Mistakes to Avoid When Building a Custom Home
We all make mistakes.
It’s part of life. But when those mistakes cost money, it’s best to try to avoid them in the first place. Having successfully completed over 30 projects in Westfield, NJ in the past four years alone, we started to notice a thing or two about what makes a building project successful. In our professional opinion, these are the top five ways to avoid making a costly mistake when you’re building the home of your dreams.
Mistake #1: Not setting a realistic budget
Before you begin making plans, you need to figure out if this type of build fits within your family’s budget. We can help you figure that out – just give us a call. We’ll never steer you wrong because our reputation depends on it.
Also, it’s never too early to start talking to mortgage specialists, since paying for a custom home build is a little different than obtaining a conventional mortgage. Construction loans might not seem as straightforward at first, but if you work with the right team, you’ll find the process to be virtually the same as with a regular loan.
Pro tip #1: Avoid making big purchases like a new car or furniture until the mortgage paperwork is signed. Big purchases can affect your debt-to-income ratio, which might impact your eligibility for obtaining a mortgage. You don’t want to give a lender any reason to think you won’t be able to make your mortgage payments on time.
Mistake #2: Not choosing your lot carefully
Don’t get in a tizzy when you see there’s only one lot left in your preferred subdivision. Hasty choices can lead to regrets. Remember, the lot you end up with will have a major impact on the design of your new custom home. The slope of the land, exposure to the sun, the proximity of the neighbors, and whether the lot is located in a cul-de-sac, on a corner, or at a T-intersection all play a big part in how the final product turns out, and in how much you’ll enjoy living there.
It’s also good to be aware of additional costs associated with the land such as grading a lot, building a driveway, and connecting utility lines. If the lot is in a subdivision, chances are it was already evaluated for gas and sewer hookups. If not, you’ll definitely want to make sure it’s possible to connect with these services.
Mistake #3: Only considering your current lifestyle
If you’ve decided to go the route of building a custom home, chances are you plan on staying in that house long term. And if that’s the case, it’s wise to consider future lifestyle needs so you don’t outgrow the home sooner than you want.
Whether or not your family will be expanding or getting smaller as adult children move out makes a big difference not only in the size of the home, but also in how the home’s floor plan is arranged.
You might want to consider having a first-floor master bedroom and architectural details such as wider hallways and entrances, which can be helpful as you age.
Mistake #4: Making changes during construction (instead of design)
It’s simple enough to make changes on paper. Not so much once the foundation is laid and framing is up. That’s why we spend ample time upfront planning out every last detail – so we can get a plan in place and get there as quickly and as efficiently as possible.
Changes made during construction are always going to be more expensive than changes made during the design phase. That cost will likely be more than financial as well. Additional supplies take time to arrive and that can affect your timeline. You can avoid headache and frustration, as well as major hits to your wallet, by being diligent in the beginning, and we’ll make sure of it.
Pro tip #2: Take the time to view similar homes on the market. You may love the look of a home on paper, but have trouble visualizing what it will look like in real life. You can get a better sense of what the finished product will look like by seeing something similar in person.
Mistake #5: Choosing the wrong builder
Getting to design a space exactly to your tastes is a truly special experience. You’ll want a custom home builder who knows exactly what he or she is doing, and someone who will be available to you before, during and after the project is completed to answer questions, give guidance, and settle any concerns.
When you build a custom home with Premier, you can count on superior quality of craftmanship, superior quality of materials, and faster turnaround times due to our constant presence and attention to detail on the job site. We care about your house like it’s our own – just ask our clients.
“ I can’t say enough good things about what a great experience this has been…”