As a company focused on urban infill, Latitude 38 works with clients who are interested in staying in the City, where lots are often narrow with existing trees or other design challenges. These challenges make our job fun. In these tighter locations, we focus on unique design and on building houses that are energy efficient, healthy, durable and low maintenance. We are also a licensed Class A General Contractor in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
As a design-build company, Latitude 38 works with our clients from their initial curiousity about a custom built home through the design and construction stages. By keeping the design in-house, we have a good idea of what the actual final costs and schedule will be from our first conversations.
There are many ways to start the process of building a custom home. Some people find a piece of land and start dreaming. Some are able to secure the land, but have no plan for the home. Some people know they want to build a home, but do not have a site selected yet. Some have already gone through the process of determining if they are financially able to build a home, some have no idea where to start. Latitude 38 has experience working with clients in all these stages. If you are in any exploratory stage, please feel free to reach out to us and we may be able to steer you where you need to go.
Land in Charlottesville is pretty scarse. The best place to start is on at Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors. Land is a significant portion of the cost of any custom home project in the City. Because we are focused on urban infill lots, we are familiar with going land rates and most land available for sale. Please just contact us if you are looking and want to get a sense of costs.
In a custom home project, the home owner will usually secure a land loan, unless he/she is able to purchase the land outright. Although not all banks provide financing for land loans, it is worth shopping around to get options of rates and terms. Once you have a set of working construction drawings, you are able to secure a construction loan, which usually will role into a permanent loan with the land. These days, banks are typically looking for 20% downpayment, but again, it is worth talking to different banks as terms can vary. Banks will use the construction drawings and your personal financial information to make an appraisal and determine if you are eligible for a loan to cover the total cost of the project. Please contact us for a list of potential lenders in our area.
At Latitude 38, we split up our design and construction work into two phases. By separating out the design phase of a project, our clients are able to take drawings to a lender for construction financing before signing a full construction contract with us. The design phase usually lasts from 3-6 months, depending on the project. We focus on what is important to the client, as well as what makes sense for the site. The design phase is the most intensive for clients, as we work together to understand how you live and what will be important in the coming years that you plan to live in the home.
Once we have construction drawings, moving forward with construction usually takes about six months. During this period the client will continue to make decisions about finishes and appliances. At the finish of construction, the client’s lender will do an appraisal again based on the final product to verify that it is the same as the expected plans. Once this has gone through, the loan can go to closing and we turn over keys to the homeowner. New construction comes with a one year warranty. We often maintain a very close relationship with our clients during this period as we seek to address any matters as they arise.
Project costs depend on the project, please contact us for pricing.
Our construction team bikes to work five days a week. Thus, all potential projects must be within four miles of the downtown mall. If you would like to speak to us about your potential project, please contact us.
If you would like to get a sense of what this process is like, please read one of our client’s blogs: