When it comes to home ownership, it’s pretty safe to say that your first home won’t necessarily be your dream home; however, if you make the decision to buy reasonably and live within your means, it can be a great stepping stone towards eventually having your ideal home custom built.
Still, building the home of your dreams from the ground up takes a lot of foresight and discipline, especially in regards to understanding that there is always the potential for unexpected expenses and budget adjustments. With this in mind, saving money in advance is imperative because having that cushion will not only protect you from life’s unanticipated changes, but will also give you the financial security to cover all of your design whims before breaking ground.
Therefore, to begin the process, it’s wise to creating a custom budget so you can save accordingly.
1. CALCULATE WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Those first rudimentary calculations are important because they will help you see where you’re going. If you intend to finance the project with a loan, keep in mind that a down payment will be required, so keep your eye on this number as you’re saving.
2. DON’T MIX YOUR FUNDS: If you’re certain you want to go with a custom build and have settled upon a basic budget, open a savings account specifically for this project. While it’s important to have money set aside for general savings, you’ll want to make sure that you keep your housing money separate so you can easily see if you’re staying on track. If you’re looking to make regular deposits to your housing fund, maintain accountability by setting up an automatic deposit which will go into the account at regular intervals.
3. CUT THE FAT: Sure, some people build houses with no expenses spared, but these instances are rare; therefore, it’s important to remember that building a custom home may require a bit of sacrifice. To help things along, take some time to cut the fat in your household budget and place the extra money into your build.
4. CONSIDER DOWNSIZING: If you already feel overwhelmed by your current living situation, consider moving into something more affordable and placing the difference into your dream home budget. While this may seem like a lot of extra effort, try to remember that these living arrangements are only temporary and will get you into your completed home that much faster.
5. TAKE A SECOND JOB: Yes, we all covet our free time, but you may want to consider sacrificing a bit of your rest and leisure in favor of adding the extra income to your housing budget. Sure, it may seem like a lot, but keeping your eye on the prize can help make things a lot more bearable.
6. RESEARCH LAND COSTS: Any real estate agent will tell you that location is key. Therefore, make a point to research land costs in the different areas you’d like to build and if you want to put more money towards the house itself, opt to build in an area with lower land prices.
7. MAKE SMART DESIGN CHOICES: If you’re looking to save money, it’s important to stay disciplined when it comes to the design process. Instead of focusing on upgraded finishes, consider placing more money towards the size and layout of the home since upgrading certain features post build is generally more cost effective than deciding to add more space down the road.
When it comes to building a home from the ground up, it’s clear that sacrifice and self-restraint often go hand-in-hand. While it’s important to start the process on a secure financial footing, maintaining a bit of prudence during the process will really help protect your investment—and overall financial health—in the future.
If you’re interested in learning more or are considering a custom build, please feel free to contact me for advice. Embarking upon a this process can be confusing, so it’s important to have the assistance of a competent and experienced builder to make sure you’re taken care of.
Mirko Attolini | CRES Builders Corp. | www.CRESBuilders.com | 770-983-4698