Your Building Blog for the Rochester Area

3 Reasons Home Building Breaks the Budget (and How to Avoid It)

Posted by John Graziose on Wed, Dec 2, 2015 @ 06:12 AM

Why-homeowners-overspend-and-how-you-can-avoid-it.jpgOne of the biggest concerns people have when building a new custom home is overspending their budgets. It would be nice to say that it’s just a myth—but it happens far too frequently.

So how can you keep that from happening to you if you’re planning to build a new home in the eastern Rochester area? It helps to know that the causes for overspending are pretty common. And once you know what to watch for, you can avoid making the mistakes that have cost so many homeowners dearly.

Let’s look at three things that commonly blow a building budget right out of the water.

  1. Adding Features: Often homeowners decide on a plan that will meet their needs—and then they start adding features to the home. If you spend any time on sites such as or you know that those sites are packed with great ideas. Too often, however, the things featured on those sites don’t mention the cost. It’s easy to get swept away by new, even innovative ideas and features that weren’t part of your original plan. And for a lot of people, once they see it, they think they just have to have it. Do your online idea gathering before you create your budget using Pinterest and Houzz as places to look and store your ideas.
  1. Unnecessary Upgrades: If you’ve ever purchased a new car, you know how this can go. You enter the showroom with a budget and your mind made up that you’re going with the basic model. But then the navigation system is only a little bit more, and the leather seats look awfully inviting for only a few hundred dollars more. And that satellite radio seems like such a nice thing to have (and the first two months are free). Before you know it, you’re thousands over budget. A custom home can be the same way. Just because heated floors in the bathroom are available doesn’t mean you have to install them. Marble flooring in the master bathroom may look awfully nice, but is it really worth the extra money?
  1. Changes to the Plan: One of the great things about a custom home is that you get to customize it and change a basic plan a bit to better suit your needs and tastes. But when you make those changes make a big difference. Sometimes homeowners make significant changes to the footprint or the design after construction begins. That can be very costly because it involves additional materials, labor, and sometimes redoing something that’s already been done.

Adding features, making unnecessary upgrades, and making changes to the plan after building has begun are guaranteed ways to blow your building budget. That’s why it’s important to take your time planning before you start building and then stick to your plan. You can still make minor changes, but they are less likely to compromise your budget.

If you’re looking for help in planning your new home, click here to download our free Steps to Building Your Dream Home guide.

Created on 05/18/12 at 13:26:28

Topics: Rochester area custom homes, budgeting for new home, controlling new home spending

How to Keep Your Rochester Homebuilding Expenses in Line with Your Budget

Posted by John Graziose on Wed, Nov 4, 2015 @ 06:11 AM

Most potential homeowners know the importance of setting a realistic budget when building a new home—and then sticking to it. Nothing takes the fun and excitement out of owning a new home quite like discovering that you’ve overspent and knowing that you’re in financial difficulty.

So why do we keep hearing stories about individuals blowing their budgets when building a new home? And more important: How can you keep your homebuilding expenses in line with your budget if you’re building a new home in the eastern Rochester area?

First of all, it’s important to have a realistic budget. That means deciding what you can really afford. If you budget too low, you won’t be happy with the home you build (and it will cost you more to bring it up to your expectations later). If you budget too high, you can find yourself “house poor” with no funds for other important activities. Here’s a short post about how it’s easy for homeowners to bite off more than they can chew financially.

Even homeowners who have established a realistic budget can find themselves over-spending. Here are a couple of the main culprits:

  • Over-Doing the Upgrades: It’s easy to get caught up in upgrading finishes. There’s no doubt that customized countertops or cabinets look really great. They may catch you eye online or at an open house. The same thing happens with flooring, carpet, trim and molding. Individually, it doesn’t seem like those things make that much difference, but they add quickly. We’re not saying you shouldn’t upgrade, but make sure you’re really getting the most bang for your buck (such as increased durability). And make sure the upgrade really fits your lifestyle (a 6-burner stove may look really cool, but are you really a gourmet cook?).
  • Changes and Add-Ons: Part of the appeal of building a custom home is that you get to personalize it to reflect your lifestyle and needs. Changing plans and adding features after construction has begun, however, can be really costly. What seems like a small change (“Can we move that wall just 6 inches to the left?”) can be a big deal. The same is true if you add on a room after the foundation is in. Those things aren’t bad or wrong—but they can be costly. That’s why you’ll want to make sure you go over your floor plans carefully with your builder (and review them privately) to make sure what you plan to build is really what you want.

Sometimes changes and upgrades make sense, but knowing how much to change or add—and when to do it—can make the difference between staying within budget and finding yourself in financial trouble.

Dream Home

Topics: Rochester area custom homes, budgeting for new home, keeping homebuilding expenses in line

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