Rick and Marian on Texas Builder Magazine Cover

Texas Builder Magazine Welcomes Rick as the 2017 TAB President

By | Leadership, Lubbock, Texas | No Comments

This month’s TEXAS BUILDER magazine dedicated their cover to welcoming Rick as the 2017 President of the Texas Association of Builders.

Rick has been very active in the local, state, and national builder associations for many years. He considers his service to the associations to be a privilege. The fact that the building industry in Texas places such confidence in him is something we are very proud of.

Our Thoughts on Septic Systems

By | Design, Health, Home Maintenance, Lubbock | No Comments

Image by www.realtyresourceguide.com

Septic systems are commonly used in the West Texas areas not serviced by municipal sewage systems. When properly installed and maintained, septic systems can offer years of carefree service. While they are relatively maintenance free, the use of such systems does require some service by the home owner.

The tank should be inspected for blockage whenever a sewer stoppage occurs, and routinely about once a year. It is also recommended that the tank be pumped and cleaned about once every three years. The risk of blockage can be reduced by using toilet paper marked “septic safe”, and by never flushing facial tissue, feminine hygiene products, paper towels and other paper products which do not easily decompose.

Many customers use garbage disposal with septic systems, but this can contribute to more frequent stoppage. Products that should never be introduced to the system include coffee grounds, dental floss, grease, paint products and harsh chemicals.

Is LVT the Right Choice for Your New Home

By | Creative, Design, Flooring, House Remodeling | No Comments

For several years now, we have been offering luxury vinyl tile (LVT) to our customers as a solid option for beautiful flooring.

The truth is, we are very picky when it comes to LVT. We recommend quality commercial grade flooring when we use such materials. EarthWerks is one of the brands we love using. Our customers are never disappointed because EarthWerks is an extremely durable product. We also find the flooring to look convincingly like real wood flooring, without some of the pitfalls of real wood.

The advantages to using LVT over some flooring are:

  • Waterproof
  • Low Maintenance
  • Acoustical Attributes
  • Pet Friendly
  • Kid Friendly
  • Resilient
  • Highly Styled
  • Diverse Designs
  • Hygenic
Spalted Pecan Mantel

Hardwood from Texas’ Past

By | Design | No Comments

Whenever possible, we like to usePecan Mantel natural materials for prominent features in our homes. Stone, granite or hardwoods add warmth and beauty to any decor.

Rocky and Patti Alburtis own Texas Pecan Wood located here in Lubbock, Texas. They have been harvesting spalted pecan from Central Texas, near Goldthwaite, for the past several years. Their woods are beautiful, and come from trees that lived over a hundred years ago. Rocky saw the possibilities where others never had. He and Patti’s business is sure to grow as more and more people are exposed to the possibilities.

The McGuire Family settled in Comanche County, just down the road from Goldthwaite, beginning in 1852. We have always been very proud of our family heritage. Perhaps that is why we were so drawn to the idea of bringing that lumber into our homes. We have used the pecan wood for mantels, counter tops, and barn doors. Everywhere we’ve used it, it’s been a hit. Customers can’t seem to get enough of the beautiful wood grains.

Parade of Homes 2016

By | 2016 parade of homes, 3.5 Bath, 4 Bedrooms, Design, Knotty Alder, Parade of Homes, tall ceilings, Uncategorized | One Comment

Going home should feel like a vacation. The McGuire’s 2016 Parade Home began with that inspiration.
You can’t help but love this magnificent home with 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, 2 living areas, a basement and an oversized 3 car air conditioned garage. Clean white stucco, tall ceilings and open views abound with over 4,000 square feet. Shaker-style Knotty Alder cabinets and doors and Spalted Pecan accents, complete the atmosphere.

It’s not just the beauty that makes this home exceptional. This is one of the most energy efficient homes we’ve ever built, with gorgeous water-smart landscaping; foam insulation and a super high efficiency HVAC to keep the energy demands low.

When it comes to entertaining we have all the bases covered. The spacious kitchen opens to both living areas. The outdoor kitchen, tall pergola, cozy fire pit, and first-rate game room has something for everyone.

This home really makes going home seem like a vacation. We hope you can join us at the 2016 Parade of Homes!

Visit our Facebook page www.facebook.com/mcguirebuildersinc.

Thinking about “downsizing”?

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“Downsizing” is a term that is relatively new, but most of us know exactly what it means and have at least considered the possiblilities.

Whether it’s because our children are growing up and leaving home, because of changing income due to retirement, or whatever the reason, the thought of maintaining a smaller home appeals to a lot of us. Regardless of the motivation the concept is fascinating. What’s even more fascinating is the degree to which some people are willing to carry it. The Small House Society is a growing social phenomenon that really sparks peoples’ interest.

Perhaps our affiliation with Vintage Township has opened our eyes to the newness of old ideas. A visit to the Ranching Heritage Center would remind us that homes haven’t always been as large as they typically are now. A few hundred square feet can be a lot of house. It just takes good planning and a willingness to open ourselves to what’s possible.

The real message in this video is that good ideas can come in smaller packages. It might only be shifting from a traditional home to a garden home, but downsizing can be fun and profitable.

And if the truly tiny home is something of interest let your imagination run wild and give us a call.

2010 Parade of Homes Declared a Success!

By | House Remodeling, Lubbock | No Comments

The success we are enjoying with the 2010 Parade of Homes is unmistakeable. Just a few days into the 2 week Parade, the public is obviously pleased with our effort. The praise we are receiving has been wonderful.

If you haven’t made it out, be sure you fit a visit into your schedule. We wouldn’t want you to miss any of the fun.

We are at the Orchard Park site, first house on the south side of the street: 3809 110th Street.

Preparing for the 2010 WTHBA Parade of Homes

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Well, if you’ve been wondering why no posts lately, we’ve been really busy getting ready for the West Texas Home Builders Association 2010 Parade of Homes. It seems like there just isn’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. But the day is almost here (June 5th) and the Parade will begin. For the next 2 weeks and 2 days you can tour over 20 homes of some of the best builders in Lubbock.

There are 4 Parade sites in all. Our home is at Orchard Park, and we can’t wait for you to see it. While it was custom designed and built for our good friends and customers, Bob and Brenda, we would be happy to design and build your dream home too.

Be sure to set aside an afternoon or two during the Parade to come by and see us. And let us know that you saw this post. We love to know when our efforts are successful.

See you there! And don’t forget to vote for us as your favorite home of the show.

Buyer’s Comparison: Custom v. Spec v. Tract Homes

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In our previous post we discussed the importance of “location” and what things should be considered when deciding where your next home should be. We discussed how each person is unique with their own set of circumstances. In this post we will compare the differences between custom homes, spec homes, and tract homes. These are common terms, but it doesn’t hurt to take the time to consider exactly what is meant by each term because there is a big difference between the three.

Let’s look at the various definitions and discuss the pros and cons related to each type.

Custom Homes – The term “custom” generally refers to a home that was built specifically for an individual customer. In other words, the construction of the house targets a particular customer’s specifications. That usually includes the floor plan, lot choice, selection of colors and materials, and all the fixtures that are included as part of the final product. While it’s true some custom homes are more custom than others, these homes commonly meet a consumer’s specific needs better than the other alternatives.

Custom home buyers often participate in the actual construction process. No, they don’t get to drive the nails or finish the concrete, but they see the daily progress. It can be a lot of fun, though some find it a little scary too. Done properly, custom buyers are active participants who achieve a level of satisfaction when building their homes that no other process could possibly accomplish. They make many choices such as colors and styles of brick, tile, carpet, wall-finishes, cabinets, light fixtures, counter tops, and hardware. And that’s not necessarily all. Many of these items are purchased within an allowance budget, meaning the contract sets out a specific amount of money set aside for each category. It’s up to the buyer to choose what is purchased within that budget.

Some view the custom home building process as a partnership between the home buyer and their builder. They work together to design and build exactly what the customer wants. It is imperative the custom home buyer has confidence in their builder. The partnership  between the buyer and builder will only be as good as the individuals involved. That means both sides must be fair, honest and worthy of the trust necessary to accomplish the mutual goals. There is an axiom in the business: “Know your builder”. That is actually pretty good advice.

pros – The buyer controls the lot purchase, so location is never outside their control. They also have input into the design, so the number and size of the rooms should meet exactly the needs of the customer. The final price of the home is made up of the costs of its various components, resulting in better control of the bottom-line. Amenities important to the buyer can be included in the home while those not important or not wanted do not add to the cost of the home.

cons – Probably the greatest deterrent to building a custom home is the uncertainty; a multifaceted matter. Customers question finding an honest builder, their ability to find the “right” floor plan, how long it might take to build a home, whether they will be satisfied with the finished product, whether (as some jokingly suggest) their marriage will survive, and more. Simply put, the purchase of an existing home may not be exactly what they want, but they can see what they are getting the day they sign the contract. Building a custom home comes with a certain perceived risk that some people have more concern about than others.

Fortunately, we in West Texas have one of the best business environments in the nation. West Texans still have a hometown approach to doing business that makes it easy to “know your builder”. With just a little effort, one can know a lot about any builder they are considering. The West Texas Home Builders Association (WTHBA) has an active membership of all the movers and shakers in the industry. That includes not just builders, but bankers, realtors, title companies, suppliers and sub-contractors. It’s not hard to find out who is who. All it takes is a few telephone calls or emails.

Good reputations don’t come easy; bad ones do. Probably the best referral one can have for their builder is a past customer. Ask your builder who his last several homes were built for, and if you can call them for a reference. If their building experience was not one of the highlights of their life, keep looking. There is really no reason building your custom home shouldn’t be one of the most treasured memories you create.

Spec Homes – The term “spec” is short for speculative home for sale. Builders, even custom builders sometimes build homes for sale with no particular buyer in mind. These homes are often completed fully, but it’s possible to find a spec home still under construction.

Depending on how far along the building process is, it’s possible to still make some of the selections such as paint colors, tile, counter-tops, and more. A spec home will have much of the design efforts already complete. The builder has already made a lot of decisions regarding what will go into constructing the home.

It’s likely the builder’s decisions will be fairly conservative hoping to create a home that will appeal to the broadest market possible. There will usually be a few areas where the builder goes the extra mile, but generally speaking, the overall price of the home will be a major consideration. Depending on the price range of the home, builders will usually make their best effort to build what they think will sell easily. An experienced builder will know what people like and are willing to buy.

Some builders specialize in spec homes. They prefer building homes without the complication of working with a customer’s involvement. Other builders enjoy the process of working with their customers and would prefer building a custom home rather than a spec home. Still others make little or no distinction between the two.

pros – Depending on the builder, of course, spec homes are usually a fairly safe investment. They will usually be well done, balanced in terms of amenities, built in promising neighborhoods, and marketable. Many beautiful spec homes are built every year. Experienced builders who specialize in the spec home market stake their reputations on their decisions. These homes are often completed and ready for immediate occupancy. Probably the most appealing characteristic of a spec home is that the consumer can see exactly what their money is buying.

cons – The greatest deterrent to buying in the spec market is the fact that the homes are very much someone else’s idea of what your home should be. Most decisions have already been made, depending on the phase of construction the home is in at the time of purchase. All the special features that might be nice to consider putting in the home are either there, or not. Finally, there may be features in the spec home that might not have been on your list of needs & wants, and those costs will have already been included in the sales price. Consequently, you will be paying for something you didn’t really want.

Tract Homes Probably a little disclaimer is in order. McGuire Builders, Inc. is not a tract home builder. We believe tract housing has a very appropriate role in the real estate market. Tract homes, as with custom or spec homes, may or may not be a great investment for a given consumer. Understanding the differences between the 3 types of homes is critical to making a good assessment.

“The Real Estate Dictionary” defines tract housing as:
“A dwelling that has a similar style and Floor  Plan to those of all other houses in a development. Contrast with Custom Builder.
Example: Pleasant Acres is a Subdivision of tract houses. Each home is a 3-bedroom ranch-style house with the same basic floor plan.”

Tract housing can usually be delivered to the market at a much lower cost per square foot. Volume building makes it possible for the builder to purchase materials and contract for labor at a much lower rate than conventional home building methods. The reason is simple; the floor plans are one of a few popular plans the builder offers for sale. They might be reversed or include different option packages, but they are essentially the same houses built over and over, sometimes hundreds of times.

The price is often the best selling point. Just how much savings might be at stake depends on which builder the tract builder is being compared to. There may be a significant difference when compared to a higher-quality custom home builder. The products are not intended to be the same. One is built to be very inexpensive, while the other is intended to appeal to an entirely different market.

pros – The lower price is the obvious leader in this category. The floor plan is likely to be appealing to a mass market. There is usually little doubt about what type of house will be built next door, and the sub-division will probably build out quickly.

cons – These homes are built with price-point as a major consideration, so the quality v. investment is almost always given a high priority. Elements like cabinets, hardware and appliances are the more obvious areas where money may have been saved, often at the expense of quality. Other areas might include framing components, paint grades, shingle weight, and carpet grade to mention a few. These components are not obvious to the typical buyer, especially someone not familiar with construction methods and materials. Lastly, resale value is the greatest disadvantage to a tract home. There is enormous competition when selling a tract home. Price is usually about the only thing that makes one more appealing than another identical house down the street.

Tract homes meet the needs a lot of buyers, especially first time homebuyers. They may be comparitively inexpensive and, while not always well suited for a short-term investment, the longer the buyer plans on living in the home the better this choice might be.

Resale value is a complex issue and warrants a post of its own. We will discuss just how important an issue resale value is for differing consumers and how it should be viewed depending on your circumstances in our next post.