What to ask be­fore you build a home

Be­fore you start build­ing your dream house, make sure ev­ery­thing is pre­pared - from cost to who will build it.

The Tribune (NZ) - - BACKYARD BANTER -

Eit. very­one dreams of the per­fect home, and build­ing one from scratch is a great way to achieve

But de­sign­ing and build­ing a home can also be one of the most chal­leng­ing and re­ward­ing projects imag­in­able, par­tic­u­larly be­cause so much heart, soul, time and money is in­volved.

Not sure where to start? Here are a few ques­tions you should al­ways ask be­fore em­bark­ing on a new build.

CAN WE AF­FORD IT?

At face value, build­ing a home might seem cheaper than buy­ing one, but it all adds up – es­pe­cially when the temp­ta­tion to add those lux­u­ries you’ve al­ways dreamed of is too hard to re­sist.

Will you be able to com­fort­ably meet your fort­nightly mort­gage re­pay­ments, or will you be strug­gling to put food on the ta­ble? What fi­nan­cial sac­ri­fices can you make, and what ar­eas of your life can you save on (like tak­ing your lunch to work, or switch­ing to a cheaper power com­pany)? Make sure you’ve got enough cash avail­able so any set­backs don’t blow your bud­get. Build­ing your own home can be amaz­ing, but if you can’t af­ford to live, it might be a good idea to hold off for a while.

WHO’S GO­ING TO BUILD IT?

‘‘Build­ing your dream home will be one of the biggest in­vest­ments you’ll ever make, and choos­ing the right builder will mean it’s an ex­cit­ing and re­ward­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, so take your time and do your home­work,’’ says CEO of Jen­nian Homes, Ai­dan Jury. ‘‘Be sure to ask about guar­an­tees and make sure you’re deal­ing with qual­i­fied and ex­pe­ri­enced builders who have a great rep­u­ta­tion.’’

WHAT ARE OUR ‘WANTS’ VER­SUS OUR ‘NEEDS’?

The best part of build­ing a new home is that you can de­sign it ex­actly how you want it. But ‘wants’ are of­ten more ex­pen­sive than ‘needs’, so it’s im­por­tant to es­tab­lish your non-ne­go­tiables be­fore the build starts.

You might need a big kitchen, a dou­ble garage and a bed­room for each of your kids, while you might want a but­ler’s pantry, a li­brary and a lap pool. Be pre­pared to com­pro­mise where you need to, but make sure you’re happy with the fi­nal de­ci­sion. There’s noth­ing worse than build­ing your dream home, only to re­gret your de­ci­sion to leave something out.

WHAT’S A GOOD DE­SIGN FOR OUR NEEDS?

You might love the idea of pol­ished con­crete floors, splitlevel liv­ing and a master bed­room ‘wing’, but you might also have small chil­dren who aren’t used to slip­pery floors or stairs, and need you to be near them at night. Be prac­ti­cal with your plan­ning and look to the fu­ture too.

ARE WE IN A HURRY?

Build­ing a new house takes time, and if coun­cil per­mits are re­quired for var­i­ous stages of your build, it can some­times take even longer. Plan to stay with fam­ily, rent or house-sit while your home is be­ing built. Keen to keep it lo­cal while you watch your dream home come true? Ask around on Neigh­bourly.

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Ai­dan Jury, Jen­nian Homes CEO: ‘‘Build­ing your dream home will be one of the biggest in­vest­ments you’ll ever make.’’

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