New England is a beautiful place to live, and you have enjoyed working and raising your family there, but you have decided it’s time to build your custom luxury home in Charleston, South Carolina for your retirement. Is building your forever home in the Lowcountry possible while you are still living up north? Absolutely. Here’s how.
Visit Charleston to Decide Where You Want to Live
If you’re not from an area, it can be easy to visit once and decide you want to live in the exact location you visited. But living somewhere full-time is much different than staying on vacation for a week or two. Make several trips to Charleston and the surrounding areas before you buy a site. You may decide you would prefer to build your forever home on James Island even though Kiawah Island was the first place you stayed and where you initially thought you wanted to live.
Choose the Site for Your Dream Home
For most people, the building process is all about the house. But selecting the perfect site and deciding how the house will be situated is just as important. There are many things to consider when choosing the site for your home, including topography, trees and vegetation, soil type, and zoning restrictions.
You will also want to think about the best way to situate your new home on the site. Solar orientation can reduce your utility bills by taking advantage of the sun’s heat when you need it and keeping your home cool when you don’t. Ensuring the rooms you spend the most time in face the best views will make your home that much more enjoyable.
Choose the Right Architect
As tempting as it might be to hire an architect in your area because you know them or are familiar with their work, it’s best to choose an architect in the Charleston area. Someone local to the job will be much more familiar with the topography and zoning requirements because they have built homes there before. They will also have builders they have worked with before to steer you away from or recommend.
Being so far away from the project means you’ll be needing someone to keep an eye on the process for you, and many architects are able to fill this role. They can report on the progress and keep the builder on track when you aren’t there. Your distance also makes it even more important that your architect be able to visualize exactly what you want, translate it into the blueprints, and be able to tell if adjustments need to be made during construction.
Choose the Right Builder
An established architect can recommend builders for your dream home, but it’s ultimately up to you to decide who you will be most comfortable working with. Not only do you need someone who can build the quality house you want, you also need someone who will keep you informed throughout the process.
When interviewing builders, explain that you will not be local and that long-distance communication will be necessary. See if they are willing and able to send you videos of the progress or do video conferences at the site so you can see what is going on while you are talking. Establish a set schedule for routine updates so you don’t go more than a few days without hearing about your home. Some builders may not be interested in taking on these extra steps.
Plan on Visiting During Construction
Regardless of how confident you are in the abilities of your contractor and architect, you will still want to see the progress for yourself. Building a custom home isn’t like building a tract home in a development; the contractor has most likely never built a home exactly like yours, so you will want to check in periodically to make sure your dream home turns out exactly as planned.
Blueprint for Success
Building a luxury home in another state is more challenging than doing it locally, but it can certainly be done successfully. If you plan ahead, choose the right partners, and make a few trips during the process, you will have your forever home waiting for you when it’s time to move to your new location.