As an alternative to just buying a property that already exists, having your very own home built from scratch is a tempting idea. If you do it right, it makes sense financially and in other practical terms, as you can save money by cutting out features you don't need while simultaneously ensuring you've got everything you do.
Custom home building is great for people with a family – or who are planning to have a family – because it's an affordable way to get plenty of space for everyone to live.
Before any building work begins, you'll have to find a plot, which can be one of the trickiest parts. When there are children to think of, there are a lot more factors to consider, and you'll also want to cut costs where possible. These are the things to think about when you're choosing the plot for your new family home.
Sometimes, you'll find an available plot that's perfect in just about every way, but it happens to be far away from pretty much anything else. That's not such a problem when there aren't children, but you'll need to think about schools and whether or not there are any good ones that are easily accessible. You should also think about the social aspect, and whether or not the kids will be able to spend time with other children.
If the site you're looking at is in a more populated area, there are the usual concerns you'd have when buying an existing home, but make sure you'll be near enough to really be part of the community.
Sometimes you can save money by buying a rundown property cheaply and having it demolished, but sometimes the extra cost of this will outweigh any savings. Other times, you can find an empty site that seems like a bargain, but if there is no building permission, you'll have to spend extra money obtaining it. Factor in everything and find out what saves you the most money.
With children around, it's important to consider how safe the area will be. If you buy a crumbling old house to demolish, are there other unsafe empty buildings nearby? For sites further away from civilisation, is there hazardous countryside around or habitats for dangerous wildlife?
You'll need to plan carefully if your children will need to transfer to a different school, as the upheaval can be difficult. Make sure the building timescale fits in with your plans, and that any delay won't have an impact. You should also have a plan in case there's a gap between moving out of your current home and having the new one completed, so you and your children can stay somewhere safely without them missing school.