The Mid-Hudson region is just two weeks into Phase 2 of New York’s four-part reopening plan and houses Upstate are already selling like hotcakes. The large-scale shift to remote work coupled with the ease of social distancing in rural areas has many city dwellers daydreaming about life in the country. While the pool of available houses shrinks, more and more people are turning to building their own homes Upstate.
Though building a home can be a lengthy process, there are a few ways to speed things up and get settled in your new abode in record time. For a few tips on how to fast-track your dream home, we turned to the owners of Atlantic Custom Homes, Hudson Valley and Connecticut’s independent dealers of Lindal Cedar Homes, Jennifer and Pascal Smith Couti.
1. Choose a Local Expert
Building a home from scratch involves thousands of decisions and months of planning and construction. To get through the process as quickly and seamlessly as possible, Jennifer recommends choosing a team that is intimately familiar with the area you’ve got your eye on. A solid local team, from site engineer to general contractor to a dealer like Atlantic Custom Homes that specializes in design and relationship management for a manufacturer, will give you a head-start on the process.
“The benefit of working with a company like Lindal is that you get a local dealer who knows the ins and outs of building in the area, from applying for permits to hiring contractors,” says Jennifer. “We can help you swiftly navigate the whole process and stay involved from beginning to end and beyond, as we are also your customer service arm for the lifetime structural warranty.”
2. Look for Low-Maintenance Land
There’s a whole world of knowledge around permitting and town approvals that comes with the choice to build your own home. According to Jennifer, in addition to the building permit itself, you may need additional approval from the board of health for a well and to build a septic system. To speed up that process, she recommends buying land that may already have as many approvals in place as possible. “Even if the board of health approval is expired, it’s typically much faster to renew it than to start from scratch,” she says.
3. Choose an Existing Design and Layout
Building a custom home offers you the opportunity to select every last detail. If your goal is to enjoy your new home as soon as possible though, Jennifer recommends going with an existing design. “If you already have architected and engineered plans for your location, you can cut a lot of time off your whole project” she says. Lindal Cedar Homes, for instance, has a portfolio of Quick Ship homes that have already been drawn to the final permit stage and allow for some small revisions to make it personal to you.
4. Decide on Details Early
Even if you go with an existing design, you’ll still have plenty of choices to make, from flooring to countertops and more. “Get clear lists of what you’ll need to make decisions about from the start,” says Jennifer. “Make those choices close to the beginning so when you’re ready to build you don’t lose time selecting finishing details and waiting for those shipments to arrive.”