When building a custom home in Pittsburgh — or anywhere else, for that matter — there are no hard and fast rules that apply across the board. The very nature of a custom home means it is different from others, so the building process often varies from home to home.
With that being said, there are certain steps you can follow to ensure your home building process is a smooth one:
1. Determine Your Budget – Having a custom home built may be the biggest financial decision you ever make. So before you start talking to a builder or looking at lots, you need to determine your budget.
Start by adding up your monthly expenditures. Leave housing out of the equation for now — just focus on food, shopping, lifestyle, car payments, insurance, investments, etc. Compare these figures to your monthly income to see how much of a house payment you might realistically afford.
If you currently own a home, this calculation will be much easier. You simply have to ask yourself, “How much more could I comfortably pay each month for a larger mortgage?”
2. Determine Your Location – When choosing a location for your new home, start with the obvious questions. Is it close to work, school and shopping? Are there major roadways, railroads or other noise-producers nearby? What are the taxes like? How are the school systems? (Quality of schools is important whether or not you have children, because it affects your property values.)
Once you’ve answered the obvious questions, move on to the less-obvious ones: What kind of development is planned for the foreseeable future? Will that beautiful meadow across the street be a parking lot in two years? As of this writing, there’s a lot of development and expansion happening in Pittsburgh so be sure you get a long-range picture of your preferred location.
3. Decide On a Builder – Choosing your custom homebuilder is a major step. Once you’ve established that a builder has a good reputation and a genuine commitment to your happiness, you need to ask the big question: “Does this builder create the kind of home I can see myself in? Does it feel right to me?” Take your time answering these questions and making your ultimate decision.
4. Choose Your Lot – Before you can start looking at floor plans for your new dream home, you need to choose a lot. Floor plans are often dependent on the lot you choose, so the lot usually has to be decided on first.
The reasons for this are sometimes obvious and other times not. Obviously, a longer home will require a longer lot. But there may be other considerations at work. For example, maybe the developer wants to stagger one-story homes and two-story homes throughout the community for overall appeal.
These considerations will vary from builder to builder. For now, just realize that the floor plan will usually depend on the lot you choose. So remember to ask plenty of questions about this along the way.
5. Pick a Floor Plan – One of the great things about a custom home is that it’s, well … custom. Sometimes a custom home builder will offer basic floor plans that you can modify as you wish. Other times, the floor plans are created “from scratch” in coordination with an architect. Either way, you have an opportunity to build a home around your present and future needs.
This step of the process will involve many questions. How much space do you need? How many rooms? One story or two? Any special features, like a 3-car garage? This can often be the most exciting part of the home building process, because it involves turning your vision into a reality.
6. Determine Options – Determine what options or upgrades are desired and fit into the budget. Review the budget after options have been added and evaluate the totals. Make any changes.
7. Contract – You are now ready to review your contract and specifications and get any of your questions answered so you are comfortable signing for your new home.
8. Have Fun! – Please Visit the best in Pittsburgh home builders for more info!
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