Anybody ever had a house custom built?

My wife and I found a great lot for a good price in the school district we want to be in.  Up until this point we’ve only ever bought “used” homes but as we think about what remodeling projects we want to do combined with the location we really want to be in the thought of building came up.  Points to consider are:

 

-We both work so we would likely need to use a home building company for a “one stop solution”.

-Credit is great and we will have a good chunk for upfront/money down

- We are not in a giant hurry.. a year long timeline is no problem


What can we expect through this process? A few of the templates we’ve seen on builders sites have the right amount of square footage and are in our budget but we have a different layout in mind.  Are they going to push hard for us to use one of their templates?  Is the cost much higher for a custom layout even if the square footage is the same as their template?  
 

Also, none of the templates include a basement.  How much extra does that typically cost?

 

 

 

Rent where you live. Bank will make 3.5-6% for 30 years on the loan. You wont make that up when you sell.

Yes I have, a ground-up build of a Victorian house.  My only piece of advice, figure out your true budget, exactly how much you can spend on the rebuild.  Now plan on spending 75% of that.  Your budget should be 3/4... No more!  

 

So when you actually do the build, you'll only go over your full budget by 20% instead of 50%

Stronghold -

Yes I have, a ground-up build of a Victorian house.  My only piece of advice, figure out your true budget, exactly how much you can spend on the rebuild.  Now plan on spending 75% of that.  Your budget should be 3/4... No more!  


 


So when you actually do the build, you'll only go over your full budget by 20% instead of 50%

Great advice.  Your budget will change, problems arise etc.  


I rebuilt a home on my land several years ago. What started as a remodel nearly turned into a ground up due to the original house being in worse shape than first thought.   I couldn’t use any of the existing septic system, added expense.  Gutted the entire house because it was cheaper than re wiring the whole thing to code. 


I hired the builders, electrician, plumber.  Any work those guys subcontracted was on them so I only wrote checks to those three guys.  Any expenses outside of the budget had to be explained to the bank before they released the money for that scope of the work. 


The fun but exhausting part was all of the trips to the hardware store.  I bought and delivered all fashion items like lights, vanities, tubs and toilets. Etc.   lots of hours inside Home Depot Lowe’s and scouring deals on the Internet.  


 

No, but it was due to local fees. I've done a few "down to the studs" remodels & a second story addition though. 

 

Since you're looking at new construction & some good points have already been listed, I'll just add these:

 

1) Soil/land testing. Extra dirtwork can run upwards of 250k if you have compaction or drainage issues.

2) Be positive on utilities connection fees & city/county new construction permit fees. Last town I was in had fees between 50-100k for permits & utility hookup. Current city is 150k for new construction permit. Fuckers will let you build up to 6 SFR's under that fee but if it's only one residence, it's still 150k. I bought a fixer in a nice neighborhood, gutted it & added a 2nd story addition. Permits for that were just under 2k.         

I did. Budget is huge obviously. Our price cane with money built in for appliances, granite, light fixtures studs like that, but it was waaay low. Easy to go over on those items. 

I did. Worked with an architect to design a house to fit our land. My best advice is to get a top notch general contractor to oversee the whole building.

Stronghold -

Yes I have, a ground-up build of a Victorian house.  My only piece of advice, figure out your true budget, exactly how much you can spend on the rebuild.  Now plan on spending 75% of that.  Your budget should be 3/4... No more!  


 


So when you actually do the build, you'll only go over your full budget by 20% instead of 50%

This man knows.   Personally I wouldn't,  it's like custom motorcycles,  you never get the money out you put in. 

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Yeah if your ‘drop dead’ number is 10, tell the  builder 8 and the mrs. 7 

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I plan on my next home being new construction, maybe custom but maybe just a template I like. I just really like my current location so it may be a while.