Building a house you’re proud to call home isn’t a small task. In reality, building or buying a home will likely be the most expensive purchase of your life.
However, a lot of people jump into the home building process without giving a lot of thought to what a new home can do to truly improve the quality of life for themselves and their loved ones.
I mean…if you’re going to spend the money, shouldn’t you get what you REALLY WANT?
With this in mind, below are 6 questions to ask before building a new home in WV.
1. What Can I Afford?
Let’s talk dollars and cents first. What is a realistic budget for your new home? Think about your household income minus your monthly debts and expenses. How much of your income goes towards housing?
Most lenders work off of a general rule of thumb – to spend no more than 28% of your pre-tax income on housing. This means if you have a $100,000 household income, you would feasibly be able to borrow $2,300 monthly in a mortgage (100,000 x 28% = 28,000 / 12 months = $2,333).
This should give you a ballpark on what you should be able to afford, but the best way to find out this info is to simply ask. Meet with a local lender and get pre-approved for a mortgage—they will tell you how much home you can afford.
Finally, take into account your comfort level. Just because you can afford $3,000/mo. mortgage payment doesn’t mean you will feel comfortable spending that much each month.
2. How Much Space Do I Need?
Now that you have a good idea how much house you can afford, it’s time to think about how much house you really need.
Is it just you or you and your spouse that will be living there? Do you have—or do you plan to have—children? Do you love to host parties and entertain your friends and family, or do you prefer to live a quiet and simple lifestyle?
The answers to these kinds of questions will determine whether you will require a 2 bedroom 1,500 square foot home or a 5 bedroom 3,500 square foot home.
Generally speaking: the bigger the house, the bigger the price tag. But price is not the only factor here—you will also want to consider general upkeep, cleaning, maintenance, and other ongoing responsibilities that come with homeownership. A bigger home may take longer to clean, cost more to heat and cool, and have other implications that will affect your lifestyle.
On the opposite side: building a smaller house may cause you to outgrow your home much faster than expected. This is why it’s important to set an honest expectation for how much space you really need. A professional design & build homebuilder can work with you to design a new home in WV and find balance between size and amenities!
3. Where Do I Want To Live?
“The three most important factors in determining the desirability of a property is location, location, and location.” There’s a reason that cliche is so well-known: it’s because it’s true. This is why you want to take some time to think about where you want to build your new home.
You may already own property on which to build, and in that case your decision is an easy one. However, if part of your budget needs to go toward buying land for your new home, then give some thought to the area of town in which you want to live.
Is it important to be close to work or certain amenities like grocery stores or parks? Maybe you’d prefer to have a large yard so there is space between you and your neighbors. Or perhaps you have friends or family in a certain part of town that you’d like to be able to meet up with regularly.
Take a look at your lifestyle—or the lifestyle you want to have—and choose an area that best fits that vision.
4. What Styles of Home Do I Prefer?
While house styles are virtually endless, there are just a handful of main popular styles of house in our region of Appalachia. These include the Ranch, Cape Cod, 2-Story Colonial, and Split-Entry styles.
Ranch Homes are single-level homes usually built with an open concept floorpan. They are easy to take care of, and because there are no stairs to navigate they are great for older homeowners who may have trouble going up and down stairs. They are also great for anyone who is looking for simplicity in living. Ranch homes are some of the most sought-after house styles in the area.
The Cape Cod style home is like a ranch with a second story, usually designed as a 3 bedroom home with 2 bedrooms upstairs and a master bedroom on the main floor with the rest of the living space. These are very popular for their curb appeal and the fact that they are generally less expensive to build than a 2-story Colonial style home.
The 2-story Colonial style is pretty self-explanatory: they have two stories with bedrooms generally located upstairs and communal living space located downstairs. These are usually larger homes in terms of square-footage, and can be as simple or as ornamental as you desire.
The Split-Entry style home has a ranch floor plan but with an additional living space in the lower level. The front door opens to a stairway that is 1/2 flight of stairs between the upper and lower level, thus the name “split-entry.”
Each home style offers something unique to those who live within their walls, so check out each style and give some thought to what speaks to you.
5. What Are My “Must Haves”?
Now that you have a good idea about what you can afford, what style home you’d like to build and where you’d like to build it, it’s time to make a list of the things you absolutely want to have in your new home in WV.
Talk to your spouse, kids, or other invested parties about the space, rooms, and amenities that you absolutely want in your new home. These could include an open floor plan, large living room, granite kitchen countertops, 4 bedrooms, a master bath with a jacuzzi tub, a 2 car garage, large back deck, or anything else that you determine as a “must have.”
There are no wrong answers here, though it’s important to stay realistic with your list by considering your budget.
6. What Are My “Would Likes”?
The second list you should make are your “would likes.” These aren’t as important as the items on your “must have” list, but it sure would be nice if you could get them as well.
Next Steps For Your New Home In WV
Once you have worked through these 6 big questions, it’s time to talk to a custom home builder! At Vision Homes, we’ve helped over 500 West Virginians and Pennsylvanians build houses they are proud to call home.
Our team is made up of experts that listen to your needs, wants and budget, and work hard to exceed your expectations. We have years of hands-on experience in all aspects of home-building, and we’re dedicated to helping you create a new home in WV that you will love for years to come.
So if you are interested in learning more about building a new home in WV including Morgantown, Fairmont, or the surrounding areas, contact us today to set up a time to chat!
If you’d like to learn more about the home building process, click here to download our “Homebuilding 101” guide!