We are Building Our Dream House on a Budget. Here’s the how and why.
Let’s start out with our “why.” Why did we choose to build our next home instead of just buying an already built home? Well… There are a few reasons why.
First, we want to design our new home with all of our family’s needs in mind. We have looked for already built homes that fit our needs and we can never seem to find one that suits us perfectly.
Second, we want this home to be our ultimate dream home. We want a say in every part of this home from the design to the building. This home will hopefully be a reflection of our style and needs.
Building a new home is a monumental task for us as it would be for anyone that chooses to build. It takes sooooooo much planning and attention to detail. I am not going to fool you here. This is not for the faint of heart. But it can be done!
So, let me show you how we are Building Our Dream House on a Budget…
Find a Piece of Land
When we decided to do this, we thought that this would be the easiest part. We were definitely not correct. Land, and real estate in general, is a hot commodity here in New England. Lots would go up for sale and be sold within hours before we could even go to look at them.
But we persevered. We kept looking. We actually looked for about a year before we found the perfect spot.
Decide on what things are important before you start looking to narrow your search. For us, the most important thing was an area with a good school system. Secondly, we really love the mountains and wanted a mountain view. We also wanted a quiet and substantially sized lot. And lastly, since waterfront property was totally out of our price range, we choose a lot that also has beach rights to a lake within a 5-minute walk down the road.
Choose a Floorplan Wisely
This is one of the most important steps when it comes to staying within your budget. You need to do your research. Browse Pinterest to see what design styles you like.
Then you have some options when it comes to purchasing your floor plan. You can hire an architect that will design and draw whatever plans your heart desires. This is the most expensive route to take. An architect can charge you upwards of 10K to design your plan.
Some builders are a one-stop-shop and will do everything for you including designing your home and floor plan. However, I do not recommend doing this because then you are ultimately tied to that builder and can not have multiple builders bid on your project for the best price.
The other option is to purchase your floorplan from a reputable online company that has 1000s of floorplans to choose from. We went with a design from The House Designers and we couldn’t be happier with it. They were super easy to work with and can make many modifications to their plans if you need them.
Some tips to save money when choosing a plan:
- The more simple a layout the easier it is to build and therefore will save you money. The more simple rectangle floorplan will be the most cost-effective.
- Going up is usually less expensive than going out. By this I mean, adding a second floor of living space instead of increasing the foundation size for a bigger first floor will save you money.
- Try to keep the roofline as simple as possible. The more rooflines you have the more it will cost.
- Consider an open floorplan if possible. Fewer walls mean fewer materials needed.
Make a Wish List
If money was no object then our house would be a mansion. But that’s not realistic for us like most people. We are definitely trying to stay within our budget. So we had to come up with a wish list of things that we absolutely could not live without in our new home.
Some of the things on our wish list included a large open kitchen and living room with cathedral ceilings and lots of windows to enjoy the mountain view. We both work from home so we needed an office space that was sufficient for both of our needs and that was out of the hustle and bustle of the main living area.
When you are on a budget, it is important to prioritize what is important to you and what is not so important. So make a list of the things you ABSOLUTELY need and the things you can live without.
I’m going to be totally transparent here. Building a custom home will probably be one of the most stressful things you will do in your life. But if you do your research and plan accordingly it will be so rewarding in the end. You will get your dream home that perfectly fits you and your family!
This is the start of our Building Our Dream House on a Budget. Keep following along as we go!
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