There are a few steps to consider when making the decision to build your own home.
Choose a Builder
There are a wide variety of home builders in Southwest Florida, so do your homework and check them out just like you are researching the best car to buy. Talk to other people, check out websites, check with the Better Business Bureau, etc.
Arrange a meeting to sit down and speak with a potential builder face to face. What is your first impression? Do you get along? Can they answer all of your questions? Do they ask about your needs in a home? Do they return your calls in a timely fashion? When you choose a home builder, you should consider it a long term partnership and make sure you are comfortable with one another.
Review their floorplans and ask if you see something you would like changed…Sometimes it can be done, sometimes it can’t (either way, they should explain their answer).
Choose a Bank
Do you have a relationship with a local bank? Are you happy with your where you currently do your personal banking? If so, start by asking if they offer construction loans. Not all banks, offer these types of loans, however it is better to start with someplace you know. If you need help finding a bank, your builder can provide you with a few names that they have worked with that specialize in construction loans. Part of their job as your builder is to help you navigate this process. Once you have figured out what you qualify for in a mortgage (remember the cost of your lot plus the price of your new home must fall within the mortgage amount from your lender), you can begin the next step…
Choose an area where you would like to live
A few things to consider before deciding where to build your home and making an offer follow:
1. Does your potential building lot have wetlands or endangered species designations? (Only your builder understands the potential issues such as wetlands, corner lots, easements, electrical power, zoning, so DO NOT sign any contract until you get approval from your builder!)
2. Does your new area/neighborhood have a Home Owner’s Association or “HOA”? What are the fees?
3. Does your potential lot have power available at a reasonable price? Does your lot have central sewer or will you need a septic system? Does your lot have city water or will you require a water system/well?
4. Is your lot in a flood zone?
5. In which school district/zone is your lot?
6. Consider any costs from future governmental utility or road expansion projects. These projects can be things such as a central sewer system, a central water system, adding sidewalks, or widening roadways. Any of these can add thousands of dollars to the cost of your home
7. Does the area you’re looking at offer any culture, activities or entertainment opportunities that interest you?