If the concept of being able to browse real estate listings online (thanks Zillow) and take virtual tours still amazes you, then you’re going to be excited about this new news – especially if you’re looking for a new home. Just head over to Welcome Homes, a new startup and online platform where you can design your dream home online, then access it IRL in a matter of months.
Let me guess – are you a bit of a disbelief? The very notion of being able to sit on your couch and plan your dream home (almost like playing a virtual reality design game) and then bringing it to life seems pretty absurd. However, it’s also a great solution for people who may have a special vision for their new home, but don’t know how to convey those details to builders. Now you design the house and Welcome Homes build it.
The startup, which had a phased launch in October 2020, currently serves select locations in the tri-state area. HGTV alumnus Anthony Carrino, who is the design director of Welcome Homes, spoke with Beautiful house about the company’s big breakthrough in the housing industry. Right now, he reveals that the team is already working with their first two clients. While it might not seem like a large customer base, understand this: There is already a waiting list of around 1,000 people eager to design their new digs through this one-of-a-kind platform. Here is an overview of how Welcome Homes works exactly.
The first step to building your dream home online is choosing the location. If you own a piece of land, you’re way ahead of the game. However, don’t worry if you don’t – the Welcome Homes website has a list of potential construction locations in your area. Then you select your home model, which for now is limited to the Grand Model, a 5,320 square foot four bedroom, three bathroom home (the company notes that a smaller model will be introduced in the future. ). Once you’ve checked everything, you can click around the house and choose what exactly is going on in each room. You will be able to select appliances, countertops, flooring, doors, paint and more from predefined style lists generated by Welcome Homes.
“We really wanted to focus on giving people enough choice [in the design process]Carrino explained, but in a way that wasn’t overwhelming. “The idea was to narrow down the selections enough that someone would feel manageable while still giving them enough selection,” he said. Explain. Below, for example, are just two potential styles that one could choose for their home exterior.
There is also an impressive list of amenities that guests can add to their home. These range from a touchless faucet in the kitchen, to a smart toilet, an outdoor kitchen, an undercounter wine cellar or a full height wine cellar, and more.
Once the home design is finalized, Welcome Homes will calculate the price and work with you to secure financing for the property. A home designed by Welcome Homes will start at $ 700,000, but the price may increase with additional amenities added.
On its website, the company boasts lower prices than existing buildings in the same market. As Carrino explains, in many cases buying an existing home and then renovating it into your dream home will often cost more (in labor and money) than if you had designed your excavations with it. Welcome Homes from the start.
Once you officially close your home, construction begins – a process the company says takes around six months. Local contractors will be recruited to carry out the construction work and build the home of your dreams. Of course, you are welcome to check in at home. Throughout the process, “customers can come on site and see the progress,” Carrino says. “I mean, how exciting is it to build your house? So why wouldn’t you want to come and visit?” he says.
Once the house is finished, you will receive the keys and voila: Welcome home! For Carrino, moving from more traditional roles in the industry to joining forces with an innovative group of creatives who decided to introduce a whole new way of buying a home was a no-brainer. “Being able to bring people a higher design for a lower number, uh, seemed like a great synergy to me,” he says. While he noted that implementing technology in construction might not always go smoothly, Welcome Homes’ technology-intensive model was one he believed in from the start. “At Welcome, they concentrate the technology where it needs to be concentrated: the consumer,” he explains. You can read more about Welcome Homes here.
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