8 Things You Need to Know When Building Your Dream Home
Building a home is not something that most do often. Whether it’s your dream home or an in between home, you want to make it just right for you. The life-changing event of purchasing and building a new home can be both exciting and overwhelming for many. With home buyer horror stories of houses plagued with mold, leaky roofs or worse, bad contractors, poor materials and not knowing much about the area purchasing, it’s no wonder some home buyers get cold feet before and in the process. Prospective home buyers can save themselves from headaches by working with their builder and a licensed realtor on these useful construction do’s and don’ts of building a home.
A home is a place your feet may leave, but your heart will always be.
- First and foremost, I want to advise you to hire a licensed Realtor to help you through the process. Especially if this is your first time buying or building a home. The builder has an agent and you should have an agent too. A licensed Realtor can be your advocate and mediator regarding the process. It’s better to be prepared than not prepared at all. The real estate laws change and having protection on your side and someone who is looking out for you, like a licensed Realtor, will make the process go much smoother.
- Make certain you know the history of the area you are seeking to build. Is it in a flood zone? What is the history of the builder? Did they secure all licensing requirements to build? Who is their vendor for materials? What are your options for building? What are the property values in the area? Ask your Realtor do comps in the area. What have the houses been selling for just in case you decide to sell. Is there a home warranty offered? Do you get to upgrade to materials of your choice? Are there any child predators in the surrounding area? These are just a few of the things you need to be mindful of when building. A licensed Realtor will be able to help you with most.
- Be mindful of mold. Especially in rainy areas and during raining seasons. With the ozone layers changing daily, things happen. Prevent mold before it starts. Mold is something that can be costly as well as a health risk if not prevented in advance. Ask your builder to use vapor retarders in addition to insulation in your home’s walls. Smart vapor retarders like Certain Teed’s and MemBrain allow wall cavities to “breathe” so excess moisture within the wall can escape. This helps prevent the growth of mold and mildew. Other vapor retarders can trap moisture in your walls, creating an environment that supports mold growth. A home with mold is not only hard to sell, but hard to insure as well.
- Know what where important fixtures and equipment are located and what is used. with your builder to ensure that no mechanical equipment, duct work or plumbing is built into exterior walls, vented attics or vented crawlspaces. You want quick and easy access in case there is a leak or issue with something else. Be mindful of where shut off valves are and where builder is placing them.
- Take control of your home’s temperature and acoustics by ensuring your building contractor insulates with the correct R-value for your region. A poorly insulated home can be costly. The variation in temperature changes can be horrible for insulation and utility bills. When I built my home 15 years ago, I had no idea that 15 years later I would be complaining about insulation. There was not enough put in my ceiling and during cold, brisk days, it almost feels like you are outside. Adding extra insulation in areas where there are windows and openings via light fixtures will save you money in the long run with utilities.
- Don’t skimp or be cheap with windows. Typically builders will give you the basic of what they put in any and every home. Take the time to go to their vendor to see what options are available. Windows are often the largest single source of heat loss and heat gain in a home. Select vinyl windows with low-E glass and a high-performance glazing system that reduces heat transmission through the glass. The right windows can also help with the fading of furniture and flooring not occurring.
- The top of the house, the roof, is what sustains the elements inside. Know what’s under your roof. For instance, waterproofing shingle underlayments go under asphalt roof shingles to further protect your home’s interior from winter leaks caused by ice dams and wind-driven rain. This is very important because like windows, all roofing types are not created equal and builders will often put the most cost effective material for them to complete the job. Again, go to the vendor of your builder to learn more about the options. In ten years of being in my new home, we had to have our roof replaced. It wasn’t cheap either.
- Last, but not least, prior to closing, make certain you do a final walk through of your new home to make certain everything you paid for and asked to be done is done. Most builders offer a home warranty for the first 5 years. I always recommend to my clients that in those five years, they monitor the house and make certain to stay on top of things as they arise. The house will shift over the years, so natural wear and tear is normal.
Building your own home is about adding a piece of you in every piece of the construction.
When building your dream home, you want to encounter as few problems after you walk away from the closing table. As I mentioned, most builders offer a home warranty. Make certain to inquire about that prior to building and especially upon closing. Just because it is newly built doesn’t mean you won’t have problems. Learn more about real estate by connecting with me at Triad Realty Group on Instagram.
Mortgage payments are based off credit score. So the higher your score, the better interest rate you will have as well as a lower mortgage. Here are some credit building tips to help you secure the best rate with an affordable payment.
I’m Nichelle, a licensed Realtor in the state of Missouri. I’ve been in the business of real estate for 27 years. There is never a good time or bad time to buy a house unless you don’t plan. I hope these tips helped you. If so, please share. Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog for more tips on real estate, business and life.
Blessing and Peace,