You’ve been dreaming about a custom home for years. Now, you’re finally ready to build it on a piece of real estate that provides a level of privacy and autonomy you can’t find in your average subdivision. It’s hugely exciting and more than a little daunting. Building a quality custom home is a big project and obviously requires a substantial commitment both in terms of time and finances.
Some companies would have you believe that if you’ve got a computer, a phone, a calendar, and some paper, you’ve got all the tools you need to be your own general contractor and build your dream home.
The Internet is vast, but you don’t have to search very far to find scathing reviews from frustrated UBuildIt customers. And it’s not hard to understand why.
I've written about this before, but there are two basic types of homebuilding contracts: cost plus and fixed price. I'm going to address a key exception in the fixed-price contract that you need to be aware of and understand before you sign it.
I recently heard a gentleman who was acting as his own builder say something that gave me pause. He said the company he hired to help him be his own builder told him the city or county building inspector is his quality control department.
Building a custom home is not for everyone. I know, a builder shouldn't say such things, right? But from a builder's perspective, there are certain clients whom we've learned should never have taken on the challenge of building a custom home. It was not the best investment of their valuable time and treasure, and it's important to realize that up front.
If you're buying a used car or used house or bidding at an auction, it's probably smart to keep your cards close to your vest and not reveal your budget. That's just good negotiating strategy when dealing with a transactional-style seller.
You found a house plan that looks great online. It has an attractive exterior and the right number and kind of rooms. The overall size is actually a bit smaller than what you had envisioned, so it should be well within your budget to build.
You have a house plan you've fallen in love with. You own your land. You're ready to find a builder and start building your dream home. Problem is, you've been to every reputable builder you can find, and every one of them has said the cost to build that home is outside your budget.
When building a custom home on your land, it can be tempting to try to save money on things that seem like simple items or commodities. Some of those things are indeed commodities (like wall studs), but some are critical even if they seem simple or unimportant.
Everybody wants to get the most house for their money. One of the best (and least utilized) techniques to do that is pretty simple, and that's probably why it gets overlooked.
With overall inflation and changes in materials, the cost to build a home is always increasing. Two major cost components in a house are concrete and roofing materials such as shingles.
There's a simple principle in homebuilding: All things being equal (location, finishes, features), a bigger house will have a lower cost per square foot than a smaller one. Why is that? The answer to that question will help you shop for the right house plan and the right builder, and maybe more importantly, help keep you from making a bad building decision.
There are many elements to designing a house and many considerations that sometimes conflict with each other. Two things that often conflict are design and budget. But when it comes to how much it will cost to build a house, there's one technique that can balance the conflicting needs of cost and curb appeal (or how the house looks when viewed from the front). That technique is called the three sides rule.
As we've said before, there are two primary parts to figuring out your budget for a custom home. First, think about a number, whether that's the overall amount or the monthly payment, and see if that number scares you. Second, figure out how much you can borrow from the bank for your custom home.
I'm certainly no marriage counselor, but I've built enough homes for enough married couples and families to know that the process of designing and building a custom home can be grueling, and it can put a strain on a relationship. It is absolutely critical that both parties fully understand the other's needs, wants, and—most importantly—expectations going in.
You're thinking of building a custom home on your land… so why on earth are we talking about a question to ask a real estate agent? The question to ask first might be, why would you even need a real estate agent in the first place? Well, aside from selling your existing home, there are a couple of reasons you might need the services of a really good agent.
If you dream of building a custom home on your land, the land itself can be a make-or-break item. It's the biggest single-item piece of your budget. You will invest anywhere from 15 to 50 percent of your overall custom home budget on your land, assuming you can even build on it. When buying rural land or undeveloped land in particular, there are some deal-killing pitfalls to avoid. The same is true even for buying a developed lot in some cases.
I have a close friend in North Carolina who builds extraordinarily well-designed, efficient, and beautiful homes. Really, I should put beautiful first, because that's what they are from every perspective: aesthetics, efficiency, and utility. He designs and builds a home that is pleasing to the senses as well as the wallet.
Finding the right banker to do the construction loan for a custom home on your land is one of the most difficult and intimidating pieces of the build-on-your-land puzzle. Shopping for a bank is difficult because it's tough to know what to shop for.