For many prospective custom home buyers, 2023 promises to be the year of turning ideas and dreams into a real, beautiful home. Starting the custom homebuilding process is a new year’s resolution many people across the Denver metro are committing to, and if that sounds like you, you’re no doubt eager to get the ball rolling. But as any homebuilder will tell you, a custom home is a big undertaking. Whether you’re beginning to formulate ideas about what your new home should look like or you’ve committed to a design and are looking for a homebuilder to sign with, there are a number of things you should keep in mind before starting on your homebuilding journey.
We’ve put together three of the top things you should know when building a home in 2023, and we’ll help you understand how and why these steps are important. Homebuilding can be a complicated process, but we’ll help you understand these three homebuilding fundamentals so that you can start your journey off on the right foot.
Keep Costs at the Forefront
Building a custom home in 2023 may well be among the best investments you’ll ever make. Between appreciating value and a vastly improved living experience, a custom home will provide returns in more ways than one. But there’s no reason to brush off the fact that this investment will be an expensive one.
Custom homes often incur far greater costs than regular, pre-existing homes — which are, naturally, expensive themselves. From start to finish, you can expect to pay between 50 – 100% more or greater for a custom home than a home off the market.
This is the result of the additional expenses and in-depth process that those looking to build a custom home must take on. From the get-go, you’ll be needing to work closely architects, contractors, interior designers, home rendering/concept artists, and other home construction experts in order to nail down a finalized blueprint, design language, overall look, and to prove your home as a concept. You can also work with a single point of contact homebuilder who will work with all of those parties on your behalf and in a more professional, efficient manner. A single point of contact can also prove to be more cost-effective in this way, not to mention far less cumbersome to manage.
But no matter who you partner with to build your dream home, the simple fact of the matter is it will be expensive. Depending on the area, size, style, etc. of the home you decide to build, you can expect to pay upwards of $1 – $2 million as a starting figure, increasing as the scope of the project expands. Broadly, this is why it’ll pay in the long run to keep your costs at the forefront of your mind and decision-making during your design and building process. Setting aside your funds early — plus a certain percentage extra in case your project runs into unforeseen issues — will better ensure a smooth and timely building process, and help keep you financially sound into the long term.
Once you’ve sorted the matter of costs, having been quoted a final price(s) and having set aside more than enough money to cover that quote, the hard part is over. To put it briefly, however, your top priority in the early stages of custom home planning should be confirming that you or your household have the means to acquire one. Your new home should not become a liability, prove to yourself that a custom home is a smart, reasonable investment before proceeding further.
Consider Your Home’s Location Carefully
They say location is everything, and that’s for good reason. Your home’s location will be its (and to an extent, your!) destiny, and put simply, where you choose to build it is highly important to its value and the quality of life of those who live in it.
You should start by examining who you and/or your household are, what your needs in a home are. For instance, do you prefer to live somewhere central with easy access to the city and amenities, or would you prefer to live somewhere more quiet, peaceful and secluded? Do you have children who’ll need to head to school every weekday, or are you retired and would rather avoid being located near a school? Is quick access to the mountains or nature a big priority for you, or would you rather forego that for a more inexpensive estimate? Will you be needing a bigger lot to bring your home to life, or will a smaller and more cozy one do?
Those are only a few of the questions you’ll need to ask yourself or your household before you continue the custom home process. Not only will those questions have an impact on the price — bigger, better, more connected lots are more expensive after all — but they will impact the overall value you personally derive from your investment.
It may be tempting to save 10-20% of your final price to downgrade your location or size of your lot, but homes are the ultimate long-term investment. If that money, say 10-20%, will go toward living somewhere you’ll be happier for longer, it may be worth investment. Likewise if it means your new home will be more walkable, or closer to friends and family, or in an area with less traffic. This isn’t to say more expensive is always better, of course, every project is different and every family’s set of circumstances is unique. It will pay to choose your new home’s location carefully, do your best to pick somewhere you’ll love for the years and decades ahead.
Take Colorado Into Account
Colorado is a unique state, not least of which when it comes to building. Between Colorado’s unique climate, elevation and building codes, you should strongly consider the factors at play in this state in particular.
For starters, any new building, homes included, will need to comply with Colorado state regulations. This means complying with your location’s zoning laws, ensuring that your home will be able to get access to sewer, water, gas, and other utility lines, among other things. This can be a hassle to figure out alone, it’s recommended you contract a specialist for this task or partner with a full-service custom homebuilder to ensure it’s done right.
Additionally, you will want your homebuilder to be properly licensed and insured by the State’s respective locality before going forward with them. A licensed and insured homebuilder is critical — without one, you risk being liable for any injuries that occur on the jobsite, cut corners and questionable building standards and practices, even shady business practices that may make you feel more like a victim rather than a client. If you take away one piece of advice from these 3 tips, let it be this: go with a custom homebuilder who is duly licensed and insured.
If you’re moving to Colorado from another state, keep in mind that your current plans or ideas may not translate one-to-one in this new state. Colorado’s elevation and climate may cause issues in design concepts and blueprints for houses designed in other states. For instance, a house designed in and for Florida may need partial, even substantial redesigns to better fit the realities of Colorado’s weather and geography. Your homebuilder will be instrumental in ensuring your ideas and designs are perfectly tooled for life in Colorado.