my 5 cents on building a home

as alec & i were looking into purchasing/building a home i learned A LOT. a lot of things TO do & a lot of things NOT TO do. instead of going into all of the “not’s” i figured i would talk about the “to’s”. as we were in the process of purchasing/building, i found a lot of blog posts about people’s experiences building/purchasing homes & thought they were helpful .. so i figured why not throw out my 5 cents on the matter to add to the already existing advise floating around out there.

1. GET A REALTOR:  but really. we initially were planning on purchasing a new home that was already built, so we hired a realtor to assist with the process. my husband actually knew the lender we went through personally who recommended the realtor, someone else alec knew personally. MAN am i thankful we did that. not only was he sssuuupppppeeerrrr helpful in helping us to find exactly what we wanted .. but he was able to help us communicate with the builder & construction crew about our expectations. an advocate 100%. realtors just know the in’s & out’s of home buying/building & can help you fight for what you need & want, versus having some surprise costs or situations. not to say our building process went 100% without incident, but whenever we did come across something we weren’t happy with or confused about .. mr. realtor came to the rescue!! he also played a big part in helping us understand the loan & mortgage processes – how much we should expect to be paying & things like that, which was also super helpful in helping us stay within our budget while choosing which upgrades we wanted versus what we could live without.

2. GET A FEW QUOTES: each lender you talk to might give you different interest rates as well as how much you qualify for. we first went to our bank to see how much we qualified for through them & then ended up researching out a few more businesses before deciding to go with the lender we went with. i am SO happy we did our homework because not only did we qualify for the amount we wanted .. but we ended up closing with an amazzzzing interest rate. there are also LOTS of different types of mortgages .. so it's good to see what all of your options are & what works best for you before making a definite decision. 

3. RESEARCH YOUR BUILDER: kind of a given .. but it’s always safe to ask around about the builders your are choosing between. we had 3 in mind & were able to narrow it down to the one we went with based off of reviews & opinions we received from our realtor & other individuals who built with them. overall you want to choose someone who meets your standards of a quality home. you also want to choose a builder who gives you a lot of different options as far as interior colors, carpet designs, etc .. as well as choosing a builder who offers you multiple “basic options” versus making everything an upgrade.

4. PICK A PRICE RANGE .. & STICK WITH IT: building a home can be pretty intimidating. but rest assured, whatever price tag you pick out .. is usually pretty dang close to what you end up paying in the end. alec & i decided to pick a home that accommodated all of our needs but that also gave us a little spending room to upgrade a few things that we really wanted to incorporate into our home. don’t let yourself get carried away with upgrading everything. when you walk in to pick out your appliances, colors, etc .. have a pre-written list of things you want to upgrade, choose all of those items & see what the grand total would be, then adjust as needed. alec & i spent a lot of time talking about what we really wanted to upgrade, things we felt would add to the value of our home, versus things we just thought were nice that could easily be changed later in time. i think that really helped us to be able to stay within our budget & to give an affirmative yes or no answer when asked about what we wanted. kind of like learning to say no to drugs at a young age .. if you make up your mind before hand .. you won’t be tempted later haha right?! okay maybe that was a stretch .. but you get my drift.

5. ASK LOTS OF QUESTIONS: this is one area i could have definitely done better with. most all of our kinks came from my assuming the answers versus just asking. if something doesn’t make sense to you or you have questions pop up .. write it down & meet with/contact your builder. seriously .. communication is KEY to make sure everyone is on the same page. we had an issue with the paint color .. the phrases “monotone, two tone & three tone” paint was a little skewed while we were picking out our colors. long story short, we went to walk through the house & noticed everything was one color .. i mean EVERYTHING. the doors, the molding, the trim, the windowsills .. everything one stinking color. had i just asked for a little more information about what all of the “tones” meant .. we probably would have avoided that situation all together. luckily it was an easy fix & our builder was willing to work with us .. [oh! & our realtor!] we were able to get the problem taken care of without too much fuss. no question is stupid when it comes to getting what you want .. & what you pay for.

6. DON’T STRESS: i know, i know, easier said than done. but enjoy the ride!! yes, you will have a hiccup here & there .. yes you will be overwhelmed with decisions & question yourself a billion times on whether you made the right choices in picking out colors, textures, etc .. but ENJOY it!! building [or buying] a home is such an exciting thing!!

7. WALK THROUGH YOUR HOME AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE: i know that sounds crazy .. & it might be a little bit [i'm sure all of the builders were sick of us by the time we were done building] - but i feel that because we were able to make frequent visits during the hours that the construction workers were present, we were given the opportunity to ask lots of questions & to be updated about the progress of our home. we were also able to catch things that had potential to be major setbacks .. but since we caught them early enough, we were able to get them fixed in a timely manner without pushing back our closing date. we also developed relationships with the "head honchos" of the construction & interior of our home so even now, as things pop up we know we are taken care of. 

well that about sums up everything that struck me as important enough to share .. but feel free to ask if you have any questions!! 


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