If you’ve never gone through the process of building a home before, then you’re about to experience a whirlwind of emotions. From excitement and anticipation to stress and anxiety, you’re going to feel pushed and pulled in a variety of directions at some point. Don’t let this scare you away, though. When the process comes to an end, you’ll be glad you did it.
8 Tips for Home Building Success
Even if you don’t plan on ever swinging a hammer or driving a nail, you’re going to be heavily involved in the process of building your home. Having said that, you’ll want to make sure you know what you’re doing.
Here are a few tips for success:
1. Carefully Research Builders
There is no decision more important than selecting a homebuilder. The right builder will make the process easy and stress-free, while the wrong one will make your life a living nightmare.
Spend time carefully researching potential builders in your area. (The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is a great place to start.) Once you’ve gathered the names of a couple reputable options, vet them in more detail. Eventually, you’ll end up with one name that sticks out.
“Then, visit a builder’s recently built homes and subdivisions. Drive by on a Saturday morning when homeowners may be outside doing chores or errands. Introduce yourself and say you are considering buying a home from the builder who built their home,” NAHB advises. “Talk to several owners, and try to get a random sample of opinions. The more people you talk with, the more accurate an impression of a builder you are likely to get.”
2. Have a Lawyer Review the Contract
The last thing you want is to end up in the middle of a build and discover that you and your builder have a disagreement on something. In order to reduce the likelihood of big issues during and after the build, have a lawyer review the contract on the front end. This will cost you a little bit but could save thousands down the road.
3. Plan for the Future
It’s easy to visualize what you want out of your house right this very moment. What’s harder, yet equally as important, is to plan ahead and think about the future.
For example, you might be a newly married couple with no kids, but you’ll probably want to account for a growing family in the future. This goes beyond just having a couple of extra bedrooms. You also need to think about play areas in the home, the safety of the backyard, location (for school zoning), and other details.
4. Come Up With the Non-Negotiables
There’s a big difference between things you want and things you need. If you don’t get clear on what the non-negotiables are now, you’ll find it nearly impossible to make decisions on the fly (of which there will be many).
Examples of non-negotiables include the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location of the master bedroom, the flow of the floor plan, siding material, location of windows and doors, and other critically important elements. Things that you might want, but that aren’t deal-breakers, may include kitchen countertop material, the exact size of the living room, and the brand of appliances used throughout the home.
5. Leave Extra Room in Your Budget
It’s never smart to max out your budget in the beginning. As a rule of thumb, you should always expect to spend at least 10 percent more than is originally estimated. So, if your budget is $300,000, it would be wise to come in around $270,000. This leaves you $30,000 in wiggle room should unexpected expenses arise (and they always do). If you fail to leave room in your budget, you could just as easily end up spending $30,000 more than you originally anticipated.
6. Don’t Overbuild
It’s easy to get caught up in the design and building processes that you begin to see your home in isolation. But unless you’re building on a huge plot of land without neighbors, you have to think about the location. Overbuilding will make it hard to get a good return on your investment when it eventually comes time to sell. As they say, you never want to be the most expensive house in the neighborhood.
7. Avoid Trendy Designs
One of the fun things about building your own house is that you get to choose whatever style you like and nobody can tell you otherwise. However, as a rule of thumb, you should avoid really trendy designs. Something might be totally in style right now, but what happens when it becomes irrelevant in five years? (This is how you end up with popcorn ceilings and wood paneling in the living room.)
Some examples of trends that are probably going to go out of style soon include shiplap walls, barn doors, Carrera marble, and heavy industrial themes. (Sorry Pinterest addicts!)
8. Be Kind to Everyone
“Many times, when mistakes did happen our crew was so quick to fix things, work overtime and accommodate any needs we had,” says one blogger who recently finished building a home. “I think a large part of this was simply because they liked us and appreciated our kindness.”
While this should be a general rule of thumb, no matter what you’re doing in life, being kind to the people who are actually on the site building your home goes a long way. Mistakes will happen, issues will arise, and you want these guys on your team.
Contact Green Residential Today
If you’re looking to buy or sell a home in the Houston area, start the process with us. At Green Residential, we understand the complexities of this market and are able to point you in the right direction when it comes to buying, selling, or managing a property.
For additional information on our services – including our flat-rate fees – please don’t hesitate to contact us today!