Congratulations! After much consideration you’ve decided to build a home for your family. There are many advantages to owning a new home, including higher energy efficiency, lower repair costs, and the opportunity to select options that meet your specific taste.
Over the next several months you’ll be asked to make a lot of decisions, regarding budget, features, materials, and even colors. In order to avoid potential financial mistakes, you may want to keep the following items in mind.
- Get all the details – There are many items to consider when building a home, and each one can impact the bottom line. Make sure to document as much information as possible in your contract, so you’re not surprised when construction has been completed. Common items that should be outlined include milestone dates, floorplan, appliance selections, roofing materials, cabinetry, door pulls, woodwork/molding, and bath amenities.
- Hire the right people – Building a home can take several months and can be one of the most emotional projects that you ever experience. Make sure to take your time when selecting a contractor and find someone you like and trust. Ask their customers about quality, ability to stay in budget, and their overall satisfaction. The right contractor will have experience selecting building materials, identifying problems, and working with subcontractors. This can save you time and money across the construction cycle.
- Think about size – When building a new home, there’s a natural tendency to believe that larger is better. Spend some time thinking about what your family needs today, and what they will need in ten years. Remember, the larger the home, the more expensive it will be to maintain. Eliminating just 500 square feet can save you thousands in construction costs and hundreds in ongoing maintenance expenses.
- Consider resale value – Even if you never intend to sell the home, you should still consider its potential resale value. Do your research, build the right size home for the neighborhood, and don’t over customize the home for your tastes.
- Visit the construction site – Don’t be fooled into thinking that the contractor has everything covered. Feel free to visit the construction site and inspect the progress. Ask questions if you see items that don’t exactly meet your expectations. Having open communication can potentially save both you and your contractor time, money, and frustration.
- Get it inspected – Your contractor will most likely provide a warranty, but that is no substitute for a full inspection prior to taking delivery of your home. Once construction has been completed, hire a licensed contractor to perform a complete inspection. Taking this extra step will help you avoid small issues and some large headaches.