Many families and investors are choosing to design what they want and Building A Dream Home instead of choosing a Real Estate listing in our mountain town communities. They love the idea and ready to walk into a fresh new build with all the latest features and design trends. New home construction permits are at an all-time high in Colorado’s mountain town communities, especially in Breckenridge and Silverthorne for this very reason.
Time Management & Communication Planning
The biggest thing to remember is that this process will take time. Always keep in mind that if someone tells you it will take x amount of days be prepared for the time frame to get delayed for a variety of reasons (weather, permits, shipping, labor are a few of the reasons). If it gets done earlier than anticipated you’ll be happy and not disappointed that your expectations were not met. This is a process that certain times things are just beyond your control. If you get in a mindset that the completion date could be longer than first communicated then you will be better prepared for this journey.
To keep you better prepared you should set up a good communication schedule with all involved. Communicate effectively and ask a lot of detailed questions with goals and dates, don’t assume anything. Set up in advance a communication schedule that works for each tradesman, contractor, architect etc. That way everybody knows about updates on what is happening and what the game plan is to resolve any issues at hand.
Know your numbers. Talk with an architect and or building contractor. As an example of one item that can take you off course is if your plans need to be approved by an HOA and your community planning department, you must consider that time in the process especially if they come back to you and tell you a revision in the design is required. To start, the land is the number one most important part of your new construction process, and your HOA and governing docs will dictate how your project will proceed.
Where is the lot? How much sun exposure are you wanting? What kind of a setting is important to you? I want sun all day, while others want to be tucked in the woods. Is the lot upsloping, downsloping or is it relatively flat to build? That will determine pricing in the amount of land work you have to do and the home you will eventually have designed. If you are buying raw land with no home design attached to that purchase then it could take months to nail down the final design before anything has been done to the land. Work with a local REALTOR who will listen to your needs and will help you find that perfect property.
Consult with Architects and Builders
Talk to local professionals who understand the environment. Look at their projects to see if their design style compliments yours. What you need is an Architect who will look at the lot and maximize the unique attributes of the property to design the home with features to maximize and enhance the views, sun exposure and lay of the land.
Creating the Home You Want to Live in
How will you live in your space? Is this your full-time residence and are you raising kids? Is this your mountain retreat, your secondary home? Is this a family legacy property where you will entertain and will have guests and family staying with you most of the time? If so, then you’ll want to plan ahead for those situations.
Your overall purchase price will include the lot you buy and then the cost of building a home. When building your dream home you might get carried away with new appliance options, smart home features and of course the overall design of the home. You should talk with a banker if you are seeking financing to find out what your max budget is. If you are not seeking to finance then you need to set a realistic budget for your max overall spend. Keep in mind that landscaping and outdoor rooms are really popular and can add up quickly. Furniture, Artwork and window coverings are items you should also put in the budget.
Some items you may find a deal on, while others will end up costing more than you budgeted for. Also, if you can, set some extra money aside as much as 20% if possible. That way if you decide to upgrade you have some wiggle room.
Plan for mistakes. Not everything in life goes the way we want or expect it to, so being prepared for, and having the ability to adjust your expectations will help you enjoy the process and keep you stress-free. You’ll see that it all works out in the end, and you’ll be happy you hired good experienced people who will make it right and stand behind their work.
Contractors / The building process
Hiring a contractor that you feel comfortable talking with, as they will give you an anticipated timeline and comprehensive schedule. Understanding and communicating about the timeline will help you understand the process and have realistic expectations.
The Punch List
A punch list is a list created at the end of construction that shows what needs to still be done or what needs to be repaired on the new construction. You and your contractor will create this list the week before closing when you go through your final walk through. You should be taking notes every time you visit your construction site or do a walkthrough.
by Dina Sanchez, Mountain Habitat
Dina Sanchez is a local Realtor with Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties and longtime local who is passionate about where she lives. She loves to help families become a part of our community and loves all things Home Design and Remodels.
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