Building a custom home is definitely different than buying a house that’s listed on the real estate market, we all know that. But what’s the difference when it comes to the kinds of professionals you need to represent you and get your dream home made into a reality? We’ve got the answer!
First, you still need a real estate agent
Any time you’re purchasing real estate even if it’s land for a custom home, we recommend hiring an agent. At no cost to you, you’ll have a professional working to find you the best property that’s within your budget and hopefully meets your wishlist. Imagine finding out about opportunities before they even hit the market. You’re leveraging their entire professional network which saves you a ton of time and you don’t have to become an overnight expert on finding land. Win!
Some specifics you should know
Investigate if your land is ready for utilities or not. It’s OK either way depending on your budget and your timeline. Hint, it’s expensive to run new water and electrical lines! You can count on your town or city’s planning and zoning departments to get you accurate information on whether or not your lot has water and sewer. Then, you can contact your county’s power provider (just Google for that info) and determine how close the nearest powerlines are to your location and of course the cost to handle that.
If you need to finance your land purchase, you will need the expertise of a mortgage advisor at this point. They can walk you through the various options available.
Next, you need residential architects
Before you dive in and get started on any custom home project you’ll want the kind of pro’s who can plan, execute, project manage and even help you source the additional kinds of experts you’ll need. That’s the role of an architecture firm. Once you’ve purchased your land and it’s ready for the build, it’s time to start interviewing for this role. This is a team you’ll be working closely with from start to finish so take your time, ask lots of questions and go with your gut! They’ll visit your lot and start working up a scope of work that covers all those wish list items your dream home cannot be without. Let’s face it, you shouldn’t have to budge on that master ensuite bath!
Time to build!
Once you’ve settled on your plans the architect can use those drawings of your home to help you find the right team to get it built. That means they may need an engineer to weigh in on certain structural elements, you for sure need a construction team and you’ll also need a project manager. There’s a lot of moving parts at this point in your custom home build, so allow your architect to help you select the specialists for each job. Every build is nuanced and unique, so you may find your construction team provides the project manager or foreman or sometimes the architect will have a specialist on their team to handle this. Either way, you’ll have every job secured in this step of the process.
As you go, your town or city will send their inspector to check various milestones from foundation to framing and plumbing to electrical. They may not be your favorite person (trust me, they know) but they’re an integral part of your custom home coming to fruition. Oh, quick tip, be friendly with your local inspector, bring them coffee and donuts, it helps you build a solid relationship in a town you plan to live in for quite some time.
Design and finishes
Ah, the fun part! Your architect may be the right team member to handle the nuances of your design but if not, you’ll need an interior designer for this phase. Cozy couches, king-sized beds, and mudroom organization are non-negotiables! A pro for interior design can make your house look amazing.