Thinking of having your new home built for you instead of buying an existing home? Here are some things you will want to consider before you start drawing up house plans or considering designs of the new home you want.

What can you comfortably afford? A lending professional will help you figure out what your current expenses are and can help determine what kind of mortgage works for you. Spending too much and being “house poor” is no fun.

Will you be able to stay in your current home while your new home is being built? If not, you’ll need to find somewhere to live during the construction. You may also need to find storage for your belongings until you’re ready to move in to your new home.

couple reviewing new home construction plans in vancouver wa

Finding a builder who can take your ideas and turn them into reality is no small feat. Get as much background information as you can.

You should know how much of a budget you have to work with, but there are several ways to finance this new construction build. Will you want your builder to get a construction loan on your behalf, or will you have the qualifying 10-15% down payment to get your own construction loan?

Your home plans and designs may be great, but that won’t mean much living in a location that doesn’t suit your lifestyle. Finding a lot that you like, that you can afford, and in a neighborhood that you want to live in can be challenging. Proximity to shopping, commute times, schools, access to parks, views, road noise, and so on are all important factors that must be considered.

You’ve spent time researching how to finance your home and where to locate your home – but there is still work to be done. Finding a builder who can take your ideas and turn them into reality is no small feat, and it’s important to get as much background information as you can.

Take the time to walk through houses at various stages of construction to see their construction quality for yourself. Ask for references, costs, an example of a contract, timelines, a sample set of construction specifications… and anything else you can think of. Make sure you understand their answers, and if you don’t, ask again. Communication with your builder is very important – do they take the time to understand what you want and make you feel comfortable taking the next step?

Once you’ve gone through this checklist, you are ready to start the exciting part: customizing and finalizing plans for the new home you want. Your new home should have the look, space, features and amenities that you will be happy with for years to come at a budget you can afford.

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