If you research purchase decisions online before you buy, you’re not alone. According to recent studies, nearly 90 percent of people pre-research products online before heading to the store to purchase them. But did you know many people do the same thing when it comes to custom homes? In fact, nearly half of us start looking at properties online first, according to the NAR.
One of the first steps in building a custom home is doing research and setting goals. But what exactly should you think about? Here are six areas to consider:
1. The Cost
First, make sure you can afford a custom home. As a general rule of thumb, you should budget twice as much for a custom home as you would a traditional production home. Then there are land costs to consider as well. Do some research for custom home prices and make sure you’re comfortable with the price ranges you’re seeing.
2. The Location
You also want to decide on a general location for your custom home. If you’re in the Houston area, for example, you have neighborhoods like Heights, Memorial West and Spring Valley as options. Do some research on the local schools, amenities, commute time and other location-specific elements of your custom home before you start the process.
3. The Future
Your lifestyle and future lifestyle are important factors to consider as well. Do you plan on expanding your family in the future? Will one of your children go off to college soon? If you’re getting older or have elderly family members, do you want stairs in the house? Do you spend lots of time in the kitchen? Think about your future as you start the custom home process.
4. The Process
It’s also helpful to be aware of the process itself before you start. We’ve covered this on our blog before, so be sure you know about setting goals, choosing the builder, designing the home, the construction phase and other steps involved.
5. The Builder
You definitely want to have a builder in mind and do proper research before choosing the right custom home builder. Custom homes are often only as good as the builder, so compare portfolios, read testimonials, review style options and ask questions once you narrow down your choices.
6. The Timeline
Finally, make sure you have a good idea about how the timeline works for custom homes. They’re not like traditional homes—you have to be flexible and prepare to wait if there are any complications or additions. Having realistic expectations for the timeline can help you avoid frustration.
If you have any other questions about the custom home process, contact us today.