but we have run into this problem before. In these instances we had to go back to the developer in correcting the issue, but sometimes this is not possible. One of the most common problems is completion deadlines. Most likely eight out of 18 times the closing date will not be respected.”

Lindstrom also makes a great comparison in regards to buying a home verses building a new home.

“Building a home can be like having a baby; upfront, nothing but happiness, half of the way through you have this feeling ‘Why on Earth did I agree to this frustration,’ and when you are holding that newborn ‘Life does not get any better than this.’”

Successfully Designing

Design typically is either the best or worst part of the process for the future homeowner. Being that there are so many choices and decisions to make, seeking out the right business professionals in the Lincoln area really does prove to be a beneficial decision when all is said and done. Saving you both time and money, you’ll most likely be making choices on whom to work with on both the interior and exterior facets of the house.

Interior Design

With everything that goes into the interior design of your home, particularly for those who are starting with a blank slate, there’s a lot of ground to cover.

To boost up the return on investment (ROI) on your dream home, flooring is a great consideration. EMO Flooring has an exceedingly helpful staff that advises clients on the most probable floor for their living situation, educates them on floor maintenance in order to help them make their flooring choice last as long as possible, and offers assistance on additional offerings including: floor, paint, and counter tops. EMO Flooring strives to be a one-stop shop for all of your quality interior building materials.

Jacque Lee of EMO Flooring says, “As far as getting a return on investment for your home, having hardwoods and tiles are what we advise. This is mainly because of their durability, but also because they will not show wear and tear and they both help those with allergies.”

Lee also says that they witness a lot of trends at EMO Flooring as far as interior finishes go. These trends include: neutral color incorporations (specifically taupe and grey), engineered hardwood, and 12 x 24 tile usage. She also notes, “People also like the larger tile options because they cover more square footage, and also because the rectangle look is quite popular.”

When you as the buyer start looking for interior finishes to incorporate into your dream home, keep in mind that Out of the Box is a wonderful place to get recycled pieces for a fraction of the price of brand new pieces. While they carry designer pieces for the home, the pieces are very rarely vintage and are more typically on the contemporary to mid-century side. These pieces can include: various lighting fixtures, kitchen cabinetry, bathroom vanities, handmade tiles, stone, furniture, and more.

Jody Strauch Out of the Box

Jody Strauch
Out of the Box

As to the great places in the home to invest your budget, Jody Strauch of Out of the Box ( specifies, “A couple of smart rooms to invest in would be both the kitchen and bathroom, but also the entryway and mud room. These are areas that get a lot of use a majority of the time, so they should be comfortable.”

Out of the Box also gears its inventory towards trends they see within the industry. Lately, they have been witnessing trends of contemporary lighting, transparent lighting, straight lines, and lighter colors.

For clients who are building their dream home, she emphasizes the benefits of utilizing reclaimed pieces, like those carried at Out of the Box. These pieces show little to no wear in addition to as previously mentioned, being a fraction of the cost of a brand new piece a majority of the time, which will provide more room in your budget for other areas. She adds, “Keep in mind that building a home or even remodeling is generally an expensive undertaking, and money could be saved and spent elsewhere by looking for contemporary pieces and finishes at Out of the Box.”

Located in Lincoln because of such high demand, A1 Cabinet and Granite is a great source for all of your possible cabinet and granite incorporations in your new home. With a large warehouse and showroom, they have on-the-spot stocked granite slabs for customers to see, as well as examples of in-home options in their showroom. They have sink and faucet services available as well.

With their on-site warehouse, they stock offerings of over 60 colors of granite, as well as 400 slabs of granite that you are able to choose from. Because it is on-site, you are able to pick the exact slab of granite that you want specifically for your dream kitchen, bathroom, or bar.

Yet, their abilities do not just stop at countertops; they also carry a wide range of cabinet options including: semi-customization, full extension drawers, plywood boxes, maple doors, drawers and frames, dove-tail and soft close drawers, 6-way Euro hinges, and full overlay panels. With a great site that shows picture representation of the cabinets and what the actual application of the cabinets would look like, is a great source for anyone looking towards the installation of cabinets.

Batteries Plus Bulbs, being the nation’s largest and fastest-growing battery, light bulb, and smartphone and tablet repair franchise with a nationwide network of stores, is perfect source for finding the right bulbs for your brand new light fixtures and the right batteries for various items you’ve chosen to incorporate in your new home. With access to nearly 60,000 types of batteries, light bulbs, and accessories, Batteries Plus Bulbs has the widest selection of battery and light bulb products available and offers unmatched service to retail and business customers. Their services include: battery replacements, cracked screen, charge port, button, water damage repair, and antenna repair or replacement among others.

If you are looking for a plethora of light bulb options, Batteries Plus Bulbs is a wonderful source. Their light bulb products include: fluorescent tubes, ballasts, energy saving options like CFLs and LEDs, and specialty bulbs for items like healthcare equipment, safety lighting, flood lighting, emergency lighting and more. Moreover, once you are done with the lighting options you chose to incorporate into your dream home, keep the in-store recycling service offered by Batteries Plus Bulbs in mind for future use when it’s time to replace the bulbs. This program uses EPA-approved methods for safely recycling not only light bulbs, but also batteries, ballasts, and select portable electronic devices.

Exterior Design

When taking consideration to exterior design, many aim towards curb appeal. But, Nebraska Outdoor Living Center capitalizes on the idea having a comfortable outdoor living situation. Being one of the top reasons for return on investment as well as a huge trend over the past few years, the outdoor living area is pivotal to spend time on, whether it’s necessary during the planning stages or can be addressed once construction is complete.

Bill Budler of Nebraska Outdoor Living Headshot

Bill Budler
Nebraska Outdoor Living Center

Trending in outdoor living, comfort remains key. Bill Budler of Nebraska Outdoor Living Center ( specifies, “Many have interest in protection from the heat of the sun, mosquitoes, and blocking wind. It is so important for our clients to make the area more usable because it expands the actual time you can enjoy being outside. A properly installed exterior shade products can reduce the ambient temperature by 20 degrees and more. Modern retractable solar screens can not only block the sun and reduce the heat and glare, but they can also keep out pesky bugs and block the wind.”

Budler advises towards planning ahead as much as possible in this area too. “The bottom line in all home building scenarios is to plan ahead and make provisions for your particular situation.” Giving the example of it being difficult to properly install a retractable solar screen after stonework is installed on the columns, Budler is insistent on planning ahead, thus, saving yourself a lot of work and stress in the long run.

When looking towards which windows and doors to use in your new build, The Window & Door Store is a great resource towards finding the perfect products that add just the right amount of versatility and functionality to your new home. As it’s imperative not to skimp on your window budget when building your new home for a wealth of different reasons, they advise most people to use materials on the exterior that will outlast their mortgage. By putting in high-quality windows from Marvin or Integrity by Marvin, you won’t find yourself putting money towards replacement windows in 10 years.

The Window & Door Store offers solutions to the trends of clean lines and crystal clear views, along with indoor and outdoor luxury living. With Marvin Contemporary Studio windows and doors, big glass, narrow frames, clean lines, and modern hardware is combined to create open, light-filled spaces that seamlessly connect the great outdoors with the great indoors. Marvin’s aluminum clad wood windows are the perfect way to transform your cutting-edge vision into a modern masterpiece that maximizes light and minimizes clutter. Catering towards indoor and outdoor luxury living, Marvin Scenic Doors have been a hit more recently. They offer clients a big opening to invite fresh air in and blur the boundaries between living space and the outdoors. They offer Ultimate Multi-Slide Doors, Bi-Fold Doors, and Ultimate Lift & Slide Doors.

Bryce Bornemeier The Window & Door Store

Bryce Bornemeier
The Window & Door Store

If one was looking specifically for curb appeal, Bryce Bornemeier of The Window & Door Store ( is insistent towards the innovation offered through Extruded Aluminum Clad Windows, “Because of differences in material and construction characteristics, Marvin Windows and Doors are built to last. Delivering exceptional versatility, streamlined sightlines, and clean profiles, these state-of-the-art windows are designed to suit virtually any application. Adding Marvin clad casings to your windows and doors provides great architectural detail to any home. Our clad casings are made of ultra-durable extruded aluminum, which features a beautiful factory applied finish that resists chalking, fading, pitting, corrosion, and marring.”

Along the same lines, window film is not something you want to overlook in the process of building a new home and as a 3M Authorized Window Film Dealer, The Tint Shop is a go-to professional in Lincoln to consult about optimal products and installation. Window film has a host of benefits for both the interior and exterior facets of the home and when strategically chosen, is a great asset that will make your living environment comfortable among other functions.

In addition to aesthetic value, window film has great importance in regards to the exterior of a new home for privacy reasons. But, a majority of window film benefits actually go towards the inside of the home. First, window film provides UV protection and blocks out about 99% of the UV rays. These rays can be damaging to furniture, carpet, and hardwood flooring, so incorporating them will offer protection and save you money in the long run. Furthermore, glare reduction will ensure that you won’t be surprised with an annoying sun glare that reflects off of your décor, most commonly your television. The darker the film of your window, the more glare you are going to stop.

An industry trend, as of recently, is heat rejection. Keith May of The Tint Shop goes into detail, “The Prestige Series window films are more of a niche film. They reject 50-70 percent of the heat coming through with little or no change in the appearance of the window. This is perfect for the homeowner that is seeking to improve the environment and/or energy efficiency of the home among other benefits this type of film provides. It consists of 224 layers inside which draw the heat into the film so it does not come through the glass, while also being virtually invisible from both the outside and inside perspective. So although it’s doing its job to block a great deal of the heat, you won’t be losing a lot of natural light, if any at all. A comparable technology is that which is used to make television screens and cell phone screens.”

With the 25 years of experience that The Tint Shop offers, there will be no lack of knowledge in anything window-related and you will leave knowing that you have received information from great industry professionals. For example, the employees of The Tint Shop are specifically trained to know what film is not safe for certain windows, which is critical because if you put the wrong film on some windows it will break them. Steering customers in the right direction, the employees consider themselves as more of advisors towards films that will most benefit the customer while also working on the specific glass and meeting their goals and requirements.

The company’s website,, is a wonderful spot to get even more information about window films. On their newly updated site, they have features for customers to utilize at every stage in the buying process. They have a Residential Window Film Simulator which allows you to see how a certain window film will look and work in a room. In addition, they have a photo gallery, the ability to request an estimate, and a savings calculator.

Remaining on the topic of windows and doors, a garage door, these days, is typically an essential feature of brand new homes. While this may be something that’s already handled by the builder, if it’s not, there are great local companies that are able to provide a system that works best for your needs. Before having the garage door installed, you’ll want do your research and consider which garage door style and material would look best with the exterior of your home. While many go with traditional steel, others tend to opt for wood.

Having a garage door that offers both protection and a great look to the house will also boost the house’s resale value. Garage doors represent a lot of what the front of a home brings to the table in terms of curb appeal, so it stands to reason that the overall value of the home can certainly be affected by this particular facet. As such, consumers are putting more and more money towards garage doors and to accommodate, there are always new developments in this industry, from smart technology to materials and finishes.

As already touched upon, enjoying your new home does not simply have to stop indoors. Landscaping can help to make your home as comfortable, beautiful and enjoyable on the outside as it is on the inside.

David Hastreiter Pro-Scapes

David Hastreiter

David Hastreiter of Pro-Scapes ( suggests focusing on the economic reasons, health benefits, and environmental benefits of landscaping. “Landscaping can definitely add value to the home itself, if planned, executed, and maintained properly. It gives the home more curb appeal and even helps filter pollutants, providing cleaner and healthier air for the area. This can create a more calming environment, thus, reducing stress levels. To add to the list of benefits, landscaping can control temperature extremes that nobody likes to experience. It can also provide desired privacy to homeowners.”

When building a new home you’ll be establishing the landscape on a completely clean slate, and as such, it’s important to have the eye and experience of a professional to bring your vision to reality. Moreover, it is important to get started early in the design process in order to make sure all of the wants and needs you have for your landscaping are met.

Ken Svoboda - Ray’s Lawn and Home Care - Buying a Home

Ken Svoboda – Ray’s Lawn and Home Care

Ken Svoboda, co-owner of Ray’s Lawn & Landscape ( advises, “When considering a new landscape I always have the client look at least ten years into the future. For example, if they have a young family or planning a family, should we leave room for a large play area on the property to be developed at a later date? If not, I direct the homeowners towards establishing their tree placement. Since the growth of a tree to maturity may take several decades, the proper placement of trees is very important. Once the priorities are set, a budget is discussed and the work begins.”

Proceeding with the process of landscaping when all you can see is a dirt square as your front yard can seem stressful, but as with picking out all of the features of your home, being involved in the design of your landscape and the features incorporated into your outdoor entertaining spaces should be fun, enjoyable, and even to some, therapeutic. By working with the professionals, you will feel even more comfortable when approaching the process.

Strategically Financing

Interestingly enough, the financing of a home seems to be one of the more intimidating tasks for homeowners to approach. However, leave it to the professionals and you’ll be in good hands here too. Our local banking professionals who focus on mortgage lending offer plenty of experience and make it a point to be available to their clients whenever needed, assisting with any financial needs and questions that arise throughout the entire span of the project and oftentimes even after the construction is completed. With interest rates constantly fluctuating in addition to all of the other variables that are taken into consideration, it is critical that you as the homeowner seek options for loans and any other sort of help you can get in regards to building your dream home from a financing standpoint.

Having dealt with many clients in regards to building homes, Cornhusker Bank has many features and services that are accessible

to potential clients both in-person and on their website, On their site a customer can conveniently complete a mortgage loan application or pre-qualification online. The application has worked well for customers and their busy schedules. It is streamlined and therefore eliminates a lot of the questions, based on the answers given, that the regular paper application presents.

Matt Gutschenritter Cornhusker Bank

Matt Gutschenritter
Cornhusker Bank

On the topic of building your dream home, Matt Gutschenritter of Cornhusker Bank ( contributes, “The process of obtaining financing to build a new home is not much different than the process of obtaining financing for an existing home. Basically, at the end of the construction, all parties involved, including the borrower, the builder, the realtors, the banks, and others will want to have the peace of mind that new owners have their long-term financing in place and ready to go. The process starts with getting pre-approved for their long-term financing. Once we have that in place, it’s a matter of having the discussion with the builder to determine who will be taking out the financing for the new construction, and putting together a contract. If the builder takes out the construction loan, then we work with the buyer in getting them approved for a purchase transaction once the house is completed. If the buyer/borrower takes out the construction loan, we work with them during the construction process, and get them prepared to have their long-term financing set up as soon as their house is built. Upon completion of the construction, we would set up their long-term financing and payoff their construction loan.”

Again, there are benefits to both building a new home as well as buying an established one. The most obvious advantage is that you are assured to get the features and the floor plan that you want. However, when it comes to building, you may not be able to build in a neighborhood that is close to the area of town that you want to be in based on location near schools, work, shopping, friends, and family. As far as costs go, it can be more expensive to build rather to buy, but not always. The initial costs to get into a new construction project may be higher, but chances are there should be minimal expenses when it comes to repairs, decorating, and general upkeep. With an existing home there will likely be a need for replacing the roof, windows, and equipment related to your utilities. With a newly built home, everything is built to current code, and therefore should be less expensive thanks to numerous efficiencies that are already incorporated in today’s offerings. Most people do not realize that Homeowners Insurance is typically less expensive on a newly built home as well.

Gutschenritter also places emphasis towards keeping in mind the minimal difference between construction loan rates.

“Although construction loan rates will vary from one lender to another, usually the difference is minimal. Always keep in mind that the typical construction loan process is approximately six months long and during this period the customer only pays interest on the balance that has been drawn upon. Do not get overburdened with the construction loan itself. The bigger financial impact will come with the long-term financing. That being said, look for a lender that has your best interests at-hand for the long haul.”

Having established working relationships with many of the builders in Lincoln, West Gate Bank is a terrific bank to work with for building your dream home. With rates and fees being so similar among the various banks in town, having a bank that works well with your builder is a great asset during the home building process. With the housing market being very active many homeowners have found they are able to sell their current home in record time. This makes the decision to build that much easier. With interest rates being especially low, now is as good of a time as ever to get the home building process started with West Gate Bank.

Taylor Ashburn West Gate Bank

Taylor Ashburn
West Gate Bank

When looking into the home building process, Taylor Ashburn of West Gate Bank ( indicates that there are a number of important things that a buyer should be aware of before going into the financing process of building your dream home.

“At West Gate Bank, we feel it is important for the customer to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan before beginning the process with a builder. This is important because that monthly payment is what they will be responsible for over the next 15 to 30 years. We want our clients to focus on the final monthly house payment and determine whether building a home is something that makes financial sense for the borrower. Also, we advise our clients to be careful about taking on any other debt or signing up for credit cards during construction.  Large purchases or opening up new credit cards can sometimes impact your credit score, which could impact your final mortgage loan.”

The team at West Gate Bank will carefully monitor your construction project from start to finish.  They do on-site monthly inspections during the build, free of charge. They will reconcile the construction budget monthly to make sure your project is progressing on budget. Should the house begin to cost more than originally anticipated, West Gate Bank will identify this right away and come up with a suitable game plan. Another priority of theirs, on behalf of the customer, is that the subcontractor gets paid quickly, so as to keep the project moving. Altogether, West Gate Bank’s combination of expertise on construction and diligent servicing of the loan will be a great help to you as the client.

As to the main benefit of building a home, Ashburn poses, “When building a new home, you get exactly what you want, in the location that you want it. Building a home gives you the best of both worlds.”

As yet another resource serving clients in the Lincoln market, Midwest Bank has been in business for over 60 years helping families across Nebraska create memories in their dream homes. They too take it upon themselves to monitor your construction budget of your dream home throughout the process, letting the customer know how the actual construction costs compare to the budget. The end goal is to secure permanent financing on the new home and they do not want excessive overruns to jeopardize the permanent loan.

Travis Gunderson Midwest Bank

Travis Gunderson of Midwest Bank ( advises clients towards several things in regards to building a home for the first time. “Meet with a mortgage lender to determine what size of home you can afford to build, what the lot will cost and the amount of cash reserves you should have on hand before starting the project. Knowing the anticipated cost of the project and expected cash you’ll need is a must. Also, find a good builder. You will be working closely with your builder throughout the project so it is important to find someone that you can trust, someone who communicates well, and that you feel comfortable working with. I always review the fees associated with construction financing with my customers and explain how we can lower those costs when it comes to financing the permanent mortgage loan. Knowing the costs of financing up-front is beneficial for everyone. I also like to explain how the bank handles disbursements between the builder, the title company, and the borrower to ensure everyone is protected. In this situation, it is likely the borrower’s first experience with construction loan and a good banker is a valuable resource and consultant throughout the process.

Midwest Bank helps clients on the financial side of the construction project in several ways. Before the actual beginning of the project, they are able to assist the borrower in understanding what they can finance and what cash reserves are essential to building their new dream home. They also will finance the construction loan with convenient interest-only payments and monitor construction and expenses throughout the project. At the end of the period of construction, they work to lock in a favorable interest rate for the permanent mortgage loan.

Integrating Trades

For the little, last-minute tasks that typically become big tasks, or for critical jobs that will be performed later on in the process by subcontractors, there are many businesses in the area that work towards helping clients build new homes by contributing with a specialized trade or skill. These niche services can range from the interior and exterior items we’ve already covered on to technology installation and integration, conducting home inspections, and moving all of your treasured belongings into your new home.  Furthermore, if you’re feeling up to the task on specific jobs, instead of investing in the equipment that you likely don’t have just lying around in your personal collection, there’s a local resource you can use for equipment rental too!

Electricity is a critical part of your infrastructure, and while it seems straightforward, there are actually a lot of options to consider in order to adequately support everything you’ll be incorporating, particularly lighting, utilities, and appliances. Electricity goes to your in-home lighting and appliances from the actual company that powers it, to your electricity panel, the incorporated breakers, to circuits, and then back. The company you choose to use will be who you depend on every day for your lights to go on, water to work, and appliances to be of use. It is also great to have someone to turn to when unplanned circumstances occur such as damaged power lines.

Another way to make electricity seem a bit more flawless in your home is to imagine and plan out where you will put your furniture so you can properly place outlets evenly throughout the room. By doing this, you will know which walls will have more technology around them and therefore need more electric outlets distributed throughout the wall. Speaking with an electrician can be beneficial because they will be well-educated and able to educate you on industry trends, with the big one in new construction homes currently being LED lighting options.

Past electricity and on to everything that it powers, when looking to buy a new home, remember that companies like Engineered Controls represents a whole host of smart home products that will improve your home’s comfort and help you operate your home more efficiently. From the most state-of-the-art Wi-Fi enabled thermostats and zoning systems, to whole-house air cleaning systems, whole-house humidification and dehumidification systems, Zigbee and Z-Wave wired and wireless home security and video systems; everything is geared to make homes more energy-efficient and secure.

One of the most important benefits of a smart home is that homeowners can now take advantage of new and cutting-edge residential technology that improves their environment and living comfort, thus, reducing energy and providing increased safety and security. Today’s smartphones and wireless devices will keep homeowners connected everywhere.

From strictly a trend perspective, smart thermostats, such as Honeywell’s Prestige Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat and the Ecobee3, have become increasingly popular in both residential and commercial markets. These thermostats allow the monitoring of temperatures at home and in commercial spaces from mobile devices and PCs. The thermostats monitor humidity and temperature and alter cooling cycles, resulting in energy and money-saving opportunities. These thermostats are further advancing in terms of technology.

From a smart investment perspective, smart home technology will help save on the homeowner’s utility bill is what the typical homeowner should be looking for. It is no secret that heating and cooling account for the bulk of a home’s energy usage. Depending on the size of a home, utility bills can average over $1,000 annually and switching to a programmable thermostat is one simple way to save as much as $180 a year.

Pat Killeen - Engineered Controls - Buying a Home

Pat Killeen
Engineered Controls

Advising clients on the topic of building a dream home, Pat Killeen of Engineered Controls ( states, “I would tell clients interested in integrating technology into a new home to make sure and do your research. There is plenty of information on the internet today that will make the average homeowner much more knowledgeable about what is available in the residential construction market than anyone realizes. Far too often we see homeowners moving into a new house only to find out that they did not get what they wanted. So the moral of the story is to get involved, ask questions, know what you want, and know what you are getting before the decisions are made by everyone but you, the customer.”

Randy King King’s Home Inspections, LLC

Randy King
King’s Home Inspections, LLC

For your next home inspection, whether you want someone to come alongside and verify that all is well with your new home or in the future if you decide to sell the home you’ve built, King’s Home Inspections, LLC is a great resource to complete an exhaustive Home Inspection. Randy King of King’s Home Inspections, LLC ( is a Certified Master Inspector with the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors. (InterNACHI)  He specializes in single family home inspections, but also performs services including: pre-listing inspections, investment property inspection, multi-family units, commercial inspections, Radon, and Wood Destroying Insect inspections.

Mr. King also mentions that it is important to know the sequence and steps that are necessary to make building a home actually happen, which a lot of the time comes with getting a general contractor or builder involved. “A general contractor or builder is a teacher, who will be able to educate you on the sequence and steps necessary to make building a home happen. There are so many steps to consider, including: pre-approval for funding, an idea of what type of home they want, what type of lot, which town or area of town you choose to build in, among many others. The best way to find out who you’ll work well with throughout the process is to interview different builders and find one that you can communicate easily with; someone who is flexible and able to give you an accurate estimate of what you will have when all is said and done. If you choose to act as General Contractor and build yourself, it is critical to check with lending institutions about the availability of Construction loans, as many lenders will not allow you to act as your own General Contractor.” Bottom line is: Do your homework.

When the dream home is a reality and it comes time to move, Two Men And A Truck is a great go to if you are looking for “movers who care.” But, they do not simply stop at the moving process; the company also offers storage services, boxes and supplies to make the moving experience easier for clients. Fully licensed, insured, and bonded service, they can also be relied upon for both packing and unpacking services.Having been a moving professional organization for 30 years, Two Men And A Truck works towards exceeding customer’s expectations by customizing moving services to fit the customer’s specific needs. In addition to calling the local office direction to find out more information, you can also utilize their interactive website, where you are able to choose your mover, view a moving checklist, learn moving tips that make your next move go smoothly, and check out movers who blog to read more in-depth moving tips and recommendations.

No matter what your vision of a dream home is, the task of actually building it should be less of a burden and more of a journey to the perfect finished product. With the help of numerous local professionals, your dream will become a reality before your very eyes. With no job being too complicated or arduous for these businesses, the sooner you call them, the easier and less stressful your new dream home construction endeavor will be.