Are you one of those people dreaming of homes they’ve done themselves? New construction projects that produce houses just to the specification of the owner? If you’ve had it with looking at new homes and want to hire some home builders to design your dream house for you, you should know that it can be a wonderful and rewarding experience.
It can also be a nightmare. If you want your house to be built right, read on for five important mistakes to avoid.
- Don’t get overwhelmed by the details and lose the big picture. There are so many decisions to make that it can overwhelm you. Science suggests that we only have so much decision making power in a day, and even decision we are forced to make saps our strength by a little bit. After a while, we can’t make any more decisions at all. This is especially true when working on houses ourselves, as home builders pepper us with questions about every aspect of the build. One way to avoid this problem is to ask your builder to put together a binder or even a personalized website where everything is organized according to room. Then you can make choices in an orderly fashion, in the order you want.
- Use your mortgage for all it’s worth. When owners are building their homes from scratch, one common mistake is failing to put everything into the construction-to-permanent loan. This type of loan rolls over to a regular mortgage once homes are finished. The interest rate can be just 4% or 5%, as opposed to the nearly 20% you’re likely paying on your credit card. So make sure your stoves, showerheads, tubs, and even the lighting goes in to be covered by the loan rather than buy it all later.
- Remember that you are the ultimate source of ideas. Your builder is there to serve you. BUilders are paid to follow your lead, not lead the way, so remember that while they may have a few ideas, most of their stuff will be generic and standard. If you want you home to stand out, you’ll have to be the one with the ideas to make it do so.
- There will be delays, so plan in advance for them. No project ever goes exactly according to plan or schedule. One little delay in some part of your construction can lead to a cascading set of postponements that puts everything behind. BUild this into the plan right from the beginning, with a couple weeks’, or even a couple momths’, cushion.
- Don’t forget that you have to take away some things when you add others. As the project moves along, the temptation to add new and cool items to your home project is strong. You may get a flash of a new idea, or simply see something you like better than what you originally chose. Don’t make the mistake of adding and adding, only to find that you’ve run out of money or space. When you want to add some things, find some things to subtract, as well.
Having your own home that you designed is one of life’s great joys. It’ll be a treasure to you throughout your life and will be something you kids, and hopefully, your grandkids will enjoy with you. Make your house stand out from all the homes on the block by designing it right from the beginning.