Buying a home is an incredibly personal decision, but there’s an added level of complexity when it’s a new home build. For our family, the decision to build came from a discussion my husband and I had when we were all at home together during quarantine. We were actually quite surprised that we were even considering leaving our current home we loved so much, but not after we came to a couple realizations.
Why Did We Choose a New Home Build?
In the next couple years we’ll have full-fledged teenagers who will be driving. We need a home that will give them space to interact with their friends separately from us, but also a place for them to park their cars. Thinking even further down the road, when they have families of their own, we’ll want a space where everyone can fit comfortably without feeling cramped.
Our Love of Water
During quarantine, beaches and water access points shut down. We love to be outdoors, and we quickly realized how important it was for us to be near the water. Since our children are now in virtual school, we were able to expand our search radius; and while living beachfront was outside of our price range, we actually found the next best thing. We stumbled upon what would become our new home site that backed up to a small lake!
No More Big Projects
This was a hard realization for me, but one that I’ve been avoiding to acknowledge for quite some time. After we finished renovating my friend’s beach condo, I realized my body physically can’t handle the big projects like it used to. Building a new, sturdy home with fully functioning, well….everything….sounds way more desirable than taking on another project house!
Market Was Hot and Rates Were Low
Our current home is in a very desirable location and we knew that selling it would not be an issue. The bigger incentive to sell and build were the interest rates, and since we had no idea how much longer they’d stay so low, the time to act was now. To add icing on the cake, the area we chose with the lake is actually less expensive than our current location; not only did we get a great rate, but we’ll be getting an amazing house for the cost.
The Most Surprising Parts of Building and Designing
Every Builder is Different
We’ve built a home one other time, and we quickly learned that what was an upgrade the first time around is now a standard feature. My advice? Double check the list of standard features from your builder, which will help you determine what you should and can upgrade.
Timing is Everything
The shutdown during quarantine had a ripple effect on nearly everything, including home building. The builder warned us early in the process that the timeline would be determined by the availability of supplies. Thankfully, the builder was willing to work with us since we were up against a hot market. We all knew that the second we listed our home, we would be at the mercy of buyer competition, so we had to be flexible with our schedule. If we listed our home too soon, we could find ourselves in a situation of moving to another location until the home build was complete (something we were trying to avoid with two virtually-educated school kids and three dogs).
Upgrade Options Might Not Be As Available
Even though the builder had a lot of standard features we considered upgrades, we were surprised by the limited options to choose from when we did decided to upgrade. Being a DIYer and having access to unlimited options, this part was challenging. We were not doing a custom build, but we thought that there would be a little bit more to choose from. Instead we opted not to upgrade things like faucets, lighting fixtures, and appliances. Instead we’ll take those on later with something that we’re in love with.
It is crazy to believe that building a home today came from a single conversation, followed by a series of events we could have never imagined at the beginning of 2020. Our perspectives and situational changes definitely had us taking a deeper look into our future and what we ultimately wanted for our life and where we pictured ourselves living. While we love our current home and all the hard work we put into it, we are definitely looking forward to making memories in our new home.
Don’t Go it Alone
Home building may not be for everyone, but if you’re wanting that new home experience from the ground up, check out Homes.com’s “How to Build” section. It’s a one-stop resource that walks you through the process of a new home build so you can be prepared, organized and ready to enjoy your new home.