Buying a home March 15, 2017


When building your dream home, much of the stress involved comes from having to make a lot of decisions.  Decisions about finding the right lot. Choosing the house plan that best suits your family’s lifestyle. Finding financing. Setting budgets. Making decisions on roofing, siding, windows. Selecting paint colors, flooring, cabinets. Counter tops, tile, lighting, plumbing fixtures. Understanding timelines.  The list goes on.  You want to get everything just right, so you start second guessing your selections. The result?  Stress, stress, and more stress.  It doesn’t have to be this way!    An experienced realtor and builder can help guide you through the process of building your new home, making selections, and staying on schedule and budget.

Choose Your Team 

Perhaps the most important steps are the ones you take in the beginning.  When building a home, you are not alone.  You are part of a team.  Hence, your choice of teammates is very important.  A realtor who is experienced in new builds is vital.   Your realtor can direct you to a reputable builder, and to the lot that is perfect for you.  In addition, your realtor should be able to walk you through the whole building process from financing to selecting your finishes. A good realtor will do his or her best to make sure that the whole process is as smooth as possible. Since you don’t want the experience of building your dream home to turn into a nightmare.

Get Your Financing Set

Getting preapproved for a new construction is the most important part of the transaction and should be done initially.  In addition, be aware of any additional costs. It is important to understand the details of your builder’s  specification sheet.  Be aware of what is included and what is not included. Because, if there are upgrades you prefer,  you may or may not decide to include them in your mortgage. If not included, these would need to be paid to the builder; part when the upgrade is ordered and the remainder when the upgrade is complete.  

Locking in a mortgage rate is entirely up to your finished product.  Therefore, you should be on a clear schedule with the builder, and your mortgage broker should keep abreast of the progress.  

Your realtor can help you find a mortgage lender who can provide you with appropriate financing.  Knowing what you have to spend, and knowing that you’ll be ready to go as you start the process will take a lot of stress off you!  

Determine What is Important to You 

Is a master suite with custom closets and spa-like bath your dream?  Or is it an up-to-date kitchen with a huge center island and room for people to hang out while you cook?  Get specific about that kitchen.  What is your style?  Modern?  Country French?  Farmhouse?  Are you a gourmet cook, or can you get by without top-of-the-line appliances?  Imagine your lifestyle and think ahead, too.  Do you want that master suite on the first floor so that you can “age in place” in your dream home?  If you have young children, you may want to consider a space that will be a great play room for them now but will also be a cool hang-out space when they’re teens.

Set a Budget

It’s easy to get carried away selecting options when building your dream home.  However, overspending your budget can turn a dream house into a bad dream.  Keep in mind those items that you determined were important to you.  There are many selections and options to choose from, and the costs can add up quickly.  You may have to compromise on some items in order to select other, more expensive items.  Your builder and your realtor can help guide you through the maze of choices you’ll have to make, and advise you of reasonable alternatives that will give you the look you’d like without going over budget.

Make Selections on Schedule 

You don’t have to make decisions all at once!  Construction schedules will give you time to think about, research, and choose the finishes you want. However, you should keep in mind when your decisions are due.  Tradespeople are scheduled to come in and work on your home at specific phases of construction, and your selections have to be made, ordered and delivered for installation at those times.  A good realtor should be helping you keep track of these deadlines and make sure you make your selections on time.

With the right team, financing in place, a good idea of what you want, and discipline in keeping on budget and on schedule, building your dream home can be… a dream!