Last week, I gave some tips about buying your first home. I got an email from a reader named Jason who asked about building a first home from scratch.
When it comes to building a home from scratch I don't have much experience. However, a couple of my friends do. One friend recently had his own home built from scratch. He has probably forgotten more about real estate than I'll ever know. I had the opportunity to visit his new house this past weekend, and it is gorgeous. Another was a silent investor in a home teardown and review. He worked with people who were experts in the industry as well. He made a good return and is now looking to roll it in a new venture.
These friends have two things in common: 1) someone with experience heading up the project 2) It wasn't either's first home.
When I wrote about buying your first home, I hadn't considered building it from scratch. It's difficult enough to buy a first home, without getting into the details of building your first home yourself. I would be afraid that I'd make a mistake because I simply didn't know what I didn't know. For example, I didn't know what I wanted in a kitchen into I lived with a few. (Some may argue that I still don't know what I want... and they woudn't be wrong.)
If you don't have the experience of my friends, I think it is wise to enlist a litle help. I noticed this website, Home Start, has some first home designs here. They've got some designs already planned out. Personally, I love The Accolade. It almost looks too modern with the way it is staged. However, if you add your own personal touches, it shouldn't look quite so sterile.
I don't know if you can get the Home Start designs in the United States. I'm guessing they won't be helping you with sourcing the materials and getting it built. However, they might be able to provide the plans of the design. Supply your own builder and go. Okay, I would get an architect to help you with the details too.
Now, if I could just find some designs like those for finishing a basement into a tiny living area. I'm thinking Murphy/Wall Desk Bed and a really tiny kitchen. I'd like it to be a place where the kids can play and I can take it over as a man cave for watching football. Is it too much to ask for a 15x12-ish space to be a playroom, guest room, and man cave? Perhaps.
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