5 Steps to Take Before Building a Luxury Home in San Juan Capistrano

5 Steps to Take Before Building a Luxury Home in San Juan Capistrano

  • Eddie Hodges
  • 10/3/22

Beautiful San Juan Capistrano began as a tiny mission in 1776. Throughout its almost 250-year history, the area has been home to native peoples, Spanish Friars, and a variety of European and Asian immigrants and continues to be a place where a love of history and diversity thrives. Centrally located in the heart of Orange County, this highly desirable small city still has San Juan Capistrano real estate available for your family too.

Building a home is not as simple as choosing a lot, clearing it, and beginning construction, as was the case in the community’s early days. Before you begin this exciting process, make sure you are well prepared, choose among expert home builders in San Juan Capistrano, and know exactly what lies ahead.

1. Building requirements


Not every tract of land is suitable for building every sort of home. Considerable work goes into preparing a home site, including, but not limited to, felling trees and removing root systems, leveling the ground, and making sure access to all needed utility infrastructures, such as water, power, gas, and sewage are all available.

Each area of town is also zoned specifically for different types of construction. If you are considering land that is not zoned for residential development, you will need to consider other options or be prepared for a long and potentially frustrating zoning change request process. A surveyor and an engineer may be required to inspect the lot you are considering to check drainage, soil condition, and quality. Armed with information about exactly what this land provides and what will be required to make it buildable will help you know what type of costs must be added to your construction budget and delays in your timeline.

A series of permits are required for home construction.  There are variations in these permits, in terms of cost and quantity, from community to community, so be familiar with the requirements for San Juan Capistrano real estate. It is vital that these permits be secured before home-building begins, as failure to have them can hold up construction, cost you tremendously in fines, and keep you from qualifying for insurance coverage if anything goes wrong.

2. Financial considerations


While you are able to get exactly what you want in a custom-built home, it can come with a considerably higher price tag than purchasing a house that is already completed. At the very beginning of the process, meet with your financial advisor and review your financial standing. Assess what you can both reasonably and comfortably afford for your housing budget and strive to stay well below the maximum allowance. It is almost inevitable that construction costs will exceed the builder’s original budget. This can happen due to change requests while the construction is taking place and variations in the availability and cost of materials.

As you prepare your finances, work to minimize your debt-to-income ratio. Also, make sure that you have taken up upcoming expenses such as an impending wedding or a child about to leave home for college.  You can anticipate spending a considerable amount of time and energy on providing documentation and completing paperwork for a construction loan. Many who choose to build their own homes like the option of choosing a construction to a traditional loan, as the short term (generally one year in duration) will simply convert to a standard mortgage upon completion of the home. This means less hassle for you, as you will only have to gather paperwork and complete the application process once.

3. Select the right location

Factoring in the daily commute is a necessity when you are searching for the perfect location for your home. Begin with the places you will need to go almost daily, such as work, and decide how far you are willing to drive to get to and from these places. Measuring outward from your workplace in all directions, you will get a boundary for your property search. A picturesque neighborhood an hour from your office or 45 minutes from your child’s high school is probably going to lose its appeal when you begin calculating how many hours you would have to spend in the car each week, so rule out locations that are too far away before you become emotionally invested in a specific location.

Next, consider the neighborhood. What type of residential community do you prefer?  Do you want the privacy of an estate lot nestled in a quiet hillside or the security of a gated community? Are you interested in the amenities some neighborhoods may offer? Some neighborhoods have architectural review committees, and should you choose to build in this type of neighborhood, you will need to be aware of all of the requirements and restrictions at the onset of the home design process.

Additionally, the lot you choose will impact the type of home that you can build on it. Sure, you may have beautiful vistas from that hilltop property you’ve been eyeing, but steep lots with limited buildable space typically require tall multi-story homes. If you have a family member with limited mobility, this type of home will not work. Enlisting the help of a surveyor to assess your property will help you make wise decisions about the feasibility of building the home you want on that particular property.

4. Plan for your family’s lifestyle and needs


Along with selecting the ideal San Juan Capistrano real estate lot on which to build, designing your custom home allows you to transform your envisioned ideal residence into reality. Begin by reflecting on your family’s lifestyle, unique needs, how you enjoy your current home, and how you would like to utilize your new one. Study house plans and consider the homes of family and friends. What features do you love?  What pitfalls do you hope to avoid? Seek to anticipate upcoming changes in your household that would require specific home features, such as moving an aging parent into your home, frequent entertaining or working from home, or welcoming a new child into the family. Adding these spaces to the original blueprints will be much more cost-effective and far less stressful than having to plan for a remodeling project in just a couple of years.

5. Choose the right builder


Not all home builders in San Juan Capistrano are the same. They vary in quality and timeliness of work, attention to detail, communication with the homeowner, and skill with particular elements of home building. Take your time and get to know their styles and craftsmanship so you can choose the builder who will work effectively with you. Interview several prospects and acquire references from their previous clients. If possible, tour some of the builders’ completed projects to get a feel for their talents and capabilities. When you feel completely comfortable and confident that you have chosen the best home builder in San Juan Capistrano for your new home, it is time to begin negotiating the terms of your agreement.

An exciting time

Building your new luxury home in San Juan Capistrano is a fantastic opportunity to design the house you've always wanted and create the lifestyle you desire for your family. At this point, you likely have many questions about how to get this process started. If so, reach out to Eddie Hodges and his award-winning team of custom home builders at Opulent Design Build. With over 20 years as experienced home builders in San Juan Capistrano, they can guide you through every facet of creating your dream home. Reach out to them today.



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