Expenses You Need to Plan For When Building a Custom Home to Retire In

Building your own custom home to retire in can be a great way to make sure your home is just right for you. You can customize it to suit your specific needs and be as comfortable as possible. Such a project takes a lot of planning. Among the things you’ll need to plan for are a variety of expenses that go along with building a custom home.

Purchasing Land

One of the first costs you’ll need to address is the purchase of a plot of land on which to build your new home. Purchasing land is relatively inexpensive, at least compared to the cost of actually building the house, but it still warrants a place in your budget. You’ll need to find a good plot to build on first. You can scout for land on your own, or you can have a real estate agent help you in your search. If you choose to get some help, make sure they clearly understand what it is you’re looking for so they’ll have an easier time finding land you’ll want.

Preparing the Property

Once you’ve chosen your land, it needs to be prepared so a home can be built on it. This means including site costs in your budget. Site costs cover things that aren’t part of your home’s structure but are required for your home to be built on your chosen property. Not all land comes already cleared. If there are a bunch of trees where you want your house to go, those will have to be removed first. Clearing and excavating land costs money, so you’ll need to plan for that as well.

Hiring a Building Company

Of course you’ll need a team to build the house itself. Building companies handle the bulk of home construction. They handle things like hiring contractors, purchasing materials, and the actual construction work. Naturally, you’ll be paying for their labor as well. Building teams often charge their clients based on either fixed-price or cost-plus formats. The way these fees are structured and layed out varies significantly, so make sure you clearly understand how you’ll be charged ahead of time.

Installing Utilities

You’ll need to have utilities installed in or around your home to make it comfortable and livable. Gas, garbage disposal services, water, power, and internet are all utilities that most people expect to have access to, no matter what stage of life they’re in. For those in retirement, they can dramatically improve the quality of life you experience. The price of utilities and their installation will vary depending on your location. If it’s harder to supply your utilities, you should anticipate higher installation costs and bills. Expect higher prices in more rural, out of the way areas. Include this in your planning when you select your land.


Even once you’ve got the ground excavated to start laying your home’s foundation, you may not be finished with the land preparation. Your property will likely feature a front and back yard of some size, so you’ll need to make sure it’s properly landscaped. Landscaping can help protect your home from water damage in the event of flooding, so it’s a good idea to have it properly graded as soon as possible. Beyond that, make sure it’s landscaped in a way that will allow you to enjoy your property to the fullest without limiting your access to it. It will cost you upfront, but can pay off later.

Furnishing the House

Once your home has been built, you’ll need to furnish it. Many retirees move because they are downsizing, and you may find that your old furnishings don’t work as well in your new home. You’ll need to include the cost of furniture and other items into your home’s budget. The good news here is that if your old possessions are in good condition, you may be able to sell them to offset some of these costs. Make sure you carefully measure the rooms you’re furnishing and account for those sizes when selecting replacement items.

Adding Accessibility Features

One of the downsides to aging is the tendency to have a harder time accomplishing tasks than you used to. You may find different accessibility features a welcome addition to your retirement home. Such features can make it easier to age in place, rather than needing to move to a care facility of some kind. This is an additional expense you’ll need to plan for, but the safety and convenience you should get as a result can be well worth the trade.

Moving Expenses

Chances are that you aren’t doing the entire move all by yourself, though you certainly can go that route if you choose to. If you don’t take a purely DIY approach to your move, you’ll likely need to account for moving expenses before you’re able to move into your new home. Even if all you need to pay for is the rental fees for a moving van, you’ll need to budget for that. For greater assistance, you can find a good moving company to help you load, move, and unload your belongings. It costs more, but the convenience is hard to beat.

Homeowners Insurance

It’s always a good idea to carry homeowners insurance. The specifics of what is and isn’t covered will depend on your policy, but there are some things homeowners insurance typically covers. You’re putting a lot of money into your own custom home, so it only makes sense to protect your investment. When you compare the costs you could incur for repairs should the need arise that could otherwise be covered with the cost of insurance, it quickly becomes obvious that this expense is very worthwhile.

Retiring is an achievement worth celebrating. It’s important to take steps to ensure that your retirement is as comfortable as possible. Building a custom home for yourself to retire in can be a great way to do that. Make sure you plan for the expenses that go along with such a project to ensure a comfortable, financially stable retirement experience.

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