to build or not to build (that is the question).
This awesome post by my friend Lee could not have come at a better time, as my wife and I are stuck making this decision right now.
We recently moved from sunny Florida to Central Arkansas, which was a huge move, but definitely the right decision as, not only are we closer to family, but Arkansas is absolutely beautiful and we love it.
So, as we continue to get settled and try to get connected into the city and her people we’re faced with making a decision – do we buy a home in one of the historic neighborhoods and renovate to make it our own, or do we invest in some land that is perhaps a little out of the core and design/build our own forever home?
The decision is not easy and will take some time because, like the article points out, there are a multitude of factors that come in to play. For us the biggest factors have to do not so much with the house itself but with the lifestyle we want to have outside of the home, i.e. rural versus urban, dense versus room to roam, etc. As they say in the real estate biz “location, location, location” – it’s the “where” and “how” you want to live that can be the largest factors in home purchasing or building. If you’re a more outdoors kind of family, maybe you want to buy some land and build. If your social calendar is never empty, perhaps you want to be closer to the “thick of it”, as it were, to be part of the urban environment. Perhaps you’re like me and are somewhere in between?
Any which way you look at it, careful consideration and conversation should always precede the biggest decision and investment you’ll ever make in your adult life. Once you decide to start down that path, be sure to contact an architect and discuss your options. You’ll be surprised how the right design professional can help steer the discussion and help clarify your decisions.
I think another major factor for yourself (as it is with my family) is how to finance the project. Construction and lot loans are not the easiest to come by and often require a fair share of money down. I am working with a younger client in Jacksonville, the bank he is talking to wants 25% down on the loan for the property and 20% for the construction loan. They won’t let him pull equity out of the property for a year to fund the construction loan.
When we get there at least we won’t have to pay an architect 5%-15%.
Nick! Wuzup, my brotha!?
Yes, that is another important factor which applies to both scenarios. Especially these days when most of the big time lenders want BOTH perfect credit and a hefty down payment it makes the entire process more headache than it’s worth for some.
Now, I think for myself I will hire an architect to work with on my own home when I’m ready. Someone that I have a relationship with and has a similar style to my own. I have a blog post coming up title “why I don’t ever want to design my own house”. 😐
Ha! If i did a blog post about hiring an architect to do my own house it would be a one liner….I’d hire me, nobody can do it better because I am the best at what I do! Blog post over.
Hope all is well in Arkansas!
Yeah, not me. I know I’m a good designer, but I’m not near disciplined enough to stop myself from taking those “design detours” that all our clients are notorious for. I prefer to be the client when it comes to my own house and leave the nuts and bolts to someone else.
All is well, brother. Loving life out here away from the beach! 🙂
Thanks for the nod…
I’ve designed my own house, in fact I studied the issue as an academic exercise for 15 years before I pulled the trigger. I didn’t set out to design my own house actually until I got to house5. Well, it didn’t get built…to many “design detours.” I had to go on to house6 to get ‘er done. It was actually better than house5. Avoid the detours, you know what to do. Now I’m trying to find time to start up the exercise on house7 and include lessons learned…however, no time to do it.
All the best in your new home.