Building a home is full of fun decisions, future plans, and exciting opportunities, but strategizing ahead of time and being prepared can make the entire process more enjoyable. Here are several questions to consider before you start!
What’s my budget?
Just because you’re approved for a certain amount doesn’t mean that should be the top of your budget. Take an honest look at your income and how much you spend each month and set a budget that will give you some wiggle room.
What do I want out of a house?
A big open floor plan? A cozy home with dedicated rooms? Having a clear idea of what you want before starting the building process helps the process go smoother and faster. Ask yourself the following:
What type of floor plan will best fit my lifestyle?
What kind of outdoor space do I want?
How many bedrooms, bathrooms, and storage spaces will I need?
Remember to think about your long-term needs. Do you plan on retiring in this home? Growing your family here? Or are you downsizing from another house? Considering your reasons for moving, how long you plan on being here, and your lifestyle will help you start the building process with confidence.
How much should I save for a downpayment?
This depends on the types of loans for which you qualify. While some require less than 3% of the total costs, many builders and lenders prefer that you aim for 15% - 20% down. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you may be able to buy with only 3% - 5% down. Lenders use statistics, like your debt-to-income ratio to determine whether to approve you for a home. Just because you’re approved for more or less than you were planning doesn’t mean you should take a loan officer’s word as final. It’s your home, your budget, and your mortgage. Make sure it works for you.
What is the building process and how long will it take?
This will depend on your custom home builder and the design of your new home. A common estimate is 6-18 months total, but factors like where you’re building, what time of year it is, and how prepared you are when starting the process can affect how soon you’ll be able to move in. Another factor that’ll affect your timeline is who you partner with to build your custom home. While one builder might estimate 9-12 months, another might tell you 12-10. On average, D. Stone Builders takes 6-8 months to build a custom house from start to finish.
Where will I build my house?
One thing people often overlook when choosing to build a new home rather than by an older home is deciding where they’ll put it. For more on where to build your home, check out: How to Choose Where to Build a House.
Where do I start?
By talking to local builders! An experienced, local builder can offer insight, educational resources, and specific details regarding the building process. Working with a custom home builder who best understands your budget, wishlist, and lifestyle will help you get into your dream home as quickly and efficiently as possible.