August 05, 2019 at 12:37pm | Phil Aitken
With each passing year, more U.S. residents are flocking to southernmost states, each one looking to get the most bang for the buck in the housing market.  That being said, the search for new-build construction is becoming more of an option for house hunters on the move.  

Many tough and expensive lessons abound when building a new house and there are five things one must consider before embarking on such an adventure:

1. - Length of Time

Processes as simple as breaking ground can take a very long time to launch.  Each step hinges on the one which must occur beforehand.  The floor plans must first be approved, which is contingent upon approval from an architectural review committee.  This process alone can take months and delay completion of the builder's final contract.  The process of obtaining a construction loan can also be quite lengthy and nothing gets started until the finances are approved.  

2. Expense

Preparing to build can be expensive in and of itself.  For example, fees for topographical maps, staking out the property, architectural review and fees charged by the development's road maintenance fund as well as various permits can amount to thousands of dollars before ground is broken, not to mention finances expended to purchase the land.  There is also the prospect of property taxes and association fees which must be paid even before the home is erected.  Furthermore, such expenses need to be calculated so as to determine whether to include them in the building loan.  In addition, weather has an uncanny ability of affecting the building process and draining funds.  

3. The Unknown

It is often true that we don't know what we need before it is needed.  For example, renters Joel and Hailey experienced many power outages in a rental property prior to deciding to build.  They now know that their new-construction home needs to include a backup generator.  In addition, they would prefer a wood-burning fireplace as opposed to a gas fireplace to help heat in cooler months in the event of a power outage.  

Prospective home buyers need to anticipate every scenario when deciding whether to build a home. Consider all things from solar panels to energy efficient products to be installed within the home.  Don't wait until a crisis occurs.  Do the research and make the best decisions beforehand in order to avoid regret and heartache down the road.

4. Price Points

Be sure to get the specific breakdowns of various costs from your builder.  For example, don't pay for an entire slab of granite if you can obtain a remnant for a fraction of the cost.  It is easy to nickel and dime yourself if you don't get involved with every financial aspect of the building process.  Determine to perform your own landscaping and ask home improvement stores for discounts on floor model sinks and cabinets in order to cut costs.  Appliance fees can also be reduced by asking vendors for kitchen packages.
Related: "10 Questions for Buyers"

5. Cost Evaluation

Ask as many questions as possible regarding overall costs and ways to save.  Don't dive in until you know exactly what you are getting into and inquire about items such as ground leveling, drilling for septic, what the anticipated cost is for digging and pouring the foundation and whether you could use stucco instead of stone.  Perhaps you can save money by pouring a straight driveway rather than one which curves.  

Building can be a great way to go. However, it must be approached as most other worthwhile adventures in life: with a great deal of research and self-education.



For more information, contact The Aitken Home Team today!


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