Rule #1 of buying a custom home is to research the cost of building a new home from scratch in the locations you’re eyeing and then make a budget.
Because too many people fall into the trap of setting a budget and then grumbling every time the actual cost doesn’t fit into their tiny mindset.
Ever watch HGTV? On the show you’ll constantly see husbands back themselves into a corner early on and then watch their budget quickly become unraveled as the show progresses because they didn’t have a realistic price expectation.
Fact of Life: Custom Homes are Unique So They Cost More
If you’re diving head first into designing your own brand new home, don’t get tight with your wallet. Instead, expect to spend more money because custom architecture costs a premium.
Furthermore, the last thing you want is for someone to offer you a luxury dream home within your budget and then not be able to deliver. Let’s deal with the reality which is you can’t expect to get luxury living at a discount price.
You don’t want designers that make those type of promises and you don’t want the ensuing headaches and trust us, they always come when you try to squeeze more juice than there is in the orange.
Research and Realize
Instead, first research your location and property values and then get general quotes from five different builders so you have a very good idea how much you can expect to pay before ever asking for a quote.
Tip: Ask for a ballpark quote based on a set of 5-8 specific “must-haves” of yours. Tell them you know it’s not binding but you’re trying to understand how much you can expect to pay.
For example, let’s say you want to build an upscale mini mansion in a luxury Dallas neighborhood. You’d do yourself a huge favor by researching property values in Highland Park, University Park, and Preston Hollow just to get a ballpark of the upper tier pricing.
You should also drive around to developments near the areas you’re targeting and see what new homes are going for. Go to Bent Tree, Northwood , and West Plano to further research.
This type of first-hand information really helps cement your expectations about how much you can expect to spend.
After you’ve done a few days worth of research – if you get started on a Friday, it’ll only take two fast and furious weekends to get it done – then you’re ready to set a tentative budget.
Flex Options Curb Initial Budgets But Provide Flexibility Later
However, if you’re incorporating multiple decadent features and nuances, then give yourself an appropriate $50,000 or $100,000 flex option to grow with the accompanying costs.
A common mistake new home buyers make is they don’t account for labor costs – only material costs. Many times husbands want to pinch pennies when it comes to buying a home but that approach never works out well.
A reputable home builder that builds with quality and care is going to charge a premium for their services – and that’s ok!
That peace of mind is worth paying up for. If you don’t believe me, just read about the barbershop of horrors online of couples that tried to go cheap and ended up waiting three or more years for their home to be finished not to mention the lawsuits. Click here to learn more at the National Association of Home Builders website.
Quick Wrap Up
The moral of the story: It’s worth it to pay a premium and get the job done right the first time.
And because you researched ahead of time, you’ll know that you’re not getting taken to the cleaners. Trust us, we know nobody wants to get ripped off and overpay by $100,000 but at the same time you have to balance that with not getting shortchanged with inexpensive building materials, incomplete construction, or just plain not getting the job finished.
Overestimate ahead of time, calculate a healthy budget with a flex trust in the event you want a lot of customized extras, make a point to get plenty of quotes, and get out there and talk to people where you want to live.
These tips are the best insurance to paying a fair price for your luxury North Texas home.
Human nature is to underestimate. Think of the last time you told someone you’d be somewhere, you probably gave yourself absolutely no wiggle room for leaving on time, traffic, having to stop and get gas, etc. We plan things as if they’ll go smoothly and 80% of the time, there are bumps in the road that prohibit that.
This phenomena extends to everywhere including house construction. That’s why it’s much better to give yourself breathing room.
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