No Houses Available? Why Not Build a New One!

The housing market continues to show no signs of slowing down. Because of this, it’s become increasingly difficult for homebuyers to find a suitable existing home. If you are in the market, don’t fret. You have the option of building your own house from the ground up. Here are some things to think about as you contemplate the possibilities.

You Need a Starting Point

Often, you begin the new home building process by interviewing builders. This is essential since no two are alike. When looking for a custom home builder, asking around for recommendations is the best route, because you know you’re hiring a reputable service. During the interview process, find out how many years of experience they have and ask to see examples of their work.

When you do find a homebuilder you like, your budget will be one of the first things they ask about. While building a home is not as costly as many people expect, there are a few expenses that you don’t incur when buying an existing structure. First is land. If you do not already own property, you will need to buy a building lot. Keep in mind, however, that some have zoning restrictions that forbid residential dwellings. Another issue you may not consider is the topography. LandCentury stresses that you need to do your research to determine whether the piece of land you have your eye on will work for your next family home.

Do You Know What You Want?

When you are scrolling through the MLS, you are limited by availability. But when you build your own home, you suddenly find yourself with virtually unlimited possibilities. For example, you probably have given very little thought to the actual layout of your kitchen. When you build, you’ll be asked if you prefer galley, U-shaped, L-shaped, or another style. You will have to make decisions about each room. Your builder will also ask you about the materials you prefer from the carpet to the light fixtures. Spend a few weeks attending open houses for homes of all price ranges to get a better idea of what you want so that you can give clear directions to your builder.

Let the Wait Begin

When you build a home, it is brand-new and completely customized to your specifications. However, the downside is that it takes around seven months — sometimes more — before you can move in. The process can be delayed by everything from weather to failed code inspections. While your builder will be familiar with building code requirements in your area, keep in mind that these change often, and a home that takes several months to complete may not be compliant at the end of the process if local regulations have changed.

Financing Options

Since credit score and income rules for financing a build are stricter than a traditional mortgage, you would do well to research your lending options. Rather than taking out a high-interest, short-term loan, go with a construction-to-permanent loan instead. That way, the builder is paid while completing the home, and upon closing, the loan then turns into the mortgage and interest rates are locked in. Before choosing this option, however, make sure your builder has experience with meeting construction deadlines and that your down payment is sufficient.

This is certainly not a comprehensive guide on building your own house. However, it should serve to give you an idea of how to start the process. Your most important task is to find a builder who is familiar with the area and is willing to discuss all of your options. This will be your most valuable partner from the time ground breaks until a Certificate of Occupancy is issued.

Image via Pixabay

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