If you’re thinking about building a home, you probably have a few questions about the process. As Arizona’s premier home builders, we get a ton of questions every day about home construction, contracting, renovations, and the like. So today, we wanted to address six questions to ask before building a home.
Q1: What Are My Wants and Needs?
The first questions to ask before building a home should be “What are my wants and needs?” We’re talking kitchen islands, walk-in showers, a master suite — the works. What most prospective builders don’t know is that they should separate their wants from their needs in their wish list.
This can be as simple as putting a star next to specific items on your list or highlighting lines. Why is this a necessity? Sometimes it isn’t, but in many scenarios, home construction can cost more than initially planned, or you may not have the budget to include everything to begin with. Separating your wants from your needs helps you decide what you immediately can have and what you can save for later down the road.
It also helps you plan for the future! For example, say you turned down having a pool because you needed a bigger garage immediately. You can still plan your landscaping around the future addition of a pool while your architect is designing the home.
Q2: How Long Do I Plan on Living in My New Home?
How long you’ll be in this home should directly correlate to your investment and customization of it.
If you plan on spending the rest of your life in this home, then go nuts. Make it your own, from foundation to roofing.
If this will be the home your children grow up in, then you’ll probably spend about 15-20 years in it. That’s enough time to make this home your own without worrying too much about reselling it. You’ll likely have to update it when you’re ready to sell anyway. So make it your own, but don’t go too crazy with permanent design features.
If you think you’ll sell the home within 10 years, then it may be prudent to take your personality out of some of the design choices. Make it more versatile, modern, and neutral (or make it easy to change to be so). This will help sell it for a maximum return.
Q3: Do I Have a Location in Mind?
If you want to build a home, then you likely have a location in mind. That perfect piece of land, within the right neighborhood and school zone — that’s the dream. However, owning the land and knowing what you can build on it are two different things.
Before you buy, have the land surveyed. Make sure you can do what you want to do and build where you want to build. A soil test may be required as well.
Q4: What’s My Criteria For Finding A Builder?
Not all home builders are the same. All of them have different missions, principals, partners, and styles. You will have to do your research to know each builders’ strengths and limitations before you hire them. Most importantly, don’t hire them based on cost alone.
Your criteria should be multifaceted. You should consider your budget, their experience, how well you work with them, if you trust them, and what their past clients say about them. We have an entire blog dedicated to questions you should ask a home builder, so read more about that here.
Q5: Should I Hire Local?
That is up to you, though we always say that it’s better to support a local business. However, if you feel that a bigger name will do a better job, that decision is yours to make.
Before you do decide, remember that no one knows the area better than local businesses. We know the weather, the traffic, the demographics, the crime, the neighborhoods, and the amenities. You likely won’t get that same level of knowledge from anywhere else.
A local builder also has local connections, which boosts the local economy. For instance, we at the BC Team have an in-house team of plumbers and builders, as well as numerous local partners to ensure your home build is a success. That also means we have connections to locally sourced material, which can save you money.
Q6: Do You Have Existing Plans?
If you have existing house plans, then we can skip that phase entirely! This will save you time when you’re ready to build. If you don’t, you can choose a pre-made plan, or design your own.
If you don’t have plans, don’t worry! We have pre-made house plans for you to choose from! If you don’t like those plans, we can recommend local architects to help you get started.
And that’s it! Those are six questions to ask before building a home. We get these a lot, so we hope this blog helps you!