Updated: Feb 5
Diving into a new home is a great commitment, even greater is the pledge to a new build. We understand buying a home is the biggest decision some will ever come to make. This is not just a house, it serves as an investment into your family and a place to protect, shelter, and create memories with whom you hold dear. You have saved, prepared and planned and now you are wisely taking the time to research and learn which in-turn is the best tool of preparation. Remember, these are steps to help you wrap your mind around your investment but will be expounded on when your journey actually begins. Thank you for making F & J a part of your journey.
Here are 6 helpful topics to take into consideration before your process begins.
1. Know your Why
First let me ask you a question, Why? Why build over the convenience of buying? What about remodeling an old home or even purchasing a freshly remodeled home. Sometimes the most forgotten aspect during the process of the journey is knowing why you are championing this endeavor. Before you head to the bank, break ground, or even pick your architect, write down on a piece of paper why you are building and put it in a place you can see. Just like every other journey, there will be ups and downs and sunny days and rainy weather. Besides excellent planning which prevents storms, your why will help you weather pass the rough patches during your journey.
2. Know the Budget
Second, let's discuss the green. How are you financing your dream home? Are you going to use a loan, did you save the cash, and how familiar are you with the cost to build versus buying a completed home? When the time is taken to build a detailed budget for your new investment you can then properly set the parameters of your design cost, location and the value of your new home. Budgets also serve as a great function during the building of your new home by understanding how funds are being allocated and keeping your schedule. Creating proper boundaries will push you to be decisive and eliminate overspending.
3. Know your Location
Third is location, location, location. Now that we talked about budgets, let’s take a step back and go back to the vision. What do you see for your new home and neighborhood? Do you want to be in driving distance from the markets and shops or steps away from your local coffee house? Difference in cost will have a great impact on your daily activities, privacy, family, and distance from work. Finding the cheapest plot of ground may cost you more in other places like travel time or space to build. The shore, steps away from the beach, a nice suburban friendly neighborhood, a boisterous city or the spacious countryside. While they all differ and may have pro’s and con’s, none of them will cost the same while the building codes and permits may differ as well.
4. Know Your Time
Fourth we dive into the often overlooked: time of the project. Pull out the computer, get down to business and create a detailed spreadsheet of the length of this project. The better you plan the more enjoyable your project will become and the smoother the money will flow into its purpose. A well scheduled project will keep the contractors on their toes and in line with the sub-contracting hiring process, making sure everyone is set ahead of time. Planning correctly and having a schedule will allow you to be decisive in the picking of products ahead of time so they will be delivered and at the work site when needed by the sub-contractors.
5. Be Decisive Before the Plans are Completed
Which leads us into our fifth point. You are essentially a project manager, and the process will always come to a halt if you are undecided. Understand what you want, what you can do without, what are your necessities, and where are you willing to compromise. Delivering concise expectations to the designers, builders, and yourself will help you tailor the perfect build allowing room for the professionals to offer constructive criticism and ideas for the best possible outcome. But first, understand who will be making the decisions and stick to the decisions that were made when the final plans are produced. Change-orders can sometimes devastate the budget and timeline, and a $400,000 build can quickly become a $700,000 build with almost double the time.
6. Get Your Team
The sixth is your contractors and designers. Why did we choose them for last you ask? Good question! The 5 prior points stated can start to be put in place before you arrive to the design and build stage. While all can’t be completed to the tee, research done beforehand will help pick your builder. Understanding your “Why”, budget, locations, time and being decisive are all things that are in your control. You don’t know the knowledge of the builders yet, but as you shop around a foundation of knowledge will guide you in weeding through the competition and your “friend's-guy”. The contractor is the person and company you will be meeting with weekly, trading ideas with, writing checks, and getting to know. The better the professionalism and relationship the better the journey. Look at their work ethic, previous jobs, ask for references, visit completed projects. This step is crucial and preparation increases success.
Again congratulations and I hope we were able to give you a couple of things to get your wheels turning and inspiration on your next endeavor. Follow these steps and your journey will be decisive, enjoyable, and smooth.