Frequently Asked Questions when considering building a home...
What are the advantages of building a new home?
There are several advantages to building your home over buying a resale home. You are able to pick out the style of the home, the floor plan, the interior/exterior colors, flooring, fixtures, lighting and other finishing touches. Your home will be just the way you want it the day you move in without doing any costly (and messy) remodeling. You will have peace of mind knowing that your home is brand new top to bottom, built exceptionally well, and very energy efficient.
How long does it take to build a new home?
It will take 120-150 days depending on the schedule and time of year.
What would my time involvement need to be?
Your time involvement during the building process would revolve around picking out your lot, your home design/floor plan and your personal selections. This will be about all you will need to do. When it is time to make personal selections, you will be guided through the process.
How do I know what price range I should be looking in?
Your Real Estate Agent should be able to pre-qualify you to see how much home you should be able to afford. It is a good idea to have a mortgage consultant pre-approve you. This is a more accurate idea of what you can qualify for since they are able to use your credit score as part of the pre-approval process. If you are not already working with a mortgage lender, your Real Estate Agent should be able to suggest several that would be happy to see what amount you can be pre-approved for.
Is the financing process for a new construction home different than a resale home?
The mortgage financing process is the same for purchasing a new or resale home. For both, it is a good idea to be pre-approved by a mortgage consultant prior to going under contract on any home. Once under contract, you will need to apply for your loan, the lender will need to issue a mortgage commitment letter and do an appraisal on the subject home. If new construction, the home will need to be completed before this can be done.
When should I apply for a mortgage?
You should apply for your mortgage as soon as you go under contract. You may choose to float your interest rate until you are within 60 days of closing.
When should I reserve my building lot?
The first thing you should do is reserve your building lot. Lot reservation deposits are refundable. You wouldn't want to do all leg work (getting pre-qualified with a lender and picking out the home you want built) only to come back to find the lot you want is no longer available!
I am ready to build my next home. When should I list my current home?
You should list your home immediately to give yourself ample time to sell. It can't sell if it's not listed! And you wouldn't want to miss a potential buyer that is looking right now. Your realtor will coordinate the closing date timeline.
What do I need to do to get my current home ready to be put on the market?
Your realtor should walk-thru your home with you and be able to give you suggestions of what to do to prepare your home to be put on the market. Ideas such as rearranging a room, removing some furniture to make the room look larger, declutter and depersonalize are all things that make a huge difference when being viewed by buyers and it doesn't cost anything! Although, some pre-market prep could require minimal investment to generate the greatest return...getting your house SOLD!
How do I find a home design/floor plan?
Many Design/floorplans can be found on this website by selecting the "Floor Plans" tab. Greater Living Architecture has many more plans to choose from. Their website is: greaterlivingarchitecture.com. Builders generally work with 1 or 2 architectural firms when building in a subdivision so that the general look of the neighborhood remains consistant.
How can I find out if my builder is good or if past clients have had problems?
Finding out if a builder is someone you want building your new home is very important. You can check with the Better Business Bureau, talk to the homeowners in the neighborhood you want to build in to see what their experience was like working with the builder. Ask your realtor if he/she has had any personal experience working with the builder and if so, what was it like?
How do I find a building lot that suits our needs?
You should discuss with your realtor and builder how the lot will adapt to the footprint of the house you select. You should be able to see front side and rear setbacks and discuss any easements that may be on the lot and how it will affect you.
Do I have to be represented by a realtor when purchasing a new construction home?
You do not need to be represented by a realtor when purchasing a new construction home. Most builders have an onsight agent that can help you through the entire process.
How is the price of a new home derived and how do I know am not overpaying?
A builder combines his lot cost, construction cost (per your design), and profit to determine the price. You may have another builder price the same house to see if the quoted price is in line. If you do this, be sure the same high quality materials & extensive standard features are used in their pricing.
How are new homes more energy efficient?
Today's homes are very efficient. Building codes are constantly changing to improve energy efficiency.
Are the closing costs more on a new build than on a resale home?
The closing costs are basically the same as if you were buying a resale home. However, there are a couple of extra fees to pay. You will need to pay the 1-time town recreation fee and sewer district fee.
Will the house be done by the closing date?
As long as your selections are made on time, the builder will have your home ready for your closing date.
When I purchased my current home, I had an Engineer's inspection and a Radone test done. What is the process for inspections on a new build?
It is not customary with a new home because the town building code official will inspect the home and issue a certificate of occupancy. But you can certainly have your own home inspector do an additional inspection if you would like.