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Five Tips to Building Your Dream Home

Sometimes, you can find your dream home by simply driving through desirable neighborhoods or by following the recommendations of your real estate agent. On the other hand, working with a builder means you can often choose to include the most important features in your home. If that’s your situation, here are five tips to building your dream home.

Tip #1 Create a Prioritized List

Brainstorm a list of anything and everything you might want in your new home. Include everything from the number of bedrooms and bathrooms to the size of your kitchen, and from the acreage of your backyard to what your neighborhood looks like.

Once you’re sure you have a complete list, start to prioritize the items on the list. Which ones are non-negotiable (perhaps the neighborhood with the school system you want for your children)? Which ones are highly desirable but not essential (the fifth bedroom, perhaps)? And which ones would be nice, but you could live without (an especially large yard)?

Tip #2 Determine a Budget Range

This is even more important when you’re building a home rather than buying an existing one, for two opposing reasons. First, the sky is literally the limit with a newly built home because you can add virtually anything you desire; this makes it easy to go over your budget. Yet, the opposite is also true. This is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create this particular home exactly how you want it—so, if there is something you truly want and can afford, now is the time to fit that into your plan for your new home. When creating your budget, it's important to leave a little wiggle room at the top to allow for unexpected construction expenses or delays.

Tip #3 Choose the Right Builder for You

Get recommendations from your real estate agent and from friends and family members who have already built a home. You’re going to spend the next several months working with the builder you select, so it’s crucial to pick a company that can deliver exactly what you want and need and that you find easy to communicate and work with.

Note: if you can’t find all the neighborhood and land must-haves (and enough of the highly desirable items) in a development where homes are already being constructed by builders, consider finding a lot to purchase and hiring a construction company to build your dream home there.

Tip #4 Carefully Review Your House Plan Before Approving

This is the time to make sure you’re getting exactly what you want. Yes, you may be able to make changes to plans later on, but that isn’t recommended as it can lead to complications and misunderstandings, as well as being more costly.

Tip #5 Pick the Right Lender for Your Home Construction Loan

When it’s time to turn your dream home into a reality, you’ll need to apply and get approved for a new home construction loan. This type of loan is different from traditional home mortgage loans since your builder will require payments throughout the home-building process as tasks are completed.

Home construction loans by SCCU are actually construction-to-permanent loans, which means you only need to apply once and close your loan once, with only one set of documentation and one set of closing costs. Once you receive the certification of occupancy signaling that the construction of your new home is officially complete, your construction loan is automatically converted into a traditional home mortgage loan.

Additional benefits of choosing SCCU for your home construction loan include:

● We will work with you to find the permanent loan program that fits your needs, whether fixed-rate or adjustable, with a variety of terms. Our article that answers the most common questions about getting a construction loan can help. 
● No matter which SCCU program you choose, you can relax, knowing it comes with our competitive credit union rate.
● During the construction period, your payments are interest-only, calculated only on the amount of money that has been withdrawn to date to build your home.
● You can call to speak with an Express Mortgage Associate today: 800-447-7228, ext. 8976.
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