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5 things to know when building a house

Posted: 1:55 PM, Mar 05, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-12 13:29:12-05

Building a house is something many people dream of, but it can also be overwhelming if you don’t know what to expect. However, if you’ve done your homework, you'll find you experience much less stress, in addition to feeling like you have more control over the result of your build.

Here are five essential things to know before you build a home that will help you navigate the process and end up with the home you’ve always dreamed of building.

1. Know your budget

One of the most common mistakes with new homebuyers and builders happens when they overextend their budgets. If you want to have a great home but also have money to pay all your bills, it’s a good idea to create a budget for the build beforehand. The best way to do this is through talking with an experienced mortgage lender whom you trust. As you go through the process of pre-qualification and build planning, you’ll be able to get a handle on your finances.

Along with being aware of the costs involved, it’s important to know what assets you have and what debts you owe. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to solidify your financial knowledge to make the best choices going forward. After getting pre-approved for a loan, you’ll have what you need to build your dream home. Working with a reputable bank is the best way to get what you need — both information and financial backing.

2. Get to know the builder

If you’re starting from square one, it’s always a good idea to check the basic online sources, such as customer reviews, the Better Business Bureau, the Metropolitan Builders Association, etc. Of course, if you have a reputable lender helping you, the bank should have an established relationship the local builders you’re considering. If you’re fortunate, you should be able to take a tour of some of the homes that have already been built by builders you’re considering. Luckily, using a lender you trust will make this whole process much easier.

If you're thinking of starting a project this summer, you'll have a good chance to get to know builders by attending the Southeastern Wisconsin Parade of Homes going on August 11 through Sept. 3, 2018. You can visit The Equitable Bank’s booth at the Delafield location to receive a gift.




3. Build for resale

It’s easy to get caught up in choosing everything you want while forgetting the desires of future buyers. Homes are a great investment, in part, because of the return you'll get when it comes time to sell. But you won’t get a very good return if you make your home so customized that no one else will want it. As you build and make decisions about customization, consider what things you want that also fit into the common homebuyer's tastes. Of course, you want to build the house you’ve always wanted, but if you can also keep in mind the possibility of selling someday, it will serve you (and your pocketbook) best.

If you’re not sure what traits your home should have to have a higher resale value, talk to experts in the field. Real estate agents, your trusted lender and other mortgage experts have a good idea of what makes a home sell well. You can also consult popular home renovation experts such as HGTV to see what’s in style and what types of homes are no longer in vogue.

4. Think green

Talk with your builder about green building and energy-efficiency. Spending a little more upfront can save you money in the end, as well as each month on your utility bills. The U.S. Department of Energy has created a Home Efficiency Score to help homeowners determine how efficient their home is. Better yet, if you’re currently building or looking to build in the near future, you can do certain things to incorporate the latest energy-efficient designs, and even potentially get some tax breaks while you’re at it.

What’s good for the environment is good for everyone, so spend some time researching ways to create a home that is green with energy-efficient savings.

5. Separate needs and wants

Knowing the difference between what you need and what you want is one of the hardest parts about buying and especially building a home. While you want to get as much as you can for your new house, even seemingly small costs will add up quickly. Make a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves. Do this with your lending officer and builder to help you keep the list of must-haves within your budget. As soon as you know exactly what you want and what you can afford, you’ll feel confident in going forward with the build.

There’s a lot to know and discover going forward as you build a home, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. For more information about home buying, building and remodeling or for today’s lowest mortgage rates, visit The Equitable Bank today.