Building on your land: Seeing your dream on paper

    Once you've invested your deposit, been honest about your budget, and discussed your wish list of features for your forever home, it's time for your builder to start creating a plan. He'll go to the drawing board and come up with a conceptual house plan, a list of features, and a price.

    It's pretty exciting to see your dream on paper! But the work's not done yet. There are still lots of choices to make about those features and how many of them will actually fit in your budget.

    The Initial Price

    The initial price from your builder will probably include lots of details about the cost of individual items. If your entire wish list is included in the initial plan, the overall price is probably going to be way over your budget, maybe by tens of thousands of dollars. Don't worry. Seriously, don't worry. That's totally normal.

    You might as well start off with everything included. You can pare it down as you go. Now that you know what it will take to get everything you want, you're in the driver's seat.

    Prioritize Your Dream Home Wish List

    If you've chosen the right builder, you have a trusted expert and partner in the process. Work alongside your builder to prioritize your wish list. Get his input on creative solutions for getting the most for your money. Be 100% honest and transparent about your priorities and what you're willing to live without, and think creatively about solutions.

    If you enter the process with an open mind and a willingness to work at it, you'll get to a house plan and features list that you'll be happy with and excited to make happen.

    You have two choices at this point in the process:

    1. You can make compromises to make it happen or
    2. Dig your heels in against reality.

    I recently worked with an Oklahoma City family who simply refused to give in to the reality that they couldn't afford everything they wanted in their forever home.

    They were 80% of the way there, and because they wouldn't compromise on any of the remaining 20%, the dream of building a custom home on their land remains stubbornly out of reach.

    Keep an open mind at every stop of the process, be willing to compromise where necessary, and work with an experienced builder you can trust!

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