While it’s not breaking news that breaking ground on new construction is something not to be taken lightly, it’s easy to let the excitement of building your future home from the ground up overwhelm you. Imagine you see that perfect piece of land. Look at that view! The solitude! Or maybe you’ve found a lot in the middle of town just waiting for you to plant roots. How convenient! However, if you do not approach the process with a keen eye for detail, analysis and a plan, the convenience and solitude, along with your future home, will soon feel like a distant dream. Never fear, knowledge of the building process and alternatives to custom home building, such as track home builders is available to you.
When you start at the beginning, it’s important to start at the beginning. You’ve already envisioned your dream home. Now, you need to put some serious thought into selecting the right location. Having some fundamental knowledge of your homesite is a must. Check the grading of the homesite. If it’s a level homesite, it will take less time to build. If the homesite is on a hill, the price increases because simply put, the size of the foundation increases. These are the types of questions you can explore with your builder. It is imperative to know the sort of questions to ask your builder, as a builder might not offer information for any number of reasons. The builder might assume you already know the answer or worse, the builder might not know the answer. Make certain you select a builder that knows.
The next step is selecting a builder. It is important to ask around, research and find a builder that you trust. The ideal selection of builder and location really goes hand-in-hand and will dictate your construction timeframe. If you need your home to be ready in six months, for instance, then building a custom home with a custom builder may not be the way to go. With a strict timeframe, you might do better to look at a track home builder instead. A track home will give you a better close date estimate on the front end.
But you want a custom home! I get it. In that case, however, it’s important to realize that building a custom home takes considerably longer than a track home. Additionally, it’s nearly impossible for a custom home builder to provide even a generic close date timeframe. This ambiguity is due to one thing: variables. There are so many variables in custom home building, such as materials, labor, weather and design. It becomes a labor of love, which is a beautiful thing if you have sufficient time and resources.
If you are on a timeline and a budget, a track home can be a viable alternative to custom home building as track home builders have more control over the variables. They typically have a strong relationship with their subcontractors. Their materials are often located in one area. Generally speaking, the world of the track home builder is more of a welloiled machine.
Whichever direction you choose to go as far as builders are concerned, working with a Realtor will help you decipher the contract. So, perhaps, step two: select a Realtor. Once again, it can’t be stressed enough that, when choosing a Realtor, you ask around, obtain references, listen to experiences with said Realtor and find one with whom you are comfortable. This person should be able to look at a contract and maneuver it and know when you can and can’t make changes. This person should be aware that, if you are on a budget, what upgrades you should make in what time frame. Are there some that would be easier to do in the future when you have more time and resources? A good Realtor is like a counselor in that they will be the custodian of your contract and help you save money on the front end.
At the end of the day (or six months, or a year … ), this is your future home you are talking and dreaming about and planning. Taking a step back to consider all the options and moving parts, what works best for you and finding a team that can represent and help you along the way is of the utmost importance. It’s an exciting time in real estate and with time, resources and planning, virtually anything is possible.
For more information on home construction, you can tune in to Tonya Esquibel on 99.7 W TN, a program on which I’m honored to be a guest specializing in building homes and the real estate market in general. Kristin Hood