For an average man building your dream home is definitely a dream come true.
It’s every sane man’s desire to find a worthy place to call home especially when it’s built or bought from their own sweat and not like it’s rented. There is always this sudden adrenaline rush that comes with owning your own house; it’s a dream come true. However there is a need to come off the ‘cloud 9’ feeling and consider for a moment the practicalities involved in achieving such feat. The feeling of owning a house might be exciting, however the work to be done for it to come alive is mind-boggling.
Here are ten things to consider when building your dream home.
1. BE A STICKY BEAK
Check out a range of houses in your area to get a feel for what you like. The internet is a great tool for generating ideas; many builders have online tours of their homes as well. And if you’ve driven past a home you like the look of, why not knock on the owner’s door and ask them who the builder was?
2. FOR NOW AND FOREVER?
Consider how long you’re planning to live in your new dream home. Will it suit you up until the kids leave home? Will you then need to downsize later on in life? Understanding what type of home you’re building will help you with the layout too. If you’re planning a family, bedrooms close together might be helpful if the kids wake in the night. Think also about where the heart of the home will be where people will come together.
3. MAKE A LIST AND CHECK IT TWICE
Decide what the absolute must-haves are for your new home and what the nice-to-have options might be. Is it a double garage for both cars ? An open-plan living zone where kitchen, dining and living all flow together and become the heart of the house? Or a large backyard with a pool that will keep the kids busy.
4. EXPECT TO HEAR THE WORD ‘APPROVAL’ A LOT!
When it comes to building a home, approval of your building plan is key. Your builder will lodge your house plan with the ministry of lands and it may take some weeks to get approval. The ministry may ask for some changes to your plans and if this occurs your builder will need to re-submit.
5. ROME WASN’T BUILT IN A DAY – AND NEITHER WILL YOUR HOME
Allow up to one year for the whole process to take place – this starts with choosing your builder and home plan, gaining approval from the ministry, preparing the site, pouring the slab, erecting the frame to receiving the keys to your very own home.
6. THE GROUND YOU BUILD ON
Whether your site is the middle of an urban neighbourhood or in a rural area, make sure the location is right for you. This might seem obvious, but sometimes our heart decides before our head. If your new home will be a second home out in the middle of no where away from all kinds of services and you will only be visiting on the weekends, that’s one thing. But, if your new home is far from everything, and it’s your year round home, it may be worth asking yourself if living an hour from civilization is for you. I’ve heard of people building dream homes and then selling within a few years because the lifestyle was better in their minds than in reality.
7. AGING IN PLACE
Most of us would like to age gracefully and die at some far off date. We imagine living in our own homes and never having to move to a place that offers assistance. For some of us, that fantasy isn’t reality because most homes aren’t designed for aging in place. A home that is built for aging in place is easy to navigate and is in a location that makes the daily experience of living easy, or a least doable. Examples of easy navigation include a house without stairs, and doorways that are wide enough to let a wheelchair through. Things that are external to your home that make living easier might include being near a bus line or other forms of public transportation, being near shopping and entertainment, and having helpful neighbors. Simple things can make a big difference.
8. SIZE MATTERS
Houses come in all sizes from big Mansions to tiny little huts. Most of us don’t need or want either, rather it’s somewhere between. Of the two extremes, there is a lot to be said for building a smaller home. On the practical side it costs less to build smaller. Regardless it is essential you consider the size of the home you want in terms of long term goals and your financial strength at that moment. Don’t bank on the money from other businesses or expected earnings to cover for other needs that may suffer because of your building projects. Don’t throw all your eggs in one basket; cut your coat according to your size.
9. DON’T DO IT ALONE
There’s no need to feel overwhelmed when building your dream home. A good project management company/real estate company would give you reasons why you shouldn’t carry out your building project alone. It will streamline the whole process and save you time and money.
A good team is probably the most important thing for a successful project. A good team will certainly include your contractor, it can also include designers and engineers. Make sure that you are comfortable with all team members and they have the right experience to build your new home. Get recommendations and trust your gut.
This may not seem like a bonus, but it’s offered in the spirit of one. Ask yourself if your marriage or partnership can handle a project this big. With endless decisions to make, money on the line and schedule over runs, building a home can get stressful. Make sure you have a solid foundation, that you can discuss money issues openly and that you have mutual regard and respect for each others decision making ability.
Read also: HOW TO GET BUILDING PLAN APPROVAL IN LAGOS
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