If you have decided you want to build a home from scratch, you have quite a lot to think about. It is both exciting and a bit nerve-wracking. You get to create the exact home you want, but it is a major project where lots of things can go wrong if you don’t give the project the proper forethought. You need to come up with a solid design and floor plan that you won’t regret six months down the line; you need to find a great builder, and the list goes on and on. Here are just a few important considerations.
Choosing Your Lot
Choosing your lot is one of the first things you need to consider; in some respects, the considerations are similar as if you were buying a home that is already built, while others are a bit more specific to this scenario of buying a spot to build a house from scratch.
Be very discerning, and know that a good lot will come with a higher price. Be wary of anything that seems too good to be true. If a builder is offering up one of his current lots, don’t just take it without considering the other ones available in the area. Consider what other homes are already in the area and are being built. Are they in a similar price range as yours? Are there any issues in the area that could spell trouble down the line such as water problems? What is traffic like now, and are there any major changes in the works such as new roads or new building that could change this in the future? What is the surrounding area zoned for? What direction is the lot facing? What are the schools like now? Are there any scheduled to be built?
Finding Your Builder
This is without a doubt one of the most important decisions you need to make. Choosing a home builder is not decision to be made in haste, and without the proper research. Sure, you are excited to get started, and but this can cloud the process a bit. You don’t get enough background; you overlook important considerations; you don’t ask the right questions; you get tempted to go with the first semi-decent company because they can start the fastest.
Pay attention to whether the builder truly appears to be listening to you; he should be asking a lot of questions. Get referrals but don’t pick based on this alone. Ask subcontractors, interior designers and real estate agents. Check the papers for real estate ads listing new homes or new construction.
Try to talk to people who have bought homes in subdivisions built by this company. Do you have a good rapport with the builder—this is important because you will be working closely with this person for anywhere from several months to well beyond a year. You need to work with someone with whom you feel comfortable. Most importantly, go with your gut.
Make Sure Your Floor Plan Isn’t TOO Unique
The opportunity to create the exact home you wish is really exciting, but it is easy to go overboard with the ‘unique’ factor when designing it yourself. Whatever your plans may be now, it is always good to keep an eye to the future where it is possible you may sell the home one day. You want a design that expresses your unique vision but is not so customized it loses its marketability It is also possible your vision for the perfect home may not be the most practical. You want to consider flow and a logical layout. So, it is probably a good idea to get a second opinion from an architect, who can look at the plan with a perspective that you can’t. He can offer valuable advice that will make for a more successful build.