For the many, there are existing and production homes. For the more discerning, who can afford it, a custom built home is the only option. In Charleston, custom home builders are holding their own. The Post and Courier reports:

Some property owners have the land and the money, and they want their home to be just as they imagine, view on a plan or cut out from a magazine.

That's where custom builders fit in.

"Yeah, a lot of people do want custom homes built at that (higher) price point," says Byron Barrow, who with his wife Suzie own Barrow Building Group in greater Charleston. "People look at existing homes (and) can't get exactly what they want." Buyers "want control," he says. With comparatively few homes on the market, it's difficult to land an older house that's ideal. It's an "inventory factor," he says.

The Barrows are among a host of custom builders in the Lowcountry who specialize in yearly constructing a dozen houses give or take a few. They're typically geared to individual clients as opposed to national and regional production builders who raise double-digit numbers of homes at a time and sometimes entire neighborhoods or communities.

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