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What to Consider When Building Your First Home

Posted 03/20/2020

Building a home is a little different from buying one. Even if you’re a veteran of moves and second homes, there are some other things to consider when you’re starting with a completely blank slate.

Home planning

The Basics of Building a Home


Before you do anything else, have a conversation with yourself and with anyone else you plan to involve in this process about your budget. This has the potential to influence everything, from where your lot is located to the shape of your roof to how much you can spend on kitchen details. 

Home Location

Early on, there are many similarities between buying an already-built home and building your own. Just like in the more typical home-buying situations, one of the biggest factors to consider is the location. A “good location” is subjective, so make sure that the open lot is in a place that checks all of your boxes. If you’re looking at lots in an established community, read through the community bylaws and speak with the current residents if you can. For individual lots, visit the site and see if it meets your needs.

Start Planning the Build (Before the Contractor)

Before you get in touch with a home builder, you should do some serious planning on your own. Think about what kind of home this is going to be; is it a beach house for summer vacations or is this going to be your family’s primary residence? Is your family growing or do you host guests often? Questions like these will influence the size, storage needs, and finishing details of the home.

Interior Details and Working with a Contractor

Inside the Home

After you have your basics down, like how many rooms and bathrooms you want, it’s time to get more granular. Think about where you want the most natural light and what you want the layout of the house to be. Make a list of the home features that you cannot live without, then start looking for a contractor.

Working with a Contractor

House Building

Whether this home is going to be your new primary residence or it’s your fifth rental house, choosing a contractor to bring your plans to life is still a big decision. The most important factor is trust, but you will also need to balance cost estimates, timelines, and general style.

After you have found the company you want to work with, many other decisions become more collaborative. How you allocate the remainder of your budget to the kitchen area or bathrooms may be dependent on the numbers your contractor gives you.

Other Tips for Building a Home

Although the focus of building a home is on the construction of the house, don’t neglect plans for the landscape. It’s often easier to implement sweeping changes to the land while the yard is already in disarray for plumbing. 

Keep in mind that other expenses tend to crop up in the home building process. Some builders advise saving around 10% of your budget for unexpected purchases. These aren’t necessarily large purchases like a new roof, but extra paint and trips to the hardware store add up over time. Highmark Builders has a list of little things to consider when building a new home.

If you’re in the phase of considering places to build, head over to Seabrook Island Real Estate’s page on available home sites. We currently have more than 100 lots around the island for sale, and many of them have aerial imagery. For more information, contact a Seabrook real estate agent.

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