BIGGEST MISTAKES HOME BUILDERS IN PA AND NY MAKE
7 MISTAKES PEOPLE MAKE WHEN BUILDING A HOME
1. BEING UNREALISTIC ABOUT YOUR BUDGET
It’s important to remember your mortgage will be for a 15- or 30-year term, so be sure your monthly payment is manageable. It’s possible to keep your home loan reasonable and still build your dream home. Start by visiting a few lenders to discuss their construction programs, interest rates, closing costs, whether you’ll need private mortgage insurance, and how much you’re preapproved for. That amount plus any savings you have for a down payment reveals your budget for the land, site development costs, and the house. Also, the building materials, design, and size of the house influence your final cost. If you love particular features, say so right away. A reputable builder will help you price everything out so you can decide what you can afford.
2. CARELESSLY CHOOSING YOUR LOTOnce you determine where you want to live, you need to purchase the land your home will sit on. The site plays a significant role in your home. On a practical note, the size, shape, and view of your lot will influence the house plan you select. Other considerations for your home’s location include:
- local traffic
- the school district
- proximity to work, shopping, and health care services
- property taxes
3. ACTING AS YOUR OWN GENERAL CONTRACTORMany first-time home builders consider being their own contractor to save money. But building your custom home this way may not be a wise choice. If you’re considering acting as your own contractor, ask yourself if you’re comfortable with the following responsibilities:
- Reviewing home plans for potential problems
- Obtaining building permits and following appropriate codes
- Estimating the cost of materials and labor
- Hiring and scheduling employees and subcontractors
- Ordering materials and handling deliveries
- Supervising the quality of work
4. SELECTING THE WRONG HOME BUILDERAfter you have the lot, it’s time to choose a custom home builder. Some communities have exclusive builders. This ensures similar styles and construction quality throughout the development. But if the land is your own, you’re free to hire any builder you prefer. Here are some questions you should ask potential home builders:
- How long have you been in business?
- Can you provide referrals from previous customers?
- What features come standard and what are upgrades?
- Can you customize an existing floor plan?
- Do you include a home warranty?
- Is landscaping included in the cost of construction?
- Do you use allowance pricing?
5. COMPARING APPLES AND ORANGES BIDSMany people look at the estimate’s total price and select the lowest bidder. Unfortunately, they later discover their finished home costs much more than they anticipated. They may also find the quality isn’t what they expected. Knowing how to read and compare bids will help you decide which home builder is right for you. First, find out what pricing method they used for their estimate. There are three common pricing methods: square foot, assembly, or unit. Square foot pricing is the least reliable. It assigns an average price to each square foot of the space but doesn’t necessarily take into account specific material costs. Assembly pricing is more accurate and detailed. It’s based on how much each component costs to build instead of just using the average. Unit pricing is the most accurate because it’s based on the price of all of the supplies included. Also, ask if the builder uses allowance pricing. Often a home builder who includes allowances offers the lowest bid. But a higher bid with real prices is better than a lower bid with allowance pricing. Fine Line Homes’ process is straightforward: Up-Front Pricing. We sit down with you and identify what features you want in your home. Based on your preferences, we generate a final price we will honor.
6. CHOOSING AN INADEQUATE HOME DESIGNSelecting your home design is one of the most exciting parts of the building process. But many home builders hastily choose their floor plan and later regret their decision. It’s important to consider your space needs, lot restrictions, and budget before choosing a floor plan. When you’re looking at home designs, ask yourself these questions:
- What rooms do you spend most of your time?
- Do you cook regularly?
- How many bedrooms and bathrooms?
- Do you have children?
- How often do you entertain?
- Do you have regular overnight guests?
- How much storage would you like?