Renter’s Resources – Building Your Own Home


For this post, I am so excited to feature the journey of my cousin, Edwin, and his lovely wife, Ashley, from being renters to home-builders and owners! I hope that the wisdom they share from their journey will encourage and educate any of you who plan to take this journey.

How long did it take you to make and implement plans to build your own home?

It took about three months.

What are the advantages to building your own home versus buying one already built?

The advantages are: being the first occupant of the home, having an extended warranty on the home, being able to customize items in your home and living in a fresh, new space.

If you had renter’s insurance, how is it different from homeowner’s insurance?

Although a little more expensive, homeowner’s insurance covers more on the home.

What do you suggest for preparing for added maintenance (including lawn care) expenses for your home?

I suggest sitting down and creating a budget that works for the family. Cutting unnecessary expenses is also helpful to the budget in order to prepare for added maintenance.

What advice would you give those who rent and want to build their own home?

I would advise them to do thorough research of the builder, land, area, etc. as well as the pros and cons of building a home. I would also suggest saving a great bit of money and be sure to pay off outstanding debt on their credit report.

How have you changed your budgeting to prepare for this?

We have not changed much. We are just more conscious of our spending habits and make sure we do not splurge as much as before.

A side note from me: Check out Dave Ramsey’s site for great budgeting tools as well as two of my previous posts, Budget Buddies and Budget Buddies II.


What have you learned from any mistakes made in this process?

I have learned to be more patient.

What research did you do before choosing your contractor?

We visited our builder’s site and spoke with friends who were familiar with the builder.


What is the house-building process for you from conception to moving in?

We first spoke with an agent and went over the process. We then looked at floor plans and different subdivisions. Next, we went through the approval process with the builder and the lender. We secured the lot with a down payment. We met with the builder and began the full process which took about 4 months. Afterwards, we completed a final walk through of the home and then closed with an attorney weeks later.

If there are any additional thoughts you would like to share, please do.

I would suggest that you take your time and do not make hasty decisions. Overall, enjoy the process!

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Congratulations to Edwin and Ashley on completing this journey and and blessings for this new season in their lives!

Next in the Renter’s Resources series, Tips on Getting Moving Companies’ Quotes.

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