Building a home is an exciting experience and you want to make sure before you start your build that you are getting everything you are looking for. Building a home is a very large commitment so you want to make sure it’s the best fit for you and your family before you sign all the papers and make it official. Let’s have a look at some great tips about things you should consider before you commit to building your home.
What is my budget?
This is the first thing you’ll need to get in order before you can even start looking for lots of land in your budget. Take a trip to the financial institution you bank with and set up a time for you to meet with a financial expert who will go over what you have and what you will need. They will be able to give you a good estimate of what your budget might be like and a good idea of what financing you will likely be approved for.
What are my options?
After you have figured out how much you can spend. It’s time to start looking around. Check websites, newspapers, ask around for land that is on sale or about to be put on the market, and figure out what the average price is for land in your area. Many real estate websites will show you the average selling price for plots of land so you can use this as a rough guide to what you will be spending.
What do I want and what do I need?
Before you start building your own home, I suggest you make two lists and compare your wants and needs so you can give yourself a good idea of what you are willing to cave on. I’m sure we would all enjoy a giant home with 4 laundry rooms and a backyard that can host a farm but you’ll likely have to wind it down to a spare bathroom, a laundry chute, and a backyard that can host a good-sized gathering. Figuring out what you want and need will help you figure out the size of the lot you’re looking to go for.
How long will I be living there?
Most homes are built with the idea that it will be passed onto your grandkids someday but sometimes a temporary solution is best for you. If you can’t find any land in your area that is suited to your needs (or if your build is a longer project that may take a few years) then you might want to sign up for a short term mortgage for a few years while you take the time to look around. The land is the first thing you are committing yourself to so if you don’t feel it’s the right fit then maybe it’s a good idea to wait it out instead of building your home where you won’t be happy.
Related Post: The Ultimate Guide To Building A New Home
What condition is the land in?
Buying undeveloped land is a fun idea but you should really research what will need to be altered to make it up to livable standards. If you’re the type of person to start a DIY project and end up coming back to it months later then this might not be the best idea for you. If your land has any major issues that you’re accepting from the seller, you might have to get them fixed before you’re even legally allowed to live there. Buying undeveloped land and cleaning it yourself is one thing but discovering there’s no way to access a municipal sewer system during the inspection is another so make sure you get the area inspected by a surveyor as soon as you can.
What is the land really like?
Seeing land on a real estate website is one thing but seeing what it looks like in person is another. Don’t be fooled by well-placed real estate listing photos that happen to leave out all the bad spots about the land. Make sure when you are able to tour the land that you are looking at all the places you didn’t see in the listing photos and checking out all of the small details. Make sure the seller tells you the exact boundaries for the land you’re purchasing so you don’t get fooled by a gorgeous listing photo that ends up being half the neighbour’s property.
What is the area like?
Touring the land is essential but many people forget to look around the neighbourhood they’re choosing to move to. Drive around the neighbourhood and take note of things like schools, churches, and any local businesses. It’s nice to know the type of neighbourhood that you’re choosing to move to and it’s a good idea to get yourself familiar with the area. Take a trip to a few restaurants or businesses in the area and ask the employees what the neighbourhood is like as far as crime rates go and they’ll be able to give you an honest answer before you consider moving there.
Are there any limitations to this location?
Some land plots are placed in areas of their town that might not fall into municipal boundaries and this can be a difficult thing to adjust to. If you build your home in a location that is near the outside of town or in a new area of town then you need to figure out if you are entitled to get the same benefits (like garbage collection for example) then you would be if you lived within the city limits. This will usually be mentioned by the seller but there are cases where they might not communicate it properly and you’re left with a boatload of extra costs on your home every month.
Have I hired the right people?
Once you’ve committed yourself to the land you like then it’s time to start building. Choosing a trustworthy, licensed and dependable builder is incredibly important if you want your home to be well built and built within a good timeframe. This is another great time to ask around to friends and co-workers for an honest review on builders they have worked with or know. Reviews on websites can be easily skewed and some people don’t take the time to leave a comment about their build so word of mouth is one of the best ways to find a builder that suits your needs.
What will my utility bill look like?
There’s no use in building a big fancy home if you can only afford the mortgage so make sure you get an idea of what you are going to be paying for utilities every month. Call up the local companies that you will be using and ask them for an estimate based on the square footage of your home. They will be able to give you some numbers that are averages but you shouldn’t take these as an exact amount. If you want to conserve energy or water, let your builder know and they can help you find some eco-friendly improvements to your build that will save you money in the future.
What is it like living there?
Another thing that is a great idea to ask the person selling the land about is what the traffic and noise level is like for the area. You might not notice that nearby airport on your initial walkthrough and it won’t be a fun surprise to discover on move-in day. Traffic is also important especially if you have younger children or pets that enjoy playing outdoors and you have a yard without a fence. Some neighbourhoods are also busier than others based on things that are nearby (like hospitals or tourist attractions) so ask the land seller to let you know what the traffic on the street is normally like before you commit to that area.
What if I change my mind?
Even if you build the perfect home that is right in your budget, it’s a good idea to be aware of what will happen if you decide to change your mind when it’s halfway finished. Defaulting on the payment to your contractors or bank will cause you plenty of financial issues and issues with your credit that will haunt you for a long time. If you are getting cold feet on committing to your build then you might want to consider other options like renting for the time being. Building a home isn’t like buying a wedding dress and you need more than a receipt if you want to get yourself a different one before the big day so make sure it’s exactly what you want before you commit.
Related Post: 15 mistakes to avoid when building your brand new home.
Building your dream home might take you a while but once you’ve got your eye on the perfect home for you, make sure you know what goes into buying land and building a home before you make a commitment. The more you know about what it’s like and all the costs it will entail, the less likely you are to get a yucky surprise in the future. Educate yourself as much as you can before you commit and you’ll be happy with your build for years to come.