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Buying a Custom Home

Want to build your own custom home? Here are some good tips for you!

If you're considering buying a new home in Orange County, California, but you don't want a generic house in a "one size fits all" subdivision, you might consider a custom home and get in touch with a builder for custom home. It might not be cheaper - in fact it almost certainly won't be - but you'll be guaranteed to get exactly what you want.

Since the downturn in the housing market, more and more custom homes have been built. The disadvantage is that it can take a lot of time - just the design process can take anywhere from 3-9 months, and then you can expect that construction will take another 4-6. You're going to have a ton of decisions to make, and by the time you're finally ready to move in, you may feel as though you're due for a very long rest on a tropical island, or at the very least a solid week of sleep, but you'll have a one-of-a-kind home that you can enjoy for the rest of your life. So why not get started?

Location

First, you need to buy a piece of land. You could choose a site in a housing development, with the advantage of being already set up for water, sewage, electricity, phone, etc. You'll have to check out the building code restrictions and the zoning first, though, to make sure that you can build the custom home you want before you commit to a purchase.

Plans

You could hire an architect to draw up a set of plans, or you could buy a set of plans for your custom home in Orange County, California. There are several websites that offer custom house plans starting at around $600 and going all the way up to $3,000. You can search plans by square footage, number of bathrooms and bedrooms, and various other features. Some websites will allow customization at an additional charge. Again, you'll have to make sure that your design is compliant with local building codes, but buying generic plans is considerably less expensive than working with an architect.

On a Budget?

Think about your priorities. You can always scale down some of the more expensive features - kitchens and baths are typically the most costly elements in any home, so think long and hard before you commit to granite countertops, ceramic flooring, expensive cabinetry, and so on for your custom home. Also, keep in mind that the more angles you have in your home, the more costly it's going to be. A basic, rectangular home is the least costly to build. Also, consider lots that won't require a whole lot of grading and that will be easy to landscape.

GET A BUILDING PERMIT AND HIRE A CUSTOM HOME BUILDER

Once you've got your lot picked out and your plans finalized, you'll need a building permit. The requirements can vary according to state, county and city. You may also need to hire a land surveyor or a soil engineer to help you with compliance as to runoff or drainage requirements.

Now you'll have to hire a builder for custom home or a general contractor.

Secure Financing

Construction loans are typically available as fixed-rate loans, over terms of 30 or 15 years. You could choose a short-term loan, and then once construction is complete, convert it to a conventional mortgage. Some banks offer roll-over loans that automatically convert, so you can avoid additional fees and closing costs.

Your lender will require your builder for custom home to provide a resume, references (banking and credit), a materials list, cost breakdown, and a construction contract. This lays out each party's responsibilities along with the schedule and conditions for payment.

The lender will also require general liability and construction insurance. Your custom home builder will also have to have workers compensation insurance. If he's subcontracting work, any subcontractors will also have to have coverage.

Almost Done!

Once you have the financing and the insurance in place, you're nearly there. Now all you have to do is watch your new custom home take shape, and get ready to move in.