Building a new custom home should be a happy and exciting time for your family. Yes, there is a fair amount of emotional and financial investment required, but having a good plan, staying organized and selecting the right team can have a positive affect on the process and outcome.
To increase the probability that yours is a rewarding experience… verses a difficult one, there are a number of things you should consider before you begin.
1. The Financial Investment
Your first step in the process should be to determine your budget or investment. How much can you… and do you want to invest in a new home?
When families set a realistic, and proper, budget from the start, it can help set expectations for the parties involved; guide the many choices you are about to face and hopefully, even keep you from getting in too deep financially.
If you are new at building (verses buy), there can be some common expenses that you need to keep in mind early on. There may be a need for items like permit and utility fees etc. You team (lenders, designers, architects and builder can explain and keep surprises to a minimum. It’s helpful to understand all these costs before setting your budget.
Because building a new custom home can be a significant investment, you will likely need to secure a loan and get pre-approved. Afterwards, you will know exactly what you can invest and have demonstrated commitment to the process. Shop around with several lenders to ensure you get the best terms and interest rate available.
2. Speaking of team…
We think it should be obvious that choosing a good team is crucial for building the home of your dreams. Selecting the right lender, architect designers and home builder can help your project stay on track (and on budget) while ensuring you are satisfied with the final outcome. So make certain in advance, that you have the right partners selected. The time it takes to vet candidates for each role, will pay dividends along the way.
3. The Location, Location, Location
Start by identifying a region, or area, that you want to build in. Narrowing options to a finite area in relation to career, school, hobbies and special amenities to establish an overall a fit with your lifestyle. As you narrow to a neighborhood, begin to think about specific types of lots. Are you looking for a flat, hilly, large, small, private or even a lakeside lot?
Keep in mind that the condition and landscaping of the property will affect your costs. A heavily sloped or wooded property may be a part of your desired style… but it will likely cost a bit more during the building process than a flat, clear lot. Choose wisely…this is a long term investment and your final design (and to a degree floor plan) will will be based on the type of lot/property you select.
4. Is bigger better?
Determining the size of your new custom home is another important factor to consider. At times, people get a tiny bit…carried away, adding in more room and space than they initially planned or maybe even”need”. If you tend to get a bit “caught up” in the process, know that it can affect your building costs, and in the long run… maintenance, utilities, and a few other expenses. Take an honest look at your needs and desires to help you zero in on the details of your custom build.
Your home should allow you to do the things you love, in the space you love. It should make everyday tasks easier, and age well alongside you. For example, families with young children should have different needs than couples heading for retirement. Take into account how you intend to live. Will you entertain frequently or have overnight guests? Factor in the current, and near future size of your family, and also how long you intend to stay in the home.
Depending on the complexity of the home, building a new custom home can take a little time. Are you in a rush, or do you intentionally want to take your time? Do you want to be “hands off” or “hands on” during the build process?
If you are considering a longer build time, make certain you are ready to invest the time and patience required for an extended build cycle.
If you are in a rush, just make certain you have allowed adequate time to design and build the custom home you have dreamed about. You likely want to be a bit “hands on” since you invested in custom…so be careful not to rush your timeframe such that you feel frantic during the build. Be realistic about your needs, timeframe and family requirements.
Taking the time to consider what you want, and need, out of your home,…plus selecting the right team, will ensure that your custom home build is a rewarding and financially great investment.