3 Ways To Financially Prepare to Build A House

If you are thinking about building a house, it can be VERY intimidating to think about. There are a ton of things running through your mind “How much will it cost?” “Can we afford to build a house or should we buy?” “Where do I even start looking to find land and a builder?”

There are a ton of options to consider when building a home. No matter what your situation is,  I have a few tips to help you get your ducks in a row and determine if building a house is the right decision for you and your family. 

So here are few things to consider when financially preparing to build a house:

  1. Set Your Budget  

This may seem like a no brainer but the first step is to set your budget for how much you want to pay for a house whether you are buying or building. Figure out how much you can pay for a house and how much you will be approved for by your bank and start there. 

 When building, depending on your payment options, you may have time to save a little money while the house is being built and this can give you a little bit of freedom to do those interior upgrades that tend to add up. When building it is better to have them do those upgrades now rather than trying to do them yourself later. But if you are a handy person, MORE POWER TO YOU!

  1. Pick Your Builder

This is the part that will vary the most. You can choose to go through a builder where you pick your floor plan and the lot price is figured into your house payment. This is usually common for housing editions or developments. (This is what we did!)

You might choose to buy some land, pick your own blueprint, go through an architect and contractor to build a custom home that is unique to you. You will have to factor in other fees for this and figure out financing with your bank and builder to determine your payment method. 

Or you may choose to build it completely on your own if you are handy and have the time.With this option you will have to talk about financing options with your bank and save accordingly for all of the building materials that come along with it! 

  1. SAVE, SAVE, SAVE

This is by far the biggest tip I have when it comes to building a house. You have to save up to put down earnest money, change orders, closing costs, furniture for your new home, potentially appliances if they aren’t included. 

These fees can vary person to person but I would say it is safe to have ATLEAST  $10,000 put back if you are considering building a home. This way you have a little bit of cushion to work with. AGAIN, this can vary from person to person. It may be more depending on the size of house you are building, how much you are required to put down on the home, the area you live in, etc.

Building a House at 22

When I was younger, I never would have imagined that I would be happily married at 19, have a great job, and building a HOME! It was definitely not an easy road to get here. You can read a little about that story on my getting married at 19 in my blog post linked here. But for now I will give you a little back story of how we are able to build our house at 22 and why we decided to build instead of buy.

My husband and I moved back home to Indiana after he got out of the Marine Corps. We waited to buy a house until we came back because we wanted to be able to look at houses in person, and the uncertainty of the military… plans change A LOT! So because of this my parents offered to let us stay with them during this big transition. 

When we came back to Indiana we sat down with a realtor and started looking at houses right away. We weren’t afraid of a fixer upper since our budget was pretty small. We knew a brand new, move-in ready house wasn’t in the cards for us…. (or so we thought). After struggling to find a  house in our budget and area, we decided to live with my parents for a little while longer to save up some money because honestly  that was one of the things that we REALLY  weren’t prepared for. 

We did not have NEARLY enough money saved up to buy a house, so we had to re-evaluate. I also talk about this in my transitioning out of the military blog. It can give you some helpful tips if you’re transitioning out of the military and in the same situation. However, We decided to live with my parents a little bit longer and get our finances in order. We adopted the Dave Ramsey budget plan and really cracked down on our monthly income to put all of our extra money towards a house and build up our savings. 

After looking at what seemed like tons of houses and months of saving, none of the houses we looked at felt like “home” to us. I was praying that we would find the right house at the right time, and our prayers were answered. 

One night driving to dinner at my in-laws we saw a sign for a home builder in our area. I decided to take a gamble and message them as a last resort. We didn’t get our hopes up because we figured it would be out of our budget….but there’s no harm in asking! At this point we had a little more money saved up and were hoping for a miracle, and then this happened…..

The builder agreed to meet with us and discuss options within our budget! He believed he could do it, but it still seemed way  too good to be true! When we finally met with him, and went over what we could do within the budget we had, everything just kind of fell into place! We picked out our floor plan, and when we stepped into the model house it truly felt like “home” to us.

It was definitely a big leap of faith, but we are so glad that we did it, even though it means living with my parents longer than we hoped. We are still working hard and saving as much as we can while it is being built.  I want to keep updating on the building process and share all of the details about future decor, and eventually our new house tour!  We know now more than ever about how much it takes to buy or build a home. I hope to share this journey to home ownership with all of you! Stay tuned for updates of our home build 🙂

I know everyone’s situation is going to be different at this season of life, but if you are wanting to set big goals for yourself like buy a house no matter what age or season of life you are in it takes a lot of hard work to get there! Save as much as you can and educate yourself and improve your financial situation. We adopted the Dave Ramsey snowball method to get out of debt and save for our future. However, there are also financial advisors you can speak with and tons of resources online to help you get on track with goals you want to set 🙂 Comment down below what kind of home updates, or blogs you would like to see in the future!

Riley Jo XOXO