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Old 03-30-2013, 03:36 PM   #1
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Want a custom made home one day

I've always lived in apartments. One day I'll buy a home and I want it to be customized. So where do I start? There's so many things to think about:
  • Energy related:
    • renewable energy (solar and wind), for electricity and heating
    • great insulation to conserve energy
    • lots of sunlight through portholes/windows in the walls or roof that can be closed like blinds. This is for heating and light.
    • Floor heating? I've heard that saves money.
  • "smart home" related:
    • I want to be able to control stuff through smartphone apps and so on (on off, status of appliances etc)
    • motion sensors for turning music, lights, A/C systems on/off
    • fire prevention and security systems connected to the internet (alarms, cameras)
  • Great audio setup (with bass) in every room, with access to a digital library in all locations
  • Custom designed bathrooms with music setup. For example I hate standard sink arrangements because they're bad for the back.
  • noise proof. I don't want music/bass/noise to come in or out of the house
  • Ventilation to get some fresh air in: When the weather is right, I turn on a switch and the whole house is ventilated
Anything else?

I don't know how I'm going to get all these things done. Maybe I'll just settle down with the bare minimum things that I need and those which are possible/affordable. Maybe I'll just end up living in a standard home. Are there construction companies that help with advice like this?
I would live in an apartment for some time until the house is being built or till I've found the right one in case it exists already where I can get some minimum satisfaction.

I've seen a few articles on how some people built their green energy homes and so on. I could look at them too.
I just want to know how I can get started on how to plan and get this done.


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Old 03-30-2013, 03:50 PM   #2
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Welcome to the Forum!

so many things to think about ....

the big thing ..... how much home can you afford???? what is your budget. It used to be recommended that you spend no more than 30% of your income on housing. That is what got us in trouble in the housing market, was not uncommon for mortgages to be 50% of people's income.

figure out how much you can afford and how long do you want to pay for it, 15 years, 20 years, 30 years ...... the less your mortgage life is the more your monthly payments will be, but the less you pay back over time.

don't forget also that when building a custom home you have to have land to build on. So it's not just the construction of the home but purchasing the land as well.

where do you want to live? some areas cost more to live than others.

if you have a neighborhood in mind check with the local assessor's office and see what the accessed values of the homes are. If you build a more expensive home you lessen your chances of getting your money back should you ever need to sell your home. You never want to be at the high end or low end in home values within a particular neighborhood.

make your wish list and set priorities for each item. To me insulation comes before smart homes items, solid construction before crown moldings, etc. Only you can set your priorities.

get a folder and every time you find an article or photo of something you'd like to have put it in your folder. This way when you go to a home designer your have something to show them, not just trying to describe it with words.

this should get your started

Good luck!



"You get what you pay for, and sometimes free costs more!"
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Old 03-30-2013, 05:14 PM   #3
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Pex heating in the driveway so you never have to shovel your driveway.
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:04 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mj12
Pex heating in the driveway so you never have to shovel your driveway.
Know a guy who tried that here in Minnesota went through a 1000 gal tank of lp in a week. He capped off those lines real fast.
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:04 PM   #5
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My wife and I have owned 6 homes, and from this I can tell you that ideally you are going to want at least 2400 square feet of main living space. Anything less and you are going to sacrifice somewhere. That's a starting point for you.
" Most people would rather die than think, and most do " Bertrand Russell

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Old 03-30-2013, 06:08 PM   #6
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2400 is a nice home, that's what we have now ..... 3 bedroom 2 bath and I have 3 rooms for my offices

"You get what you pay for, and sometimes free costs more!"
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:21 PM   #7
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Nice to have a wish list but you can wish in one hand and poop in the other quess which one fills up faster.
There's tons of home still one the market at rock bottom prices and the lending rates have never been lower.
Before the end of the year that's all going to change.
Wait while your still wishing and the prices of everything are going to up and your still going to be paying rent for nothing.

Last edited by joecaption; 03-31-2013 at 02:31 PM.
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:46 PM   #8
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If your pockets are deep enough,you can have all that and more right now.
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:10 PM   #9
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I would start with a detached shop. Then you plan the house.
When posting in forums, letting us know your location will help others give better feedback/advice/solutions to your questions
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:16 AM   #10
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I certainly understand your wish to own a custom home. We have owned ten houses since 1976, and the current (and hopefully last) one is a log home we designed and built almost entirely by ourselves. But my advice to you, as someone who has never owned a home, is to start with an existing one that appeals to you. It will almost certainly be far less expensive, and will allow you to build some equity and get used to the tribulations (and rewards) of home ownership. Frankly, it isn't for everyone, though that is the American Dream that's been pushed for years and years.
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:29 AM   #11
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I have always wanted an atrium.

One day.


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