Skip to main content Skip to footer content

Planning Your New Home

Good planning makes for good living


Buying any home is a big decision. Did you know there are several options for buying a new home, from custom-built to ready-to-move-in - and a few degrees in between? Have you considered what qualities make up the kind of community where you want to live - beyond selecting a school district? How do you determine what kind of home is right for your budget?

With a little careful thought before you begin the buying process, you can feel confident that the decisions you make are the right ones for you.

Should you build or buy a move-in-ready home?

While some people enjoy the creative challenge of a blank canvas, others prefer to focus their attention on making small changes to an existing masterpiece. Whether you're a creator or an embellisher, we have a variety of homes and home sites in conveniently-located communities to work with your lifestyle.

Why build a custom home?

To some prospective homebuyers, the words "dream home" evoke images of building a custom home just the way they want it. The thrill of selecting a floor plan that suits the way they live, choosing home design details that express their style, and working with a builder to realize their vision is the experience they seek. And now is your time.

Every step of the way Drees provides expert professional guidance.

With a Drees custom home you can:

  • Tailor your home to fit your life
  • Select colors, materials, and textures that reflect your style
  • Choose a floor plan for your family or entertaining needs
  • Experience our worry-free building process
  • Count on our 10-year structural warranty

And every Drees home is energy-efficient from the ground up, with our DreeSmart Energy Innovations.

Want to build your dream home to order? Browse our Communities and Floor Plans, or learn about Drees Design Centers.

Why a move-in-ready home?

Many factors go into deciding to buy a move-in-ready home. If you're transferring to another city, you might not have time to plan and wait for the construction of a build-to-order home. Or you might prefer the simplicity of moving into a "ready now" home that fits your lifestyle and needs.

Whatever your reasons, you don't have to sacrifice distinctive home design for convenience. Drees offers quality new homes that have been built with many of the features and upgrades you would look for in a custom home:

  • Spacious floor plans
  • Beautiful design details
  • Quality construction materials
  • Conveniently-located communities
  • Priced at tremendous value

Custom-built or move-in-ready, all Drees homes are green from the ground up, featuring our DreeSmart Conservation Innovations. It's our commitment to the environment.

If a beautiful move-in-ready home sounds right for you, check the availability of Quick Move-In homes in a Drees community you'd like to call your own.

New designs, new floor plans. New opportunities to see them. What are our most populat plans? Read about our most popular designs: "We have floor plans for your big plans!"

Location, location, location!

Communities are not one-style-fits-all. Your community should reflect who you are and how you want to live. It's as much a lifestyle choice as your home's floor plan or design.

Build on Our Lot

Drees Homes offers home sites and ready-to-move-in homes in communities that meet a wide diversity of needs. From active outdoor lifestyles to the bright lights of nearby cities; from family-friendly communities to those with quiet streets and space for reflection: Drees offers a variety of locations for a variety of lifestyles.

Here are a few things to consider when looking for a community:

  • Do you prefer country living? A quiet suburb? A neighborhood closer to the city?
  • What do you (and your family) like to do in your spare time?
  • Do you have school-aged children? How long will they be in school?
  • Is your home primarily a place for gathering or more like a quiet sanctuary?
  • What kinds of amenities do you look for in a neighborhood?

To explore the many Drees community options available to you, check out our Communities and Floor Plans pages.

Build on Your Lot

If you love our floor plans and award-winning designs, but your dream lot is outside of our communities, no problem! In most areas, we offer a "Build on Your Lot" option. Drees builds on properties located in Austin, greater Cleveland, Dallas/Ft. Worth, central Indiana, Jacksonville, Nashville, or the Triangle of North Carolina.

What is right for your budget?

You've decided between building and buying. You've thought about the kind of community where you want to live. Now you're ready to get started with the purchase of your dream home. There are still many decisions left to make, and an important first step is considering what your budget will allow.

Housing expense ratio

As a general guideline, most financial professionals advise that no more than 28% of a homebuyer's gross (pre-tax) monthly income should be spent on housing expenses: rent or mortgage principal and interest; property taxes; and homeowner's insurance. In other words, your maximum housing expense ratio should be no more than your annual salary x 0.28 / 12 months.

To estimate your recommended monthly mortgage payment, without insurance and property tax costs (which vary by region and situation), you can use our Mortgage Payment Calculator.

Debt-to-income ratio

Another important consideration is your debt-to-income ratio. This calculation takes into account all of your debt obligations: mortgage, vehicle loans, credit cards, student loans, and any child support or alimony. In this case, most financial experts agree your debt should not exceed 36% of your monthly gross income: your annual salary x 0.36 / 12 months.

By having a firm grasp of your budgetary needs, you can make the kind of well-informed choices that will allow you to purchase the beautiful, and affordable, home you've always dreamed of.