In September of 2019, Tim and I purchased our first home with KB Homes. We started building in January and have officially been in our new home for a few months now! Now that it is getting decorated, it’s finally starting to feel like Sweet Home Schlueter. With the building process now behind us, I thought I would give you a review and share our experience with our builder for those looking to go the route we did in the future!
WHY KB HOMES?
Truly no specific reason. Tim and I honestly had no idea we would even be building our first home–it was not in the plans at all. We just happened to be leaving our friends wedding and the day after, we decided to drive through some model homes on the way out. We came across the model homes of our neighborhood and fell in love with the style, floorpans, prices and locations. About 3 weeks later we came out with both sets of parents and we were sold!
PICKING A HOUSE
When building a house, usually when you go to look at model homes the neighborhoods have a certain feel to them. You can tell if they’re kid friendly, more for an older crowd, or for couples just starting out. When we came to our neighborhood to look around, we could tell that it was a family friendly neighborhood. I didn’t really get any ideas of an age range so to speak, since we do have a bunch of people from different walks of life here, but I’d say it was definitely more targeted to families starting out in their first homes to upgrading to bigger homes.
Now that we are here, I’d say the majority of our neighborhood is families. With the style house that we chose, it definitely appeals to a younger crowd and more of a family than couples or seniors. We knew we wanted a starter home and not our forever home–especially since it was going to be our first time moving out of Orange County. We aren’t sure if we’ll stay here forever or if we’ll want to move back, or to somewhere else. Something that suited us was a house with at least 3 bedrooms, and a backyard for the pups to be able to run around in (for now). I wanted to be able to picture myself in a layout that I could see being used as a playroom, bringing babies home from the hospital, and raising little ones in. I saw exactly that when we walked into our model! My advice to anyone looking at new build communities is to know what you’re looking for in a house based off what the next couple years of life look like for you. We knew ours consisted of family time, babies and raising littles. That helped us make a decision on choosing a home!
GETTING READY TO BUILD
We weren’t planning on buying a house when we brought both sets of parents out to see, but that’s the way it ended up working out. We left that day with a deposit down and a lot chosen, and a start date given. It seemed surreal and I could not believe we had made the decision to 1. build, 2. move and 3. start fresh. Looking back, it was a really big decision that we made but we definitely made the right one.
If you’re going with a reputable builder, chances are the process of building a home is very laid out and well organized. That was the case with KB Homes, as they are such a well known builder in and out of California. Like always though, don’t let it be a gateway for getting out of reading over things. There is SO much paperwork when it comes to building a home and things you need to read, its pretty overwhelming. Even though it takes time, I highly recommend setting aside time to do so because it saves you from any surprises later.
KB was really good about keeping us up to date on things and making sure we were in the loop. I also took it upon myself to know when their meetings were so I could check in with our realtor after to see what was new. Something I learned during the building process was that at the end of the day, they’re trying to sell, build, and make money. As much as they care about your happiness and satisfaction, they also have goals they need to meet like any other business. We were originally told we would be spending our first married Christmas in our new home and that it would be completed by December when we put a deposit down in September. Well if you follow along on Instagram, you know that wasn’t the case. What ended up happening was they were unable to sell enough homes and they couldn’t build one at a time. For financial reasons, they needed to build a few at a time and others just weren’t selling, which was completely out of our control. From September to January was a waiting game for us and really tested my patience. Something to keep in mind if you are building is whoever you go with, they may make promises, but don’t 100% depend on them.
Once we broke ground on our lot that is really when the ball started rolling. Things started picking up and moving fast! I remember coming out after the first week they had started and it was wild seeing the foundation of the house poured and laid out. I’d say we basically came out every weekend to check on the house and also follow along on the building process for a few reasons. Not only was it really fun to see, but it also gave me peace of mind to see it in person. We were able to talk to our superintendent who was leading the builds whenever we wanted which was really nice. I’ve heard with some other home builders that it is hard to access someone when you have questions, and that wasn’t the case here. Anytime I wanted to check-in or ask questions, someone (whether it was the realtor or superintendent) got back to me the same business day. That is probably my number one compliment with KB Homes is that I never felt alone in any step that we went through–someone was always willing to chat with me, or would explain things without asking. It makes a huge difference when the people you are working with truly care about your happiness AFTER the sale, and not just before.
Without a doubt, the most fun part for me! The designers were impressed with the fact that I had every little thing picked out and planned. Tim kept telling everyone that he was just there for support, and he definitely was! The initial appointment took about 6 hours and I was shocked to say the least. The customizations were endless and there is so much you can add on and do to the house! I felt like I had a lot of creative freedom in basically everything except the kitchen countertops. I did think the selection of quartz and just countertop options in general they had were pretty slim–so I was a little bummed with my choice at first. Our countertops are a pure white and I originally was hoping for white grey vein quartz. Definitely a first world problem, but I am happy with my option now! Another thing I appreciated about the design process was that I never felt pressure from any of the designers to change my mind. They really let me take the lead and made me feel confident in my decisions instead of trying to talk me out of them. If they had tried to steer me in another direction, I probably would have been super annoyed and since I’m a people pleaser, I probably would have chosen things to make them happy instead of myself. Again, KB Homes really cares about your happiness not just before the sale, but also after. That is the treatment we got and it went a long way!
WORLD WIDE PANDEMIC
Boom! COVID-19 hit early this year and just as they were finishing up our house and we were getting ready to move. They were in the final stages and with the weather, and now an unknown future, things started to slow down. Since I was able to see how far we were, I wasn’t too upset–but I think we can all admit the beginning of this pandemic was nerve racking for all of us and probably still is. KB Homes made sure we felt supported and also kept us even more up to date than before of what was going on and what the plan of action was. They continued to figure out how to work on our house and get it done safely so we could get moved in. They were mindful that we had already waited longer than they originally said, and they were so close to finishing, that they pushed through. We were unable to do our final walk through in person due to COVID-19, but we had a FaceTime call with our superintendent and we still got top notch quality of service.
LOANS & CLOSING
Hands down my biggest complaint is how our experience went taking out a loan, and it’s Tim’s too. The good part though is that we actually didn’t go through KB Homes for our loan, it was a total separate company. They were super behind, always lagging, a pain to get ahold of, and when it came time to close they were super disorganized and it delayed our closing process. At this point I just wanted out of our apartment and into the new house, that I was pulling my hair out just trying to get someone to help us. KB felt really bad for us, but unfortunately, their was nothing they could do on their end. It was completely out of their hands which is why it was so frustrating! It helped later too, knowing that someone I knew also built a home and had to go through them for a loan and had the same issues. I think it is just there reputation in general, which sucks!
CLOSED & MOVING IN
We closed and got to celebrate (safely) with KB Homes! We got a nice house warming gift from them and for the first whole week someone checked on us just about everyday to make sure we were doing ok and weren’t having any problems. The feeling of moving into a home that is freshly built just for you, is a feeling like no other, let me tell ya. I am forever grateful for this gift of a home and that this beautiful place is all ours!
If I had to do it all over again, I would still go with KB Homes. We gave them 5 stars on their review because honestly, they deserve it. To have someone be by your side in one of the biggest purchases and investments in your life, that truly cares for you and wants to see you happy, makes all the difference in the world. I can’t imagine having done this with a sales person who cared less, someone who didn’t answer our calls, without someone to check in and talk with, and just with no one caring or being involved. KB is now apart of our story and we are glad to have them in it!
If you have any questions about KB Homes or building, feel free to ask and I will do my best to answer! Are you building a home? If so, with what builder and how are you liking it? Let me know!