Monday, April 27, 2020 / by Nicole Solari
Photo Credit: Unsplash
Finding the perfect home is always a challenge. However, this becomes even more difficult when you factor in accessibility needs, as people with disabilities have a much harder time finding suitable housing. There aren’t as many accessible homes on the market, and the competition for those homes can be fierce. That’s why many people simply decide that building their own home is the best choice.
If this is the right next step for you, you’re probably wondering how to get started. Fortunately, this article will guide you through all the major steps you need to take to make your dream home a reality. Here’s a look at what you need to consider to get started:
Think About Logistics
Before you dive into the home-building process, take some time to consider logistics. Building a home is a little more complicated than buying one; you can’t simply move in once the decision is made. You will need to live somewhere while the house is built. This can be tricky if you need to sell your current home to use equity to put toward a new build. You’ll also want to consider the timeline. The average time to build a new home is six months, but depending on permit delays, design, and other potential roadblocks, it could take longer.
Costs are a major part of this venture, and you should have an idea of the types of expenses associated with building a new home.
For starters, building a new house means securing the right type of loan. First, you want to shop around for the right lender, but be prepared to face stricter financing guidelines associated with loans for custom builds. Your choices will be a new construction loan or a construction-to-permanent loan. Each has its own pros and cons, so weigh your options carefully and again, keep your timeline in mind.
You may need to pay to prepare the property for construction. And you will want to get estimates on the actual building process, including materials and labor. Your contractor may include things like utility hookups in their estimate, but if they don’t, you’ll need to find this information.
When it comes to building estimates, you should always ask for a range, and assume the final number will come out at or above the high-end estimate. Ideally, it won’t – and often it doesn’t – but being prepared to pay the higher price leaves you in great financial shape either way.
Find the Right Team
Building for accessibility requires specific knowledge and experience. Make sure you hire a builder who has built accessible dwellings before. Start by reaching out to your local disability services. They may be able to point you toward trusted contractors who can get the job done right.
Ideally, you’ll find a couple of potential builders and meet with them all before you decide on one. Prepare plenty of questions you can use to interview them about their building process, their construction philosophies, and their experience building for people with disabilities. Remember, the interview isn’t just about gauging their skill; it also gives you a chance to make sure you can work together. You’ll spend a lot of time working and collaborating with your builder, and if your personalities don’t mesh, it will be much harder.
Think About Your Needs
Finally, give yourself time to fully consider what you need in a home before you finalize any designs. Ideally, you’ll create a home that will continue to work for you for years to come. Consider talking to your doctor to get a sense for how your needs might change in the future. Consulting a disability-focused designer may also help you think of particularly useful design elements you may not have considered otherwise.
The great thing about building your own home is that you can make it exactly what you want. Forget about sacrificing your style or settling for a home that’s hard to get around: When you build, you can have it all. Focus on figuring out what your dream home is, and you can make it a reality.