Building a custom home from the ground up is an amazing experience, and you may have been looking forward to beginning this project for many years. Now that you are ready to reach out to custom home builders to begin the process, you may have high expectations for what your finished project will look like. However, you need to take exceptional preliminary steps to prepare for the process if you want to get the ball rolling properly. With the help from Newstart Homes, one of Queensland’s leading new home builders offering Custom Designs, New Home Designs and Dual Living Designs, this article gathers some of the top questions to ask a builder and to ask yourself up-front.
What Is Your Budget?
Before you consider questions to ask a custom home builder, you must determine what your budget is for the entire project. Remember that your budget needs to include a cost for the architectural design, the general contractor’s fee and more. One of the best ways to determine what your budget could be is to get prequalified for financing.
However, after you learn what the maximum loan amount is that you can afford, you need to ensure that you can afford the monthly mortgage payment for that loan amount. Many homebuyers realize that the maximum mortgage payment possible is not comfortable for their budget. Remember that your budget should also take into account property taxes, insurance, repairs and maintenance costs, HOA dues and other related expenses.
What Are Your Needs and Wants for the Home?
Another question to ask yourself before contacting home builders relates to your needs and wants for the home. It may be wise to research the market’s existing listings to get a better deal for home design ideas and features that you may need or want to have. Researching the market can also tell you if your expectations are suitable for the budget that you have available to work with. You should physically write down your list of needs and wants so that you can provide your list to your builder.
What Experience Do Home Builders Have Relevant to Your Design Plans?
One of the top questions to ask a builder when building a custom home relates to experience. Ask the building contractor if he or she has experience building homes of the size and quality that you have in mind. Consider asking for a list of references as well as completed projects in the area that you can drive by. When you contact references, inquire about the builder’s ability to remain on time and on budget. Also, ensure that the builder is pleasant to work with and communicative. You should also take the time to verify that the builder is properly licensed and insured according to the requirements in your area.
Did You Choose an Excellent Lot?
Another important question to ask the builder relates to your selection of the lot. If you have no previous experience building custom homes, you may not realize that your land selection can affect building costs and time dramatically. For example, you may not have utilities run to the land, and you may need to wait for this service to be provided. In addition, your lot may be heavily sloped, and this can affect the size of your foundation. The lot may also have dense vegetation, which would increase the excavation timeline and cost. If possible, ask the builder about your lot selection before you purchase the lot rather than afterwards.
What Specific Services Are Provided?
The services offered by custom home builders are uniform in many areas, but some builders offer specialized services. For example, some have a comprehensive website that lets you log in to see the efforts made to your property in real-time. Some also have three-dimensional representations of designs so that you can virtually walk through the building before construction begins. These are only a few of the many optional services that not every builder currently offers as a normal service. If these or other services are important to you, inquire about them when selecting a builder.
Which Design Plans or Concepts Will Cost the Most Money?
While you want to make your custom home everything that you are dreaming that it could be, you also have a limited budget that you are working within. Some of your design elements or concepts may be inflating your budget dramatically. Ask the builder to review your plans and ideas with cost savings in mind. The builder may be able to point out design plans that could be revised to help you save money and time.
Can the Builder Recommend Any Alternative Design Ideas?
Custom home builders have incredible experience helping buyers achieve an amazing finished result. They may have suggestions that could help you to make your dream home even more perfect for you and your family to live in. While you should be open to any ideas that your builder has, you may even want to openly solicit the builder’s feedback so that you can get the plan perfected before construction begins.
Before you select the builder that you want to hire, you can and should research the options carefully and define your goals and plans. When searching for custom home builders and after you make your selection, you should ask your top builders several important questions to maximize their benefit to you. While building a custom home can seem daunting, you can see that these initial questions can help you to get started on the right foot.