Episode 1: Introduction to Brian & Heather and the YPS Podcast

Jan 4, 2023

In this episode:

Brian and Heather want to build a new house for their growing family, and are determined to do as much as they can on their own! In this first chapter of their story, Curtis introduces the young couple, talks about the reason for the YPS podcast, and sets the stage for the season to come. Over the next 15 episodes we’ll follow Brian and Heather’s miscues and talk with a variety of expert guests about how to have a successful, stress-free construction project.

Bonus: Accompanying every episode are show notes with links to guest speakers and other helpful sites mentioned in the podcast.

How to get in touch: Please let us know what questions you have and we will address those on our final episode of the season, Episode 16. You may email us at info@yourprojectshepherd.com.

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Full Transcript


Five years ago, Brian and Heather bought their very first home. It was a 1300-square-foot bungalow and in a vibrant neighborhood near downtown. The house had two bedrooms and one bathroom, which sounds small, but they’ve always believed that most people live in a way more house than they really need. In fact, they felt that any family should be able to stay in a house like this forever.

Well, things change. Two years ago, they had their first child. And just last week, they found out there’s another baby on the way. They still love their little home and the walkable neighborhood. They thought they’d never leave. But they find themselves in a dilemma that so many young families face. The house and the yard are just too small.

The local schools aren’t up to par. And now that they have kids, crime is getting to be more of a concern. And honestly, they like to surround themselves with more young families like theirs. Both Brian and Heather have good-paying jobs and they have diligently saved money for several years. Heather, of course, watches all those home designs shows on TV.

Plus, her sister is an aspiring interior designer and blogger. With their knowledge and resources. Heather and Brian figure they can design and build the house of their dreams without upending their comfortable life. So they get to work without a specific location in mind. They start looking at Floorplans online and they find what seems to be the perfect dream home.

All they need now is a lot to build on. They bought the floorplan at a fraction of what they would have spent with an architect, and they already know exactly what finishes they want to include. Their future home is going to be two stories. It has cute wooden ship lamp siding around the front porch with stone accents. Plus, the design includes a detached two-car garage in the back.

They’re getting more and more excited every day. After some research, they find that the national average to build a house like this is between $140-$250 per square foot. After comparing that price to some spec houses, they’ve seen in the area, there’s a new build. Prices seem to be in the same range. Over the weekend, Brian and Heather decided to drive around the neighborhood on the west side of town.

It’s a great area with big lots, plenty of large oak trees, a strong archway that helps regulate development, good schools, and a nearby greenspace for walking and biking. They found a for sale by owner property that hadn’t yet been listed on MLS. The house was clearly in disrepair, but it’s on a beautiful corner lot and they’re going to be tearing it down anyway for the excitement.

They call the number on the sign. And it turns out the homeowners asking $50,000 less than most of the other houses they’ve seen recently. They also learned that the house did flood during a recent hurricane, but they’re reassured it was the first time and the current owner is pretty sure it’s not going to happen again. With so many new homes going up in this West Side neighborhood, Brian and Heather feel like this is a great investment.

The next day they write a contract and a month later they close with a 30-year conventional mortgage. Brian and Heather are pretty pleased right now, but how do you think they’re going to be feeling when they learn about their new neighborhood’s deed restrictions and regulations? Tune in next week to see just how badly they’re going to be regretting some of these biggest and most expensive choices they’ve ever made.

[Music Bumper]

Hey there and welcome to the Your Project Shepherd Construction podcast. I’m your host, Curtis Lawson. I’m the owner of Shepherd Construction Advisors and crafted custom Homes. The story that we just began about Brian and Heather will continue throughout this first season of the Your Project Shepherd Construction podcast. It’s a fictitious story. In all my years in this profession, I’ve never seen someone make all these mistakes on one property.

But Brian, another story is based on a combination of bad decisions that I’ve seen folks make over and over, and my hope in telling you the story and talking about these problems that Brian and Heather encounter is so that just maybe I can prevent someone else from going down the wrong path and doing things that cost them a whole lot of money and heartache.

The goal of this podcast is to get you, the consumer, the choose the right process to build or remodel your home because building is not just about creating a schedule or picking out those pretty shiny things. It’s about having an effective process and putting that into motion from concept to completion in a predictable manner. Throughout this first season, I’m going to walk you through everything that you need to know about making informed decisions in the home building and remodeling process.