When it comes to building a new home, there are different kinds of builders. And the builder you need depends on what you're looking for in the finished product and what you're looking for in the process.
There's a photo that every homebuilder has seen and chuckled at. The photos shows two boats, a small dinghy and an enormous yacht, side by side. The name of the small boat is "building contract" and the name of the yacht is "change order."
You're building your "forever home," but how do you design it so it fits your life today and whatever your life will look like in 20 years?
Everyone has a limited budget. Everyone. When you dream about your forever home built on your land, it's easy to get discouraged if you start thinking about budget limitations.
There are two basic approaches to building a home on your land: the first is the DIY approach, and the second is to hire a professional homebuilder. Whether you do the job of the builder or hire someone who does it for a living, there are many elements to the builder's job that you need to be aware of. In the first case, it helps to know what you're getting into. In the second case, it helps to know what to expect from your builder.
Building on your land sometimes comes with a few surprises. Let's say you have a budget of $250,000 to build your house, and you're already dreaming of what type of house you can build for that amount of money.
Every business needs a sales force, as they are the ones who find the clients. Without clients, we all know what happens to a business. At a bank, the sales person is called a loan officer, and it's their job is to drum up business for the bank.
Building a custom home is an emotional roller coaster. We've talked in detail about each of the stages in prior posts, but let's recap the whole emotional process again.
Let's get one thing out in the open: In general, the home building industry has a horrible reputation when it comes to warranty. We've all heard stories about the builder who never comes back to fix anything, who won't return phone calls, or who finds a way to say any problem isn't covered.
Your house is almost finished! Now it's time for repairs and touch-ups, which are part of any custom home project. We've discussed before how little things get damaged along the way during construction. It's simply part of the process.
Things like trim, paint, flooring, countertops, and fixtures are all called "finishes," but they're far from finished. It's not really a new home until the builder hands you the keys. Until then, it's a work in progress.
Contractors make mistakes. Your builder makes mistakes. Then they fix them. They don't make mistakes because they're lazy, incompetent, or don't care. They make them because they're human.
Once all the rough installations in your home are complete and inspections done, it's time to install wall insulation and drywall. This is when your home really starts to take shape!
The most exciting part of the custom home building process for the owner is framing. There's lots of visible progress and mistakes aren't readily apparent so you're not stressed. You get excited and think, "At this rate, we'll be done in no time!"
You're in the middle of having a custom home built, and it's exciting to see your dream being built right before your eyes. But you visit the job site, and it's the third day in a row nothing is happening. You think your builder, or his contractors, must be dragging their feet!
You're watching your brand-new home appear before your eyes, and it's exciting! But remember this one key idea: There's only one consumer product that's manufactured outside in the heat, cold, wind, rain, and bugs. It's also manufactured by human hands with natural materials. That one product is your custom home.
You've managed all the details required for designing your home, contracting with a builder, obtaining the construction loan, and getting the
necessary permits. Now it's time to build! So, what happens now?
Let's be completely honest for a minute. Building a house on your own land is hard work. It takes a lot of time and effort for you as the owner, and not everyone is ready for that. How committed are you to your dream?
Once you've invested your deposit, been honest about your budget, and discussed your wish list of features for your forever home, it's time for your builder to start creating a plan. He'll go to the drawing board and come up with a conceptual house plan, a list of features, and a price.
When you're building on your land, you want to find the right builder for you. And in most cases, builders require a deposit before they'll even quote you a price. That's because giving you a price on a custom home requires a fair bit of work.
You've done all the emotional, difficult work of planning, tweaking, compromising, and creating the plan for your home. Your builder has been right there beside you, guiding the way. You've agreed on the plans, the details, and the dollar investment, so now it's time to start building.
Without fail, every potential client we talk to wants more house than they can afford. That's human nature, and there's nothing wrong with it. There's also nothing wrong with working hard to get the most house for your money.
Here's a secret most builders in Oklahoma won't tell you: none of the builders in our state are big enough to keep their subcontractors busy 100% of the time. Building a custom home requires a lot of subcontractors, and even builders who have multiple houses going at once won't need a plumber or a cabinet maker or an electrician every single day.
To build a custom home, you start with a construction loan. First you need to pick a bank that has experience in construction loans. You may have a favorite bank, but if they don't have a lot of experience with construction loans, we highly recommend finding one that does. It's not as straightforward as a conventional mortgage loan, and you want someone who knows the ins and outs.
The budget is a really critical part of building on your land. As we've said before, most people's dream for what their forever home will look like typically exceeds their budget. So there are always compromises to be made, but first you and your builder need to know what your budget actually is.
We recently talked to a nice couple who wanted to build a custom home unique to their specific needs. They gave us a budget that was probably $40,000 to $50,000 shy of what it would take to build the house they wanted.