The decision to build a house is a big one, whether it is through a custom home builder or any other route. It is a significant investment of time, energy, and financial resources so it is wise to carefully think through the pros and cons.
Before you talk with a home builder, you may want to sit down with your family and determine together if all of you are well-prepared and ready for this decision.
Four questions to ask yourself before you build your new home:
1. Do you have the tools you need to work through this process?
Building a house is not something to jump into casually or on a whim. You will need a healthy dose of qualities like:
- Perseverance, patience, and attention to detail.
- Motivation to make a large number of big and small decisions.
- Strong communication and listening skills.
- Good budgeting skills.
- Flexibility, when necessary.
- Organization to keep track of a lot of paperwork.
2. Do you have enough time to devote to the build?
You will need to decide if you have the time to build a house. The average time it takes to build a production house is about 4-6 months to build and for a custom home, it’s around 10-16 months, according to the US Census Bureau in 2018. (Home builders in SC may have a slightly different average.)
Hopefully your building project will sail right through without any hiccups. But it is wise to be prepared for the longer end of the expected wait time in case of unavoidable delays.
Keep in mind that if you are building a custom home you will be very involved in most of the decision-making so that the house can be exactly what you desire it to be. Make sure you have time to devote to the decision-making process up front and to checking in with the builder and the progress of the project on a regular basis until the completion of your dream home.
You may want to speak with your home builder about what time commitment you should expect upfront with the decision making process. And also ask about what level of time commitment you may need to have on a weekly basis once construction begins.
3. Do you have enough bandwidth in your life right now?
You may also want to carefully consider the stress load that your family is carrying or that you expect to occur during the building timeline. Is your marriage or relationship is in a place where you can handle a bit more pressure for a season? Do you believe that you are both on the same page about building a new home? How are you doing with handling conflict and stress?
Also think about your children, if you have any, and how the building process may impact them. It would be ideal to have some plans in mind as to how you will be able to budget your time and attention during the build for the members of the family as well as the building process.
4. Do you have the financial resources?
Building a new home is a significant investment financially for any home buyer. Be sure that you have a realistic budget and a solid financial plan before you commit to the cost to build a new home.
- How is your credit score? Are you going to be able to qualify for a good mortgage loan?
- If you are already feeling very financially strained, it may be wise to get your finances in order first. Then you will be in a great position to think about building a house.
- Unexpected expenses can arise during a building project. It is important to expect to spend about 10-15% more than your planned budget. Give yourself a significant cushion so that you don’t put yourself in a difficult and stressful position. If you don’t have to spend the extra, you’ll just have more in savings or more to use for a down payment.
- Do you have your debt level under control?
- Are you concerned that you or your spouse/partner may realistically lose a job soon?
- Are you going to have extra major expenses soon that you know about? And, if so, do you have a plan for how to cover all of your expected expenses in addition to the new house?
Building a house should be an exciting and positive experience. It is a significant commitment of time, attention, effort, and money. You won’t regret taking the extra time to be sure that you and your family are ready for this big adventure. Then you can enjoy the process and your new dream home together when it is done and the house will be a tremendous blessing rather than a burden.
Ready to build a new custom home around Lexington, SC?
Contact us today and let’s get started!
Our build areas include:
Blythewood, Forest Acres, downtown Columbia, West Columbia, Pinewood, Lexington, Irmo, Ballentine, Chapin, and more.
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