Today we signed the builder’s contracts and began our work in earnest. Of course, in order for them to move forward, they required a down payment of 10% of their build cost, but the good news is that monies we spend now are fully deductible from the loan down payment when that finally comes due.
Part of the agreement is a finish level and parts list that specifies what will go into the house, down to the model of the kitchen sink, number of outlets, and thickness of concrete footing. Combined with the blueprints, it is nearly a complete recipe for a house.
Many of the items listed are for a finish level and quality baseline so they could easily be changed out for equal or greater quality items at any point until they are ordered. Our flat price for construction includes about a dozen micro-budgets. The builder has preferred vendors whose showrooms we will visit to pick exact materials. However, if we wanted Ikea closets instead of their normal vendor, we have a specific dollar amount we could use there without changing our build cost.
The hardest part about this phase is not getting too excited about upgrades and incrementally blowing our budget away. While adding an 8 foot wide by 2 foot high window only adds $107 (yes, one hundred seven dollars) one could easily go bananas with little seemingly inexpensive addons that add up to an awful lot rather quickly.