The luxury of designing and building your own home is not an opportunity reserved for few. In the US and Australia over 40% of all homes are self built, and that figure sits at around 50% throughout Europe, with a high of 80% in Austria. Going self built gives you control over every aspect of your house such as location, layout, budget, even eco-foot print, and it can still work out cheaper than buying.
Location, Location, Location
It’s one of the biggest factors when buying real estate, you could find the perfect house but be put off due to the neighbourhood and surroundings. When you go self built, this isn’t the case. Discrete Canadian Hillside… or perhaps a Costa Rican rainforest plot? No need to worry about the neighbours. That’s not to say that finding a suitable plot is easy, in fact it might be the hardest part, but at least you only have to consider one factor at a time, suitable location first, perfect house second.
You can often find cheaper plots of land if work needs doing e.g. there are no sewer lines or the land needs levelling, and for the difference in price it can sometimes be worth doing yourself. But before committing to any plot, you must investigate the local laws and check that your plans will be in accordance with their requirements and get planning permission.
Building from scratch is a huge project so it definitely helps to have some savings to start you off, though self builds have been completed for around the 5th of the price of the value of a similar construction on the market. Since you won’t be able to move out your old home immediately, you’ll have to come up with the money to build the new house first. You can handle your finances by remortgaging your current house or speaking to mortgage experts like Habito to find suitable loan solutions for you project.
Full Design Control
The fun part is putting your dreams into plans and watching them materialise as the project goes on. For these stages its a good idea to get a good architect or contract a self-build company who can take care of all the steps for you, it depends how much control you want over the actual building process. You’ll still need to make executive decisions on things like the floor plan, building materials, lighting, special features and much more, it’s all under your control.
Choosing to incorporate eco-features throughout your home can be extremely cost effective. When done right, generating green energy on your property can eliminate the need to pay most, if not all, bills, and often generate a little extra which can be sold on. Take inspiration from award-winning eco-homes when decided which features you’d like to include.
Triple glazed windows, solar-powered heating, geothermal cooling, maximised natural light, roof gardens and food growth areas are all big hits in eco-design that to add seamless sustainable functioning to your home. This can be extended to selection of materials you use, sourcing natural and local components that can also help you build better match the surroundings.
Ultimately, an eco-friendly build can check many boxes, from luxury design to sustainability and cost efficiency saving you money every step of the way, in design, occupancy and most certainly through profit on sale.
by Stephanie Organ