Building a dream home that fits your life

January 12, 2023

When you’re building your dream home, you have the opportunity to customize every detail to make it completely your own. Learn more and get inspiration on how you can tailor different aspects to fit your needs and your personal style.


There are many reasons people choose to build their homes instead of buying. Sometimes, they build their own home because they can't find one that is just right for them. For example, they want to avoid compromising on a specific feature or layout, they want a non-traditional home, or they want to involve an architect to design the home of their dreams. 

If you’re thinking up an updated kitchen that’s perfect for entertaining or you're creating your ideal walk-in closet, make sure to include how your spending can keep your home project on track and within your budget. Here are financial factors to consider and real dream homes to inspire you during your planning process.


Plan for nuanced costs

When you buy a house, there are a variety of planned expenses, like your down payment or closing fees. When you’re building a home, your expenses (both planned and unplanned) look a little different. Not only are you covering traditional costs like property tax and insurance, you’re also paying for building materials, new appliances and labor. Keep a close eye on the costs of each element so you’re not surprised when it’s time to make payments. It’s also a good idea to set aside money for any issues that arise during the building process (or demolition if you are completely remodeling a home).


Loans might look different

You’ll most likely need a mortgage to finance your dream home. When you build a house, you’ll take out a construction mortgage, or a self-build loan. Sometimes these loans have higher interest rates than a traditional mortgage, and require more work to secure. Be prepared to come with a construction timeline, estimate of costs and details about the house itself. The more detailed your plan is, the more likely you are to get a loan that works well for you. Connect with a U.S. Bank loan officer to learn more about construction mortgages.


Dream big and get inspired

When it comes to thinking about your dream home, it’s fun to think big and feel inspired. Here are just a few of the unique features you can add to your dream home!

  • Home gym: Adding space for a gym means you don’t have to carve out space for fitness equipment elsewhere in your home. Whether you just need a space large enough for a treadmill and stationary bike, or you want to add specialty flooring and mirrors to create a yoga studio, the options are endless. 
  • In-home office: If you’re working from home, a room specifically designed as an office can make a big difference in your productivity and comfort. You can keep it as simple as adding extra outlets for all your tech needs, or go big by adding features like smart lighting, temperature control or soundproof insulation for those hours of calls. 
  • Study area: Creating space for at-home learning can make life a bit easier for you and your family. If you have young children, incorporating fun paint colors and classroom furniture may make your home feel more like a learning environment and promote focus. If older children are participating in at-home learning, a space equipped with smart technology-equipped tools and plenty of room to store study materials is also an option.
  • Shed: Decked out sheds are a popular feature in new homes. If you need a separate place to work on hobbies (or just somewhere to relax without distractions), a backyard shed can be a great and private addition to your dream home. Think about a shed as an opportunity to give your kids their own creative space, too.
  • Porch: Want to do more outdoor entertaining without being reliant on the weather? A screened-in or three-season porch with plenty of space for entertaining is a wonderful asset to any home (especially in a warm climate!). Porches are especially customizable—you can add automatic blinds, sliding windows or doors, make it two stories and add extras like heat lamps, innovative lighting, fans and more.
  • Pool: Make your home feel like a relaxing getaway by building a backyard pool. Whether you choose an in-ground or above-ground design, this can become your go-to place to staycation. Adding a fire pit and lounge chairs will make your space feel like a true retreat and the perfect space for entertaining. An outdoor pool is a fun activity for all ages to enjoy, during warm weather and summer months.


Want to learn more about what it takes to build your dream home? Watch this video to uncover the cost of building a home.

Mortgages at U.S. Bank

Related content

Parent checklist: Preparing for college

Are you ready to restart your federal student loan payments?

U.S. Bank asks: What do you know about credit?

Which is better: Combining bank accounts before marriage — or after?

Multiple accounts can make it easier to follow a monthly budget

Prioritizing payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic

Improving your credit score: Truth and myths revealed

Save time and money with automatic bill pay

What type of loan is right for your business?

Closing on a house checklist for buyers

Leverage credit wisely to plug business cash flow gaps

Questions to ask before buying a car

Take the stress out of buying your teen a car

What you need to know before buying a new or used car

How to choose the best car loan for you

What you should know about buying a car

Saving for a down payment: Where should I keep my money?

What’s a subordination agreement, and why does it matter?

Tech lifecycle refresh: A tale of two philosophies

Is online banking safe?

How liquid asset secured financing helps with cash flow

Evaluating interest rate risk creating risk management strategy

How I did it: Learned to budget as a single mom

10 ways to increase your home’s curb appeal

7 steps to prepare for the high cost of child care

Housing market trends and relocation impact

Hybridization driving demand

Should you get a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit?

The lowdown on 6 myths about buying a home

How I did it: Bought my dream home using equity

Dear Money Mentor: When should I refinance a mortgage?

How to fund your business without using 401(k) savings

5 unique ways to take your credit card benefits further

An investor’s guide to marketplace lending

Private equity and the full-service administrator

How to maximise your infrastructure finance project

4 benefits of independent loan agents

Middle-market direct lending: Obstacles and opportunities

The A to Z’s of college loan terms

Checklist: 10 questions to ask your home inspector

Is a home equity loan for college the right choice for your student

How to apply for federal student aid through the FAFSA

Your financial aid guide: What are your options?

Student checklist: Preparing for college

What to consider before taking out a student loan

How to establish your business credit score

How to establish your business credit score

Spring cleaning checklist for your home: 5 budget-boosting tasks

Adulting 101: How to make a budget plan

Is it time to get a shared bank account with your partner?

Test your loan savvy

Checklist: 6 to-dos for after a move

Overcoming high interest rates: Getting your homeownership goals back on track

Common unexpected expenses and three ways to pay for them

4 small business trends that could change the way you work

Pros and cons of a personal line credit

What is a CLO?

How to use debt to build wealth

Dear Money Mentor: What is cash-out refinancing and is it right for you?

House Hacks: How buying an investment property worked as my first home

How I did it: Bought a home without a 20 percent down payment

3 tips for saving money when moving to a new home

5 ways to maximize your garage sale profits 

Beyond Mars, AeroVironment’s earthly expansion fueled by U.S. Bank

ABL mythbusters: The truth about asset-based lending

Collateral options for ABL: What’s eligible, what’s not?

When small companies buy big: The potential of asset-based lending

Can ABL options fuel your business — and keep it running?

Maximizing your infrastructure finance project with a full suite trustee and agent

Changes in credit reporting and what it means for homebuyers

What’s the difference between Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

High-cost housing and down payment options in relocation

At your service: outsourcing loan agency work

Crypto + Relo: Mobility industry impacts

For today's relocating home buyers, time and money are everything

Streamline operations with all-in-one small business financial support

Opening a business on a budget during COVID-19

How I did it: Turned my side hustle into a full-time job

Costs to consider when starting a business

How to get started creating your business plan

Common small business banking questions, answered

3 signs it’s time for your business to switch banks

How a small business is moving forward during COVID-19

When to consider switching banks for your business

5 tips to help you land a small business loan

Investing in capital expenditures: What to discuss with key partners

Good debt vs. bad debt: Know the difference

Checklist: financial recovery after a natural disaster

Webinar: Uncover the cost: College diploma

Co-signing 101: Applying for a loan with co-borrower

Practical money skills and financial tips for college students

How to build credit as a student

How I did it: Paid off student loans

Recognize. React. Report. Caregivers can help protect against financial exploitation

Is raising backyard chickens a good idea financially?

Personal loans first-timer's guide: 7 questions to ask

What’s your financial IQ? Game-night edition

How to choose the right rewards credit card for you

You can take these 18 budgeting tips straight to the bank

Do you and your fiancé have compatible financial goals?

Personal finance for teens can empower your child

It's possible: 7 tips for breaking the spending cycle

How to save for a wedding

Here’s how to create a budget for yourself

Don’t underestimate the importance of balancing your checking account

9 simple ways to save

5 tips to use your credit card wisely and steer clear of debt

What you need to know about renting

6 ways to spring clean your finances and save money year-round

Everything you need to know about consolidating debts

5 tips to use your credit card wisely and steer clear of debt

5 steps to selecting your first credit card

Understanding the true cost of borrowing: What is amortization, and why does it matter?

Know your debt-to-income ratio

How to use credit cards wisely for a vacation budget

Your quick guide to loans and obtaining credit

Dear Money Mentor: How do I begin paying off credit card debt?

Is it cheaper to build or buy a house

For today's homebuyers, time and money are everything

Crypto + Homebuying: Impacts on the real estate market

Should you buy a house that’s still under construction?

Buying a home Q&A: What made three homeowners fall in love with their new home

Managing the impacts of appraisal gaps in a hot housing market

Preparing for homeownership: A guide for LGBTQ+ homebuyers

How I did it: Built living spaces to support my family

Your guide to breaking the rental cycle

What are conforming loan limits and why are they increasing

Webinar: Uncover the cost: Building a home

Home buying myths: Realities of owning a home

4 ways to free up your budget (and your life) with a smaller home

Get more home for your money with these tips

Money Moments: Tips for selling your home

Money Moments: How to finance a home addition

How I did it: My house remodel

Beyond the mortgage: Other costs for homeowners

Quiz: How prepared are you to buy a home?

What is a home equity line of credit (HELOC) and what can it be used for?

Building a dream home that fits your life

10 questions to ask when hiring a contractor

5 things to avoid that can devalue your home

What is an escrow account? Do I have one?

Is it the right time to refinance your mortgage?

What to know when buying a home with your significant other

What is refinancing a mortgage?

These small home improvement projects offer big returns on investment

Webinar: Mortgage basics: What’s the difference between interest rate and annual percentage rate?

Webinar: Mortgage basics: What is refinancing, and is it right for you?

Webinar: Mortgage basics: Prequalification or pre-approval – What do I need?

Webinar: Mortgage basics: How much house can you afford?

Webinar: Mortgage basics: How does your credit score impact the homebuying experience?

Webinar: Mortgage basics: Finding the right home loan for you

Webinar: Mortgage basics: Buying or renting – What’s right for you?

Webinar: Mortgage basics: 3 Key steps in the homebuying process

Is a home equity line of credit (HELOC) right for you?

How to use your home equity to finance home improvements

How do I prequalify for a mortgage?

Home equity: Small ways to improve the value of your home

Can you take advantage of the dead equity in your home?

8 steps to take before you buy a home

6 questions to ask before buying a new home

4 questions to ask before you buy an investment property

10 uses for a home equity loan

Webinar: Uncover the cost: Home renovation

6 essential credit report terms to know

Myth vs. truth: What affects your credit score?

Decoding credit: Understanding the 5 C’s

Credit: Do you understand it?

How to build and maintain a solid credit history and score

Should you give your child a college credit card?

What types of credit scores qualify for a mortgage?

What is a good credit score?

How to improve your credit score

Start of disclosure content

Loan approval is subject to credit approval and program guidelines. Not all loan programs are available in all states for all loan amounts. Interest rate and program terms are subject to change without notice. Mortgage, home equity and credit products are offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Deposit products are offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Member FDIC.