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PHB Home Stories: Meet First-time homebuyer Allison White

March 25, 2021

We spoke with first-time home buyer Allison White about her what it’s like to be building and making selections for her first new construction home in the (booming) Chattanooga market.

Pratt Home Builders: Why did you feel now is the right time to buy a new construction home?

Allison: A lot of it has to do with the timing of being ready to move in.  For me, I was living alone in an apartment when the pandemic hit.  I moved in with my parents “temporarily” since I’m a pretty social person.  Living in isolation was not good for me.  Then the tornado over Easter hit my apartment as well, so I fully moved in.  With Covid still a threat, I don’t want to move back out too soon and find myself isolated like I was at the start of the pandemic, just in a bigger space!  The timeline of building fits when I am hopeful to be able to get back out in the world more comfortably.


PHB: Did you look at both new homes and resales? Why did you land decide on new construction instead of a resale?

Allison: I did look at what I’ve been jokingly calling “used” homes before opting on new construction.  Because of the timeline issue I mentioned before and the record low inventory in resales, I was having trouble finding what I was looking for.  Every house I saw that came close was missing at least one item on my “must have” list.  With new construction, I am able to get all my “must haves” within my budget, so it just makes the most sense for what I’m looking for and my timeline.


PHB: With the low inventory and competition among resales, would you expect to see new construction homes become the “new normal” in real estate”

Allison: Based on what I saw on the market, it wouldn’t surprise me.  If new construction can guarantee what you want in a home, and the price is right, I would think that would be the better option.  Unless you need a home quickly, why not build what you want?


PHB: Does the long warranty make you feel additional ease as a first-time buyer?

Allison: Absolutely!  It’s nice to know that I won’t have to worry about things breaking for a long time.  I’m not the most handy with home repairs, so not having to think about hiring someone to fix things is great for my piece of mind and my budget!


PHB: I know you mentioned you are having some special features added to your home – can you talk about those?

Allison: The features I’ve upgraded are just the things that I really want in my home such as a screened porch, a tub in the master bath, and a wall oven in the kitchen to name a few.


PHB: What are you most excited about when it comes to your home plan and finishes?

Allison: I’m super excited to put my touch on everything and truly make it mine.  I’m looking forward to going through the process of designing the finishes and getting to pick everything out.  As for the home plan, I love the layout and the way the home flows.  I think it will be everything I’ve been looking for in a home.  I can already imagine living in the space and using each area throughout the day.


PHB: Why did you choose the community/location that you landed on and what are you most looking forward to about being in the area?

Allison: I grew up just outside of Red Bank, so I was hoping to move back to the north side of town.  I was looking at homes in the Red Bank, Northshore, and Hixson areas of Chattanooga.  The location of this neighborhood is fantastic as it is close to all the places I spend regular time during the week (church, work, recreation).  I also love how close it is to the Greenway Farms area so it will be easy to go to the park frequently.  The community feels like it is in the middle of the country, but I can get to city amenities within 5 minutes.


PHB: What are you most looking forward to about your design process?

Allison: This is a hard question because the answer is “all of it!”.  I’ve never built a home before, but I think it will be an interesting and fun process to go through, especially since I’m not doing it on my own.  I think the design meetings will be enjoyable as I look at all the different options.  I intend to drive by the lot at least weekly to watch the progress of my home being built.


PHB: How do you feel about being able to have you own place to call “home” given the current unprecedented situation we are living in?

Allison: I’ve lived alone before, but always in a rented apartment.  I’m thrilled to finally be on the path to owning my home.  I love the idea that I can do anything with the space since it’s mine, even as simply as changing a wall color.  I’m also looking forward to not hearing my neighbors through the walls or ceiling!  I grew up in a neighborhood with great neighbors who cared about the community we lived in.  I’m looking forward to building that with my future neighbors as well.  I think people just care more when there is ownership.


PHB: How would you describe your process so far?

Allison: So far, the whole process has been pleasant and pretty easy.  A lot of that has to do with the people I’ve been working with who really know their stuff and are able to guide me through.  I’m not very far in yet, but I feel confident that it will continue to be a lovely experience based on what I’ve seen.  I have always heard horror stories about people building houses, but that has not been my experience at all!


PHB: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Allison: I can’t wait to take each next step and watch the whole process take place!


Ready to build your new home? We can help! Visit https://www.prattliving.com/find-your-home/ to get started.

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This post was written by Sydnee Cearlock

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