Time is a necessary part of the remodeling process.
Not only the time to get to know how a house lives throughout the seasons, but also to take the necessary time through design. We always caution our pre-move-in customers to avoid rushing the design/build process as it inevitably results in a mild case of remorse.
Financial strategies vary, but the most common is to live in the house during a remodel. This gets increasingly more difficult to do the more invasive the project is. Alternatives are to rent a nearby home during the construction phase, go on a long vacation, or simply begin the renovation process immediately after closing on the purchase.
Every project has soft costs and hard costs, regardless of financing. Soft costs include relocating furniture and utilities during the project. Hard costs are generally represented by the amount of the construction agreement. Total costs are generally much less when you occupy before remodeling for a number of reasons that all boil down to having all your eggs in one basket.
If considering a whole-house project, we find it generally best to do when the house is empty: i.e. newly acquired. This is because new floors, paint, etc. requires vacating a majority of personal items. The challenge here, it that without having spent time living in the house, it is difficult to envision the best solutions for individualized needs.