Are you ready to build a home? Have you spent time contemplating whether to build or buy? Have you spent endless hours on Pinterest creating you “perfect new home” board? Have you spent endless Friday nights roaming the hardware store picking out your lighting features, bath fixtures, and ideal flooring?… Isn’t it exciting?! That’s all great and exactly what you should be doing however, there are some crucial steps that should be discussed, noted and considered before taking the leap.
Get all your financial ducks in a row. Know exactly how you plan to pay for and budget for your build-out. Research your loan options, build a relationship with a financial advisor, know and fully understand all your options for obtaining the money required to build your new home. Understand the associated costs with borrowing money, i.e. closing costs, interest rates on construction draws.
Before you can consider the type of home you want, you need land to build it on. Finding the perfect property can take time. “Local laws regulating the location and construction of residential properties can impact your building plans and result in increased construction costs or undesirable neighborhood changes in the coming years. Before becoming too attached to a piece of land, make an appointment to meet with local building department representatives to discuss your proposed home site. Ask for an overview about property owner requirements such as home size laws, land use regulations and the area’s future development plans.”
Find the right contractor for you
During the building process, the contractor you partner with will become your next “best friend”. You will likely spend more time meeting and talking with them during the planning and build out process than anyone else, so you better make sure you like them. Don’t be afraid to interview potential contractors. Understand them on a business and personal level in order to partner with the contractor that meets your expectations. The most expensive isn’t always the best, number of years in business doesn’t always mean quality. Do your research, look online, ask around and development a list of qualified candidates to meet and talk with before signing on the dotted line.
Establish a budget
Before getting started, a budget must be established and agreed upon by both you and your contractor. In your first meeting, be clear and specific on your wants and needs for your new home so the contractor understands your expectations. Equally important is expressing your financial limitations and boundaries for extra expenses and unexpected circumstances. From there, create a clearly defined contract naming the work to be done in the budget guidelines agreed upon from the beginning. Take advice from you contractor and trust they will lead you down the right path while in the budget you can afford. Maintain an active role in the build-out process and ask for continued communication from your contractor on where you stand with the budget and remaining to-dos. Take control of your financial stability, don’t allow it to spiral out of your control where you are left to pay beyond your means.
Create a timeframe
If you have a hard move in date, be clear about that from the beginning. It’s expected during any construction that you rarely meet your “hopeful” deadlines so that must be taken into consideration. With that in mind, you need to create an ideal deadline and a “must be in by” deadline. Often, we are at the mercy of our contractors’ time and availability, cooperating weather, supply deliverables and other variables but, we can’t just sit back and allow our project and timeline to be mistreated when/if necessary. As the paying customer, we need to protect our own interests and do our best to check in and follow through every week to ensure our project is scheduled on task as it should be. If working with a professional and respectful contractor, they should keep you in the loop every step of the way.