Building your Dream Home

Imagine it! you’ve spent countless hours dreaming of, then working towards, building your dream home. You see every wall, every tile, every brick perfectly laid! You are working towards your goal, and you are steadfast in your journey to achieve the American Dream. And for you, this dream is not only a personal one — It is one that will make a generational impact for years to come. For you, this soon to be realized goal is one you envisioned long before you had capacity to reach it.

So how do you do move from a dream to the reality of building your dream home? Here are key areas to consider:

  • How many rooms do you want? Sun room? Media room? Detached garage? Pool? Deck? State of the art kitchen? Nail down the details. Also nail down location and lot size. And your budget. You don’t want to fall in love with a design only to find that it is incompatible with your chosen location, or that your budget will not allow it.
  • Design it– Either with an architect who shares your vision, or on your own, using software to generate a plan based on your specifics. CNN Money recommends www.eplans.com, www.dreamhomesource.com, and www.punchsoftware.com. The House Plan Shop is an additional option.
  • Find the right builder — for you. Consider companies that reflect your own design aesthetic, and consider feedback from past clients. View builders’ completed projects and judge them for yourself. Interview a few favorites and ask lots of questions — specifically, can they meet your timeline; and how much experience do they have in building specific features of your design. If possible, talk to former clients as well as subcontractors about the builders you are considering. A builder with a bad reputation might have a difficult time obtaining materials and subcontracting for services, and this could affect your schedule of completion and possibly your financing.
  • Finance it! From CafeMom.com: Financing a constructed home in most cases requires a construction-to-permanent loan. Central to the process is the builder’s contract. This will state the total cost of the build, and present a timeline (draw schedule) outlining at what stages of the project the builder gets paid. The bank will perform inspections throughout the process, until the home is completed. Once you obtain your certificate of occupancy, you will then be able close on your permanent mortgage.
  • Pack your patience — and a sense of humor. It is very likely that the road to your dream home will have a few bumps. Maintaining the long view while remaining flexible and attending to challenges as they arise, will help you to enjoy the journey to your new home!

Resources to help you on your way

National Associationc of Home Builders (NAHB) Trade association representing builders and remodelers, and other housing related professionals including sales, marketing, housing finance, and manufacturing.

American Institute of Building Design Association representing and certifying home designers. You can use this website to find a designer and access information and resources related to your home building project.

DIY Home Building A rich collection of tools and resources designed to help you maintain hands-on control of your home building project.

HomeBuildingAnswers Website provides a nontechnical audience with clear, comprehensive information and resources for every step of the home building process.

HousePlans.Com Website provides almost 40,000 plans for individuals to purchase