For most people, the first and foremost consideration when purchasing or building a new home is to decide their budget. This is the starting point from which all other decisions stem. It can factor into the location, size, and style of property you choose to buy or build. But what does this budget really mean, and what should it include?
A common scenario I come across is a client who finds themselves having spent so much of their budget on the purchase price or build, that they have much less than needed to complete the interior to the standard they desire. They may end up with unfinished rooms, or having to make major compromises in the quality of materials and decor. In other words, they are faced with a less than ideal final result. This is what I call a case of “over purchasing” or “over building.” It can happen in many ways and for many reasons.
Real estate agents may encourage you to extend beyond the initial budget or scope. It’s always tempting to stretch to the next price point, but will this get you to your end goal? Are you envisioning a beautifully finished home within months of completing the purchase or build? A larger space or more expensive property won’t get you there if you’re living in unfinished rooms. Architects are artists, and for them and their clients it is exciting to imagine all the possibilities, but it’s important not to lose sight of the bigger picture. Additional expenses always come up, such as town and wetland permitting, lawyers fees, closing costs etc, that may not have been initially anticipated and accounted for. All of these can eat away at the overall budget.
Completing your project over a longer period of time is certainly a valid strategy. This could well be your intention, and the interiors can be planned accordingly. But if that’s not your plan then it’s wise to be aware of falling into the trap of “over purchasing” and “over building”. When setting or spending your budget, rather than thinking of it as buying or building a house, think of it as making a home, which includes everything from the physical footprint, the rooms and other spaces, to the fixtures, furnishings and decor. Keep this in mind when making all purchasing decisions throughout the lifecycle of your project.
My goal, as an interior designer, is always to exceed my client’s expectations. When a project has been planned with the end goal in mind, it will lead to a result that delights, rather than disappoints.