There is no way around it – building your dream home is a big undertaking and it will come with some challenges, but even bigger rewards. You have heard sayings like, “nothing easy is worth fighting for” or “The rewards for those who persevere far exceed the pain that must precede the victory.” The same goes for building your custom home. Great things come to those who are patient and the challenge is what makes the reward that much more rewarding. At Millstone Custom Homes, we want to work as a team to reduce your challenges while increasing your reward. Understanding these 9 STEPS are a great start to making your experience more enjoyable and the outcome more rewarding.
STEP #1 – ORGANIZE YOUR FINANCES
Yes, organizing your finances is often considered the boring part of the building process for most people. If you think about building, in it’s most basic form, you realize that the foundation is the most important structure. Without a good financial foundation your dreams will crumble before your eyes or create unnecessary stress that can last for many years.
The most important thing to acknowledge is that your land, home design and construction quality all impact the price of your home. A custom home DOES NOT mean it will be more expensive than buying an existing home. Spend time on determining what you TRULY can afford in the creation of your dream home. Understand that sometimes your dream can’t be converted directly into reality. Be open to adjustments to your dream and the likelihood of a “Happily Ever After” will be greater.
First you will need a construction loan. Ask your builder about their relationships with financial institutions. This can often pay off for you not only in your bottom line, but also by reducing the hassle of searching for the perfect lender. If you already have a builder picked out, be sure to include the construction loan in your interview (see step 2).
Bulk is less expensive than purchasing materials on an individual basis. This means changing your plans will change the cost. We can’t emphasis enough that you need to prepare a well thought out plan and stick to it as much as possible. More on this in Step 7.
If you do not have your own land, you must finance the land that you purchase in addition to the construction. This sometimes results in two closings which are accompanied by two settlement fees. This is often something not considered by those building their first home. Talk to your title company and builder to reduce confusion regarding your closing.
More often than not a good credit score, along with a down payment of at least 20-25%, is needed to qualify for your construction loan. For custom home borrowers, most lenders require more cash reserves to make sure that you have the funds available in case there are any extensions in the construction time. Save up and don’t try to bite off more than you can chew.
Last, but not least, do not forget about proper insurance. In addition to making sure your builder has proper insurance (minimum of general liability and workers comp), get the right insurance coverage to cover you during the construction period and this needs to be part of your budgeting plan.
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