Some of us enjoy surprises, like when our friends throw a surprise party for us or our income tax returns are larger than we planned. Some surprises, however, aren’t so much fun, like when the custom home you’re building costs more than you expected. Nobody enjoys that kind of surprise.
Here are a few areas that can sneak up on new homebuilders. Knowing about them ahead of time can prepare you. And sometimes you can avoid not only the surprise, but also the expense.
- Changes in Plans: When building a custom home in the Rochester area, you’re probably going to make changes to your original design. Some of those changes aren’t a big deal. Others can really hit you hard in the wallet. Often, it’s when you make the change that matters most. You may think that moving a wall a mere six inches isn’t that significant, but it depends on what else may have to be moved. One thing is for sure: if you ask the builder to move it in the design/planning stage, it’s a lot cheaper than having him tear out a wall he’s already built. It’s the same kind of situation if you want a door or a window moved. It can usually be done—but when you want to move it (and where) matters a lot. One of the problems is that these changes can kind of creep up on you before you’re even aware. Here’s a helpful article about keeping those changes under control.
- Upgrades: It’s easy to get caught up in upgrading finishes. Let’s say you budgeted for one kind of wood flooring, but then came across another flooring material that you absolutely love. The good news is that it’s only $4 per square foot more. At first glance, $4 doesn’t seem like much. But if you’re going to cover 750 square feet with that new material, all of a sudden you’re looking at an additional $3,000 in cost. That’s not a nice surprise. The same thing can happen with cabinets, countertops and appliances. What seem like small changes can add up quickly. That’s not to say you shouldn’t upgrade—but it’s an area that often catches homeowners off guard.
- Property: Some homeowners like to buy their own lot and then have a builder construct the home on the lot they’ve purchased. It’s a fairly common occurrence. But occasionally a homeowner will get a “great deal” on a lot he or she likes—only to find that it requires a lot of extra preparation (grading, etc.) before it’s suitable for putting in the foundation. Suddenly that bargain lot costs a lot more than expected.
One way to avoid that is to contact your builder about the lot before you purchase a home site. At Gerber Homes, we’re happy to help you evaluate a piece of property. You don’t need to hire an outside consultant. We know the area and have years of experience in locating and evaluating land, and we can help you find the perfect location for your new home, surrounded by the amenities you desire. There is no charge for this service, which includes locating the land, evaluating the site, making a recommendation for a suitable floor plan and checking septic or well requirements.
Surprises are fine if they leave you feeling happy. Don’t let unexpected developments rob you of the joy of building the custom home you’ve always dreamed of.