What to know about building a custom home, from an Austin land expert

Early in his professional career, Greg Vassaur worked on the mortgage servicing side of real estate, performing flood zone determinations for mortgage lenders, builders, and developers — even becoming a Certified Floodplain Manager.

This lead to working directly with large-scale builders and developers, along with local and state level planning and development officials, as they laid out plans for large-scale projects.

Through this, he learned the nuances of land development, the struggles that developers face, and the creativity used to utilize space or a piece of land to its best and most natural use.

With family in the construction business as well, it was only natural that when Vassaur became a real estate agent he made custom-builds his personal specialty.

The Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty agent has since been recognized by the Austin Business Journal and Platinum Top 50 organization as one of the top producing agents in the Austin area.

Here are his tips for building a custom home:

Set realistic expectations
This is extremely important in today’s environment. With continued supply chain issues and price increases, understand that the completion date of a new home comes with a degree of fluidity.

Establish your budget
Work with your trusted financial planner, mortgage lender, or other banker to fully understand the costs associated with new construction. Set aside some additional funds for potential changes you might encounter during the construction process.

do your research
Do not rely only on Yelp or online forums when researching your builder. The adage goes that the larger the builder/developer, the more opportunities for disgruntled homeowners.

Walk the homes yourself to gauge quality. Sit with the builder to understand what is most important to them and how they operate their business. And most importantly, you need to confirm the builder can actually build the home of your dreams.

Lean on your builder’s expertise
Once you’ve chosen your builder, engage them on advice for lot selection and feasibility of what you want to build on a specific lot.

Work with the right real estate professional
You want someone that has experience in new construction, custom home building, and/or land development. Homebuyers typically go through the construction process only one or two times in their entire life.

Utilize the expertise of a professional that works in this arena day in and day out. It is okay to recognize “you don’t know what you don’t know.” Relying on a trusted professional can head off unforeseen pitfalls.

See Greg Vassaur’s latest listings here, or contact him at 512-587-9528 or greg.vassaur@sothebysrealty.com.

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