A Guide to Building a House on a Budget

Building that dream home doesn't have to take a bite out of your budget.
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While some newlyweds opt to buy a preexisting home, others choose to build their own palace by having a new home constructed from the ground up. If you want to craft a place that is all your own, but don't have bags of cash laying around in your basement or a money tree at your disposal, there are ways to keep costs within a reasonable range. By taking time to employ some money-saving measures, you can ensure that your new home build doesn't leave you drowning in debt.

List Costs with Professional Assistance

Unlike preexisting homes, many new homes do not come with a price tag attached. As a result, it is easy to fail to realize all of the costs associated with building your own place. There are many things that you will need to do when building a home, such as having utilities hooked up or having a driveway and sidewalks poured, that are not included in the building prices that many construction companies quote. Before allowing your new-home excitement to lead you to dive in ill-prepared, sit down with the builder or another trusted professional in the industry and construct a list of what things are not included in the quoted price. Explore the costs of these extras before breaking ground on your dream home to avoid a financial nightmare.

Prioritize Desires

Although vaulted ceilings, granite countertops and whirlpool tubs may be on your list of new house wants, having it all is not a reality for many on-a-budget builders. To ensure that you don't nickel and dime yourself with extras, create a prioritized list. When making this list, remember that you can always add things that you want later. For example, if you really want hardwood floors but just can't swing it, consider carpeting now with a plan to later upgrade as you and your spouse become more financially set.

Sweat Equity Options

If you are good with a paintbrush or handy with a hammer, you may want to consider putting some sweat equity into your new home. Many home builders will allow buyers to work off some of the costs associated with home construction to save some cash on the resulting house. If your builder is willing to make this arrangement, consider taking him up on it. By spending a few Saturdays painting or laying some flooring you can reduce the bite that the house building process will take out of your budget.

Prepare for Overspending

Much to the chagrin of many new home builders, going over budget is incredibly common. As the website Ask the Builder recommends, those building homes should prepare to go over their budgets. To do this, determine how much you can spend, and multiply that figure by .9. Make this reduced amount your new budget. This will create some wiggle room and ensure that even if you pass your budget you will not find yourself in a world of house-building hurt.

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