Building Your Dream Home

By
Real Estate Agent with Audrey Edelman Realty USA

Building Your New Dream Home

Late autumn is the perfect time to think about building the home of your dreams.  A new home is best for those who want to make the choice of architectural style, how to site the home on the lot, finishes inside and out and features and options in the house.  Building a home is the only way you can have the home totally customized to your life style, needs and personal preferences.  There are many items to consider but the first and perhaps the most important is financing. 

Early in this process you should speak to a bank about the amount of home mortgage loan you will qualify for and the best programs that fit with your financial situation.  New home construction generally requires that you put a large amount down in cash on the house and that once the home is completed you then convert your construction loan into a traditional home mortgage loan.  As with purchasing any home the financing aspect is fundamental.  You need to make sure how much you can afford to spend on a lot and on the new home you will be building on the lot. 

One of the first decisions is finding the location and the site for your new home.  Consider the options of different locations offer, proximity to work and shopping, schools, services and the impact of future plans for the area.  In selecting a building lot you need to determine orientation of your new home and how best to site the house.  A good builder can give you recommendations on lots that will give you the ability to have a walk out basement, the best view from certain prime areas of your home, the greatest privacy from other homes in the neighborhood and the natural light available in the house during different times of day. The deed restrictions for the subdivision may also require the house to be a certain finished square footage, prohibit certain types of siding or house colors and may limit the use of the home for a home business or having an apartment in your home.  You should also consider the availability of services.  For example if you want natural gas, municipal water and sewer you may need to be closer in to town where the services are available and the lot sizes are likely to be smaller.

Peak times for the purchase of lots occur in late fall, early January and early spring.  If you are thinking of building also consider the time frame of when you need a completed home as well as the effects of the climate.  In areas with snow and freezing temperatures you will need to get the foundation for your home in before bad weather hits or wait until the ground thaws in the spring.  Depending on the architecture of the house, size of the house and type of construction will all impact the time frame needed for construction.  You should plan on 4-6 months in case there are delays in material delivery, unexpected problems along the way and timing due to climate.

It has never been easier than it is today to find architectural styles and floor plans for the home you want.  Look at lots of plans.  You can go on line and search by style types, square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, whether you want the master on the main level or upstairs.  Most on line sites also allow you to flip a plan or to find similar plans to the ones you like.  Once you have a plan you need to talk to your builder about the plan.  It is important it meet climate requirements of the area and in general needs to be stamped or redrawn by an architect licensed in your state.

Verify that the builder has a good reputation, will deliver your new home on schedule and meet the quality standards you are looking for. Good builders will be happy to provide references from other clients.  Talk to other owners to find out their experiences. The builders frequently will be happy to show you completed homes they have built so you can get a sense of the quality of the construction and finish work. 

There are many decisions that you will need to make during the construction process.  Your builder can advise you on the timing of the decisions on everything from flooring, counters, cabinets, plumbing fixtures, lighting etc.  Your builder should have a good relationship with a building supply store that can assist you with design decisions and products that both meet your budget and fit with the architectural plan and style of your home.  Make sure that your builder understands your availability and can work with you in the timing of decisions that you will need to make.

Moving into a new home is exciting!  Moving into a new home that you have created is both exciting and rewarding to see your plans materialize into your new home.  Remember to leave room in your budget for the landscaping, new furnishings, window treatments and other finishing touches that will be needed. .

Finally look at your home as an investment that you will be selling sometime in the future. Talk to your agent about resale values and were the market is headed. Consider the price range and value of homes in the neighborhood you are planning to build your new home.  Remember that certain upgrades and options that are important to you like home theaters and high tech features do become out dated and you will most likely not receive one hundred percent return on your investment.  If you are selling another home in order to purchase your new home, be careful about the timing to ensure that you are not left supporting two mortgages if your home does not sell or left homeless because your new home is not ready.  You may have to accept a little inconvenience like moving short term into a rental to make your ultimate goal of your dream home a reality.

 

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Beth Ganem

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