A custom home is one of the most worthwhile investments you can make. Any home can be a place to make memories, but with a custom home, every detail is set to make every moment of your life there as amazing as possible.
Whether you’ve just begun to consider the idea, or you already have a detailed vision prepared, building a custom home is an undertaking to consider thoroughly. Before you begin, however, you should know what to expect. Here are the basic steps to building a custom home:
Step 1: Planning Ahead
Some of the first things to consider are your timeframe and your budget. These two factors will help guide a lot of the decisions you make going forward. It will help to be knowledgeable of your financial habits in great detail. When you’re applying for a construction loan down the road, the lender will look at your debt-to-income ratio and credit scores.
The best thing you can do at this stage of the game is choose a custom home builder you can trust. Working with industry experts will make every choice you make a more informed one. The right builder will refer you to preferred lenders, help you evaluate lots, and most importantly design your home.
Step 2: Choosing Your Lot
Choosing the lot for your custom home is just as important as any aesthetic or practical choice you make during the construction of your home. The right lot can be critical to making your dream home a reality. Evaluate your lot in every way you can, from size and topography to how far away the grocery store is. Visit the neighborhood. What do you see and what do you hear? Think about what it would be like to live there. Every neighborhood has different amounts of traffic, privacy, kids playing outside, and friendly neighbors. Take note if your lot has a lot of rocks or trees, which can be costly to remove.
If you already own a lot, congrats! That’s one huge step out of the way. If not, your builder can be a big help during this step. Blue Heron Signature Homes, a custom home builder in Raleigh, can sell you a lot with your home, or build on your lot.
Step 3: Designing Your Custom Home
This step is more like a series of steps, each leading toward a final design of your custom home. These meetings between customer and builder start with figuring out your basic wants and needs for your home. How many rooms do you need? How many bathrooms? How many stories? As you narrow down the precise design of your custom home, you’ll get to really make it your own with your taste in flooring, cabinets, countertops, appliances, and more.
Once all of these decisions have been made, you’ll get a final cost proposal. Weston Dean Custom Homes is a San Antonio custom home builder with an industry leading cost calculation tool for calculating every little detail, so you know exactly what you’ll be paying. You can alter some design choices to bring the price up or down to your ideal number, and then you’re ready to sign.
Step 4: Sealing the Deal
Signing a contract means forming a 7-9 month partnership with your builder to construct the custom home of your dreams.
Step 5: Financing Your Custom Home
Although this step comes in at number four, it’s one you’ll want to prepare for about as early as anything else. Getting a construction loan is a bit more difficult than a typical home loan because it’s viewed as a riskier investment by the lender. For most construction loans you’ll have to give a 20-25% down payment. Funds will be drawn intermittently as the house is built. Once your home is finished, the loan will convert to a standard mortgage with a lower interest rate than during construction. Diyanni Homes, a custom home builder in Ohio, offers a list of preferred loan officers to help streamline the finance process.
Step 6: Building Your Custom Home
This phase may feel like a long wait, and it can certainly be stressful seeing your money spent if you’re left in the dark. Builders like Starr Homes are committed to keeping you informed and engaged throughout construction. This commitment includes regular meetings before the main stages of construction, as well as tackling any concerns you have along the way. At set points throughout construction, you’ll have the chance to finalize further design choices, from exterior paint and material all the way down to the type of doorknob you want.
At this point you’ve already given it some thought, but if you’re planning on selling your current home, you can move forward with it now that you have an estimated finish date. Some of the final steps are third party inspections of the home and a final walkthrough where the builder should make sure everything has met your expectations.
Step 7: Moving In
This is the moment you’ve been waiting for, and the moment your investment begins to pay off.