Where To Start Working With Builder to Build On Your Land?
Some of the best things in life, especially in complicated projects, getting started is the hardest part. That’s definitely true when you build on your land. Also, there is a lot of variables, moving parts, and people that need to be involved. Additionally, there’s no real structure in place to help you get it done.
“No Structure” what is meant by this? Other big purchases like buying a new car allow you to compare different makes and models. Next, you test drive each car to figure out whether or not you like it. Now once you pick a car, you can get the financing done right there at the dealership. Therefore, a car dealer can walk you through the whole process if you want to go that route. Despite it not always being a pleasant process but, there is a pretty clear process to follow at least.
Also, the process in which you buy an existing house can be similar. Then again there is an entire industry built around making loans for people to buy houses. Additionally, there is a state-licensed industry of real estate agents ready to help you find the house you want. Finally, these processes help you navigate the legalese and avoid the biggest pitfalls. Again, it might not be a perfect process, but it’s surely better than if you had to figure it all out on your own for the first time.
But somehow, building a house on your land can be a much more daunting process. It can seem like there are no rules, nobody is in charge, and there’s no written guide to walk you through all the steps. However, to make matters worse, there are huge financial risks involved. Therefore, you could buy the wrong piece of land, hire the wrong builder, or go way over budget because of unforeseen costs.
Seems kind of discouraging, but don’t lose hope.
Because of building and designing hundreds of homes for different families and individuals. We’ve seen overall which methods work best for people and which don’t. You need someone to act as your guide, someone who has made the journey and has helped many others make it. Also, he or she knows all the pitfalls and dead ends and can help you navigate through them successfully, these people are the custom home builders.
The first step you’ll need to take in this journey is to find your builder. Your custom home builder becomes your guide and your concierge along the way to help you navigate the process. However, it’s not just a matter of finding any home builder—you need to find the right one.
Before the right custom home builders, you need to figure out exactly which journey you’ll be taking. You don’t want to hire an Alaskan fishing guide if you’re going to be rafting the Colorado River.
Define your dream
You’ve at least thought that building a house on your land is one possible solution. Or, maybe you’re all in and you’re going to build with that custom home builders come hell or high water. Either way, now that you’ve identified the need, it’s time to paint the picture of what the ideal homes on your land looks like.
While dreaming about that new house build on your land, think about the activity going on in and around it.
- What does life look like?
- How do you see your family using the home?
- Are you outdoor people?
- Do you have lots of guests over?
- Also, do you enjoy quiet evenings on the porch?
These visions of life in the home are what’s going to drive the design, features, and location.
Define your custom home terms
Deciding what those must-haves are for your custom home? However you envisioned the custom home lifestyle that is most important to you. Which things, if dropped from your custom home plan, would no longer give you the lifestyle you are looking for in your custom home? These items are your non-negotiables.
Thinking further, what are the absolute most important things you want? The things that you would sacrifice any other part of the dream to make come true? Maybe it’s getting the kids into a particular school or being able to live in a place that is a positive influence on them. Whatever these things are, that’s your bottom line, the heart of the matter.
Defining your must-have features and your bottom line up front is tremendously helpful. Next, talk about it as a family about a build on your land and write down notes. Later in the process when the emotions kick in and you have to make tough decisions you can go back and refer to the written list.
Want additional resources on defining your priorities when deciding on the perfect house plan? Download our 3 Steps to the Perfect Floor Plan ebook.
Define your budget comfort zone
Ok now for that dirty word, “Budget”. Everyone has a budget. Even the wealthiest people in the world have to eventually make decisions about budget and priorities.
At this stage, you may or may not know what you qualify for in terms of a loan to build a custom house. However, you probably have a comfort zone of what you want to spend, either in monthly payments or overall purchase price. Some people base it on a detailed monthly budget, some people on a gut feel of an overall number they’re comfortable with.
However you mentally (or emotionally) define your budget, be realistic about it and be honest with yourself. Because this isn’t a negotiating tool. Don’t let it blind you to reality and force you to give up your dream unnecessarily.
The builder as your professional guide – Homes built on your land
It might seem counterintuitive to hire the builder first for you build on your land. After all, you don’t have a house plan, you don’t know exactly what the house will look like, and you don’t really even know your budget comfort zone. Also, does your budget align with the construction and permanent loans you can qualify for the homes built on your land. Therefore, how would you hire a builder at this point?
It’s a little bit of a chicken-and-egg dilemma. You can’t agree with a builder on a price for home you will build on your land because you haven’t defined the house yet. You can’t define the house without a house plan, and if you design or choose a plan, you have no way of knowing whether the plan will fit your budget. Without talking to a lender, you don’t know how much you are qualified to borrow, and you might be worried that someone could take advantage of your lack of experience building a custom home.
The thing is, the builder is the one person who deals with all of these areas on a regular basis. Therefore He/She knows the cost for homes built on your land, and he/she can guide you through the process of selecting and customizing a house plan. He can also help you avoid the hidden design elements that add cost without adding value. Also, the builder deals with construction loans, land titles, land preparation issues, contractor problems, and everything else that goes along, even peripherally, with building a custom house on your land.
The builder is also the one make-or-break element in the whole process. Because a bad relationship with a builder risks your whole dream. Although a good relationship will make the dream become a reality.
So, how do you find the builder that’s going to be the right builder for your dream? Likewise, once you find him or her, how do you hire that builder before you’ve even defined the house plan or the budget?