A Home for Your Home

Building a home should and can be a very rewarding experience, but first you need a home for your home!  If you already have your lot or land, you’re ready to move forward with searching for the right house plan. However, if you’re in the market for a lot, this is where you need to start after you’ve pre-qualified with your mortgage loan officer.

The first thing you and your mortgage loan officer need to understand is – do you plan to purchase a lot and then immediately begin building; or do you plan to purchase a lot and wait a couple of years before you build? This information will help your mortgage lender determine if you need a lot/land loan or a construction/perm loan.

A lot/land loan helps you secure your home site while you continue to save or work through other obstacles before you begin the process of building your new home. You can use the time between the purchase of your lot and building your home to closely look at potential house plans and also investigate the available contractors in your area. Your mortgage loan officer more than likely has dealt with many of the builders in your area and will be more than happy to share what they know about local builders.

You shouldn’t choose a plan until you’ve selected a piece of land. This is in part due to building restrictions and requirements written into certain neighborhood or land covenants. Many neighborhoods require homes to be of a certain size or a particular distance from the road. It’s important to understand these restrictions as you select your home to make sure your home and land selection will work together. You’ll also have to wait to finalize your house plans until you select your lot as the grade of the land must be taken into consideration for your foundation. Is the land flat or sloped? Will it allow for a septic tank if that’s what you need?

If you’ve already purchased your lot or have received land as an inheritance or family gift, the options are a little different than those still searching. Or perhaps, you have built up some equity in your land that you can use toward the down-payment of your house. Having open communication with a mortgage loan officer can help you understand the most economic options available to you.

Whether you already have a lot or need to purchase one, your mortgage loan officer can help you weigh the financing options available to you. In the end, First South Bank can usually pull it all together and provide you with one easy payment!

Choosing a House Plan

Once you have decided on a lot, you can move forward with finalizing your house plans. Some things to consider as you make this decision are:

  • Choose a house plan that works with your land. We already mentioned this, but it’s important to take into consideration the size and shape of your lot, as well as the size and shape of your home.
  • Consider all of the options. You may have a particular style of house in mind, but be open minded and you might see your perfect idea of a home change into something that is better suited to your budget and your property.
  • Exteriors are an easy fix! Don’t discard a plan simply because you don’t like the appearance. Windows, roof lines, exterior finishes can easily be changed to provide a dramatic difference in appearance! Don’t forget – it’s what’s INSIDE that counts. That’s where you’ll be living, after all.
  • Consider the hidden potential. Think about all of those great home renovation shows on television. Don’t discard the plan because it lists a “living room”, and you don’t think you need a living room. Walls can often be moved, doorways changed, fixtures rearranged – and then, you end up with that home theater you’ve always wanted! And remember, blue prints can be altered. Small alterations, like fireplaces, can be added in by your designer, as well as adding or enlarging a garage. Larger changes, like an overall increase or decrease to the square footage, can also be made as well. The point is – keep an open mind while selecting plans.

Selecting a house plan can be a stressful task, but it should be fun! And, by knowing how your property and house plans fit together, you can avoid some potential headaches.

Head spinning? Have questions? Reach out to one of our mortgage loan officers to set up an appointment. We're ready to help!

Read the next article in this series:

Speak with a Mortgage Loan Officer today to learn more about the process of securing a Construction-Permanent Loan.
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