Let's Build a House

13 Things I Didn’t Know I Needed To Know About Building a House


Have you ever said, “You learn something new everyday!” when you learned something that surprised you?  This process of building a home has given us multitude of opportunities to learn something new.  As a former librarian, I did my best to research the process because I like to be prepared. The problem is that you have to know what you don’t know before you can research it.

Things I Didn’t Know I Needed To Know

  • Selling a house is expensive. Realtor fees, closing costs, and title insurance can cost almost ten percent (and sometimes more) of your sales price.
  • A signed sales contract for your home doesn’t mean you put a sold sign up. There are hoops to jump through before everything is finalized.
  • Construction loans are short-term loans with a balloon payment at the end of a year.
  • Construction loans require closings similar to closings for purchasing an already built home. This includes closing costs, appraisals and title insurance.
  • Closing costs are required again for your mortgage loan. Some lenders will waive part of those fees if both loans are through the same lender.
  • A home appraisal is completed on your proposed building plan (yes – an appraisal on the house that isn’t built yet).  That appraisal is one of the things that determines how much money you can borrow.
  • Building can’t begin until you close on your construction loan.
  • It’s better to make changes to your building plans before building starts. (Small changes can be very expensive once building begins.)
  • There are too many possible paint colors available.
  • Septic tank plans require approval from the county.
  • HOAs, POAs etc. must approve your building plan before you begin building.
  • All the choices available can make your head spin — even if you think you’re prepared and know what you want.
    HGTV makes everything look too easy.
  • My tastes are too expensive for our budget. (Yes, I already knew this; but it’s been constantly reinforced during this process.)

Note – I realize that the first two on my list are really about selling our present home; however, it’s really all part of the process.  We can’t build our dream home until we sell our present one.  

Have your recently built a home? What advice do you have for us as the building begins? What do I still need to learn about the process?

You can read  Living in My Dreams my first post about building a house here.  Then, just follow the links at the bottom of the page if you want to read more.


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