When you buy an existing home, your only choices are the homes that happen to be on the market while you’re looking. This inevitably forces you to make significant concessions. Building a new home with a production builder will get you closer to your dreams, but you’re still limited to the floorplans and finishes they offer. The best way to get precisely what you want from a new home is to work with a custom home builder. However, this can be more costly.
In other words, you get what you pay for.
But don’t let this dissuade you. Savvy buyers can save money on their custom home if they arm themselves with a bit of knowledge (and choose an experienced custom home builder.) Below you’ll find ten ways to put money back in your pocket.
Talk to Your Custom Home Builder
Before you do anything else, have a conversation with your contractor. Builders can sometimes offer discounts if you’re willing to make a few concessions. They may also have materials left over from other jobs that they can use on yours, saving on materials costs.
Because of their sales volume, they can usually get appliances and other finishes at a reduced cost. Lean on their purchasing power as much as possible.
Set a Budget and Stick to It
This might be the most straightforward piece of advice we can give. Know how much you can spend, and then make every decision with this figure in mind. If you find you’re running an overage in one area, look to make cuts somewhere else. Let your budget drive your build instead of your dreams. It may mean a few alterations, but dollar for dollar, you’ll still get the best home for you.
Reduce the Size of Your Floorplan
Reducing the size of your new home is one of the easiest, most efficient ways to shave costs. You could still have your dream kitchen, but you might decide it doesn’t need to have eat-in space. If your older kids are leaving home soon, consider shrinking the size of their rooms. Take stock and decide how much space you truly need.
Decide What’s Most Important to You
While considering your floorplan needs, make a list of your other priorities as well. Determine which elements are non-negotiable and where you’re willing to make concessions. Maybe you don’t need a sunroom and a large outdoor entertaining space. Choose the one you’ll use the most. You can make sure you get what you really want by omitting less critical elements.
Focus on Your Finishes
While you might love the look of lava stone countertops, it’s possible you could be just as happy with a granite selection for half the cost. Finishes are a great way to save money because there’s such a wide selection of options available. You likely don’t need premium materials everywhere. Use them where they’ll make the most impact, and choose less costly materials elsewhere.
Look for Available Tax Credits
Depending on the materials and options you choose, you could qualify for government tax breaks. Energy-efficient homes are an excellent place to start. You can also get credits for solar panels through 2024. Other tax breaks are available as well, and the savings can add up. These options often save you money in the long run as well.
Shop Around For the Best Rate on Your Loan
Small reductions on your construction loan’s interest rate can save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. Don’t accept the first offer you see. Get quotes from several lenders and choose the most favorable loan you can find.
Take Over Painting Responsibilities
Some contractors will let homeowners help with labor, though the most reputable companies will severely limit this option. That’s because it’s harder to guarantee a quality finished product when they don’t know the homeowner’s skill level. However, painting is purely cosmetic and does little to affect the finished home. Doing your own painting can save thousands of dollars.
Build in the “Off-Season”
In the Pacific Northwest, the spring and summer months are when most new homes are built. Building in the fall and winter is more complicated and requires special considerations. However, lower demand can mean more competitive prices for labor and materials. Contractors may offer discounts to keep their people working. Talk with your builder about how the time of year might affect your costs.
Select the Right Contractor
An experienced custom home builder can save you money in less obvious ways. Their expertise means they’re less likely to encounter unexpected overages that can drive up your final cost. They’re also better at controlling costs generally and can help you get the most out of your investment. With less-seasoned builders, the risk of a ballooning budget is considerably higher.
If you live in the Stanwood/Camano Island, WA area, you should give Cannon Construction Group a call. We’ve built hundreds of homes in a wide variety of styles. We can help you refine your ideas to get as close to the home of your dreams as possible while staying within your budget. Call now for a free consultation. Remote appointments are available.