: The stock house plans market is a market that has made it a lot more accessible for your average American family to be able to build the home of their dreams, by making it more easy to access already made house plans at a fraction of the cost compared to what they would otherwise be required to pay to have them designed from scratch.
While there are currently companies that do allow third party architects to post and sell their house plans on various sites, none of them offer very favorable terms to the architects who are in fact the ones putting in the hard work in order to create the products that are being sold to make people’s dreams come true.
If a future home builder is contracting directly with an architect, it’s not uncommon to spend more than $15,000 having a home designed, whereas when platforms offer these products for sale, the average price is usually around $1,000-15,000.
“While the overall cost of having a home designed is relatively small compared to the overall cost of building a home, it is still money saved that goes straight down the consumers’ pockets. For a lot of families, saving north of $10,000 can go a long way in either upgrading other aspects of the home, or putting that money into a college fund,” says Thomas Jepsen, the founder of Passion Plans.
Passion Plans’ goal is to not just make it more affordable for your average American family to build the home of their dreams, but to also help educate homeowners in their journey to living in the place they always dreamed of living in. This includes giving the users of a platform the various tools to really understand the advantages and disadvantages of various styles and incorporating in the needs of the individual families, all with the help of industry-leading tech.
“There are certain home styles that have specific advantages over others, perhaps being able to be a better long term investment, as well as allowing the individual families to create the home that they want. Our goal is to build the tech that marries a family’s dream with a sound financial understanding of how to get the most out of your investment. While you may like a specific type of home, we also want to inform you if that type of home really doesn’t yield a very good return on investment in that specific neighborhood, if you want to sell the house 10 years down the line. That is what we are building the tech to support.”
Passion Plans will in the future not just be able to provide you with guidance on building homes, as well as choosing the right materials that best support the consumers’ goal, but will also help in providing the expected home value you will be able to expect a certain type of home to have in a specific neighborhood once the consumer is done building it, all on the basis of statistical analysis for the respective areas of the country.
The current platforms in the market provide little assistance regarding the financial matters associated with building a home, why Passion Plans believes that they will be able to provide superior support for the home builder, helping them not just pick the right home, but perhaps even the right contractor and materials for the project.
The platform will both display different architects’ work, and allow its users to work either with an architect chosen by the platform, or in some instances the architect who originally developed the house plan, if there are any alterations they hope to have made to the existing option. This will not just allow users to start off with a base that is easier to build on top, but also allow them to make those changes to the house that would otherwise be costly to have done, had the plans had to be drawn from scratch.
“Many users want homes that may be very similar to one another, why there is a market for stock plans in the first place. Making these options readily available to browse provides the user the option to not just pick a house that they may like, but also to gather inspiration from the work of others, and get a better understanding of the many different possibilities offered. It might be hard to imagine exactly what it is you are looking for if you’re having custom plans drawn up, without having gained inspiration from other places first.”
Passion Plans has been debating whether or not it should seek out outside investment to further speed up the process of the development of these various features, or whether they are planning on bootstrapping it and growing it organically, as it presents other benefits and challenges.The company is not ruling out anything and welcomes the talk with potential interested parties in creating partnerships that will make sense for everyone.
The company has additionally been growing at an impressive rate, with just 2 visitors to the site in February 2020, on track to closing out July 2020 with more than 130 visitors visiting the platform. While it is still early on for the project, the growth has been spurred by additional development of the platform which has organically been driving an interest for the product.
“It is always hard to get the interest when you are initially launching any new product, because it’s very much a chicken and egg situation. Should you be focusing on improving the product to only attract the users subsequently or is it a better idea to drive the users first and get more input that then drives more of the product. It is always a balancing act and the experience with Passion Plans has been no different.”
Passion Plans does admit that they have been having difficulties onboarding the initial architects on their platform, and have been seeing a lot of architects wanting to only commit to working with them at a later stage when the user base is more solid than is currently the case. They do invite any architect to reach out to them in order to see if there is a basis for helping them provide easy visibility for the work they have already produced.
“While there is a lot of interest for your standard 2,000 square foot home, it is also our intention to work with users that may have slightly more unique wishes that they want to have come true, no matter if they are looking to build a mansion, or they are more inclined to build something with a historical appeal to it.”
While their mission is to make home building a more accessible dream for the average market segment, there is also the space to accommodate those families that may wish to focus less on the dollars and cents of a building project and may perhaps be more interested in something that will stand out in the neighborhood. Their goal is not to grow into an exclusive club that only caters to a small segment of the market, but rather provide transparency and help throughout the market where they’re able to best provide building help for the biggest amount of consumers.
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