Where will you build? If a rural area has your heart, and if you're at all added to television or the internet, you need to plan ahead.
Here in the woods, where I live, there is no such thing as cable. There is also no such thing as fiber optic cable for the telephone.
The location is perfect – we have privacy, mountain and water views, and plenty of wildlife to observe. I love it and would not consider living anywhere else.
But … the phone lines are 30+ years old. Well, most of them are that old. There is that 1,200 foot section of new line that's currently hanging on a fence, except for where it's laying on top of the ground.
When I asked the repairman about the possibility of getting fiber optic he laughed out loud. He told me I'd be darned lucky to get a new copper line. With a low population density, the phone company is not at all concerned about upgrading service to our neighborhood.
So – the bottom line is that if you build in a rural location, you may not have cable TV or internet services. That means if you want to watch TV and move around the internet with any kind of speed at all, you'll need satellites.
You need to find out before you begin to build so that cables for satellite TV and satellite internet can go inside your walls. Plan ahead and put an internet hookup in strategic places around the house – just like you will for the television and the telephone. Some contractors will think to ask you about this – but some will not. So first find out if you'll need it, and if you do – let your contractor know before the electrician submits his bid.
If you wait, the satellite installer will tack the cables along the outside of the house – and they're kind of ugly there. He'll also have to drill a hole in your exterior wall every place you want a hook-up.
And – if you've already beloved patios or sidewalks and the dish needs to be located away from the house – you've got an expensive mess. Plan ahead to get all these non-decorative things put underground and inside the walls.
In order to make sure of the location, call the satellite companies ahead of time and ask them to come and show you locations where you'll be able to get a signal. Then, when the time comes for installation, watch to make sure they do not put the dish in the very spot where snow will slide from your roof. (Yes, they really can be that dumb – they did it to me and I had to call them to come back and change it.)
If mountains surround your dream spot, you may also have a problem with radio reception. Satellite radio is the answer to that, but do figure in the expense when planning your home building budget.
As with all aspects of your new home, planning ahead will save you trouble.