Building a custom home begins with your vision. The key to making your vision a reality is the ability to communicate your vision to the builder. Listed below are some tools that will assist you with this process:
- Initial Consultation Questionnaire – The Initial Consultation Questionnaire helps to communicate your basic needs and desires to the builder.
- Wish List – Begin by collecting house plans (or portions of house plans) and pictures that reflect the features that you desire. Below are a few recommended websites for gathering ideas:
- A great website for collecting house plan ideas is http://www.coolhousplans.com. This website allows you to filter through house plans based on style, square footage, number of rooms, lot size and dimensions, etc.
- Two other great websites for collecting ideas on features for your home are http://www.pinterest.comand http://www.houzz.com. Both websites offer unlimited ideas on everything from design to space savers and organization. Both websites allow you to become a member for free. The membership allows you to store all of your design ideas in one place.
- Budget – It is very important to have a clear understanding of your budget up front. This will assist in balancing your vision with your budget. If you are planning on getting a loan, you will need to get pre-qualified for a loan before proceeding to Step 2. If you do not already have a lender, Step 7 provides some helpful hints to consider when selecting one.
During the initial consultation, Jim will personally sit down with you to discuss your criteria for the location of your home site, if not already identified. Second, he will discuss in detail your desired needs and wants in a house plan. Third, he will discuss your budget and provide information on financing options. And finally, he will explain the custom home building process and answer any questions you may have. To make the initial consultation most efficient, please bring the items listed in Step 1.
- Completed Custom Home Questionnaire
- Hard copies of the house plans and pictures that reflect the features you like.
- Pre-qualification letter from your bank, if getting a loan or your estimated budget, if you are paying cash.
Many times buyers purchase a lot that appears to be a great deal that is within their budget, but later discover it to be a costly mistake due to unforeseen costs in preparing the lot to be buildable. If you have not already purchased a lot, it is highly recommended that you allow us to personally assist you in making a lot selection. Here are some things to consider that may help prevent costly mistakes when purchasing a lot:
- Will the building pad require dirt removal, replacement or fill?
- What type of soil is on the lot?
- Are there drainage issues or is the lot in a flood plain?
- Are there any easements or setbacks that place limitations on the dimensions of the house plan?
- Are there HOA requirements or restrictions?
- Is water and sewer available to the property?
- Are utilities such as phone, cable, gas, and electricity available?
- Are there any noise issues that need to be minimized by the design/layout of the house plan or alternative construction methods?
The next step is selecting an Architect/Designer to assist you in creating a house plan that best suites your needs and desires. Many Architects/Designers provide outstanding designs but not all are familiar with the associated construction costs in building the design. Jim can provide recommendations of Architects/Designers who work closely with him to design a house plan that is in line with your budget. This will ultimately save you time and unnecessary frustration. The cost for a design using Jim’s recommended Architect/Designer is as low as $1,200 but depends on the size and complexity of your home.
Alternatively, if you find a house plan on www.coolhouseplans.com that does not require any revisions, you can purchase the house plan online. It is recommended that you have Jim review the house plan before purchasing to ensure that it is in line with your budget.
Jim will provide the Architect/Designer with the information needed to begin working on the Preliminary Design. Once the design is complete, a meeting will be setup for you to review the design and provide feedback.
Once the Architect/Designer makes the requested revisions to the Preliminary Design, you will be provided with a Final House Plan Design.
Once the house plan is finalized, Jim Joyce Homes LLC will complete a detailed specification list, bid and contract. These documents will be sent to you for review, approval and signature.
Financing a home that is not yet constructed is different than financing an existing home. A home that is not yet constructed typically requires that you have two loans; an interim construction loan followed by a permanent loan once construction is completed.
If possible, you want to avoid paying closing costs for two loans and lock in the long-term interest rate. Some banks offer a one-time close, construction loan that only requires one closing costs and locks in the long-term interest rate at the beginning of construction. If needed, Jim can recommend a lender that offers both loan types and can assist you in determining the best option for you. Lenders typically require the following documents be provided:
- A completed loan application
- A complete set of final plans
- A detailed specification list from the builder
- A copy of the bid price/contract from the builder
- Contract to purchase the lot or evidence of title for the property
- Copies of your last two pay stubs and tax returns
Following the funding of your loan, pre-construction activities will begin on your home. As construction of your home progresses, the bank will use a Draw Schedule to pay the builder as your home is being constructed. A Draw Schedule basically outlines the milestones that must be completed by the builder prior to getting paid by the lender. The Draw Schedule is also used for cash purchases.
Once the contract is signed and the loan is funded, pre-construction activities begin which include the permitting process and obtaining approvals from local authorities and the Home Owners Association, if applicable. Following these approvals, site preparation begins which may include: soil testing, water and/or chemical injection, grading and excavation.
Pre-construction is followed by the construction of your home. Construction typically follows this sequence, but may vary slightly, depending on weather conditions, material availability/delivery and labor schedules.
- Form boards installed
- Foundation and rough in for plumbing and electrical
- Exterior Sheathing
- Plumbing, heating, a/c, electrical rough in installed
- Exterior finishes
- Cabinets, Trim, Doors, Shelves
- Vanities and countertops
- Fixtures and mirrors
- Gutters downspouts
- Touch up and quality inspection by builder
- Final clean up
Following construction, Jim will meet with you to present the completed home and perform a final walk through. Upon your acceptance of the home, the title company is notified and a closing date is set. Once all documentation is complete, you are provided the keys to your new custom home and final payment is provided to Jim Joyce Homes LLC.