5 Common Mistakes First-Time Custom Home Buyers Make

September 27, 2018

Making the decision to design and build a custom home is the first step on an exciting journey to your dream home. If the process is new to you, it’s important to partner with an experienced custom home builder who can help you navigate all the details. There’s a time and a place for trial and error and figuring things out on your own – building a custom home isn’t it. Here are a few common mistakes first-time custom home buyers make:

Mistake #1 – Insufficient Budget or Going Over Budget

You may go into the custom home building process with a set budget in mind, but without management, that budget can become inflated over time as you get into design details and material upgrades. Or, you may have set a budget that is too low for your expectations or one that ignores additional costs that come with building a home and owning one.

If you are purchasing land for your custom home, that is a cost you will need to take into account. Things like stormwater management, moving costs, property taxes, homeowners insurance, maintenance fees, and more should all be considered when you are determining a budget for your custom home.

It’s important to go into the process with a realistic budget in mind for what you want in a custom home and then stick to it. Starting out the process with a pre-approval on a construction loan is a great idea. It gives you an idea of what kind of budget you have available for a custom home.

Plus, it lets the custom home builder know you’re serious and helps you move through the new construction process more quickly. A custom home builder with a design/build process can help you navigate the details of new construction, firm up a budget for what you want in a custom home, and then work with you to ensure your project stays within that budget during the build.

Mistake #2 – Settling on any Custom Home Builder

When it comes to making your dream custom home a reality, you don’t want to settle for just any custom home builder. Take the time to research the custom home builders in your area to find the one that is the right fit for you and your project. Nothing ruins your first custom home experience than working with a builder that isn’t right for you or isn’t able to handle your project. As you start your research, determine what to look for in a custom home builder that will be a good fit for you.

Once you know what you want in a partner for your custom home, you can look at online reviews and set up interviews with prospective custom home builders that could be a good fit. This gives you the chance to get a feel for what it would be like to work with them, ask for references, and get a good look at their portfolio. Taking the time to find the right builder for you and one you know you can trust ensures your custom home journey is a positive one and ends with you moving into the home of your dreams.

Mistake #3 – Not Planning for the Future

As you work with your builder to design your dream home, make sure you take some time to plan for the future. The layout you choose for your custom home needs to work for you and your family in the short-term, but also needs to suit your needs long-term.

A custom home that doesn’t work for you 3-5 years from now doesn’t do you much good and you certainly don’t want to end up with a home you feel trapped in after only a few years. Taking stock of your life right now and what it may look like several years from now will help you and your custom home builder design a custom home that will truly feel like home for years to come.

Mistake #4 – Choosing Form Over Function

One of the common mistakes first-time custom home buyers make is choosing form over function. There are a lot of custom home design elements that combine form and function without compromising either. However, it’s easy to get distracted by flashy details and end up compromising on overall functionality.

Whatever you build into your custom home plans should look great and work well for you over the years. The last thing you want is to fall in love with some aesthetic that then becomes a pain point for you in a year or two. The right custom home builder will work with you on all of these details during design to ensure that you get the result you want without sacrificing overall function. This can also help you avoid home buyer’s remorse and ensure you are happy with your investment.

Mistake #5 – Ignoring the Neighborhood

Many custom home builders have their own lots and neighborhoods and some build on any lot, including one you’ve picked out. It’s easy to get distracted by one thing or another about a piece of land and then ignore everything around it. However, when you build a house in an area, the neighborhood you’re in can have a big effect on the day-to-day experience of living in your home.

You want to make sure the neighborhood you’re in enhances your experience and doesn’t detract from it. So, make sure you take some time to consider the neighborhood where you will be living to ensure it’s a good fit for you and your family.

Working with an experienced, reputable custom home builder can help you avoid these common mistakes first-time custom home buyers make. They will help you work through important details and navigate the custom home building process to ensure you end up with your dream home at the end. If you’re ready to make your dream home a reality, contact Custom Home Group at 717-284-4090!