You’ve put a lot of thought into how you want your dream home to look – size, style, the floorplan and the decor – but there are a few things you might have forgotten about. Here are five commonly overlooked factors that all homeowners should consider before building their dream home.
1. Finding the Right Lot
While you’ve thought about every aspect of your future home, from color scheme to landscaping, sometimes the most obvious things get overlooked. Before you can build your beautiful dream home, you have to start with the perfect piece of property.
Finding a neighborhood you’re comfortable in is imperative. Consider factors like traffic, accessibility, shopping, walkability to other homes and businesses, established trees, nearby recreation, and even restaurants. Ask yourself if the neighborhood justifies a new build. Calculate the cost to acquire the lot, plus build cost. Does the total exceed what the neighborhood real estate prices will bear now or potentially into the future?
As well, this is the time to think through views and home orientation. Do you want a south or west facing backyard? Which views do you want to see out your window every morning? Does the lot have adequate space for things like a garage, a pool, a shed, back- or side-yards, or whatever else you may wish to include.
2. How to Find the Perfect Property
When searching for property, be sure to create a priority list so your realtor can assist you in finding the perfect lot for your lifestyle and goals. Identify what things are on your must-have list and your wish list. Be sure to have a budget in mind and know what you can afford to spend. Plus, don’t forget to factor in the cost of landscaping and finishing touches as part of your overall budget.
Before purchasing, consult with a contractor to determine what can or can’t be reasonably built onto the lot to avoid any unfortunate (and costly!) surprises.
Before building, you will need to be sure you’ve secured the proper permits. You will need to get a development permit and a building permit. If an existing house needs to be torn down, it will require a demolition permit.
There are different types of building permits. Find out which one applies to the home you want to build and the lot you are hoping to purchase and research the guidelines thoroughly.
Be aware that the design and development permit process together can take anywhere from six months to a year or more, depending on the complexity of the application, design of the house, and neighborhood restrictions.
Normally the architect will apply for the development permit and the builder/contractor will acquire the building permit, but it’s still a good idea to be informed about the permit process.
4. Process and Timing
Factors such as the complexity of the design, the amount of information you bring to the table for the designer/architect, and how good you are at making timely decisions can affect how long the entire build takes. If you have a timeframe in mind, be sure to check in with your architect and builder to see if it is realistic.
While building your own home can present a lot of unique challenges and opportunities, there are countless benefits to the process.
You get to design and build it your own way with your wish list, designed to fit your lifestyle now and into the future.
You can also take advantages of today’s energy efficient technologies with windows, heated basement floors, energy efficient furnaces, hot water tanks and insulation, and more.
There is a lot of careful thought and consideration that goes into building your own home, but all the challenges and hard work pay off when you get to move into your own one-of-a-kind dream home.
Questions? I’m always available to help clients figure out what’s right for them from the very beginning of the home building process.