Frequently Asked Questions

Where do you build?

We are based in the MatSu Valley, and offer our residential home building services within an approximate 50 mile radius. This includes Palmer, Wasilla, Butte, Sutton, Huston, Big Lake, Talkeetna, Birchwood, Chugiak and Eagle River. We do not currently offer our services in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Glennallen, Kenai or off the road system.

How much do your homes cost?

This is, not surprisingly, one of the most commonly asked questions, and the most difficult to answer. We don’t built tract homes, which is the process of building the same homes over and over. We design and build Custom Homes, which is a specific home tailored exactly for your needs. Home prices vary substantially depending on specifics of your lot, home design, style and amenities. Pricing might range anywhere from $125/sf up to $150/sf or more for the house itself, plus around $40/sf for garages, plus costs for land, exterior decks, patios, asphalt or other features. The short answer is that it really depends on what you are building. The best way to get an idea of costs for your project is to call and discuss the site specific details and your financial situation. If, for example, you own your building lot outright with a water well and driveway already on it, the costs would naturally be less than if you were planning to have Wirtanen purchase and build on a different parcel of wooded land without these improvements.

How does financing work?

Each client’s financial picture is unique, which means that the best approach for financing any given project varies. It is common for Wirtanen to obtain a construction loan to fund the entire project, which would include the purchase of the lot, the appraisals, inspections, surveys, etc. – all costs associated with the entire project. In this scenario, a deposit of 10% is requested from the client at contract signing.

Do you purchase the lot, or do we?

Often Wirtanen purchases the lot as part of the home building package. The only drawback to this option is that BEFORE this takes place, the final home design, amenities, modifications and final contract packet need finalized and signed, which can take a few months to complete. If time is of the essence to secure the lot, the best option might be for the client to simply purchase the lot themselves via a personal land loan. (or other means of financing) Then, after the lot is secured, proceed with finalizing the home package, at which point a contract would be signed, a deposit received, and the construction loan obtained.

What if I already own my lot?

If a client already owns their lot, but Wirtanen is still going to carry the construction financing, the equity in the land is recognized by Wirtanen as cash toward the 10% deposit. For example, if the total package price is $400,000, the 10% deposit would be $40,000. If you own, say, a $50,000 lot outright, then the entire deposit is accounted for when the property is deeded in Wirtanen’s name, and no additional cash deposit is required.

Is the 10% deposit in addition to the money I’m required to have at closing?

No. The cash (or equity) deposit given to Wirtanen at contract signing is only held by Wirtanen during the construction process, and at closing this money is still yours. Your banker will typically suggest that you apply this deposit toward your purchase price. You may also have the option to use a portion of this deposit toward your closing costs.

What if we build with cash?

When projects are built with cash, there is no need for either a construction loan or the full 10% deposit, and the deed on any property is not transferred. A reduced 2% deposit is requested, and clients are simply invoiced each month for work complete to date.

How long does it take to build a home?

The entire build process, from contract signing to closing typically takes 6 months. This accounts for the time needed to get a “plans appraisal” prior to starting, and also time to obtain a construction loan to fund the build project. Also expected is a wait period at closing for final paperwork and underwriter review.

If I want to begin construction in the spring, how early should I be talking with you?

If we are actively working together on the design/build process by Christmas, it should give the necessary time to create your home design, review, reflect and consider the many building options, and to make necessary changes and final adjustments in preparation for a spring build. The goal is that you would have a crystal clear understanding of what the process entails and what the price includes (or excludes) before signing a contract. This takes time up front, but it helps ensure that expectations are met, timelines and estimates are realistic, and that you’re ultimately thrilled with the end product.

How early in the spring can you start construction?

It depends largely on the weather, but typically around the end of April or the beginning of May.

Do you build through the winter?

Yes, but we typically make every effort to have the site work done and the concrete poured prior to freeze up. The remaining work including the framing, mechanical, insulation, etc. can be performed through the winter months.

What makes you better than another builder?

There is a difference. And we feel it’s the way we THINK and the values we imbue in our homes and in our relationships. We don’t assume we are perfect, and when we make mistakes we own and correct them. From every mistake or obstacle, we learn from it and improve. We pay our contractors and suppliers on time, every time, and play by the rules. We build extremely energy efficient homes, with a priority placed on low maintenance and durability. We have professional home plan drafting software, and cloud based project management software which keep our clients fully engaged and aware of their project costs, selections and timelines at all times. In short, we are unquestionably committed to giving you the peace of mind you crave during the entire building process!

I’m interested in having a home built. Where do I go from here?

Contact us for an appointment, and we will meet in person to discuss the pros and cons of building, and to determine if we are a good fit for you and your project. We will discuss home designs, styles, timelines, budgets and our unique building process, and happily help in any way we can.

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