By, Lucille Rosetti
If you’re looking for your dream home, you may not be able to find exactly what you’re searching for. Rather than settling, consider building your own custom home. This allows you to participate in the design process from the beginning, from the blueprints to material choices and landscape options. From Marin Real Estate, here’s a guide through the process of building your dream custom home.
How to Establish Your Budget
Experts recommend working with a lender to get preapproved for a home construction loan as a first step if you’re thinking about building a house. You’ll learn the maximum amount you can borrow and how much of a down payment is required. You’ll need to be comfortable with the down payment and monthly payment amounts.
Plan for all potential costs in your budget, including hiring professionals, permits, construction materials, changes to original home plans made during construction, and the property purchase price.
Professionals You’ll Need to Hire
It’s best to find a highly rated general contractor as your first step towards building your new home. There are home plans readily available which can be modified, or you might hire an architect to design your home from scratch.
You may also wish to use an interior designer or landscape architect. Most custom home builders either have these other professionals on staff or can recommend reputable options. Choose your custom builder wisely, because you'll be working with them closely during the entire home building process.
Since you’ll get to help design your new home, the possibilities are endless. Think about elements that are important to you, your family, and your lifestyle, such as:
- The number of bedrooms and bathrooms
- Modern conveniences
- Overall style
- Developed outdoor living spaces
- Number of levels and type of floor plan
- Smart home options
- Specialty rooms, such as home offices, man caves, exercise rooms, and laundry rooms
- Upgraded appliances, building materials, flooring, wall treatments, and fixtures
Browse through online photos and blogs to get ideas of what’s trending and keep up with new possibilities. You’ll have a better idea of what you want before looking for house plans or consulting an architect.
Finding the Right Piece of Land
Would you rather live in a rural area, the suburbs, or a city? Do you prefer a small plot, a larger lot, or lots of acreage? Before beginning your search, decide what criteria you’d like to meet.
You may find a great lot that already has a home, other structure, or mobile home on it. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t purchase the property. Current permanent structures can be demolished, although that will involve significant costs.
If there’s a mobile home on the property, find a charitable organization to move it for you at no charge. Charities donate these homes to low-income families, giving them a chance at homeownership that they may not have otherwise.
Moving is a great time to go through your belongings and get rid of things you won’t use. Many people have yard sales or donate to charities.
If you’re hiring a moving company, search online and read reviews of local movers. You may also be able to find movers offering discounts online. When you narrow moving options down, arrange for representatives to come to your home to evaluate your needs, and always ask for a written quote.
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Budget for Your New Home Build
There’s more to budgeting for a custom home than simply knowing how much money you can afford to spend.
- Understand what to consider in each area of your new home’s design.
- Learn how changing the features of your home can affect its cost.
- Have your contractor use roofing estimate templates to get a more accurate estimate.
Design Your Home for Optimal Living
Use time in the design phase to explore all of the potential options you may want in your home.
- Ask yourself questions to understand what you want and what’s important to you.
- A home’s design and features should complement your phase of life.
- After you finalize your design, use interior design software to begin decorating your future home.
Make the Transition to Your New Home Easy
When it comes time to move in, make sure the process goes smoothly.
- Contact your local utility providers to get connected before moving in.
- Work with professional movers to ensure that your things get to their proper rooms.
- Find the best local takeout instead of cooking on your first night in your new home.
Build Your New Home
If you have specific requirements for a new home, a custom build may be right for you. Develop a reasonable budget, find a builder and house plan, and let your imagination be your guide.