Building a home can be exciting. You’ll finally have a place that is entirely yours, with your own unique touches and style! On the flip side, there are many choices to make and the process can seem daunting.
After reading this article, we’d like you to know what to consider for building a custom home that will fit your lifestyle, your budget, and your timeframe.
1. Your Budget
Before you can choose options, setting an overall budget is necessary. This overall budget includes the big list: land, realtor’s fees, financing the project, design plans or an architect, a home builder and all their subcontractors, materials, interior design, appliances, HVAC systems, landscaping, and even temporary housing should the need arise.
In planning home construction, it is best to over budget. Plan on spending more than you think you will. This helps add a buffer in your budget for unexpected circumstances that may arise. There may be surprises that appear at any point during the process. Over-budgeting can help you accommodate these hurdles reducing the stress of a new home project.
Homebuilding prices can differ quite a bit, depending on the type of construction, location, amenities, and customization. You’ll need to find the right balance between what you can spend and what you want.
When creating your budget, get bids from different contractors. However, an estimate is not the only factor to consider. You’ll want to find a home builder who will be able to guide you through surprises, offer ways to keep your costs down, and be honest about options along the way while building your home.
2. A Timeframe for Building a Custom Home
As with many large undertakings, planning early often leads to the most successful outcome. A new home will take time to plan, finance, design, and build. This long timeframe increases the probability that life events could interfere with your planned timeline. So, as with your financial budget, over-budget your timeframe. Here are some things that could take longer than anticipated:
- Selling your current home
- Negotiating a timely end to a lease
- Changing schools in the middle of the year
Consider as many factors as possible in advance to increase your timeframe accuracy but remember that adjustments may need to be made along the way.
3. Select Your Lot with the Future in Mind
When considering a location for a new home, start with the future in mind. Imagine the community where you will want to live for a while, what future improvements you will need to accommodate a growing family, or how much the property value is likely to increase.
Start with some basic real estate factors:
- Perc test in Massachusetts
- Nearby home values
- Nearby water and utility connections
- Population density
As you narrow down your choices of location, begin to think about the building lot. Here are some important things to notice while looking for the right property.
- Size and orientation of the lot
- Orientation of roof for solar panels
- Slope of the land
- Natural surroundings
- Quality of soil
- Proximity to flowing or stagnant water
- Positive and negative features of the surrounding land
Ultimately, your lot needs to accommodate your new home plans. Some people choose to hire a custom homebuilder first. If you do this, the builder can help you see the pros and cons of your lot choices.
4. New Home Design Considerations
Choosing the design of your home is one of the most exciting parts of building your home! Don’t be afraid to dream big, but consider what you want versus what you really need. Create a list of must-have features and “add-ons” if you have extra room in your budget. Consider the things that make your lifestyle complete but don’t forget the factors that will make your custom home a wise investment.
Here are some big-picture decisions to make, based on your budget and the amount of customization you need.
Future Tech and Regulations
Keep an eye out for your state’s regulations changing. For instance, in Massachusetts in 2022, new homes need to meet a HERS rating of 55. There may be upcoming requirements for preparing a new home for electric vehicle chargers. You may also want to consider how your home will accommodate solar energy.
Hire a Home Builder for Pre-Drawn Plans
You may not need to hire an architect if you plan to start with something standard. If you are using ready-made plans, a general contractor can help you find the plan that suits your space needs and your budget. Many designs can be customized by your builder who will use a structural engineer to qualify them. This can result in big savings.
Hire an Architect for More Customization
If you choose to use an architect to draw up your plans, you can hire the architect before or after your builder. But it is a good practice to hire the builder before the architect. The builder — your general contractor or construction manager — will be the hub for all coordination and communication. They can provide information you may need before you hire an architect. Or the home builder can help you find an architect.
5. You Need a Custom Home Builder You Can Trust
Getting your vision pinned down, aligned with your budget, and brought to fruition with as little stress as possible is no small task. It hinges on hiring a home builder with an experienced team that you trust has your best interests in mind and who can guide you in decision-making choices.
Are you ready to take the next step in building your custom home? Call us at (774) 245-3629 about your ideas. We can give you some perspective on time, budget, and process.