Creating a new home is a journey of entering rest. It is your sanctuary and defines your relationship to your world, to your loved ones and an investment in yourself.


As you embark on your journey, you want to do some research and plan accordingly, though plans will adjust along the way, as you may get better offers and opportunities along your journey. But you'll want to have a sense of what the end result will look like and how much it is going to cost.

If you’ve made up your mind that this is what you are going for, you will make it happen and create a place that is uniquely your own. Consider the below tips for a successful result:

1. Set goals. Creating a new home for yourself is all about setting goals and taking the steps to achieve those goals. Goal setting requires satisfying both left- and right-brain activities. So your list of goals will include two sides: a practical side and an emotional side. Each is important, and each needs to be recognized so that the end result will reflect your totality.

Simple questions to ask:

1. What do you want to achieve?

2. Where do you want to be?

3. What will this cost?

4. Can it really be achieved?

5. Does plan A make sense?

6. What's plan B?


2. Establish a budget. Budget is such an important piece that it's included here as a separate task. When making your budget, of course you'll begin with what you can afford, and how the cost of your house fits in with your overall future plans. When you're ready to get down to details, include everything that will go into the project: the cost of the land, local fees and taxes, design and engineering fees, construction of not just the home but the landscape, plus furniture and decorating.

And don't forget a healthy contingency. As with any complex project, things will happen, and the road may have a detour or two. Make sure that these little side trips won't send you over the edge. A spreadsheet is a good tool to use for developing a budget, as you can continuously update and modify it as you work your way through the project.

3. Find some land — or a fixer upper house. Where do you want to be? How do you want to live? What are you looking for? Maybe you want that house in the Cunucu (nature) or close to our beaches. Find a spot that you can claim as your own and build your sanctuary.

4. Know the expertise that is around you. While you might think you can go it alone, getting tips from those around you who have already built their home helps a lot.

A builder or a guide is going to be your most important help. These people will help you through the journey of creating your home. As you embark on this journey, you could likely want to add more to your group of advisors. A kitchen and bath designer or maybe an interior designer or a landscape architect.

5. Plan well. Every large project needs proper planning. Plan the project in detail before starting to build. Embark on a robust planning and design phase.

  • Settle only until you've explored all the possibilities; you don't want to say after the project has been built, "I should a, would a ..."

  • Go big! Not so much in size, but in ideas. Building or renovating a home, is making something that's yours. So dream and plan big. There will be time enough to deal with the realities of the budget.

  • Sweat the small stuff. Decisions, decisions, decisions. You'll be asked to make many, just remember that God is in the details, so make sure that the details are there so that your home will be uniquely your own.

6. Accept the inevitable. You've made the plans, gotten the permits and secured the money; now the only thing left to do is build your house.

Some tips for staying on track during construction:

  • Focus and don't change your mind. Early on make all of the decisions you have to, select all of your finishes and don't change your mind. Yes, you'll be enticed by that new thing that comes along. Just remember that once construction starts, it'll cost you time, money, and perhaps a trip or two to a therapist if you change your mind.

  • Ignore complaining. Every construction site is filled with workers complaining. After all, who doesn't complain about his or her job? Who hasn't wanted to vent about the boss? The best thing you can do is ignore it. Don't worry; if it really is an issue, you'll be told about it.

7. Enjoy your new home. You've worked hard and created the home of your dreams, rest and enjoy the work of your hands.


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