When designing or choosing your first home, putting together a list of the features you’d like it to have is a logical first step. Most people, however, quickly realize that their budget doesn’t match the seemingly endless extras they’d like to have in their dream house.
Determine Your Budget
A better approach is to determine your budget first, then build from there. Talk to a home builder in your area that also handles financing to get an idea of what you can afford. Be sure to take your current expenses as well as the ongoing costs of home ownership into consideration. Once you know how much you can afford to spend, check out some display homes to get an idea of what you can get for your money.
Develop A List Of Desirable Features
This is the fun part – put together a list of the most desirable elements you want in your dream house. Consider what you would want if you had a luxury home builder constructing your house. At this point, you should keep your finances in mind, but feel free to include extras you’ve dreamed about even if it pushes the potential price outside of the realm of your maximum budget. Visit some display homes in your area to get ideas, keeping in mind that many of the high end elements you’ll see can be scaled back in price by using materials that are more budget friendly if needed.
A list of desirable features might include:
- Extra bathrooms
- Balcony off the master bedroom
- Al fresco dining area
- Home theatre system
- Vaulted ceilings
- Custom cabinetry
- Multi-vehicle garage
- Home office
Determine Which Features Are Must Haves And Which Aren’t
Once you’ve completed your list of desirable features, compare the probable price of your dream home to your actual budget. Now comes the most difficult part – eliminating features that you don’t really need. Review your list of desirable features and ask yourself which of these extras you can’t live without and which ones you can forego for the foreseeable future. You’ll soon realize that some are nice, but not necessary to your family’s comfort or happiness. Eliminate anything that your family won’t miss or that can be scaled back in order to keep your finances in check. Also consider what elements could be added at a later date. For instance, if you’d like an al fresco area but can’t afford it now, it will be relatively easy to add a balcony later. Adding an entire bedroom or a garage, however, could be more difficult.
Work Closely With A Home Builder
After you’ve whittled down your list to the most important features that you feel you can’t do without, visit some local, display homes for a second look. Talk to home builders about how they can reduce costs by substituting less expensive materials or modifying specific elements such as floor coverings and countertops. By working together, you can successfully create a house that’s ideal for your family without destroying your finances.