Matthew and I signed the contract on our new home in early April of this year after being promised a five month build-time, and here we are, seven months later, and our house is still at least a month out from being done. I know it could be worse, but still, this whole process has been incredibly frustrating, and I could never recommend it to anyone.
We chose to build because the homes currently on the market in our price range here in Austin were not nearly as nice as what you can get when you build at the same price point. Due to a very strong seller's market, resale homes are snatched up in hours or days after going on the market, and often for 20% more than asking price. We didn't love what was available when we were looking, so we decided to build. (contrary to what some people seem to believe, building a home is not more expensive than buying one resale. For example, if your price range is a $250,000 home resale, it does not cost a penny more to build a $250,000 home, and often the new-build is nicer and, obviously, new). That's where they get you. They reel you in, butter you up, make false promises, then break your heart over and over again, like a bad boyfriend.
Here's 7 reasons why you should probably never build a house:
1. You will need to multipy every time frame they give you by 3 to 7 times. Oh, they say your floors are going in the 19th? That means they will put in half the kitchen tile on the 23rd, then realize it was the wrong tile (after half a day's work), tear it up, and start over. The kitchen floor tile will be two-thirds finished when the workers leave and do not return for four days. On the fourth day, they will return and finish the kitchen tile, as well as the tile in the hall bathroom shower. They will not complete the other two showers, the bathroom floors, the kitchen backsplash, carpet, or hardwoods for five more weeks.
Mind you, this is after your construction is already three months behind the promised completion date.
2. The builder will find a way to change things you paid for and were promised, and then make you feel like it's your fault and you're being an asshole for asking them about it. This will be emotionally confusing and you will wonder if you're going insane.
3. Sometimes 2 weeks will go by and the only progress will be one light socket. This will make you feel like stabbing someone repeatedly.
4. Your sales consultant and construction manager will continually over promise and under deliver. Don't ever believe them. Don't believe a single word that comes out of their mouths. See first point.
5. On a similar note, they tell you what you want to hear, not the truth, every time. When you sign that contract, they will tell you a build time of five and a half months. Budget for eight to ten, and then see if you still feel the same way about the house.
6. Don't bother building a relationship with your construction manager, because you'll go through three of them. Don't be fooled if the first guy gives you delicious, homemade canned pickles and tomatoes. The next day he will quit and you will never see him again.
7. If you're going to live with family during this process, you better really like each other and have a strong relationship. After about four to six months of said living arrangement, it gets old.