So, you’ve recently made the decision that your next home will be one designed and built just for you and your family’s every want and need…the opportunity to create your dream home, tailored just for you…but WHAT NOW?? Where do you start? Who do you call first? How much will it cost?
Undoubtedly, designing and building your own custom home is an exciting and sometimes stressful journey…but oh so worth it in the end! Just imagine- a home never before lived in, with no lingering questions of ‘why would they put that there?’ and ‘what were they thinking when they designed this room??’ Nope- just a stunning end product filled with character you will proudly showcase, knowing you had a hand in every detail.
As you prepare to take the first steps down this path, we’ve put together the following ‘getting started’ guide that will make tackling this large task a little bit easier.
1. Location, location, location!
Do you already own the land your new home will soon call ‘home’? If not, this is step one. You will either purchase the land with cash, with a loan from the bank, or from the owner, through owner financing. Buying the land with a land loan first can be a good idea to ensure the land is removed from the market and you’re not at risk of losing it to another buyer. Once you own the land, you’ve literally bought yourself a little bit of time to get plans, permits and financing in place with a construction loan.
2. Designing & Planning
From the beginning, you’ll need to decide if you are hiring a builder or if you’re going to manage all of the contractors and overall process yourself. Call us biased, but unless you’re looking for another full time job, we recommend sticking with the professionals. Some of the many perks of hiring a builder include management of the subcontractors/vendors, bid process, construction budget, insurance policies, overall timeline (reminders for material selections), etc.
Once you’ve selected floorplans and elevations, your builder has the expertise to know on the front end if the plans you’ve chosen will work on the purchased lot…before the project gets underway and expenses start piling up. Your builder can work directly with architect if any changes need to be made.
3. Understand the fine print.
Make sure you read through each and every detail of your lender requirements, as well as the contract you have in place with your builder. Is it a fixed contract or cost plus? How has your bank determined your builder will be paid…voucher or draw reimbursement?
This is the time to make sure all ducks are in a row… insurance is in place(Builder’s Risk, General Liability and Worker’s Comp) and coverage meets specified requirements, all terms in contract are agreeable and funding is set up and ready to be released once project is underway. In other words, the not so glamorous, but oh so important stuff.
4. Material Selections
Finally!! The fun stuff! Contrary to what some believe, you do not have to have every design selection made before breaking ground on your home build. While it certainly doesn’t hurt to have as much as possible figured out ahead of time, your builder will also be instrumental in providing you with a project timeline that will include deadlines for when each material selection needs to be submitted and ordered.
Surround yourself with professionals you trust, keep your eye on the prize of you and your family in a home like no other, with a lifetime of memories to be made, and you will be moving in to your new dream home in no time…with all nerves in tact! Happy building!!