The process of buying a new home is never easy. From the initial step of saving enough money to make the down payment on the home to getting mortgage approval and finally finding the right house, each step is filled with various difficulties. However, the difficulty of the home-buying process becomes even higher when you are building a custom home.
Why would anyone want to build a custom home? Why reject the quicker and less stressful option of buying a pre-owned home in favor of the more difficult process of building a house from the ground up? There are very good reasons for making this choice. As the Vineyard Property Management team says building your home offers advantages you could never get from an existing home.
For example, with a custom home, you can:
- Choose a floor plan that suits your lifestyle.
- Future-proof your home.
- Include the latest technology while making the home more energy efficient.
- Choose exactly where you want to build your house.
- Keep maintenance costs very low.
That being said, there are things to know before you build a custom home. Building a custom home comes with higher risks than buying a pre-owned home. That is because a custom home adds complexities to the home-buying process that don’t exist with other options. As a result, the rate of failure – project abandonment – for custom home projects is quite high.
How do you ensure that your home does not end up as one of the statistics of failed custom home builds? This post outlines the proper sequence for building a custom home. By following this systematic process, you will cover all the bases for your project and ensure that the home is delivered to your specifications – cost, time, and scope.
Steps in the home-building process
1. Find a builder
Most custom-home project owners think they should only start looking for a builder after they have designed their home or even bought their land. But when you do this, you deny yourself the full benefit of the builder’s experience. As a project owner, your perspective is limited, but a builder can ask questions that will force you to consider all factors involved in your decisions. A builder gives you a more holistic view of your project; their advice can help you save money from the outset of your project. Ensure you look for a builder who has done similar projects in your location.
2. Determine your budget
It is easy to go over budget with a custom home project. The main reason for the high abandonment rate of custom builds is the owner runs out of cash. That’s why it is vital to have a realistic idea of how much money you need versus what you want in the home. This is another area where a builder’s experience can help keep your feet grounded in reality. If you start to design your home before you draw up your budget, your project is likely to cost more.
3. Find the plot
Again, most custom home project owners will design their homes before they buy their land. The problem with this approach is that your land imposes various limitations on the house design. Factors like the slope of the land, its orientation, zoning laws, HOA rules, groundwater, presence of certain natural features and utility lines can affect your design and cost in significant ways. The better approach is to work with your builder to find a good plot and design your home.
4. Design your home
Because this is the fun part of building a custom home, this is the part most people begin with. However, most owners have the wrong focus when designing their homes. Before you start designing the house, list your needs and wants according to their order of importance. Consult the things you like or don’t like in your current home for guidance. Think of what your life will be like in ten years, and also consider how easy it will be to sell the home you design.
5. Plan every detail
It is only when you drill down to the finer details of your project that you will be able to find potential problem areas. These details should include the specifics for every feature, fixture, and finishing in the home; their cost, color and material. They should also include detailed timelines and a list of deliverables for each phase of the build. If you do this work at the start of your project, you will save yourself from future headaches.
6. Work out financing
Financing a custom home is different from financing a pre-owned home; you will not be able to get a regular mortgage for your project. What you can get is a home construction loan, which is often more expensive. But you can easily convert this to a conventional mortgage after your project is completed. Be sure to shop around with different lenders.
Finally, expect disappointments and delays; those are normal with building construction. But you should be able to overcome these setbacks if you follow the steps outlined above.
We wish you the best on your project. Cheers!