Buying a home is no small purchase, which is why it’s common to explore multiple options before determining which house will best suit your needs. When researching, you may consider the possibility of building a brand new home.
New homes can be exciting, enticing, and a dream for many. Creating a custom dwelling perfectly for you sounds like the best way to get everything you want from your house purchase.
However, many more considerations go into building a new home than you might imagine. These considerations can range from determining how filing home insurance claims works to making sure you can cover extra build expenses.
So what else do you need to know before building your home? Let’s find out.
Building a New Home is a Big Commitment
Many people may immediately think of the financial aspects of building a new house. However, the commitment to your project goes far beyond the price tag.
The building process takes a lot of time and energy. Even though you are paying people to do the physical labor for you, there will still be a lot of responsibility on your end to ensure that everything is running smoothly. Additionally, building a new home may require making arrangements with local authorities for building code compliance. For example, if you are building a house or renovating an old house with a shared wall with a neighbor, you are required to make an arrangement with a party wall surveyor and issue a partywall notice to avoid future disputes with your neighbors.
After going through the time-consuming process of building code requirements and designing your perfect home — from incorporating smart home trends to to creating the perfect walk-in closet — you will likely want to visit the construction site frequently to check the progress and ensure that everything is being done correctly.
If your new home is far away from your current residence, these frequent visits can take up a lot of your time. You must prepare yourself for the time commitment a new build can consume.
Your Build Likely Won’t go According to Plan
There are many reasons your dream home may stray from your original plans. It’s crucial to be prepared for things to change, sometimes without warning.
You may be quoted a price when you begin your build, only to run into money-sucking problems along the way. The build cost may go up during construction, and if you have an escalation clause in your contract, your builder can charge more based on price increases.
You may also want to change aspects of your home if you choose from a builder’s pre-designed options. The quoted price will always be for their base model, so be prepared for higher building costs if you decide to make changes or upgrades.
Timelines can also stray from their original plan during construction. Inclement weather, emergencies, and various other factors can put your build back weeks at a time. There is no guarantee your structure will be completed when you were initially quoted.
Before beginning the building process, unexpected costs and delays are something to prepare for. Though they may be frustrating, they are common when constructing a new home.
You May Have to Pay for More Than Just Your Build
If you’ve budgeted perfectly for the cost of your build, you may be disappointed to learn the cost of construction isn’t the only high price tag that comes with a brand new home.
Depending on where you plan to place your house, you may have to shell out a large sum of money to prepare your land. Driveways, wells or city water, sewer hookups, gas, electric, and septic systems are essential for a home to be functional.
Your builders likely will not start building until your land is properly prepared. These preparations can run up a high cost depending on your ground and where you wish your house to sit on the property.
It’s also important to keep in mind that not all land is immediately fit to build. Some areas may need to be leveled or cleared before the building can begin. These costs might not be cheap, so setting aside enough funding for them is crucial.
Extra Expenses of a New Build
Once your house is complete, you’ll likely want to jump right into moving your belongings and getting settled. However, you should prepare for possible extra expenses once your new home is technically complete.
While your house may be shiny and new, it is also likely bare. Minor features that are almost always present in previously built homes don’t exist in a new build.
Landscaping that gives your home serious curb appeal will be non-existent in a new build. You will have to choose to pay a professional to landscape or purchase the plants and do it yourself.
Other outdoor features such as decks, patios, and porches may also not be covered under your build. If you are hoping for a nice area to enjoy your yard, you may need to look into the extra expense of having them poured or installed.
Your builder may not include kitchen appliances, washing machines, and dryers in your new home. So before jumping into cooking a delicious meal in your kitchen or doing a load of laundry in your spacious new laundry room, you may have to purchase new appliances.
Unless you live out of the eye of prying neighbors, you likely want some privacy while you enjoy your new house. However, window coverings are typically not included in a new build. If you’re going to keep unwelcome glances at bay, you will need to invest in remote control window blinds or curtains for your windows.
Perhaps some of the most overlooked extra expenses of a new home are the accessories. Items like towel rods and toilet paper holders may not be included in your home’s construction, leaving you to purchase these items independently.
While some newly constructed homes may have these items, many do not. Asking your builder ahead of time what will be included can help you budget what you need to purchase after your house is completed.
Important Facts to Know Before Building a New Home
A new house is the dream of many people. Planning a home to be exactly what you envision can sound like a much better option than settling for an existing house that lacks what you’re looking for.
However, a long list of information is essential to know and understand before jumping into the building process. New construction is a time commitment, and it’s necessary to know you can keep up with your build as it progresses. Your timeline may not go according to plan either, leaving with an extended time commitment.
Financial aspects such as increased construction prices, land preparation costs, and small details that may need to be purchased after the build is complete should also be considered — as well as new build home insurance, to have the proper coverage during the entire construction process. It’s crucial to prepare enough money ahead of time to cover these extra expenses.
Once you have gathered all the information you need, researched, and prepared, you can begin the process of building your dream home.
Alexandra Arcand writes and researches for the home insurance comparison site, Clearsurance.com. She personally understands the pros and cons of purchasing a new build, as she considered buying one before ultimately choosing a pre-existing house.