So, you’re going to build the home of your dreams? You’ve thought it all through – you know exactly what you need and want to have in your home. But what about the things you don’t want or need?
Have you taken a minute to sit down and think about what won’t work?
For many people, a lack of planning or starting out with too small of a budget leads to big problems during the process. It is absolutely essential that you look at your home project from every angle when you are setting things up. You should consider your lifestyle, family, expenses, and pretty much every aspect of your life.
Be sure to take the time to meet with professionals that are familiar with the industry and building a custom home in Edmonton. Shoddy or impractical design choices can make your home not only undesirable, but downright unhealthy. Take your time and do your research both online and in person.
Want to learn more? Read: The Benefits of Infill Homes and The Impact of Zoning on Infill Housing.
Below, we have listed a few tips on what to avoid during this process. They will help guide you as to where you can save a few dollars and where you absolutely should not cut corners.
- Don’t Sweat the Details: The nitty-gritty of building a house can be intimidating. There are numerous decisions to make, from massive (deciding where to erect walls) to minuscule (picking light fixtures). This overload of choices can short-circuit some buyers’ brains so they become paralyzed, unable to make any decision at all. To avoid facing 100 overwhelming questions about bathtubs and windows in one sitting, ask your builder to set up a personalized website, allowing decisions to be made at your leisure. No website? Simply create a binder with your architect and/or builder where choices are organized room-by-room, step-by-step.
- Maximize Your Mortgage: Think about it. You can’t get a loan for a home that doesn’t exist—which is why you will most likely be getting a construction-to-permanent loan, which covers construction then converts to a regular mortgage once the home building is complete. And here’s the cool thing about these loans that buyers often miss: You can pile everything into it—the water heater, Viking stove, utility bill-slashing solar unit, high-end rain showerhead, everything! So don’t make the mistake, as many do, of buying these additions later with your credit card, which means you’ll be paying it off at 18% interest. Instead, lump them into your mortgage and you’ll pay a mere 4%.
- Balance Your Costs: No matter how carefully you plan your home, what’s seemingly set in stone is bound to change. If you decide at the last minute you must have the latest sub-zero fridge that just hit the market, or you experience a change of heart about the size of your home office. Projects “always go over,” says Loveless. “Because people plan with a budget in mind. But they build with their heart.” So to keep your construction costs from spiralling out of control, make sure to balance out any cost-adding changes with some budget cutting elsewhere. For example, if you decide you must have a walk-in closet, maybe you can temper or shelve your plans for a wraparound deck until later.
- Plan for Delays. Construction delays are unavoidable, which Loveless attributes to the “domino effect of anything that causes a hiccup.” For example, indecision about the washer/dryer placement postpones the plumber, which in turn delays the electrician. Weather, labor, and material shortages are also commonplace. Yet many buyers still take a contractor’s original completion date as a fait accompli and end up with no place to live. So when you get the initial move-in date from your builder, add a few weeks, or even months—or at least have a contingency plan if things go over.