Building a home is a dream that people from all walks of life have at some point in time. Perhaps beginning as a detailed sketch tucked away in the back of a spiral notebook, or a wish list that features the detail and decor of every room, home aspirations are all personal and unique.
More often than not, these custom homes never get past the pages they’re scribbled on . . .
Why is this? For many, the cost is the most intimidating factor, and for obvious reasons.
Yes, home building can be expensive; but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re someone who wants to bring a design to life, you should know that there are multiple ways to save money in the process.
Here are a few tips that will help you save real money while building your dream home.
1. Do Your Research
Know the ins and outs of design before considering building, as alterations due to premature construction are rarely cost-effective. To create a clear vision of what you like (and don’t like) visit a variety of model homes. Take as much time as you need to develop and assert your tastes.
2. Identify The Things You Value
People get carried away when they have the freedom to create the custom homes they’ve always wanted. After all, this might be the only opportunity to build! Unless you’ve got unlimited cash to spend (most of us don’t), many of the nonessentials are going to get flushed out once your wallet starts to bleed. So, why not stay ahead of the game by determining what’s practical vs. what’s extra in the initial stages?
Focus on the items your family views as essential, and make a list of the features you identify as “wants” but not “needs.” Doing so will help you adjust your expectations and prevent disappointments down the road.
3. Evaluate The Area
You’re not just building a new home. You’re agreeing to spend money at the local grocery store. You’re committing to enroll your children in the town’s school system. You’re vowing to pay property taxes as they come. Spend plenty of time evaluating the communities surrounding lots where you could potentially build. You want a lifestyle as well as a home, and finding a location that checks both of values may take some time.
4. Choose The Right Builder
Entrusting another with your house design can be daunting; but unless you’re a builder, it’s an inevitable part of the home building process. Selecting a builder that is competent, honest, and affordable is immensely important. Because owner-builder relationships are long-term, you will need to invest in one you feel comfortable communicating and working with for months.
Have you checked their references? Do they have a good track record? Do they deliver on time? Do they tend to drive up project costs with extra work? Answering these questions is another component essential to initial planning. Direct consultations, as well as reviews and referrals, can help you find the right company.
5. Maintain Communication With Your Builder
You’ve chosen a builder, but now is not the time to wipe your hands and step away. Make sure there’s a mutual understanding of your needs and priorities. Seek your builder’s input at every turn, especially if you’re looking to save money. They do this for a living. They will advise you on where you can cut costs without sacrificing much.
6. Look To Save On Big-Ticket Items
Items like appliances, accessories, and supplies quickly add up. The scary part is that these are usually unnecessarily expensive. Take advantage of sale items, coupons, and rewards programs. Spending time researching such topics increases your possibility of finding more cost-efficient deals. Don’t fall in love with a particular brand or model; popularity typically coincides with high sales costs, and you can always find comparable items for better prices.
7. Don’t forget about your builder’s discount
In many situations, your builder can get an item at a discounted or wholesale price.
There may even be scenarios where you can use your builder’s discount in conjunction with other rewards or discounts. This is an easy way to save money without sacrificing anything at all.
Don’t be timid! Ask your builder if they have a discount available and use it to your full advantage.
8. Buy Materials In Advance
Waiting until the final hour to find the items you need can result in a variety of problems.
Back-ordered products might leave you waiting weeks until they arrive. Your item might naturally have a longer delivery time and you might need to pay a premium to expedite it. Don’t get trapped!
9. Take On Some Of The Work
While your builder will handle the majority of tasks throughout the construction process, if there are simple jobs that you can control, why spend unnecessary money? Just make sure you check with your builder on whether they will allow you to install some of the simpler line items.
10. Always Refer To The Big Picture
It’s easy to get caught up in the minutia of home building, especially after investing countless hours to make your house design a reality. Take a step back and think about what will really matter to you ten, twenty years down the road. Chances are that the premium, smaller items will be of little importance to you later, so make the decision to compromise while you can.
These are just a few of the ways that you can conserve costs and still build your dream home. If you’re willing to spend the time and energy to find value at every turn, there’s no reason why you can’t achieve an affordable build that you love.