What You Need to Know Before Building a House

Planning at a construction site

The Numbers

Depending on how much money you’ve saved, you may require two separate lines of credit to build your new home. First you’ll need a loan for construction, paying the subcontractors and suppliers who will transform your design ideas into realities. Second, you will need a residential mortgage to pay for the construction loan.

Many builders offer online tools to help you estimate the total cost of new construction. Contributing factors can include location, materials, tax benefits, and more.

Build for Now, Plan for Later

The average home buyer stays in their residence for 10 years, according to a 2017 study by Freddie Mac. You likely won’t be in your house forever, so you need to consider potential re-sale value when building your home. New construction gives you unlimited opportunities to personalize, but hopping on the latest design bandwagon might hurt your ability to sell in the future.

Counting the Days

Are you ready to work two jobs? Building a home takes a lot of attention to detail, and that attention takes time. Many homes take up to six months to complete from the initial groundbreaking. This doesn’t include all of the planning that comes before actual construction. And every item will need your approval, from paint and trim colors to cabinets and finishing touches.

Maybe you don’t plan on a hands-on building experience, and will trust all the small decisions to a builder and designer. Well… good luck. Any decisions they make that need to be reversed will end up adding to your final price tag.

Hard Knock Life

Not to harp on expenses, but a home is often the priciest item a family will ever pursue, and this can put a significant amount of stress on relationships. While you’re making time to take care of your house, you’ll also need time to take care of the people around you.

Go Team!

Your project will rely on the expertise of a whole team of business people and craftsmen. As the captain of this slow-moving ship, your ability to put together a top-notch crew will have a huge impact on the success of the project. 

Will you be using a designer? Will you be hiring all of the subcontractors yourself, or trusting a dedicated project manager? How will tasks be delegated, and who will ensure that each subcontractor interacts professionally with their counterparts? Your ability to manage different personalities will be tested during this process. 

The No Good Very Bad Day

Your house won’t look like a home for a long time. And even after the walls are up and certain finishes have been added, it still won’t look “right” until construction is almost completely finished. Try not to panic. Think of every child forced to clean their room, explaining to a parent – “It has to look worse before it gets better.” This is exactly the same situation.

Nobody’s Perfect

Mistakes will happen. Many of them. Of course you expect the highest level of professionalism from everyone working on your project. Just know that there will be obstacles on the path to eventual completion.

Winning Friends…

Kindness goes a long way. When the floor installation goes haywire, consider bringing your sub-contractor a tasty treat instead of a plate full of fury and rage. They have a job to do, sure, but they’re people too! Like every other profession, the craftspeople building your home will work harder and better if they are given respect.

… And Influencing People

Everyone has an opinion, but yours is the only one that matters. Builders, designers, contractors, friends and family – they will all try to exert influence at some point, telling you how it should be done. You need to maintain the flexibility to hear other people’s ideas and accept them when they help, and discard them when they don’t align with your vision.

Building a house is a very involved and often difficult process. This can be made exponentially easier if you have the guidance of an experienced realtor. Contact Jessica & Sarah today to create your ideal home.

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