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Posted by Melissa Lynn Galland on Jan 24, 2018 7:35:04 AM
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Building a custom home can easily be one of the most exciting times in a person’s life. It’s a unique opportunity to create exactly the home you’ve always wanted—one that will meet your family’s needs, suits your style, and is located in the ideal place.

Of course, going through the custom home building process also means making a lot of very important decisions, from finding the right builder to selecting countertops, paint colors, and cabinetry. One of the first big decisions is whether to build your custom home within a subdivision or on a piece of land that you own. In this blog, we’ll take a look at both options to help you determine which would work best for you.

Building on Land You Own

Custom home building on your own property gives you maximum flexibility and control. You get to select the land on which you will build, choose your builder, and pick a floor plan or opt to go fully custom. Depending on your builder, you may even have a chance to participate in some of the site development tasks in order to save money and create move-in equity.  

Here’s an overview of the custom home building process when you opt to build on your own land:

1. First, you have the opportunity to find the best builder for your needs. You can look for a company that has a great reputation and has been in business for a good amount of time, while also making sure the builder you select specializes in the type of custom home you’re envisioning, such as a multigenerational home or a narrow-lot property.

2. Second, your builder can recommend realtors in your area who excel at property searches. They can help you find land that fits your needs as far as size, location, features, view, and price point. Of course, if you already own a piece of land, you and your builder can skip ahead to the design phase.

3. Next, you get to work closely with your builder’s design team to select and finalize your floor plan. During this stage, you get to choose the type of home that would work best for your property, and you have flexibility in deciding how it is oriented on your land to make the most of the view and surrounding natural features. You also get to select interior and exterior colors and finishes to ensure the home will suit your style.

4. Next, your construction team builds your home. In many cases, custom homes built on the buyer’s lot can be built much faster than those built in subdivisions. That’s because the construction team is able to focus on one home, rather than working on several at a time. Meanwhile, the buyer has the chance to help with certain site development tasks to keep the project moving along, save money, and build equity.

5. Once construction is complete, you receive your keys and move into your dream home!

Custom Home Building in a Subdivision

If you decide to build a custom home in a subdivision, your options will be much more limited. Instead of selecting a piece of land from all available properties, you’ll have to choose from already-established subdivisions, which may or may not be in your desired area. You’ll also be limited to the lot size determined by the developer, rather than being able to choose a property of any size.

Most subdivisions include only a handful of builders, so your options may be limited. (Some subdivisions don’t even include a custom home builder, leaving you to choose from a spec or tract home.) And once you’ve identified the subdivision you want, you’re limited by the number and location of available lots.

Here’s an overview of the building process in a subdivision:

1. With the help of a realtor, you first identify the subdivision in which you want to build. Then, you’ll meet with the developer’s preferred custom home builder. 

2. Next, you’ll select your lot from those that are available for custom homes in that subdivision. In many communities, the lots are all the same size and orientation. Plus, you won’t have much choice when it comes to the features of your individual property, such as trees, hills, or creeks.

3. Next, you’ll work with the builder to decide on a floor plan and design features. Some custom home builders that work in subdivisions offer much more limited customizable floor plan options and are not able to build fully custom homes due to the size and space constraints of the lots.

4. Then, the construction team will start building your home. Because they may also be working on other homes in the subdivision at the same time, and going back and forth as they finish a stage here and a stage there, the building process may take longer. Some custom homes in subdivisions average eight months or more of construction time. 

5. Once the build is complete, you receive your keys and move in.

Make an Informed Decision

As you can see, custom home building can vary greatly depending on whether you purchase or own a piece of land or opt to buy in a subdivision. As you begin looking ahead to your next home, be sure to do your research and to consider which option will work best for your needs—and which choice will truly result in the home of your dreams.

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