If you are considering a house move in the near future, you have probably seen many homes that suit you in some ways, but seem to fall short of your expectations and needs in others. Often, people who tire of looking, end up settling for less than they originally hoped for, but it needn’t be that way. The obvious alternative is the same you’ve already thought of – to build exactly what you want, where you want.
This isn’t to say that many people don’t find a home already built that suits them to a “t.” But it’s when you can’t that you should consider building. To put it another way – SPEND YOUR DOLLARS WISELY.
Before you brush the idea aside as being troublesome, time-consuming and a headache in general, read on and I feel you’ll become a believer.
Consider the business, financial angle. By selecting your own lot and designing your own plans, you are in control from the start, as to how and where your money is spent. Your investment value is immediately increased. Obviously, not every family is the same, and when a builder constructs a spec home, he must consider general needs and meet as many of them as possible, for most family situations. However, by designing a home to suit you specifically, he has placed your construction dollars where they benefit you the most.
Aside from not having to pay for features you really didn’t want or need, you also are not paying the builder’s carrying costs (hat are a necessary part of pricing a spec home. And should you have a home presently to sell, you are given 6-8 months to ask and receive a fair price, rather than perhaps making double mortgage payments or selling it for any price, just to get rid of it. Several considerable tax advantages are also offered by a few builders and are worth checking into.
Isn’t your PERSONAL time worth something? Rather than spending endless hours looking at homes that don’t suit you, you are better off spending a few hours in constructive meetings with your builder and architect.
You already have a mental list of specific features you are looking for. Itemize them on paper and carry with you. Most likely, they include many of the following considerations:
1. Specific room arrangement and size tofit your personal traffic patterns
2. “Special” rooms such as library, exercise, or computer room
3. Skylights, fans and any special lightingfeatures or equipment
4. Yard and landscaping. Do you want apool? Perhaps a decked area with hottub.
5. Panelled or painted walls? Mirroredor fabric covered? What color scheme?
6. Do you want an internal securitysystem, built-in safe, central vacuum,intercom, built-in sound system?
7. Storage/closet needs?
8. Handicap facilities?
Think how nice it would be to have all the electrical outlets placed where you need them. No more cords draped across the sink or hidden behind your sofa! And have your pool ready when your home is.
So let’s say you are convinced. You are going to find your lot and build on it. What now? What can – and should – you expect.
Obviously a reputable builder is your first concern. No matter whom you select, make sure your needs are being met efficiently and fairly. Ask questions and get answers.
When you select a builder, your initial visit should be an in-depth interview dealing with your needs, your wants, what is important to you, what is not. Your lifestyle should be determined concerning: a) entertainment b) travel frequency c) gourmet or casual cooking d) preference of indoor or outdoor leisure time e) children, etc.
As architects, when with a client we mentally design a home around what you are telling us. As builders, we make sure that the home is built exactly to specifications. By selecting an architect / builder, you have immediately eliminated the possibility of communication breakdown or misinterpretation of your plans. During the walk-throughs at various construction stages, an architect / builder can better sight necessary revisions or make constructive suggestions and provide you with plan visuals of any possible changes.
Professional assistance should be made available to aid in the selection of floor and wall coverings, fixtures and appliances. With a good, reputable builder, the decision will be yours as to your degree of involvement, based upon your available time or desire.
Many builders offer the 10-year Home Owners Warranty, as well as a one-year Builder Warranty. It is wise to make sure both are offered. A perfect home has yet to be built and post move-in minor repairs often are necessary. But when construction and design are executed correctly, your new home will be a source of great pleasure and satisfaction.
Remember, anytime you plan to spend from $300,000 to over $1 million on a home, YOU SHOULD BE BUILDING EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT. And you can.