Step-by-Step​ Guide to Your Custom-Built Home

July 24, 2019 | Starr Tingle

Is a custom-built home in your future?  Confused about what your first step should be?  I will, step-by-step, tell you how to get a custom-built home so you will spend your time and dollars most efficiently. 

Get Your Financial House in Order

Get approved for your fixed-rate mortgage.  I’ve written a helpful blog post that dives deep into this step.  You can read it here.

Get approved for your construction loan.  I’ve also written a helpful blog post that lays out this step in detail.  You can read it here.

Find the Correct People to Work With

Find and commit to the builder you want to use. 

Be open an honest with your builder about your budget.  I explain why this is important here.  

You and your builder will decide how much of your budget will be for the lot,  the site improvements, and the home.

Defining What You Want In Your Custom-Built Home

Together you and your builder will create a building plan and specifications based on your agreed-upon budget.  

When writing the specs, the builder is going to ask you a lot of questions.  For example:  do you want a metal roof or asphalt shingle?  Having these conversations, with a builder you trust, are crucial.

Find and secure the lot.

Wrapping Up the Loose Ends

Take your documents to your construction loan lender and get your appraisal going.  

Close on your construction loan.

Now, your custom-built home can begin!

I have to be completely honest and tell you that this rarely happens.  More often than not, I get a call from a very excited potential client, who already has a set of house plans that they likely just picked up from the architect or draftsman they hired to draw their dream.  They’ve probably spent months and a few thousand dollars working on and dreaming over these plans.  

No kidding, I just got a set of plans emailed to me just yesterday from a young lady who called me before sending them; y’all I could hear the excitement in her voice!  She has so much emotion wrapped up in these house plans!  She is planning Christmas morning with her future babes in this home.  She is planning slow and sweet Sunday brunches with her parents.  I mean this home has become an extension of her.  

And so I ask her the two questions I always ask:

 Have you been preapproved for a mortgage?

Do you know what your budget is?

It’s like I can hear the brakes squeal in her mind and she sounds just like she has a deer in the headlights look on her face.  Finally, a very slowly pronounced, “Nnnnooooo” comes out.  

Dang.  And there I am, holding the phone to my ear, my eyes squinched tight shut, trying not to be too disappointed.  Why am I disappointed?  Because, first, I’m busy and I don’t want to waste time.  Second, I’m disappointed, because I know I’m facing the prospect of crushing HER dreams.  Which is the last thing I want to do.