Custom-built House or Buy Real Estate? This Family Found the Answer!

Photo by Rowan Heuvel on Unsplash.


Are you still torn between which type of house might be the best for you and your family? This family’s story might be helpful for you!


Leah and Alexander Wilson, first-time homeowners, were faced with the classic dilemma that most families face when we deciding to buy a house: should you buy real estate or a custom-built house? Leah and Alexander have been renters for most of their married life. But things were about to change as they welcomed their latest addition to the family. Now, a looming decision tolls above their heads: Move out and get into a new home … Fast!


Here’s how their story went.


Alexander Wilson thought they wouldn’t need a bigger house


When we first moved to Saskatoon, it was just three of us. Alexander, Leah, and baby Ethan. Leah and I used to live in an apartment in Vancouver, an apartment we had been renting since our college days. It was a nice place with one bedroom, so we managed to save up some money every month since he was just a baby and didn’t take so much space…


Ethan had just turned one when Leah got a promotion at her job. My wife’s boss told her she’d have to move to Saskatoon for the job, so we packed our things and moved out. We were used to living in one-bedroom apartments, thus we decided to rent an apartment somewhere near Leah’s work as living costs were more affordable in Saskatoon than in Vancouver. Everything changed when we found out that my wife Leah was pregnant with our second child though. We realized we were going to need to move to a two-bedroom apartment because landlords won’t allow it since it’s against the law. As the monthly cost for a two-bedroom place would have been the same as getting a house in Saskatoon, we decided that it was about time we moved into a house instead. We had money in the bank, so now we only needed to find a house to buy.


It was easier said than done, though.



We hired a realtor and he showed us a great deal of real estate houses all over Saskatoon, but none of the houses in the market caught our attention. Leah and I had some things in mind and we wanted to find a house that would fit into our preferences, but we had no such luck. After months of looking for the perfect house, Leah’s due date was fast approaching.


Out of options: Leah Wilson didn’t know there was an alternative!



During the months of searching, we were starting to get frustrated with the lack of choices available in the market. Alex works as analyst and chose to work from home, so a home office was necessary, as well as a space for growing Ethan to play as daycares cost money so minding him at home was the more affordable option. It was starting to get really difficult for Alex to concentrate on work with him running and screaming around.


We’re beginning to feel desperate with our first time trying to buy real estate, until a work colleague told me about their custom-built house. This was our lightbulb moment! We had absolutely no idea what a custom-built house was as we’ve only heard about buying real estate. Intrigued about our friend’s beautiful home, we decided to look into custom-built houses together.


It was then that we only started doing our research about custom-built houses online. Everything looked so pristine and well-made; it was easier going thorough discussions about the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing this type of house instead of buying real estate, and though it seemed like a rather attractive option for first-time homeowners, Alex and I were slightly apprehensive about an important factor: time. But looking back, it was absolutely worth the wait.


The most important call of their lives


Once we decided, it was time to get in contact with a home builder and met with their representative. She soothed our worries about the timeframe of the construction by affirming the many benefits of owning a custom-built house.


We were ultimately relieved with the fact that we’d finally get to customize and decide exactly what our house would look like, which was absolutely impossible when we were trying to buy real estate. Aside from that, the home builder told us about the governmental programs that supported home-buyers, especially first-time homeowners like us.


Finally, Alex and I gave the representative a call back to let her know about our decision as we’ve agreed that a custom-built house was the best option for our family. The kids would each have their own bedrooms, spacious play area, Alex would have his home office, and I would finally have the kitchen I had always dreamed of!


From dream to reality


Meeting with the developer


We met with the developer we hired and he started the process by discussing some legal matters, such as letting us know what were our rights and what were his responsibilities.


After we made sure that we had covered as many topics in the contract as possible, the developer proceeded to talk about the timeframe of the construction. Time had been our original concern, so we were pretty apprehensive about learning how long it would take until our house would be ready and we’d finally become first-time homeowners. The developer said it could take any time between at least 3 to 4 months or at most 6 months for our house to be finished. It seemed like a lot of time, but we were fine with it. We’d spend another 3 months in our apartment, but after that period we would finally have a place of our own with the newest addition to the family, for the rest of our lives!


Designing the floor plan


The second step in our process of developing our custom-built home was designing the floor plan. We had lots of preferences regarding what we wanted in our new house, and the first couple of meetings were essential for us to let the developer know exactly how we wanted our house to be like.


We told him that the spaces we needed in a two-story house were 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, an office, and an open space kitchen. The developer took notes of our preferences and presented us with a tentative floor plan a few days later. We requested some changes, such as the kitchen/living room/dining room disposition, but we were utterly happy with the floor plan he suggested initially.


Setting the price


Although we had signed an initial contract, the price of our custom-built house hadn’t been set in stone yet. The developer told us that the price would vary depending on the materials we picked, as well as the size of the house and things like that.


For instance, we had originally told the developer that we wanted the house to have tile flooring, so he calculated the price of the flooring based on the material we picked. However, when he showed us how much it’d cost, Alex and I immediately noticed how it was way over our budget. We picked another material that was less expensive and, luckily, the estimated price lowered significantly after that. It was nice knowing that we had some control over our expenses in the construction.


The real work begins


After we agreed on a final floor plan, the construction began. We were a bit worried because we had read that choosing a custom-built house could be quite stressful, given that the homeowners had to constantly check on the progress of the construction, as well as taking time to pick out everything in the house, from the color of the walls to the doorknob type.


However, the developer we picked was really responsible and his team was very hard-working and dedicated, so we weren’t stressed out at all!


The development has kept us in suspense, really. Not only were we eager to leave the cramped apartment we lived in, but the four of us were also extremely anxious to see the final result and to finally become homeowners. We faced no major troubles during the construction and that was definitely a plus for us!


Finishing with the last touch


Once our very first custom-built house was finished, the developer set up a meeting with us and we drove over to our house. It was time to inspect the interior and exterior of the construction and check if there was anything different than expected.


We scrutinized every detail in every single room and we were genuinely pleased with what we were seeing. The kids’ rooms looked perfect with the details and wallpaper they chose, Alex’s office was amazing as well as functional, and I don’t even have words to describe how my kitchen looked so dreamy. The developer and his team were true professionals all throughout the process and their high-quality work was definitely reflected in our house. We had no complaints then, and we still don’t have any complaints now.


It’s been an amazing 5 years now since we moved into our custom-built house and haven’t had any issues related to maintenance yet. Thanks to the combination of high-quality material and top-notch workmanship, our house still looks like it was built yesterday!


The children have grown fond with their bedrooms, Alex feels extremely comfortable in his work environment, and I love spending time in my kitchen! We know, for sure, that we made the right choice when we decided to become first-time homeowners of a custom-built house! For anyone who’s wondering who helped make this dream a reality, we’re extremely grateful we chose them.


Green Villas Construction


Curious who developed this family’s house? This couple chose to work with Green Villas, a notable home builder currently operating in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan that has completed several successful projects over the past 10 years, establishing harmonious and long-lasting relationships with their clients and so much more.


Green Villas has earned the Gold Service Award presented by the Saskatchewan New Home Warranty Program, which acknowledges Green Villas’ outstanding workmanship in the development of new custom-built houses as it specializes in developing high-quality residential and commercial buildings.


Like the couple’s satisfaction with their custom-built home, you too can become a first-time homeowner yourself, taking advantage of the first-time homeowners’ program, you can get in contact with Green Villas by filling out the form or by calling the number available here. For further information, you can also check their portfolio and see their past projects that include custom-built houses and commercial buildings!


Now, if you’re in the Saskatchewan region, you can book a free consultation and visit their Saskatoon office at the following address: 215-2750 Faithfull Ave, Saskatoon, SK S7K 6M6.