Things to Think About When Building a Custom Home – Today’s guest blog is by Advantage Realty Services Inc. The opinions expressed by the author in this and all guest blogs are not necessarily those of Gainesville Remodel.
Things to Think About When Building a Custom Home
Building your home from the ground up is probably the best way to make the most of every single dollar you invest in buying a new home. A custom home project offers you almost unlimited opportunities for customizing your dwelling. By choosing this path, you maximize the function and appeal of your home. It also guarantees complete enjoyment of it for the longest time.
Custom home projects also have a high failure rate, and the cost may exceed the project owner’s budget. There is a higher risk involved in building your own house than in buying an existing one. That is why you must understand how to navigate the various issues the project will throw at you if you want to succeed with your custom home.
The major problem with custom homes is that most people who try to build one lack the ability to plan and execute the project properly. They choose a custom home because they think the idea of building their own home sounds romantic. As Advantage Realty Services warns, they do not realize the forethought, patient planning, and strategic decision-making involved in the process.
Halfway through the project, they get their wake-up call. Realities of the challenges they have taken on confront them, and they realize that they have taken on more than they can handle. With that knowledge, their excitement wanes, funds dwindle, and the result is an abandoned project. They can’t complete the home, live in it, or sell it.
But you can avoid this possibility. Every time you embark on a project in an unfamiliar field, the best thing you can do for yourself is get an education. By talking to experts, you can learn about the potential pitfalls of the project and preemptive steps you can take to evade them. Doing this will save you a lot of pain, time, and money.
What are the things you should know before you start a custom home project?
When building a custom home, you should know the proper order for executing the project.
1. Lot selection
Buying your land before you have found a builder/designer is a wrong move. That is what most people do. The lot you choose has important implications for the design of the home and the cost of the project. Every lot imposes limitations on your home’s potential design. It may be due to zoning laws, HOA rules, proximity to protected areas, presence of specific structures, etc. To be sure the plot you choose will be suitable for the home you have in mind, you should do the next step first.
2. Finding your builder
The company you choose to construct your home will define the project. The only kind of builder you want is a custom homebuilder, not just any builder. The builder must have completed projects similar to yours in cost and design within the last 2-3 years. Furthermore, these projects should be in your locality to ensure that the builder understands the unique demands of working in your area. Finally, you should talk to the owners of those projects to know if the builder is someone you can trust or work with comfortably.
3. Budgeting and financial planning
Before you design the home, determine how much you want to spend on the project. A proper budget that includes every single item in the house is the best way to control costs. You should sit with the builder/designer and cost everything that will go into the project. That will create decision fatigue at the outset, but it will save you from making decisions under fire and reduce the number of change orders down the road. When creating your budget, make sure to add a contingency of 10%-20% of the final amount because surprises will occur.
4. Designing Your Home
Design is another area where custom homebuilders tend to go overboard. When designing the home, you should first separate your needs from your wants. That is hard to do and takes a lot of honesty, but it is essential for managing project costs and maximizing the home’s function. Two critical questions to ask during the design phase are: In the next ten years, how will my life change? What are the things I hate in my current home? Also, remember to design with the possibility of renting or selling the house in the future.
Designing your home
5. Financing the project
Getting funding for a custom home project is tough since traditional lenders will not give you money for the project. That is because they view custom home projects as high risk; in the case of default, they will not have a home they can sell off to recover their money. Your best option for funding the project is a construction loan that you can convert to a regular mortgage at project completion. The other option is to use hard money.
Finally, building a custom home is worth all the trouble because the final product will have a higher market value than a prebuilt home. But to get that value, you must do the work first.