Building a custom home is a balancing act between your perfect vision and the realities of home construction. Your budget, area legal requirements and the laws of physics all play a part in custom home design and construction. If you’re considering building a custom home, there are a few facts you need to know.
Building a home may mean wading through a sea of red tape. Your home’s design and construction will need to conform to national and local building codes. Even after ticking all these boxes, the home will still need the proper permits and inspections. Your contractor should understand the legal processes and help you through them, but you’ll need to get involved with the paperwork to some extent.
Juggling the Finances
Normally, when people decide they want to buy a home, they usually find a mortgage loan after they find a home they enjoy and can afford. When you build your own custom home, it’s going to be slightly different. Securing the financing to build your home often requires two loans. Mortgages and construction loans are two very different animals. Unless you’ve stuffed your mattress with cash, you’ll likely need to get a mortgage to buy the land and a construction loan to build on it. Budget carefully so you can comfortably pay both. Unfortunately, since interest rates are the cost of getting a loan, you’ll likely have to juggle two differing interest rates, this means you’ll have to be sure you can pay for both of them in the long run, and keep an eye on any opportunity that comes up to lower those interest rates as much as you can in the future.
Yes, a crystal chandelier would look stunning hanging in the foyer, but do you really live a crystal chandelier life? Do you really want a foyer at all? Adding custom features to enhance the way you live makes sense. Install a pet shower in the mudroom if you enjoy muddy outdoor activities with your dog and spring for the double oven if you’re an avid baker. Not every feature that you daydream about will fit your actual life, however. Impractical customizations do nothing except inflate your budget. Choose to figure out whether you need a double vanity in your master bedroom, or if you want a backyard before tackling these big-ticket ideas. Maybe consider where you put your kitchen or other high traffic rooms and if it makes sense.
Note the Neighborhood
Resale value matters. You may plan to build a custom home and live in it for the rest of your days, but life doesn’t always follow the plan. If you bought a piece of land to build on, look around at other houses in the area. If you make your house too fancy for the neighborhood, the price may climb too high for the area and make selling the home difficult. Skimping on expected local features can also make resale harder.
These tips are all important, but the best advice to heed when building a home is to expect problems. In the end, you and your builder will work through or around any problems that creep up. Building a house from the ground up requires hundreds of details coming together. Even if you planned the project meticulously, something may still go wrong. Accepting this before the project begins will keep your stress level down during the build and let you enjoy the process.