For most people, the prospect of building your own home is extremely overwhelming. There is so much that goes into the process. Because of that, it can be hard to figure out where to start. Hopefully, these 4 tips will provide some guidance for those of you building a home for the first time.
As cliche as it sounds, before you build your dream house, you have to have a dream. Where are you hoping to build? How do you want your home to look? What style of architecture are you a fan of? Are you interested in using sustainable materials to build? Answering these questions for yourself will help you to narrow down what you want to build and what you need to get there. Make sure that you look into local ordinances that govern home building in your area. This may limit some of the stylistic and structural choices that you have to make.
We know that budgeting is the least fun and most oft-repeated piece of advice, but it cannot be stressed enough. Once you have a vision, you have to build yourself a budget. Be honest with yourself about what you can and can’t afford. If you need to supplement your budget, we recommend looking into community-specific loans such as a VA construction loan, a loan specific to veterans and veteran spouses. Try to price out both materials and labor. Often, building material wholesalers can give you the best deal.
Remember: A budget is just a plan, and plans need to be flexible in order to succeed. As with any large project, there will be issues that pop up and rainy days (quite literally) which push back your plans. Build flexibility into your budget with intention, to allow yourself to make changes in the moment as needed. Using a budgeting app or project management software can make this part of the process less of a hassle.
Hire a team
Now that you have a plan and a budget, it’s finally time to get down to the actual building! Unless you are a very experienced builder, we strongly recommend you hire a local team to work with you. Just like hiring professional movers makes the process of moving much less stressful, hiring a professional construction team (and plumbers and electricians) will help the build go more efficiently and keep it on track. While expensive up front, this will ultimately save you money in the long run. Another upside of hiring professionals is that they often have their own liability insurance to cover the workers, meaning that you don’t have to worry about it. With so many moving pieces, anything that lowers your stress level is a positive in our book!
Once the house is built, you still need to personalize it to turn it into a home. Remember, this is where you will spend the majority of your time, so ideally it will be a place that you want to be. That doesn’t mean that you have to be extravagant! From the color of the paint to the furnishing, there are plenty of ways to keep your spending in check while also making the space comfortable and inviting for your family. This means adding the decoration and flair to the house that make it uniquely yours. Have little ones? Invite them to be a part of the decorating process. Including kids in this can help them feel invested in their new space and make the transition to your new home that much easier.
We hope that this demystifies the home building process for you, or at least gives you a place to start!