Building A Home: The More Cost Effective Approach to Homeownership - Trinidad and Tobago Mortgage Finance Company Ltd.

Thu 14th Apr, 2022

Can you imagine driving up to a home that, once upon a time, was just a mere design that lived somewhere in your head? Turning your dream-home vision into a concrete reality, would be nothing short of a monumental accomplishment! Most people who have chosen to build their own homes, describe the end result as one which fills them with profound and tremendous pride. Whether you wish to display your unique style, or you are a purist when it comes to specific types of materials and fixtures, going the route of home construction may be the best bet for you!

Now, of course – though terrific – this is by no stretch of the imagination, an easy feat.

The process of home construction is often time-consuming, costly, and potentially complex. Yet, as with any arduous journey, the pay-off at the end is well worth it.

Ready to break ground? Great – read on!


1. Examine the Costs

Building your dream home is a delicate dance between what you really, REALLY want…and what you really, REALLY can afford. The surest way to determine this is by conducting an honest due diligence of your financial situation. Once this is complete, you will know whether you can start deep diving into the major questions in this arena, such as: What is the ballpark cost of building this home? What are the costs for materials, labour, contractors, interior fixtures, insurance, overruns; and if applicable: land, an architect etc.? Set aside quality time for compiling a detailed listing of all the foreseeable costs, to determine whether you are ready – or how soon you might be ready – to start building. Most importantly, find out how much you can afford to borrow by using our Mortgage Calculator.


2. Understand the Legal Requirements

Yes, we would all like to wave a magic wand and jump head-first into building, but before you do, bear in mind that there are regulations which, in many cases, will have to be adhered to prior to starting this entire process. For instance, home construction is often bound by Town and Country guidelines; and stamp duties may be incurred. You should consult the Ministry of Finance’s guidance on the stamp duty payment. We’ve compiled a list handy guide to all the legal documents you need when applying for your home construction mortgage.


3. Get Financing

Constructing your own home will definitely fill you with immense joy – however, the truth is whether buying or building, the entire process can be costly. Like many, you require a loan to make this possible. Trinidad and Tobago Mortgage Finance Company (TTMF) provides bridge and long-term financing terms, specifically for home builders. For instance, our interest rates are as low as 2%, and we lend up to 100% of the amount you need to build your home. Learn more about our mortgages for home construction here. The first step in the financing process is to get prequalified, so you know how much you can borrow, the interest rate, the down payment needed duration of the loan.


4. Select the right contractor – and Be in the Know

Your goal at this juncture is to find a contractor who, on the one hand, will oversee the construction of your perfect home, by doing quality work and using durable materials… whilst on the other hand, is someone who is honest, reliable and affordable. For this reason, it is essential to take your time and research the background, work history etc. of the person(s) you hire. Trustworthy references, who can either vouch for (or warn against) a particular contractor, can be a huge help. It is also often advised that prior to hiring, you should obtain at least three (3) contractor bids: and from there, select your choice. Lastly, it is important that although the skill of good contractors lie in providing great construction work, it would be beneficial to educate yourself on the ins and outs of this entire process as much as possible. This knowledge not only empowers you to make sensible decisions throughout – it also lowers the chance of being taken advantage of. For some jobs like painting, installing fixtures etc., you may be able to skip the contractor all together, if you have the skill. Here are some DIY ideas and other ways to cut down on labour costs.


5. Buy the right Building Materials

Once again, it is integral for you to be educated in this process. While the contractor generally takes responsibility for acquiring materials, you should also have some involvement, especially when it comes to cost comparisons. It is also advisable that you opt for quality, long-lasting materials, and home fixtures which are to your liking!


So, there you have it!

Don’t be dismayed by the enormity of the process of building your own home. These steps are here to assure you that this is all very possible! Whenever you feel overwhelmed, just circle back to that dream design, and keep it front and centre in your mind. Then, when you’re ready to take that leap, remember that you have some seasoned experts at TTMF who are ready help you!

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