For the indecisive Homeowner: Homebuilding Decision Checklist
Planning and building a home is one of the most stressful and exhilarating experiences many people will go through. It is time-consuming and often will come after YEARS of thinking, planning, researching and dreaming. When you’re finally getting close to pulling the trigger and finally igniting the process, you want to be as informed and prepared as possible, right?
So we have put together a shortlist of the basics for you to keep in mind and mentally (or physically) check-off as you inch closer to building or renovating your home. Let’s dive in!
Ahhh money money money. Money makes the world go round, it’s true, isn’t it? Getting crystal clear on how much you have and are willing to spend on your home build is a crucial step. You know what’s crazy is that budgeting is something that ALL of us experience as adults, and yet, there is no mandatory class in our schooling to guide as in the ways of effective budgeting. For many of us, buying and building a house is the BIGGEST purchase we will make in our entire lives. So you want to have your wits about you and be sure not to overcommit.
Expenses to build into your budget:
- Land cost
- Land rates and local fees
- Design and trade fees
- Physical home construction materials
- Landscaping costs
- Interior decorating
- PLUS an “UH-OH” budget. Costs can run higher than you plan or expect. If you have an “uh-oh” reserve waiting for you, things are going to be less stressful. And if you don’t use it, sweet!
Make sure to shop around for your designers, dream team and mortgage lenders. You want to find the right fit for YOU.
Ask yourself what your priorities are and also, get ready for a bit of a reality check. The thing with opting to have a custom-built home, compared to the ‘copy-paste’ homes, is that they are unique! And take longer to create because of this. Additionally, material import/exports have been delayed, which could potentially affect the availability of materials for your house. As a whole, this is an issue that has affected the New Zealand building industry due to the coronavirus pandemic. Remember, good things take time. You will also want to consider if you have any pressing time restraints, perhaps you are expecting a baby? Or your elderly mother is planning on moving in with you? Or maybe your lease is ending, and you want to avoid the double-move?
When people consider their home’s ideal location, the primary consideration we often have is proximity to work and family. And our lifestyle as a whole, do you want to avoid the big smoke? Be close to good schools? But don’t forget about the “little” things. Like the direction and location the sun hits your property. The proximity of your neighbours to your would-be house. The gradient of the land itself. It’s the little things that make ALL the difference.
Design feature decisions
Making decisions about what elements you want to include in your home will help you establish a budget, begin carving out your ideas, and create the best life for future you. So, let us ask you this,
- Would you love to pay less for your power bill each month?
- Would you like to take less time off work to take sick children to the Dr?
- Would you like to know that your home is going to be warm, dry and comfortable when you get home?
Then you need to implement passive energy features into your home. Features such as double-glazing, air-tight, properly-insulated, and hydronic floor heating, solar energy, and rain-water harvesting will make a HUGE impact on both your wellbeing and your wallet. Building your home right the first time is truly the easiest and best way to go. We all want a healthy home for our family, right?
Teamwork really does make the dreamwork. Deciding on who you will work with and entrust to build your future home is crucial. You want to find knowledgeable people in their field, of course. Suppose you’re looking for a unique style or focusing on specific elements, such as passive design, scout out a person who specialises in that area. Find someone that treats you like a human, not just a client. After all, homes are about people. Once you start building your dream team, ask the people whose opinion you trust for referrals in various industries. There are going to be a LOT of people involved in this. But if you start with trust, and a solid foundation, it will be a lot easier to build from there.
And guess what, you are about to make 70,000 more decisions regarding building your home!! So remember that concept, Trust. Trust your gut, trust your experts, trust the process.