Building a customized home is a dream come true for many home buyers, but the process can be daunting, especially if you have never worked with a builder, architect or a designer. To make this prospect a little easier to understand, here’s some advice from construction professionals: Do your research Building a home can take a long time. Before you choose a builder, be sure to interview several different companies and get estimates for how long the job should take as well as the project costs. In the interviews, be sure to ask plenty of questions to get a thorough grasp about what your builder and their crew is doing for you. If you have a certain design in mind, show it to the builder and get their thoughts. Look up reviews about each company online and ask around to friends and family to see if anyone has firsthand experience with the builder. Your network may be able to give you some recommendations or warnings about different builders. Also, be certain to double-check that potential builders are licensed and bonded. When meeting with a builder, ask for examples of homes that they have built. You should be able to drive around and see some of their work in person, either by driving past or touring model homes or completed construction that is on the market. Know what you want Look up floor plans, photos, must-haves and dealbreakers for your new home. Inspiration can come from anywhere - other homes you’ve seen, photos online, magazines, etc. Your builder will probably ask you to bring a picture or an artifact in that shows the design and architecture that you want in your new home and will ask about the features you wish to include. Beyond the construction, it’s also important that you know what kind of appliances and functional items that you want because this will impact the home’s structure and layout. For example, if you want a Jacuzzi tub in the master bath, the builder will have to adjust plans for the flooring and plumbing accordingly. You’ll be asked to make a decision on several details, from flooring to countertops, even down to the kind of grout or shower wall that you want. This list is very overwhelming at first glance. Take your time going down the list and make decisions. Know what your budget is and emphasize it Before you get started on the project, make sure that you tell the builder that you have a budget and what that fixed price is. Because the house is being built from scratch, each decision can add incremental costs until you’ve overspent, so it’s important to set and keep to a budget. However, don’t automatically look for the lowest bid in order to keep costs down. If the builder cuts corners or uses inferior materials, you will end up paying more out of pocket in the long term when you need to make repairs. Similarly, splurging on finishes, features and surfaces like countertops ensure that they will last longer and add more value to the home. Consider current trends when making design choices: maybe you decide to add solar panels because of the green design trend, or adding more living space to accommodate larger families. These little extras will make it easier for the house to sell when the time comes. If you know that there is a possibility that you could change your mind, make sure that you find a builder who has a warranty or some kind of program that will allow you to do so at a little bit of a discount. Communication Matters Miscommunication can be expensive. Be sure that you keep the lines open between the architect and the builder and that all parties involved are on the same page. If one party misunderstands what you want in your new home, it will be expensive for them to fix the mistake. As you make decisions or change your mind, be sure that you’re being clear and open with your builder. Have Fun! This is your dream home, so make it personal! Do not put too much emphasis on trends or other people’s opinions, because you will be the one living in your home. You can add as many features as your budget is able to afford. Contributed by James Link SetSchedule has changed the way real estate marketing is viewed, by changing the way REALTORS® access clients and listing appointments. SetSchedule is a “first of its’ kind” exclusive membership based model that provides verified appointments, marketing tools, and elite invite only networking events for its members. By blending new technologies, and thought processes with proven success methods SetSchedule had incurred record producing results unseen in the industry
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