Imagine being able to see, feel and smell your dream home. You can visualize its features and design and the entirety of how it would look like. Most of all, you’re very eager to make it yours. But after months of searching for your dream home, you may still end up empty handed and disappointed because you weren’t able to find what you’re looking for on the market. 

What’s the most obvious reason for building a custom home?

By constructing a custom home, you’ll give yourself everything you wanted, the way you wanted it. It’s the ultimate goal for some to purchase a lot and build their own custom home. Although the undertaking can be more arduous, as delays can be common and frustrating, custom home building can certainly be beneficial, when done according to your own terms and budget. 

Building Your Custom Home

If you’re a home buyer who’s interested in undertaking a home building project, there are many aspects to consider. Here are the essential items you’ll need in order to complete your dream home build. 

1. Budget

Building your own dream home can entail a lot more time, effort and attention to detail. On the other hand, it can also help you save money. One of the first questions to ponder about is “How much will home building cost?” On average, a self-built home’s about 30% cheaper than a turnkey home.

The actual cost depends on many things, but there are 3 main things you’ll need to consider in terms of your home budget: cost of land, building costs and indirect costs (e.g. permits, certificates, taxes, insurance). To afford all these, you can get a loan to build your home such as a construction mortgage. All costs can be precisely estimated and analysed by a mortgage broker, who’ll surely help you get approved for a loan. 

2. Place/Land

Before designing your dream home, it’s important to determine where you’ll build it. The location of the lot, its topography and features don’t only influence the design itself, but most importantly, your budget. Do you have a beautiful view from your future bedroom? Is the lot you purchased sloping on an angle? 

When looking for a lot, always consider its size, slope, direction it faces, surroundings, neighbourhood and access to amenities. 

3. Planning

If you haven’t started planning, list all your “non-negotiables for your dream home. This’ll help you paint a clearer vision of your ideas, so that your architect can also be guided as they help bring your ideas to life. Request for a cost estimate of the list of materials you’ll need for the project and compare it against your home budget. You may need to be flexible on some items until every detail’s in place.

Once you’ve finalized your costs, you can then cement your finances by getting pre-approved for a mortgage

4. Timeframe

You’ll most certainly want your dream home to be finished as soon as possible. You already may be fantasizing about spending the holidays in your new home or enjoying the summer together with your loved ones. In either case, you may have to consider adjusting your timeframe based on your lifestyle goals. 

Be aware of any potential setbacks. For example, if you want to build your home during the rainy or snowy season, carefully plan your start and end dates, while taking the weather into consideration. 

5. Dream Team

It takes a dream team to build a custom dream home. Therefore, you’ll need to collaborate with a team of professionals. When choosing who to work with, bear in mind that you’ll be working closely with these people. There’ll be challenges, stresses and inadequacy or miscommunication, all of which can easily delay your dream home. Effective communication is what keeps a project running smoothly and ensures all parties work together in meeting and understanding your wants, needs and goals. 

6. Build

At this point, the design’s been finalized, your mortgage has been secured and permits are approved. Contractors are also hard at work during this point in time. While you can always do your best to make a foolproof plan, always be prepared for setbacks and complications. After all, home building’s a challenging project. 

As your dream home’s being constructed, check in with your contractor and builder on a regular basis for status updates. The more communication and information shared, the smoother the project. Schedule and cost adjustments are very common and thus, contingency plans are very important to consider. 

But wait, don’t forget to document the process. This is a major accomplishment that should be preserved and shared, as your dream team would most certainly want to include your home in their respective portfolios and as a keepsake for  your memories.

7. Hand-over

At this point, your contractor’s busy making the final touches and cleaning up your dream home. Now is the time to have the final walk-through with them and address any last minute touch-ups. On the date of possession, the keys will be handed over to you and you’ll finally be ready to move into your custom built dream home!

Start it Right

Building your own custom home is a project that’s exciting, memorable and demanding. It’s also an empowering way to take control during your home buying journey, since the housing market and home prices are external factors that may be beyond your control. The first step is to determine your finances. Speak with a licensed mortgage broker to help get you started on making your custom dream home a reality. 

Based just outside the Greater Toronto Area, Daisy Raouph’s a mortgage broker and financial security advisor equipped with over 30 years of experience in mortgages and financial services who can help you to start planning. Consult Daisy today.