Many people think of building a home as a once-in-a-lifetime dream, something they’re putting off for retirement. However, in a time of low inventory in markets across the country and chronic housing shortages, building a home may make more sense for more buyers than ever before. If you’ve ever dreamed of starting from scratch on a new residence, this may be the right time for you to evaluate the possibilities.
Whether it’s a long-held dream or a new idea for you, there’s no denying that there are many positive benefits to building your own home.
Of course, the first thing that probably comes to mind is the ability that a newly constructed home gives you to add those custom touches that truly make it your own. From the perfect type of hardwood flooring to the view from the kitchen window, new construction offers unparalleled flexibility, both aesthetically and practically.
Pick Your Site
Maybe you have a favorite neighborhood but there are never any new listings there. Finding a lot and building a new home may be the most direct route to becoming a member of that community. Are you looking for wide-open spaces and plenty of natural beauty? A large lot in a rural community may be more your speed. When you build new, the choice is yours.
Do you love an open-concept floorplan with plenty of natural light or prefer a little more separation between living spaces in your home? Do you want to have the owner’s suite right next to the children’s bedrooms, or do you prefer a split floor plan? Do you have mobility issues that make a one-story home ideal for you? Would you like to add a private in-law suite for multi-generational living? A new construction home is about more than just picking your colors and finishes. It’s about creating a floorplan that truly works for you and your family.
If you do it well and choose the right location, you may be able to realize a significant profit on your newly constructed home. By working with a well-regarded architect and home builder, you have the opportunity to create a showplace that will only grow in value during the years that you live there. In addition, you can build a carriage house or guest home as a potential rental property on-site, allowing you to offset your costs and increase your return on investment.
When you buy a resale home you may be buying someone else’s leaky roof or worn out air conditioning system. Even with a home inspection, it’s hard to know what problems you’ll find once you move in. A new construction home offers you the opportunity to start out fresh with a new structure, new systems, and less chance of unpleasant surprises.
Modern Technology and Infrastructure
Similarly, new construction gives you the opportunity to build in the technology and systems you need to run today’s best appliances and features. An up-to-date and upgraded electrical system and better integrated technical specifications mean that your home will be better able to optimize new technology as it’s introduced and installed.
While there are many reasons to get excited about a newly constructed home, there are some responsibilities and pitfalls that may go along with the process.
Manage a Team
In a traditional existing-home sale you are working primarily with your real estate agent, who is working with the seller’s agent. When you’re building a home, you’re working with a team including the architect or designer, builder, contractors, and subcontractors. In addition, you have to buy your lot and you may be working with landscapers, local government, or other entities.
Permitting and Zoning
Depending on where you choose to build, you may be working extensively with permitting and zoning for your project. This is not only a bureaucratic headache, but it can also result in delays and extended timelines, driving up the budget and causing added frustrations and complications.
If you’re indecisive, you may find it difficult to do what it takes to build your own home. Everything will need to be discussed, from floor finishes to cabinet pulls. Everything will have to be considered in the light of aesthetics, function, and budget. Add in the opinions of everyone in your home and you may fall victim to “analysis paralysis,” making it difficult to make the decisions you need to in order to keep moving forward.
Adding an upgrade or changing an existing plan feature can quickly blow up your budget, causing you to overspend and forcing you to skimp on something else later in the process. Managing expenses and keeping an eye on the bottom line will be one of the big challenges you’ll face as you plan and build your new home.
You may think this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make every detail conform to your favorite whims and wishes. However, if you ever plan to sell your home, you’ll want to be careful not to over-customize. While an occasional unique feature may be fun and quirky, too much overly detailed customization might mean that you create a home that only you will love—and that the market will reject.
The bottom line Is that building a home isn’t for every budget or for every personality. However, if it’s something that interests you, talk to your trusted real estate agent and ask what to expect in the process. In addition, your agent can put you in touch with the best local professionals