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Tips for Building your Country Home

Date: 
Author: 
Brenda Sammon
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Congrats! You’ve decide to build a home in the country. This experience will be one of the most exciting and rewarding of your life. At the same time, the process can also be very nerve-wracking and complex. Add in the unique challenges of building in a small town or rural area and things can get even trickier. If you’re considering new home construction, we’ve put together some tips to help you navigate the journey from site selection through moving in.

Be wise in selecting professionals to work with.
There are a lot of moving parts when building a home. Surround yourself with a circle of advisors who have been down this road before and who can prepare you for the bumps along the way. Whether you’re ready to partner with a realtor, builder, lender or architect, the following general rules apply:
  • Look for someone reputable and reliable: ask the local chamber, business associations, friends and family members for referrals
  • Take the time to get to know them and make sure you can communicate well with and are compatible with this person. Even the best advisor on paper may not be the best advisor for you.
  • They should be experienced, knowledgeable, licensed and insured in their specialty.
  • Look for past client satisfaction – visit previous homes built – and ask questions.
Take your time and be patient when choosing a builder/general contractor.
Of course your choice of a builder is one of the most important decisions in the home construction process. Make sure you do your due diligence and take the time and effort to find the best fit for you.
  • Ask friends, relatives and local home builders associations for references.
  • Understand what is included in the estimates.
  • Leave room for the unexpected.
  • Become familiar with the construction timeline.
  • Get detailed bids, plans and specs.
  • If you’re confident you have the time and expertise, consider being your own general contractor
Find a lender that specializes in rural home construction
  • It’s imperative that your lender is familiar with construction loans, rural properties, has experience with the type of project you’re building and is familiar with the area where you want to build.
  • Learn about the programs the lender has:
    • Single close construction
    • Interest only
    • Conversion features
Know your buying power
Understanding how much you can afford will provide clarity on selecting a property, the type of house you build and the materials you order.
  • Work with your lender to figure out the best price range and budget for your situation.
  • Create a budget based on your priorities so you – and everyone else involved – understands how much money is allotted for each piece.
Understand the unique characteristics that may apply to your build
Constructing a home in a small town or rural setting can bring unique challenges. Make sure you check into the follow possibilities before beginning your project.
  • How is the property zoned?  Find out what you can and cannot do with the property.
  • Rural properties often rely on well water rather than municipal water. Understand expectations, regulations and options for water and septic systems.
  • Consider the quality of the road and access to the property. Is the road to your property private, shared with adjacent property owners, or public? 
  • Make sure to examine all buildings on a property prior to purchasing. Remember, these buildings will require upkeep as well.  
These are a few of the considerations to take into account when building a home in the country. For more details and useful resources like checklists and frequently asked questions, check out our Country Home Construction Workbook and Tips for Country Home Construction Videos.
 
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