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Everything You Need to Know When Building a Home Instead of Buying

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In many developing areas of the United States, it’s common to buy a house that hasn’t been built yet. Homebuyers might not see an existing house that fits their criteria or maybe they’ve fallen in love with a particular plot of land. But how does the building process work?

If you’re considering building a home rather than buying one that’s already built, here are 6 things to keep in mind.

1. Figure out your payment options.

Before you even think about building a house, you have to know what you can afford to pay for it. This will depend on many factors:

  • Can you secure a construction loan?
  • What amount can you scrape together for a down payment?
  • How’s your credit score?
  • Are there any hidden costs to account for?

You might need to manage your expectations when you see how much your dream house will cost.

2. Find a place to build.

Are you planning on buying a plot of land somewhere or opting into a developing subdivision? Either way, you’ll have to find a location for your new home. Consider the amenities you’d like to be close to, what traffic will be like to and from work, and the school district ratings if you have kids.

3. Get to know the builder.

This step varies a little depending on whether the area you have in mind already has a contracted builder or if you’ll need to find one on your own but, in both cases, you should do your research.

Look at the builder’s reputation and check out their past work. What are their previous clients saying? If they have any history of questionable work, you might want to look elsewhere.

4. Keep resale in mind.

If you eat takeout all the time, you might not mind a cramped, tiny kitchen but homes with smaller kitchens don’t have the same resale value as those with a spacious cooking area.

When planning your home, keep resale value in the back of your mind. While you should personalize your home to suit your family’s needs, you also need to ensure you’ll be able to sell it for (hopefully) more than you paid someday.

5. Consult a professional (or several!).

Whether it’s designing or building, there are pros out there who dedicate their lives to creating beautiful homes. Unless you’re a professional yourself, you’ll likely save a lot of time, money, and stress by consulting an outside party about your new construction. Depending on what you need, this could include a designer, a realtor, an architect, a general contractor, or other specialists.

6. Communication is key.

At every stage of the process, it’s important to communicate with all parties involved—your spouse, your builders, and anyone else who’s contributing to your finished home. If you decide to bite your tongue about something small early on in the process (say, the windows looking too small or the hardwood seeming a shade too dark), it could lead to more problems down the line.

Be clear about your expectations and when something doesn’t seem right, speak up. It could be just a misunderstanding, but it could also save you the headache of living in a house that you don’t like!


Whether you’re looking for some land or want to purchase a soon-to-be-built home in a new neighborhood, give the experienced team of Realtors® at Thomas Group a call. We’re ready to listen to your needs and help connect you with the home of your dreams.


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