Welcome back. Hope your weekend went well. Aside from some painfully stifling humidity here in the Northeast and some massive storms, it was nice to get together with some family (and to take shelter when the storms hit !)
Today, we will be completing the final installment on our series on the Home-building process, and we will be hearing from some people who have gone through the process of building their own home. This will provide some valuable insight and tips from people who have already gone through the process, from start to finish.
We spoke with a couple of homeowners who built their own home. One of the people that we spoke with and who built her own home in Washington State is K.S.Brooks, who is also an author, and we also spoke with Richard Keycon, who built his own home in East Central Alabama.
Brooks suggests getting to know all of the "local building permit requirements before you buy your parcel and start your project.", as counties usually have different requirements, and that it is important to know the Building Department Inspectors and Coordinators.
Keycon adds that once you identify the area, you need to find a land agent, and drive around to see every part of the property. They were looking for a very specific parcel, with about "20-30 acres, not many neighbors, a creek, maybe a pond or pond site, and a good building site." Once they settled on the property and purchased it, they asked their land agent and some locals to recommend a builder. Once they selected the builder, they agreed on the building fee, and moved forward from that point.
The entire process involves a lot of work, as Brooks states, and she says that you should, "Be prepared to be at the house every day either working on or managing the project." and to "take responsibility" for it. She also said to never use the response, "whatever you think is best" when the builder ask you to make choices.
Both Brooks and Keycon both agree that you need to do your research and comparison shop well in advance, since some items require lead-time for delivery, i.e appliances, counter tops, plumbing fixtures, lighting fixtures, windows, doors, etc.
As far as environmental impact, Brooks summarizes it as, "Lean towards green, but don't be over-zealous.", and gives us this specific example, "We explored installing a Geo-thermal heating/cooling system for our SIP (structural insulated panel) home. Because SIPs are air tight and incredibly efficient, and with the low cost of hydro-powered electricity in Eastern Washington, it would have taken us 20 years to reap a return-on-investment for Geo-thermal. Instead, we went with a high-efficiency wood burning fireplace, with standard HVAC as a back-up. The result: our 1700 square foot 100% electrically-run house is generating electric bills under $60 per month."
In closing, Brooks states that it is vital to make lists for everything (parcel, vendors, materials, etc.), and Keycon agrees and says that planning is key and that when searching for a builder, to remember that, "All builders are not created equal".
We definitely hope that this series has been helpful to you in one or many ways. Remember that there are many builders who build homes and will then Rent them with an Option to Buy (Rent to Own Homes), so it requires a little bit of homework on your end to find these builders.
If you have any question, we area always available to respond to them. We will be back to our regular Blog posts on Wednesday, since we have a lot of interesting information and topics to cover.
Have a Great Week, and Happy Rent-to-Owning !