Managing Information Overload: How Do I Research my Custom Home?
The early stages of planning your custom home are generally about gathering information. It’s really kind of fun because you’re starting with a clean slate and there’s really nothing to hold you back in your search for information!
There’s plenty of information out there, too. And that can quickly lead to information overload. Many a prospective homebuyer has found herself swamped with so much information that it’s overwhelming—and hard to move forward.
So how can you get a handle on this mountain of information that’s waiting at your fingertips? While there is no one perfect way to go about the process of making decisions about building a new custom home, here are some ways to approach the information.
Set a Budget
We’re not talking about arranging finances (yet). Setting a rough budget is a critical first step that can keep you out of financial trouble later. And while the exact dollar amount isn’t as critical at this point, you want to be realistic in setting your budget. Set it too high and you can end up “house poor,” too strapped for cash to live comfortably (or even decorate). Set it too low and a year or two down the road, you’ll bemoan the fact that you didn’t spend a little more. There are all kinds of calculators you can use to figure this out. Here’s a mortgage calculator from Zillow.
Look at a Few Floor Plans
While floor plans may not be as exciting to peruse as beautiful pictures of home interiors, they can give you a good idea of the layout of various styles of homes. And you’ll get a feel for how much space you’ll have and how the house flows from one room to another. Most builders will have examples of floor plans on their websites for you to check out. Here are several floor plans from our Bridgewater Estates for you to check out.
Check Out Ideas Online:
There are a number of great places online where you can gather more specific ideas for how you want your home to look. Pinterest is packed with photos. Better Homes and Garden has lots of images and descriptions of new and remodeled homes that can give you ideas. One of our favorite sites is Houzz where you can look at individual projects and even create your own ideabooks where you keep ideas and images that you might want to use later.
Talk to a Custom Builder
Gathering and reading information is great, but sometimes there is just no substitute for talking to a real, live human being—especially one who is an expert when it comes to the things you want to know! We offer a free service that let’s you set up a 10-minute conversation with one of our home advisors where you can learn about design trends, find out what others in your situation are doing, get a rough budget range for the kind of home you’re thinking about, and get answers to questions you have. Click here to schedule your no-obligation call.
When you decide to build a custom home you’ll face a huge amount of information. Following these steps can help you sort through that information so that you make an informed decision that’s right for you!