Building On Your Own Lot

Building a new home on your lot takes some planning. Choosing a builder and layout of the new construction home are two parts of the process that most homebuyers don't mind. Making the budget is where some people may get left behind. When taking on a project this big, understand that if one step is left out, the whole endeavor be troubled from the get go. The good news is, anyone can do this: so don't feel inexperienced or unprepared. Make the right moves and you'll soon be unpacking in that new home.

Determine your budget. So you've got the lot and you're ready to build but hold on partner, put that hammer down. Taking the time to prepare doesn't undermine progress: it builds a foundation for beginning that new construction project on the right foot. Two words to remember: planning pays. Take the time now to see how much can be spent on building a new home to avoid heartbreaks. If the money runs out, the builder could leave and that's no good. Look at size not just in terms of what is needed but what is manageable. It may sound nice having a 3,000 square foot house during Thanksgiving when all the relatives visit. What about paying utility bills for that size house when there is only a family of three residing there for the rest of the year? Allow for overages and unforeseen costs: issues come up that no one can predict. It is better to have reserves than to cut it so close you have to skimp on something else.

Check out new houses built by a recommended builder. Armed with that eye-opening budget, homebuyers can feel confident as they look for houses that match their needs. Leaf through home magazines: many new construction periodicals have plans, costs and builder recommendations. Pick up a regional publication about new home builders in Hampton Roads. See who is building homes within your budget then drive through developments they've built homes in. Tour model homes in new home communities. Pick up literature available at the neighborhoods and compare floor plans with what you've already found. Ask yourself questions like, “Would this new home look right on my lot, in my neighborhood?”

Talk figures. Narrow down the top picks then present your plot map to each builder for estimates. Gather as much information as possible from the builder including how long everything will take, the overall budget, upgrade costs and additional fees. When you've gathered up the facts on paper, sit down and compare. Building a new home is not just wood and windows; there are many factors involved. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples. While the plans may not be exactly the same, try identifying similarities to see where the best value can be found. If three new home builders say it will cost around $250,000 to build an 1,800 square foot house and one builder says it will only cost $200,000, look very closely at his material choices, fine print and references.

Building a new home on your own lot doesn't happen overnight but it can happen without problems. Taking the necessary time to plan and choose the right builder is essential to success. The world of new construction may seem daunting, but stick to those guns, learn as much as you can, keep asking questions and get everything in writing. Your new home may be just beyond the next horizon.