custom home builder: Modular Myth Busters - 08/16/21 05:45 AM
Modular homes have become the target of some pretty tall tales over the years. Much of this has been derived from a general lack of understanding, or a general misunderstanding, about what they are and how they are built. In its infancy, 40-50 years ago, modular construction had humble beginnings. However, with building technology today and the engineered products available when constructing today’s homes, modular homes are superior in almost every way. Traditional site-built homes are still using construction methods that have existed since the 18th century and before. Let’s bust the top seven modular myths.
MYTH #1: A MODULAR HOME IS A … (1 comments)

custom home builder: How Can You Get a Large Modular Home to My Site? - 08/02/21 04:47 AM
First, What Makes a Modular Home Modular?
A modular home is basically a stick-built home that is built offsite and then transported to the site in modules. When designing a modular home the architect, engineer, or designer takes a standard home design and then based on that design, determines the best way to modularize or break it up into pieces that can be transported. These pieces, or modules, are then individually built in a factory. Because of state highway limitations and the need to gain access to building sites, typical module sizes can vary by region.
In the northeast and mid-Atlantic where modular home construction is popular, … (2 comments)

custom home builder: Not All Factory Built Homes Are Created Equally - 07/26/21 04:01 AM
This is a term that may not be familiar to many that are looking for a new home. For many, being built in a factory means quality. Almost everything you buy is built in a factory; your phone, your watch, and your car. You depend on the consistency of the process, the speed of production, and the quality of the product when something is built in a factory. But what about factory-built homes?
FACTORY-BUILT HOMES CAN MEAN VERY DIFFERENT THINGSOne of the things people get very confused about is the difference between a modular home and a manufactured home (mobile home). First, a little … (4 comments)

custom home builder: Why is a HERS Score Important to You? - 06/21/21 04:29 AM
A HERS RATING CAN SAY A LOT ABOUT A HOUSEThe HERS Index or, the Home Energy Rating System is simply an analysis of a home’s energy efficiency per the HERS Index. This index is the nationally recognized scoring system for measuring a home’s energy performance. Many cities and some states either require or will be requiring that the test to determine a HERS Index Score be completed on a newly constructed home. In many cases, there are certain certification programs that require a specific HERS Score to be attained to meet a specified certification level. However, most states and cities don’t have … (3 comments)

custom home builder: Gazing into the Home Buyer's Crystal Ball - 06/14/21 03:00 AM
Prices, timeframes, and material selections, etc. So many things are clouding the crystal ball of today’s home buyer. What do you do? Do you wait and watch home prices go up along with today’s record-low interest rates? What if they never come back down? Do you jump in now and build a home? Never before have home buyers been so confused by the new home market. But you’re not alone. Realtors, builders, appraisers, lenders, etc., are in the same boat. This market is tricky for everyone involved in it. Let’s interpret some of the signs that are appearing in the home … (5 comments)

custom home builder: Building with Modular Construction - Fact Checked - 06/13/21 05:11 AM
The home construction industry is changing. The way we have built homes in the past won’t continue to be the way we build homes in the future. With the shrinking construction labor force, the constant improvements in construction technology, and the constant march towards zero energy homes that are healthy to live in – something has to give. For most, everything you purchase is built in a factory today… except for one thing, your home. Modular is a method of construction, not a type of home. Over the years modular construction has become the superior way to build a new home. … (2 comments)

custom home builder: How Do You Appraise a Home That Isn't Built Yet? - 04/26/21 03:38 AM
If you will have a mortgage on a home that you are about to build, or if you need a construction loan, the bank will require you to have an appraisal done. The lender wants to make sure that the value of the home equals or exceeds the amount of the loan they are about to provide. Even though it’s your home, should anything happen and the lender has to sell it, they need to make sure that they can get their money back.
The appraisal process can be a confusing and stressful process for the homebuyer building a home. They have many … (4 comments)

custom home builder: Sometimes the Grass IS Greener on the Other Side - 04/19/21 04:21 AM
Today, many are discovering the process of offsite modular construction. While they study and research it, they haven’t made the leap to it… yet. It’s hard for many homebuyers and homebuilders to believe that a different way is a better way. They are still stuck on traditional construction methods as a tried-and-true way.
It's much like the early 1900s when Henry Ford is attributed with the quote, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses”. While he probably never actually said it, the point is still made. Humans find it hard to change or think differently. … (4 comments)

custom home builder: Low Home Inventories Turn Many to Home Construction - 03/15/21 04:15 AM
Existing home inventories are at an all-time low. There are very few good houses on the market for sale. If a good home finds its way to the market, then there is a bidding war for it driving the price upward for the eventual winner. And this story is repeated everywhere across the country. This is driving many people to look at new construction. But even new home construction can’t keep up with demand. Homebuilders and developers are burning their candles at both ends just to try and keep up.
Now let’s add in record-breaking lumber prices, and the ever-increasing prices, and … (2 comments)

custom home builder: Building to a Label - 03/01/21 04:05 AM
Labels are just another way to say a standard. There is information overload for homebuyers in today’s marketplace – smart homes, construction standards, appliances, color selections, building materials, etc. When you build a home, there is a lot coming at you and many decisions to be made. How do you make sense of it? Most people care about how their home will look, how comfortable it will be to live in, is the home safe, and how much it will cost to live in. And then there is its location.
There are many labels out there that try to bring sense to … (3 comments)

custom home builder: HIGHER is the 2021 Word for Housing - 02/22/21 03:32 AM
Housing is BOOMING in the U.S. HIGHER home prices, LONGER delivery timeframes, and GROWING interest rates are coming for 2021! While the economy still has a question mark on it, the home buyer’s confidence is doing well and growing. But, according to the National Association of Realtors, there is a housing shortage. Every year, as a country, we still aren’t building enough homes to cover the need of our growing population. Demand exceeds supply. Skyrocketing material costs, COVID-related supply chain disruptions, labor rates, and gas/oil prices are in the news, and all are impacting the affordability of your new home. Modular construction is the … (3 comments)

custom home builder: When Good News Can Mean Bad News: 2021 and Increasing Interest Rates - 01/25/21 04:02 AM
It was a tough 2020 for most people across the country. Jobs were lost or changed. Budgets were stretched. Kids are being taught at home, changing our lives and the way we live in our home. The good news is we have a vaccine. 2021 is showing lots of promise that we may get COVID-19 under control. That’s the good news! But the bad news is that when the pandemic subsides, the economy is expected to take off again. That can mean inflation. When that happens, interest rates will rise to keep the economy in check. That means bad news for … (2 comments)

custom home builder: The Night and Day Difference - 12/14/20 04:34 AM
In life, we use the term night and day difference to refer to opposites, things that are completely different. We also use terms such as left or right, in or out, up or down, etc. All of these can also characterize the choices you make. You can either go left or right. Just as when you build your new home, you have choices. Many home buyers let someone else make those choices for them because they don’t know any better or any different. In most cases, homeowners are letting their home builder choose how their new home is built, so that … (3 comments)

custom home builder: 10 Pointers to Boost Your Credit - Qualifying for a Construction Loan - 11/02/20 04:19 AM
The decision to build a new home typically doesn’t happen overnight. Neither will the process of obtaining a construction loan – it will start long before the actual loan closing. While picking a house plan, reviewing home elevations, and selecting colors are the exciting part of building a new home, one of the first things you should do is understand your current credit standing. Establishing your current financial picture early on is a critical first step when it comes to building a new custom home.
A good credit score is the key to success when financing the construction of your new … (1 comments)

custom home builder: Compound Interest - Is it Your Best Friend or Your Worst Enemy? - 10/26/20 03:46 AM
“’Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it; he who doesn’t, pays it.”
-Albert Einstein
Interest is simply the cost of borrowing money. If you finance your home, you are going to be paying it. It is going to be expressed as a percentage. Because of the Federal Truth in Lending Act, lenders are also required to provide you with something called an APR. It is the Annual Percentage Rate, and it is also expressed as a percentage, and it is usually higher than the loan interest rate. That is because it attempts to include other charges … (3 comments)

custom home builder: The Gift that Keeps on Giving: A Tight Thermal Envelope - 10/05/20 04:23 AM
We hear terms such as energy-efficient, green, resilient, zero-energy ready (ZER), along with many others every day. When you are a builder, or if you are into building science, you know (or should know) what they all mean. However, as a home buyer that just wants a home that is safe, comfortable, and has the lowest monthly utility bills possible, these terms can sound foreign. The common denominator that plays a role in each of these areas is something called the “thermal envelope”. It’s most basic definition is the line that is drawn between the outside of the house and the inside of the … (3 comments)

custom home builder: Modular Brain: Rewiring the Brain for a Better Way to Build - 09/28/20 04:27 AM
When a home buyer first discovers modular construction as an option to build their new home, they get excited. They begin to Google more about the construction method and learn more about it and its advantages. However, as an industry, many contractors don’t know anything about it. It’s different. They have been building for 10, 20, or even 30 years or more and doing it the exact same way. In fact, the construction industry overall lags every other industry in productivity growth. In a report by McKinsey & Company, the construction industry has only seen a 1% increase in productivity in … (2 comments)

custom home builder: Clearing the Haze that Surrounds the Construction Loan Process - 09/25/20 04:41 AM
Most homebuyers that are building a home will need a construction loan. And the typical homebuyer will only have built 1 to 3 homes over their entire lifetime. That means getting a construction loan is an entirely new process. Even if they have done it before, it has been 5 to 20 years in between new home projects and everything has changed since they did it the last time. A construction loan is one unique loan in the lending world. The bank is lending money on an asset that hasn’t been completely built. Banks don’t like risk and to them a … (4 comments)

custom home builder: Modular Gives Homebuyers Exactly What They are Looking for in a Home - 09/14/20 04:36 AM
Home sales today are off the charts. Interest rates are now at historic lows! Realtors and home builders are all busy. Homebuyers are doing their research and looking at homes on the internet. Four items seem to be at the top of the search list for those investigating building their new home. They are sustainability, durability, affordability, and the timeframe for construction. The internet is a great tool to do home construction research. What many are discovering is that modular construction is at the top of the list in each category. But what is modular construction, and how is it better? … (2 comments)

custom home builder: Now is a Great Time to Build a Home - Despite Lumber Price Increases - 09/08/20 04:54 AM
In the last six months, lumber prices have drastically increased. By drastically, we are talking by more the double the price they were at in March. This has driven the price of a house up sharply as we approach the end of the year. But we have also seen, historically, the lowest interest rates for a home mortgage. We are talking near record lows for a home mortgage. Most home buyers take out a 30-year loan to finance their home. So now we have what is called a quandary (i.e., a state of perplexity or uncertainty over what to do in … (3 comments)

Ken Semler, Nationwide Custom Home Builder (

Ken Semler

Nationwide Custom Home Builder

Martinsburg, WV

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Address: 1586 Winchester Ave., Martinsburg, WV, 25405

Office: (800) 275-7532

Mobile: (304) 676-4321

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