Building your dream home comes with a lot of landmark firsts: the first shovel of dirt overturned, the first walk through the framed-in rooms, the first time you turn the key.
But long before any of that happens, you’d better take care of business first and make sure you’re financially able to take on the expense of a custom home.
Although qualified builders such as Rainey Homes are ready and willing to work with you through financing your project, here are a few basics you should have in place:
- Bring up your credit report, preferably from the three major providers: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. You don’t want to find out about a long-forgotten unpaid bill or credit fraud while sitting down with the loan officer. Heads up: Even when you resolve the problem, it can take 90 days for your credit report to reflect the change.
- Make an honest assessment of your household’s net income. Along with your take-home wages, after taxes and other deductions, add child support, pensions and other income sources into the mix. Then start another list to calculate your expenses. Again, don’t leave anything out. Although you might later make adjustments such as taking your lunch to work rather than buying it every day, this is the time to be straightforward. You want a realistic idea of what you can afford.
- Finally, work up an estimate of your new home’s costs, factoring in the money you’ve saved toward a down payment. At Rainey Homes, you’ll have a fixed price, making it easier to figure out your new mortgage payment. But there are many extras to consider, including property taxes, home insurance, association fees and moving expenses. Don’t forget: If your new home is considerably larger, utility rates are going to rise, too.
Taking care of business in advance builds a solid foundation toward a successful experience. The silver lining is that even if something shows up that impedes your plans, facing it squarely and making the necessary adjustments puts you back on the path to your dream home.