You’re probably excited at the prospect of building a brand-new home from scratch. It will be exactly to your design and layout, in the location you desire and every inch of it will be brand new. Sounds like a dream, right? It is, but it doesn’t come without multiple considerations that are best thought through before you start hiring contractors and buying land.

How much will it cost? While it might seem potentially cheaper to build a home from scratch than to buy an older home in need of constant upgrades and repairs, the reality is, there are a ton of hidden costs when building a new home. In Canada, permits, legal fees, inspections, delays and inflation can all raise the price beyond what you might initially budget for. It’s always a good idea to make a budget and add at least an extra 10-15 per cent for unexpected costs as there’s a high chance you’ll need more than you anticipated.

Are there any location issues? While you might want to live in an area that is rural and remote because land is cheaper, it can present its own issues if there is no existing infrastructure in the area. Installing a septic system and water mains, gas, and electricity can outweigh the savings you might initially find in such a location.

What are the local laws? While you might be up to date with standard building codes and regulations, the fact is, local laws are different depending on where you’re building. If you have a professional overseeing the build, they will ensure all your ducks are in a row. But if you’re choosing to manage it yourself, you’ll need to become intimately familiar with the laws of the area. If the location is prone to flooding, it will have different regulations than areas in the west that might be more prone to fire.

How long can you wait for your home to be ready? New construction can take years to complete. Are you willing to wait that long? Do you have a place to live currently that you enjoy? Because might be there for longer than you anticipated. Building a home always takes longer than you think it will. If you’re not willing to wait, buying a home that is already built might be the better option for you.