I wrote this article with the assistance of Zach Riggs, a trusted friend of mine who is a great realtor as well. Since many people begin thinking of building a home after they can’t seem to find what they want looking for in a home with a realtor, I figured a realtor’s input in this article was smart. You can find out more about Zach at www.trustedmissourirealtors.com or by checking him out here.
I love home design. Something about helping people design a home where they will build a life and memories just gives me a great joy. With that said, there are many issues that one can run into when they look to design and build their first home. Most of these issues occur just because they don’t know what to expect from the process and get caught a little off guard. To help any of you out that are perhaps thinking of building a home or know of anyone that is, I’m going to share with you three things that you should know before starting the building process.
Know Exactly What You Want That Other Homes Don’t Have
Zach was telling me that many people that he works with that end up looking to build a home are ones that don’t seem to be satisfied with houses they see and they can’t seem to pinpoint exactly what they are looking for. “Seems they just go off feel” are the exact words Zach said and I can say I’ve seen that many times as well. You might think it would be frustrating for a real estate agent to try and guess what a client is looking for, but try designing a home and the person can’t tell you exactly what they are wanting. Do yourself a favor and really think about what it is that you’re wanting and exactly what most of the houses you have seen don’t seem to have. This will go a long ways in helping you decide if building a house is really something you should do or if you can find what you’re looking for in an existing house as well.
Know Your Budget
You would be amazed at the amount of people that Zach and I have worked with that have no understanding of what kind of house their budget can get them. Many people watch home improvement shows or marathons on HGTV and see things they want. The only problem is that their budget may not allow for those things. I can tell you that if you can’t find what you’re wanting in an existing home because it’s out of your price range, you will not be able to afford it by building your own home either. This usually happens during the consultation process with a home designer, but it’s still something that can be completely avoided by just being realistic with your budget and what you can and cannot afford with it. You may be able to include many things in your budget to build a home, but just know that the TV shows that you see don’t usually have “realistic” budgets. Sadly, you may have to forgo that heated driveway or infinity pool that you loved on HGTV.
Find The Right Builder
This is a step in the process that many people don’t think about once they have determined they want to build a home and have some initial blueprints for it. You should price out builders and weigh that with the reputation of the builder as well. A builder may come in with a super low cost bid yet use sub par materials, cut corners on construction, and don’t have the quality workmanship that others do. You could pay the price with a subpar builder years later with small problems like leaks, creaks and other small annoyances. You could also have larger problems like bad roofs, bad floors, poor insulation, and many other things that can really add up and not only be headaches but a siphon to your wallet. Trust me when I say that your contractors should be experienced, reliable, and and have great feedback. Don’t make the decision solely on how much they cost.