If you are new to the home building market, those first few steps can seem rather daunting. We have gone through the home building process with my own home – and we know how overwhelming that beginning phase can be. After going through it ourselves and working with dozens of prospective builders, we’ve put together a list of the most important things you should consider when deciding to build your first custom home.
Make sure you choose a builder you can trust and see yourself working with for the long haul. Be wary of builders and developers who overly assure you that it is an easy process. Building your own home takes time, patience, and engagement; however if you prepare yourself for the challenge it can be a very rewarding experience.
Next, you should take a very pragmatic look at what it will take to build your new home. From the get-go, you should determine what you can and cannot afford and stick to it. It is highly recommended to allow for some wiggle room – about 10% of your overall budget, as issues will arise.
After you have committed and laid out your budget, the next step will be to figure out what you expect from your new home. Walk through your current home and make a list of everything that works well, as well as the things you wish you had. From there, organize your list starting with the necessities down to the desires with extreme prejudice!
When you begin looking for where to build your home there are a few things to keep in mind: A flat site will help to eliminate many headaches during the planning process. Also, consider the costs paying the city for permits, adding power and sewer hookups, and any excavation and landscaping that must be completed as part of the building process. Get to know your lot thoroughly to identify any potential problems.
Once you have figured out what you need vs. what you want, as well as what you can afford, it is time to start planning. Communicate heavily with your builder, contractor, and designer to find a plan that best fits your envisioned lifestyle. Be clear and be honest – make sure your build partner knows what it is you want and that they are committed to making you happy.