Whether you decide to remodel, build an addition, or build an entirely new home, the prospect of moving forward as quickly as possible probably has you pumped up and ready to get going. But you can’t go it alone! You’ll need to assemble the right team of experts to guide you through the process—experienced professionals who know what it takes to bring your vision to reality.
Your ideal home building team is a group of people you trust to keep you informed, bounce ideas off, make the right decisions, and do what’s best for you as you continue on this path. Here are the roles you need to fill to assemble your own top-notch home building team.
What roles need to be filled on your team?
Depending on your chosen path and your level of experience, your team could include any combination of the professionals below. The important thing is not necessarily to find each of these individuals, but to make sure that each of these roles is covered during your project. One team or firm could cover several of these positions.
Financial Consultant – It’s vitally important that you have a complete understanding of what you can afford. Your budget impacts many areas moving forward, so working with a finance expert who you trust to understand your goals is a necessity. Often it is a sibling or close friend who advises you, and integrating your financial advisor into this team is just a matter of a couple of conversations.
Lender – If you know your budget and you’re not paying cash, you will need a professional to help you execute. Explore your options and create a plan. Remember, all lenders are different, and many have specialized products that could apply to you, including energy efficient mortgages, construction loans, etc.
Realtor – Whether you’re shopping for homes on the market or looking for a plot of land where you can build, it will be important to have a relationship with a realtor who understands your market and your vision. The realtor will help you with a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) on your home so you know what it is worth, and what prices make sense in your neighborhood. Pricing your home correctly is tricky, but vitally important to maximize your value in a timely way.
Builder – The building firm is the company that will plan and oversee the construction process. Many home builders also offer engineering and pre-construction services, including developing home designs and plans if you aren’t working with an architect. We strongly recommend working with a building firm that both designs and builds.
Architect – You may choose to work with an architect. The architect can help with concepts, designs, plans and specifications for your soon-to-be constructed home.
Designer – You may choose to bring in the expertise of various designers to help add the right aesthetic style to your home. From interiors to landscapes, a designer can add that extra touch.
Attorney – When it comes to closing on a new home, you’ll need the services of a trusted attorney to bring it all together.
Building Trust, Alignment, and Connection
You’ll probably meet with quite a few people initially as you decide who to include on your team. For your final decision, be sure to select people you hit it off with. You’ll be working closely with these folks for an extended period of time, so as you begin these initial conversations, check in with yourself in the following three areas:
Trust: Remember, your choice of realtor, builder, architect, etc. should not be based solely on the company’s reputation. At the end of the day, you’re working with people, not a company. Do you trust the people who will be managing your project?
Alignment: Does each professional fully understand your needs, wants, and wishes? Is it clear that you are on the same page? Most importantly, have they explained each process in a way that you understand clearly?
Connection: Do you feel a connection with the members of your team? Is there mutual excitement and passion for this project? Do they make you feel reassured and excited to move forward?
Taking a Collaborative Approach
Whatever the makeup of your new home team, collaboration and communication are key. It can be detrimental to the success of the project to get too far in the process with any one professional before starting your conversations with the others. Keep in mind—chances are that you won’t be sitting around a table with your “team” all in the same room, discussing your strategy together. You will act as the communication point between the other players.
For example, you don’t want to get through the design process with an architect only to discover from a builder that it will cost much more than originally anticipated to construct. We’ve experienced dozens of scenarios where clients walk through the door with a full set of designs they’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars on, only to find out that their dream home isn’t possible within their budget—and that’s disappointing for everyone involved.
Likewise, it would be a shame to get what you think is a great deal on a piece of land, only to find that it needs serious work or zoning changes before you can build your home there. Suddenly, that piece of land you were thrilled about buying turns into a real headache with expenses you weren’t anticipating.
To avoid these kinds of unpleasant surprises, assemble your team members early so that everyone—including you—is on the same page. A collaborative approach to your home building project helps ensure that you, as the homeowner, have your desires and budget completely understood from the start.