If you’ve been thinking about building your next home, but feel overwhelmed by the process, The Home Builders Association of Southwest Missouri can help you get started. Before you get to the fun part of picking counters, paint colors, and tile, you need to get realistic about what you want and what you can afford. To get started, ask yourself the following questions.
First, what is your budget? What can you afford? The questions that follow below will help you figure out your budget, because the size of the home and the materials you use will affect the cost. Talk with your lender and if you don’t have one, visit with local lenders to see what types of loans are available to you.
Next, you’ll want to ask yourself some questions about what you want to build. Do you have land or will you need to purchase a lot? Do you have a neighborhood in mind or an area of town? Some builders have lots that you can build on or they might sell to you.
Do you know how many square feet you want? Do you want to build a custom home or a pre-planned layout? If custom, do you have a layout or materials in mind? What is on your must-have list? You might want to visit some open houses to get ideas of what you like and don’t like.
Don’t let the questions overwhelm you. The build will go smoother if you have some idea of the home you want before you start the process.
Once you have a basic idea of what you want, you’ll want to meet or visit with a handful of builders. Talk with each one about your ideas and what you would like to build. You’ll want a builder who understands your vision for your home. And, if you don’t like your builder when you start, you really won’t like them by the time your house is finished.
Ask your builder about a warranty, references, and always get your agreement in writing. All of the HBA SWMO Builder members are licensed and insured; don’t be afraid to ask your builder if they carry insurance.
Also with your builder, you’ll want to agree on a payment method: lump-sum or cost-plus. Ask if your builder works with an interior designer. Make sure to work out a timeline that is both realistic and beneficial for both you and your builder.
Area builders can have a specialty like custom craftsman style or they can specialize in renovations to mid-century modern homes, so it’s important to do your homework. Calling your local HBA office is a great starting point. We’ll ask you some of the questions above and recommend local builders who might match your needs.
Most important to the process: know that it will take time, but it will be worth it to build the home you really want. We have amazing local builders in our community who can turn your ideas into a livable reality.