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Building a new home can be an expensive undertaking. You want a home that is both serviceable and aesthetically pleasing–that’s not too much to ask, right? Make sure your project stays in the black by starting with a realistic budget and being disciplined in sticking to it. The home-building experience can be an enjoyable one if you’re not constantly stressed over cost. Work with a home builder who knows how to make the most of your investment, keeping more money in your pocket while still delivering a home you love.
Take time to research new construction in your area. Visit model homes and open houses, peruse builder websites, talk to friends about the features they value in their homes, keep a notebook or file with your notes and ideas. Use the information acquired to evaluate priorities for your new home and to decide what features are must-haves and which are nice-but-not-absolutely-necessary ones. Starting with realistic expectations keeps frustration at bay.
Finding the right builder is, perhaps, the most important decision you’ll make. Choose a builder who is both realistic about costs and willing to work within your budget. An experienced builder will help maximize your investment by helping you identify areas in which it makes sense to cut back, and those worthy of a splurge. The right builder also has systems in place to keep the process efficient and cost-effective.
Chances are, you can’t have it all. When managing your budget, focus on the features that matter most to your lifestyle and will add to the value of the home. What can’t you live without and what can you live with, at least for a while?
Look for areas of compromise. If high-end appliances are a priority, for example, consider less expensive cabinets to make up the difference. Make sure to keep track of upgrade expenses so that the cost can be offset somewhere else.
Many municipalities offer tax credits or rebates on energy-efficient appliances or eco-friendly building materials. New furnaces and air-conditioners often come with this type of savings. Even something as minor as a programmable thermostat can qualify.
Don’t spend unnecessary time, energy, or money on things that–in the long run–may be of little consequence. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the many decisions and selections involved in building a home. Fretting too much about getting everything “just right” saps the enjoyment out of the experience, and you may end up spending more on items or features you end up not caring that much about.