Guide to New Construction
10 Steps to the Building Process 1. Meet with your agent 2. Meet with agent-recommended lender 3. Find a lot available for purchase or a neighborhood with lots available 4. Interview and select builder 5. Select home plan and features 6. Sign Purchase Agreement with builder and agent 7. Builder begins work; buyer selects features at supplier locations 8. Attend any elected walk throughs 9. Attend final walk through with buyerâ€™s agent and builder 10. Close on home and move in!
Learn from our Past New Construction Clients! Here are the things they recommend you consider as you make decisions on your new home...
Keeping Things Tidy... Put a full size broom cupboard in the kitchen for cleaning supplies
Plan a specific place for petâ€™s food bowls, litter boxes, etc. so they arenâ€™t out in the open. A nook or little room for them is great!
Add Vac Pans to the bottom of cabinets so you can sweep dirt and dust right into them
Add extra cabinet space to your kitchen for dishware and seasonal dish storage
Pull out garbage, recycle, laundry for dirty dish towels etc. Extra storage space/large enough areas for storage
Electrical Outlets and Wiring... Choose exactly where the electrical outlets will be. Consider where your furniture will go. For example, will there be a chair or Christmas tree in the middle of a room that will need an outlet in the floor nearby?
Consider putting outlets in the closet. Do you have a cordless vacuum that needs charging?
Do recessed outlets so that when something is plugged in, the plug is flush with the wall.
Choose to have 4-plug outlets in the bedroom. You have lots to plug in there—bedside lamp, alarm clock, cell phone, etc.
Pre-wire the security system
Elect to do the builder’s electrical walk through Build in speakers for the TV so you don’t have to add surround sound later
Keep cords and cables hidden by having them run through a tube inside the walls from basement to ceiling.
Keep things bright by adding under cabinet lighting in the kitchen
Run conduits under the driveway for future plumbing or wiring needs Add a master switch as you exit the home that will turn off all the lights.
Other Considerations... Consider using pocket doors instead of standard doors
9 foot ceilings in the basement
Underground downspout drains
Pre-plumb the basement for a wet bar, even if it’s unfinished. The cost is small compared to what you receive!
Expand the garage Move vents so they don’t vent up into your curtains under windows Air-Exchanger Add sound proofing around an office or between floors/ walls. A whole house attic fan. It makes your AC more efficient Keypad entry on the garage door
Expand the footprint of the house
Add a 3 or 4-season porch
Solar Tubes/Skylights in bathrooms or areas needing extra sunlight.
Rough in a fireplace in the basement, even if it’s unfinished
Location of heat vents floor vs. ceilings Add more trees and landscaping
The Nuts & Bolts:
Important Questions to Ask Your Builder
How long have you been working in this local area?
What does the building process look like with your company?
What type of homes do you specialize in building or most commonly build? Are you a custom home builder?
How many homes have you built in the last year?
Did you ever build homes with a different business name?
How would you describe your personality style and the personality of your rep?
What are the top 3 reasons we should work with you?
What would cause you to pass on me as a new client?
Will I be dealing directly with you as a builder or will I be dealing with a supervisor for day-today items?
Do you work with the same sub-contractors on all your jobs or do you contract out to the lowest bid? How long have they been working for you?
Do you buy the lot and finance the project until completion or do you build the home on land I have already purchased?
Who will we be making selections with and where will we be making our selections? Where are your suppliers located?
Can we purchase “special” materials (materials your supplies don’t offer) on our own? If “special” items are damaged, whose responsibility is it?
When is the date that I have to make all decisions final on the home?
What types of items will require a change order and what types do not require a change order? What is the cost of each change order?
In the situation something isn’t done as written, what steps would you take to remedy the problem?
Do you have liability insurance? What is and is not covered? Should I take out a Builder’s Risk insurance policy on my own?
Can I obtain electronic files of my blueprints?
How often do you encounter significant project delays? When you do encounter delays, what is most often the cause? When you know of a delay, how do you work with us to manage the situation?
How confident are you that you can close on time? If we don’t close on time, what do you offer?
Do you have a list of referrals you could provide?
How do you prefer to be contacted?
FAQs on New Construction Q. Can I select a builderâ€™s blueprints and customize it to work for me? A. Yes, we can direct you towards builders who will have plans that will work for you and who are willing to work with you to make changes to make the home right for your family. Q. Can I lock in my interest rate for the mortgage loan while the home is being built? A. Yes, you will have the opportunity to lock in the interest rate while the home is being built. There are rate lock options for up to 180 days and some lenders will even go as far as 12 months out in certain situations where the home is a custom build.
Q. Do I have to buy insurance while the home is under construction? A. You will not need insurance on the home if the builder is carrying the financing until the end. If you have a construction loan, then yes, you will need insurance.
Q. Should I ask for referrals to aid in my selection of the builder? A. Absolutely! The more you know about your builder, the quality of their work, and their personality, the more likely you are to pick a builder who will work well with you and build you the best home possible. Building a home can be stressful, but an excellent builder will help minimize this stress. Be sure to follow up with any references the builder provides and talk with them in depth. Q. How long does it take to build a home? A. There are many variables that can after the time it takes to build a home. Square footage, design, the time of year, and more! Typically, a home will be completed between 6 months and year from the start date. However, keep in mind that one of the largest factors affecting the home building time is the weather. A very wet summer, for example, can keep the builder from pouring the foundation which puts the rest of the project on hold as well. The interior of the home can be a slower process because of the variety of sub-contractors neededâ€”electrical, plumbing, heating, etc. Typically the exterior of the home will move forward more quickly than the interior.
Q. How do I select the details inside the home? A. An excellent and inexpensive way to obtain a sense of what your home should look like inside is to visit showrooms and model homes in your area. Check for colors, fixtures, appliances you like. Take pictures and share them with your builder. Take pictures of exteriors you like and share them with your builder as well, such as stone, brick color, siding, wood stains, etc. Be as specific as you can and share the in formation as early as possible to get the most accurate cost estimate. Avoid costly surprises. Q. What are my Responsibilities when I Build a Home? A. Your primary responsibility is to choose the best builder for your personality style and building needs. Additionally, it is your job to manage the cost and expenses to ensure you stay within your budget. Another financial responsibility will be to check with your bank to keep informed on disbursals. Visiting the build site regularly and voicing any concerns or questions you have is also an important task. If there is something you are uncomfortable with, do not wait to address it. If you want to make any changes, let your builder know immediately so you can get an estimate on the financial and time impact it will have.
Ready to start the New Construction process today? Contact the Sandy Erickson Real Estate team to get started! 651-269-3487 www.SandyErickson.com Sandy@SandyErickson.com
It’s All in the Plan... What to expect when you choose New Construction. Our clients have had great experiences with building. In part, because we emphasize putting everything in writing. This is your home, but it is also a business transaction.
“Perfect” Home: It’s important to remember that there’s never going to be a perfect home, even when you choose to build, but it can be just right for you. In our experience, if there is something that is important to you in building the home (precise placement of outlets or recessed lighting, for example), we must take the time necessary ahead of signing the Purchase Agreement to get those items in writing. If we are not specific with the builder, they will build in the most efficient way.
Closing on Time: Builders do the best they can do complete work on time, however weather and other unforeseen events can dictate if a project will be finished ahead of time or fall behind schedule. This is out of all parties’ control. We recommend to talk to us and the builder about having a back-up plan in case closing is delayed.
Overall, building is a very exciting time. Remember to talk to us or the builders rep with any issues right away so you can enjoy the process and move into your fantastic new home!
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