25 Ways to Save Money Building Your Dream Home

Joseph Meyer
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Know Your Mortgage Rates

Before you start shopping for a house, or even for a mortgage, it’s wise to have an idea of what kind of interest rate you can expect. So take a moment to check out your mortgage rate.

If this is your first time buying a home, you might be surprised to find that your options are more limited than you had hoped. Although rates should be higher than they were before the economy began its rebound, a recent Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) bill passed by Congress means that homeowners with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans may soon see an easier process for refinancing. But it’s still a good idea to set some goals for yourself before you start looking.

I’d encourage you to strongly consider your financial position and the age of your loan before you think about refinancing. If you have been making your payments on time for the past few years, your interest rate is of less importance. However, if you are facing a high interest rate, even a higher rate may save your thousands of dollars in interest over the life of your loan.

Since rates vary between different lenders, you’ll want to shop around for the best rate you can get. Some articles suggest that you ask friends and family for the names of nearby mortgage brokers so that you can talk to a number of lenders before you begin the process.

Sell Your Own Home Without a Realtor

Hire a Realtor with a Discount

__ A real estate broker or agent can help you locate land or a home in the area you want. But since no one can serve as your eyes and ears 24/7, a professional becomes even more vital when you want to make an offer. A good real estate agent can protect your interests and protect your wallet. If you find too many homes for sale, the agent can use his or her savvy to find the right house at the right price.

Behind most homeowners is a lot of hard work and dedication that got them to where they are today. Making choices as a homeowner can be one of the most difficult things you face in your life. Now if you decide to hire a real estate agent for buying your home. Don’t let him or her ruin your life, by not representing your needs and interests the way they should be. To find a real estate agent that represents your best interest approach the top agents in your area, who can all produce the necessary 12 offers to buy a home. Tell them you want the best price for your home and you want the agent that delivers that to you. Don’t put all the chips in the middle of the table and let them gamble with your home.

4. Hire an Awesome Real Estate Agent

Seventy-six percent of real estate agent applicants fail their license exam. The exam is hard. And so is your job as a realtor.

Licensing is one of the best investments you could ever make in starting a career in real estate.

Common sense tells us that people aren’t selling their homes because they want to. They are selling their homes because they have to. They need money to pay down debt, save for retirement, or otherwise supplement their income. They need to sell to make money.

Knowing this can help you turn a home sale into a solid financial transaction.

The secret is to align your interests with those of the buyer. Because real estate is so competitive, you will have to go above and beyond to win the trust and confidence of the seller. You’ll have to “wow” them with your resources.

And you definitely want to wow them with your expertise. This necessitates the need to not only have the right resources in your back pocket, but also the breadth and depth of knowledge that can be timely and important to the sales transaction.

Requote Your Home Insurance

The percent of Americans who have supplemental coverage on a home insurance policy is almost 50%. People often get it when they renovate their homes or purchase expensive personal items, like jewelry, art, or antiques.

The percent of Americans who are underinsured is even higher, at just over 20%. Home buyers often don’t know where to start when it comes to purchasing insurance for a relatively new asset like a house.

The first step is to set your budget and then get a quote for insurance. You also need to look more specifically at how much coverage you need for your specific house or furniture.

Many people don’t realize that there is also coverage for vandalism, theft, and natural disasters.

You can get a quote from a number of different insurance companies and crunch some numbers back and forth to see which option suits your insurance needs best.

If you have a home, you should definitely have insurance. Call your insurance company and see if you can get a lower premium by updating your coverage to include your entire home coverage profile.

Get a Credit Card with 0% APR

For the past few years, banks have been competing with each other by offering consumers 0% interest while paying for a balance transfer from another card with the same bank. But these offers aren’t always around because it’s a risky business for the banks. So, if you’re thinking of taking a loan to build your dream home, be on the lookout for these 0% interest periods that many banks are offering.

While the 0% offers are not unrealistic, you’re still going to have to pay a lot for your loan, in the form of interest over time. So be sure to build in a house fund and pay a little extra from every paycheck to cover the interest incrementally.

Have a Contingency Plan

Everyone dreams of building a house and that includes being in a position to provide all one need. Be sure to factor in an emergency fund to have something to hold you over until the next large expense. Many people try to save money building their dream home and forget to build in a contingency plan.

Visit Many, Many Homes

Most people want to find the home they want to build or buy by just visiting one home and deciding whether it meets their dream home checklist or not. When I first started looking for a place to build my dream home, I visited only a handful of homes. And guess what? I bought a house that met less than half of the checklist items and had to spend a lot of money making it fit.

To save you from the same mistake, make yourself visit at least twenty homes before deciding to build one. Visit both older and new houses to see what different builders are doing today. Visit homes that are similar and dissimilar to the home you want to build. The more homes you visit, the better the idea of the layout of the floor plan and other features you like and would like to incorporate. On top of deciding on the perfect amount of square footage, you should also decide on the amenities you want in your dream home. Most of these amenities are likely to come with a hefty price tag.

I know I am starting to get repetitive here and this will not be the last time you hear this advice. It’s because it’s important. If there is one thing I would go back and do over again, it would be to visit many more homes than I did. For me, it would have saved me a lot of money. And I know it will save you.

Find a Good Architect

It may seem obvious, but when it comes to construction, it’s important to find a good architect. Good architects don’t come cheap, but they will save you money in the long run by having a professional design that will increase your home’s value and by stopping problems before they happen.

A good architect will make sure all building codes are followed and that your dream home is built correctly, efficiently and within budget. Your local authorities may have a list of architects they recommend, and there are many directories online where you can find local architects and ask the people you know for recommendations.

Hire The Right Builder

When the time comes to find a builder, be prepared. You’ve thoroughly done your homework: evaluating the location, finding a great architect, even finding the right landscaper and home inspector. And yet …

The builder will be the one who guides you through all the twists and turns on the road to building your dream home. It’s a tough role – and not all the best-laid plans will survive contact with a live human being.

When you find the right builder, you will understand the difference. It’s not about price – there will be someone to match that price, if not beat it. It’s not about large-company experience – you could have a small-time builder that doesn’t know what they’re doing. The difference is in that X-factor of personality.

But what exactly is that X-factor and how do you find it? Some builders are masters of self-promotion; others — not so much. What are the attributes of a great builder? Read on…

Bid out Your Cost

When your homeowners or renter’s insurance premiums will be going up because your house has been in an accident or worse, been robbed, do you like the insurance company telling you that you must pay out of pocket? Of course not! The insurance company should be paying for the damages.

Here’s How to Protect Yourself!

There are always tons of different reasons that your insurance may deny what you feel you’re fully covered for. It could be that the item was stolen when you were in a different country, it is no longer under warranty, or that you were charging it outside of its safe charging guidelines. No matter what the reason, here is how you’ll be covered when you use HomeRight Safety Insurance:

If the item you’re insuring is stolen, vandalized or damaged by a fire you’ll be covered up to the limits of your policy depending upon how old the item is. If your item is older, you’ll still be insured if it’s damaged by a fire, but your coverage will be lower than if it was a new item.

Have a Heart to Heart With Your Builder

Some of the most valuable money saving tips comes from talking with your builder. These conversations show your builder that you understand the project. Plus they’re really busy and don’t have time to explain common issues. The last thing they want is a confrontation, so taking a creative interest in the project is a great way to show off your knowledge.

Find a Good Banker

Finding a banker—with lots of experience in lending to development projects—is one of the most important steps in the development process. Good bankers have an understanding of the business as well as the personalities, skills and assets of the principals. They can make the project more viable, keep it on track, and force you to gather all the information you need to get the deal done. Find someone you trust, know that you can count on, and have an on-going relationship with.

Negotiate the Construction Loan

Take Advantage of Online Stores that Offer Free Shipping

When you’re building your dream home, it’s easy to start adding to your shopping list. It’s easy to find new pieces that you want, or convince yourself that you need something, so putting a limit on how much you’ll spend can be tricky.

The best way to curb your spending is to be aware of what you have, how much you’ll spend, and where you’ll buy it.

A great place to start is shipping. Many online stores offer free shipping, and some offer free returns. Compare shipping prices online before you buy, and stick to a place with free shipping.

Search Online Wholesalers Instead of Buying Retail

In an effort to attract and retain the attention of the consumer, many retailers charge slightly above MSRP (Manufactures Suggested Retail Price). The price is higher than you’d like it to be, but prices will rarely be lower than they are at the home improvement store simply because of the market. Many of the items you need to build a home can be found at the hardware store or chain store, but the cost of these items is higher due to the dynamics of the retail space. This can be very discouraging, but it is another example of the ways in which things can go wrong when building your dream home.

If you’re okay with a delayed gratification process, there is a way to save money while building your dream home on a budget. There are many cases in which prices will be cheaper online. For instance, you may find a home improvement store that has a higher price for a certain product and Amazon will have it for a lower price. In fact, Amazon® has a reputation for having more competitive prices and there are many consumers that prefer shopping online because of that reason alone. We’re just scratching the surface here because there are many more reasons to shop online, but at least you know that not all is lost in the retail market. Now you just have to know how to get the most possible for whatever it is that you’re buying.

Buy Your Lighting on Sale

Buy your light fixtures on sale. When you buy a light fixture, you’re typically buying only the frame. Those lights are sold either as cheap as possible, or with the option of you putting in your own light bulbs. Either way is a great deal. You can buy the most energy-efficient bulbs as well.

Don’t forget the most economical way to light your lamps and room is still good old fashioned sunlight.

Never buy Online Without Searching for a Coupon Code First

The first thing you should do is shop around for the best price.

Before you even decide on an online retailer, you should always do a quick Google search for coupon codes. Some online retailers offer up to 15% off your entire purchase, which actually makes up for quite a lot of the difference between what you’d pay in a local store and the price on the website.

Use it or Lose it

One of the common problems that a lot of homeowners have is that no matter how financially comfortable they are, it’s just not enough.

They never seem to have enough of those “little” things they need here and there and that keep their homes in top shape. Well, I’ve got some news for you. Those “little” things add up and can add a lot to the bottom line.

The best way to avoid that situation is to budget for things you need at home.

But wait a minute, haven’t we talked about that before? Well, yes, we have and every time we do it seems that some of you just aren’t doing it. How can I put this in diplomatic terms—budgeting sucks! Well, yeah, it does if you’re a smart person.

That’s why a lot of you just feel that whole budget thing going right over your head. That’s okay, because it’s totally doable if you have a plan. So let’s look at how to create a plan so you know exactly how much of the stuff you want actually costs.

Get By With a Little Help From Your Friends

If there is a neighbor you like and respect – befriend him or her! Building a home is a time-intensive endeavor, and having a friend in the neighborhood will make you feel better. Your friendship can weather the bad weather with a friendly co-pilot.

You’ll also be able to utilize your friends’ and family’s resources. Their homes can be the headquarters for a project.

Get your significant other involved. One of the best marketing tactics is word of mouth from a specific peer group. If you know your partner’s friends, labor can be acquired for free.

If you’re going to use an expert, they’ll want a big check at some point. You can’t stiff them, but this check can be in the form of a credit toward your finished product.

Mayors, town supervisors, land developers and other power players may be able to help procure land for you to use – or avoid paying so much in rent while you’re building your dream.

Sweat it Up

You don’t need a gym membership to get your body back in shape and trim down. It’s time to sweat and get those heart rates up with a few of these awesome DIY workouts that require minimal equipment. Do it outdoors or in a small space, and get started.

  1. Tighten and tone your buns with a stair workout.
  2. Turn on the tunes and work out in the comfort of your own home with this awesome dance workout.
  3. Bring the outside in with this step workout using only your everyday kitchen chairs
  4. Turn on the music and burn some fat with this fast-paced workout for anyone who can jump rope.
  5. Sometimes it’s not about the time, but about breaking a sweat, and using simple equipment can get you there.
  6. These moves are guaranteed to kick start your workout with this total body blast.
  7. Get fit from the comfort of your own living space with this simple and effective workout.
  8. A killer workout for your core and glutes, using only your bodyweight and a towel
  9. Rev up those glutes and hamstrings with this all-out glute workout using only a couch.
  10. Get your heart rate up with this cardio-boosting workout.

Know All Your Tax Credits

Tax credits are an amount of money put into your account after you file your taxes.You can use your tax credits towards health care and education.

Even if you have a very small income but have taxes you have to pay, you may be eligible for a refundable tax credit.

Some of the most common refundable tax credits include:

  • The Earned Income Tax Credit
  • The Child Tax Credit
  • The American Opportunity Credit
  • The Lifetime Learning Credit
  • The Tuition and Fees Deduction
  • Time

There are different phases during the construction process. You should be aware of how much time it takes to finish each of them. This will allow you to have a detailed plan.

Fence

Fences are relatively easy to build. Even a DIY enthusiast can easily build his/her own.

Materials

You should buy quality materials. If you are going to use the materials yourself, you will save yourself a lot of money. However, if you will be hiring a builder, you will have to pay for the material plus the labor.

Collect Boxes

Most people throw away their boxes, but you can save them and make some bucks. Find a furniture moving company and ask them if they are able to pick up their boxes from you.

You can also sell your unwanted ones to a home improvement store. They may ask a few bucks for them, but they will probably buy them.

Price Your Movers Wisely

How do you know if you’re paying a fair price for your moving company? Once you’ve identified a good mover, one that you really feel good about, you’ll need to determine if the quote you’re getting is the best you can do. There are certain things to ask yourself when calculating whether or not the quote you’re getting is fair.

Is the quote non-binding?

Figure out Furniture you need in Advance

How do you want to furnish the house you are dreaming about? Ask yourself that question before you go to the furniture store. Go online and check custom stores. Find them online to see what they charge for a particular type of furniture. That’s not the price they will give you when you walk in, but it’s a good place to start.

Also, will you need to rent items from a local rental store for a short period of time? If it’s simpler, look for furniture at garage sales and estate sales where you can purchase items if you get a bargain or when they are on clearance. You can always resell if you purchase gently used furniture you think would bring in more money.

If you are moving up in the world and want new furniture, you can make an offer on a designer couch or chair that has seen better times. Many of these items are so well made that they will last for years.