I never thought that our first home would be a house that we would build. The process so far has been (and continues to be) a great learning experience. Any first time building should know that It is a big project to take on and there is a lot of upfront information you have to consider. I wanted to share with all of you my 3-key things to know when building a house. There is so much more to know beyond these call-outs but I think they are a huge help for any first time home builders.
3-key things to know when building a house
- Know your budget and plan for the extras- Everyone has a budget and you have to be aware of that budget 100% of the time. What you have to factor in early on into the overall cost is what extras your really care about (hardwood floor, appliances, etc.) and what you can live with for now and focus on down the line. When we first mapped out the budget with our builders we got into the nitty-gritty detail as we wanted to be aware of all of the costs. Whether it was wainscoting, hardwood floors, masterbath upgrades or the farmer’s porch we thought long and hard about what we really wanted and what we could figure out in a later phase. All of those upfront “extras” are worked into our budget which makes for less surprises down the line. My best advice is to know your budget and factor in the extras into that budget. The earlier you plan for what you really want and what you can wait for, the more fun you will have in picking out the various things for your house.
- Do your research- Depending on how you build and what type of contract you have with your builder the idea of “custom building” can vary. We really liked what K&E Construction offered as it is a custom build but there is structure around their “package” in terms of the vendors that they work with and recommend. In custom building a house you have to do your research and it all starts with a house plans. Needless to say, with today’s internet there are a ton of sites that are a great resource for house plans. The best site we used to get ideas was HPA Designs Inc. Outside of the house plans start looking and building idea boards on Houzz and Pinterest early on (it is never to early to start, and it is so much fun!). Whether it is getting ideas for house design elements (countertops, cabinets, flooring) or interior design ideas (furniture, paint color) you want to start “building” your house before breaking ground. Having a good game plan has been a huge help to us. We have felt prepared going into all of our appointments and haven’t doubted one decision because we did our “homework” and knew what we wanted (and what price to expect).
- Prioritize your land purchase the same way you would in buying a house– We saw over 10-different pieces of land before we found the “one”. You should go through the same process as you would if you were buying a house when you are buying land. Think about- 1) Neighborhood- what type of street do you want to live on? 2) Town- where do you want to live? What is the commute? 3) Resale- what is the resale for a house in that area?. While most of the time if you build there is a longer commitment to living in the house you always have to make sure the value will be there when you are ready to sell. After we saw the 10 different pieces of land we narrowed it down to two. We did a good old pros and cons list for the two and realized that the land we bought is where we saw ourselves living. It can be easy to get wrapped up into the house (don’t get me wrong, the house is a huge factor) but you have to remember where that house is going to be and to make sure you love that land just as much as you love the house you are building.
If you are thinking about building I hope you find this information helpful! While we are only a few months in to building, I would recommend the building process to anyone who would be excited to take on this project. It is fun but you have to enjoy it.