Ready to take the plunge and build your new dream home? Play it smart and follow these surefire tips. Home and Garden Television
Carefully select the builder: Before hiring a builder, drive past previous jobs and speak to the homeowners. Ask if the builder had good follow-through, whether the job was completed on schedule and on budget and if they were pleased with the quality of work. Also, check the builder's relationships with subcontractors and supply houses.
Hire a lawyer: Have a lawyer review the contract with your builder.
Investigate the area: Before purchasing land, research the school district and crime rate. Drive around the surrounding area, checking for convenience to interstates, schools, shopping and restaurants.
Don't overbuild: Compare the home you're planning with others on the same street. You never want to be the most expensive house on the block; you won't get your money back when you sell.
Don't select a builder based solely on bid: When choosing a builder, don't select the one with either the highest or lowest bid. A high bid doesn't guarantee a superior product, and the lowest bid could mean that you'll be hit with extra costs as construction progresses.
Hire locally: Word-of-mouth references are a good gauge of a builder's reputation. So ask around, then hire the best builder in the community.
Build for your future: When planning your home's layout, think not only about your current lifestyle but also plan for a few years down the road. For older adults, a master bedroom on the ground floor is a smart bet.
Don't go with the latest and greatest: Fill your home with technology that will stand the test of time. State-of-the-art features are great but quickly become outdated. Buy products that have been on the market for a year or two.
Avoid trends: Nothing betrays a home's age like trendy, of-the-moment fixtures. Let's say that Brazilian cherry hardwood is all the rage — then it goes out of style, making your home look dated. Select fixtures and features that are classic, so your home always looks current.