With a custom home, you can create your own living space with your personal style and preferences stamped on it. When you want to design and build your own home, working with professional custom home builders can be quite helpful. Here’s what you need to know before you start planning.

1. The Process

First thing’s first, you should understand the custom home building process. A custom home professional will typically introduce you to this type of home building and explain how it works. Working with these professionals should include discussion of your ideas and design preferences, time to design on your own and then review your designs, Finally, you can focus on figuring out pricing. Sometimes people think building a custom home is all about the physical building, but you need to lay a lot of groundwork before starting that.

2. What to Choose First

The two choices people tend to know exist when building a custom home are the lot and the architect. It’s common for people to think you need to choose the lot first so you know what you’re working with, then the architect to design, and then worry about builders, pricing and selling later. But actually, the builder is often the best thing to choose first. A good builder has tons of experience and can help you choose your best options for lots and architects.

3. Pricing

A lot goes into the pricing of custom home building too. You have to think about the out-sale price of the property, which can go up or down depending on how much new construction is going on in a particular real estate market. If a lot of new construction is occurring, it’s easier to estimate the price of your custom home and there’s less risk and vice versa. A good builder can use real estate market knowledge to your mutual advantage and help you buy a lot quickly for the best price.

The lot isn’t the only thing you need to keep in mind when it comes to pricing. You’ll need to include pricing for your builder, architect and supplies in your budget. You also need to be prepared to finance your home. Depending on your plans for the home you’re building and whether the lot is empty or you’re tearing down existing structures, you may not qualify for a traditional mortgage, so you need to be prepared to look into other financing options if necessary.

4. Challenges

There are a few unique challenges when building a custom home. For example, it can sometimes be difficult to find a lot with good potential for building. Or worse, you could find the perfect lot but move too slowly and someone else snatches it up before you have a chance to buy. Sometimes buyers even turn down lots that they view as flawed for things like not being perfectly flat when the lots could be fixed or used in unique ways. But with the right builder, these challenges can be overcome.

Custom home building is a fascinating building process that can result in really unique homes. If you’re prepared for the challenge you can create a really rewarding product.