Have you ever considered building your dream home from the ground up? Starting from scratch, choosing every detail, and creating something that is perfect for your needs? Many people dream of the day they can build their own home. It’s an excited thought to be the first one to live in the home, but also the one who made all of the decisions that give the home its character.
Building a home is not an overnight task and will take some planning, but on move-in day, you can look back and think of all the moments and decisions that got you here today. There are some things to consider to get you prepared to build your new home and we thought we’d take a look at some of the items you’ll want to consider.
Get To Know Your Builder
Your first step is to get to know the local builders in the area. This is one of the many areas a Realtor can become your best friend during the process. While you may feel you could save a few bucks going it alone, the experience and knowledge of your agent combined will be invaluable. And that’s only the beginning. To get to know the builders you should look at their inventory, but also take a look at some of their older homes (ask your agent to find some currently for sale). How have they held up over time? What are the locals saying? Do you know someone that owns a home built by the builder? What do they think? A builders’ reputation is everything and word travels fast.
Once you’ve narrowed down your list to a few builders that build in the area, styles, and price range you’re looking for, have your agent make some appointments with the builder. Are they available to you? Willing to sit down and talk about their process? You are going to be working with the builder for awhile, so much like being comfortable with your Realtor, you need to feel confident about the builder and have good communication between you.
Choosing a Lot
Not all land is created equal. Topography, trees, flood plains, surface materials (rock, clay, sand, loose soils), position of the sun, future use of land nearby, traffic…all of these things change what can or should be built on the lot. Many of these items aren’t always obvious, so knowing your builder comes into play – having that trust and knowing your builder is willing to give it to you straight on the positives and negatives of the land is invaluable.
Topography can be a tough obstacle because there isn’t much you can do. You can grade land somewhat to make it work, but if you are facing a steep drop off, there most likely won’t be a lot you can do about it except build with the topography (this is usually why you’ll see tall foundations at the back of many homes in hilly communities). Touring the lot with the builder can assist you in seeing where and how your home can be oriented to work with the land.
Of course any obstacle you may encounter with the land can usually be worked with, but like everything, it comes at a cost. You may want to spend a certain amount and find out that the land pushes your costs higher in order to overcome some of those obstacles.
You have a vision. Maybe you saw a photo online or just have some images in your head, but it’s now time to start designing your home. Lean on your builder’s experience. They’ve done this before and have learned over the years from the people that have built before you. While squeezing in that closet might seem like a good idea, they might be able to see a different way to configure the room that gives you the closet you truly want.
There are a lot of things to consider when designing the interior of the home. Something as simple as putting a bathroom in a spot where you clearly can see the space on the plans isn’t always possible. While the floor space is there, trying to run the supply and drain lines for the water could be impossible from that spot. We’ve sat in many meetings where something that seemed simple enough, just wouldn’t work with the plan as is. Be prepared to be flexible and to change plans if necessary. The design phase is crucial to getting the home you want and sometimes you have to think far into the future in order to perfect your plans.
Consider your future growth as well – can a room be adapted from a study to a nursery? Do you have enough outlets in the room that will eventually house your home-based business? Some of the smallest items tend to make the biggest impact down the road. Think about how you live in your current house – from where you spend the most time to how easy it is to access electrical outlets to whether or not you have enough hot water being supplied to the bathrooms at 7am while your whole family gets ready for the day. A little planning goes a long way.
Have questions about building a new home or some of the builders in town? Give us a call and we’ll be glad to share with you our insight and knowledge as well as help you navigate the build process – from choosing a builder to finding a lot through the build process to getting your keys. Want a newly built home, but don’t want to go through the process? You can search for new construction homes in San Antonio and surrounding areas to find inventory homes already built.
image courtesy of Fil.Al