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So youíve come to a point in your life where you want to begin to realize some of your more tangible dreams: the nicer shoes, the nicer suit, the nicer car, the nicer vacation, and, perhaps, the nicer home. It is a big step and takes lots of pre-planning as well as on-the-fly negotiation and decision-making. So where do you begin?

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Well, if you are already living in the area that you want to build your new dream home, hereí s a suggestion. Put on your nice shoes. Hop in your nicer car. And take a drive around the neighborhood spying homes in your area the approach your vision of a dream home. Doing some kind of personal surveying of the homes in your area and surrounding area will give you an idea of the kinds of homes, designs, sizes, and construction that is readily available in your area.

But donít stop your surveillance there. Pick up an armful of architecture and design magazines and start flipping through them. The ones that come close to your mindís vision of your dream home will start to pop out at you. Take pictures of the homes in your area that attract you. Tear out pages from magazines that match your dreamscape, and start compiling a folder. Having a sold idea of what you want in your dream home will save you a ton or time (and money) when it comes to choosing a plan and lay-out for building your dream home.

Once you have a tangible idea of your dream home, you can begin meeting with some local home builders to get an idea of build price. Many new home builders believe that price per square foot in their area will give them an estimate of how much their own dream home will cost. This is not always so. Shapes of homes, quality of appliances and amenities, as well as general material and construction quality play a large part in cost of a home. A large square home with low-end appliances and low-grade wood will cost about half per square foot of a home with outcroppings, dormers, and/or high end stainless steel appliances. Finding a home in your area that is shaped and fitted like your own imagined dream home will give you a much better estimate.

From this point, you are on to designing a floor plan for your dream home. Chances are your area also has plenty of prefabricated or kit homes. They are everywhere these days, and are a great choice for new home builders and buyers. Because of their niche market, the quality of prefabs and kit homes or cabins is often of higher grade with less cost than a traditional on-site stick home. Prefab manufacturers design and deliver anywhere in the US, so they meet a dream homeís needs. With websites full of floor plans, design choices, and photos, as well as the ability to customize any and all parts of the process, prefab and kit homes may be just the thing for building your dream home.

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