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Things to do Before Building a Home - A Step by Step Guide

Written by: Keith Thornton

Building a house is the ultimate dream for many people. The process, however, can be a nightmare if you don’t know where to begin. 

Do you start by finding a builder? Do you find an empty lot first? Should you have your house plan in mind going into it? These are the questions we are going to answer for you today.

Step 1- Go to the bank and figure out your budget

People often start talking to builders and picking out plans without knowing the budget they are going to be working with. Going to the bank first will save you a lot of time in the process. Based on your building budget, you can choose a lot that’s affordable for you. 

It will also tell you which plans will be realistic in your budget and help you eliminate plans that are too expensive to build. Ask your bank about the ins and outs of a home construction loan and how that differs from buying a home with a traditional home loan.


Step 2 - Find a lot that works for you

Real estate is all about location. Choosing a lot that is in your desired location is very important. Look for features of your lot, like school district, tax rate, building codes, neighborhood covenants, crime rate, etc. 

Purchasing the lot at this step is also helpful, as it will help you choose a foundation type when picking a plan. This step should always come before finding a builder, since some lots come attached to a builder already. That means that if you purchase the lot, you are required to use that builder. If that isn’t your preferred builder, you can keep the lot search going.


Step 3 - Find the perfect house plan for your lot

This step is the most important step in the process. Don’t settle for the old plans a particular builder has in their library. This is the home you're going to live in, it should be the perfect home for you and your family. 

Our site makes this easier for potential buyers. Use our Advanced Designer to change the exterior finishes of a plan. You will also find many 360 tours that will let you see the interior finishes of a plan. We also offer a free cost-to-build estimator on all of our plan pages to make sure the plan will fit in your budget.

Pick a plan you can see yourself growing old in, then find someone to build it for you. If a home builder won’t build the home the way you want, find a new builder. 


Step 4 - Find a builder that can deliver

At this point you have the financing, lot, and plans all laid out. Now it’s time to find an excellent general contractor to build your dream home. To help in your process of choosing a builder, get your plans bid out by multiple builders. With all of the information in front of you, it will help make your decision much easier. A good builder can guide you through the process of obtaining permits and customizing your plan for any changes the lot requires. If you have no idea where to start looking for builders, the real estate agent you purchased the lot through is a great resource.

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