There are many advantages to buying a home that has been built just for you. The location, layout, square footage, appliances and extras are yours to decide, without having to worry about costly and inconvenient future remodeling of an existing home. You choose the paint, flooring, countertops, cabinets, and fixtures that suit your style. Your new home comes with warranties that provide peace of mind if the furnace or water heater breaks down.
For some homebuyers, making those decisions that you wouldn’t normally have to consider when purchasing an existing home can be overwhelming. It’s important to seek the help of the experienced home builders who can guide you through the process. You might want additional electrical outlets in a particular room. Adding on a mudroom to the floor plan is a potential choice you hadn’t thought of before. Based on your budget, you might have the option to upgrade some features.
If you have never been through the construction process, we’ve compiled a list of ten questions that you should ask yourself and your builder to help ensure a positive experience.
Can I walk through a model home?
Make an appointment to visit a completed build so you can look at layouts and various features in person. Your builder likely has several floor plans and home styles to choose from. If more than one model home is available for a tour, seeing the differences will help you make a decision on your own home.
How does the floor plan work for my family’s needs?
Keep in mind that your home doesn’t have to mimic the floor plan exactly. For instance, if your family eats most meals in the kitchen, then a formal dining room might not be the best use of space for you. If you decide to use that room as a home office or entertainment room, you might consider some additional features, such as bookcases, a convenient spot for a television, or shelving. Read our blog on other things to think about when deciding if a traditional dining room has a place in your new home.
Are there warranties, and what do they cover?
Warranties promise to repair or replace certain elements of your new home within a certain time if they aren’t functioning properly. Find out what falls under warranty — often windows, plumbing, heating and air conditioning, and electrical systems — and how repairs will be made if you need them.
If buying in a development, will there be a homeowners association?
Many families choose to live in developments because they can be wonderful neighborhoods to raise children. The answer to this question is relevant so that you understand if there are rules that will govern the development.
What are the estimated property taxes?
This is an important question for any potential homeowner, new construction or otherwise.
How much customization is allowed, including upgrading the fixtures and appliances?
When you look at floor and design plans, the starting price for your home is based on certain assumptions. Some homebuyers choose to upgrade things like the standard fixtures and appliances. Your builder will be able to tell you what is or isn’t possible.
How do you handle change orders?
It won’t be a surprise to your builder if you change your mind about some decisions along the way in the construction and design processes. You’ll want to know how the builder will respond to those instances, and if changing your mind will affect costs. Ask for pricing updates.
How many homes do you currently have under construction?
Many successful home builders may have multiple projects going on at the same time. If they have a plan in place to manage them, then full supervision of your own home shouldn’t be a problem. Ask who your point of contact should be if you have questions.
During construction, how often should I expect updates from you?
Find out who will be updating you on construction progress and how frequently. Expectations and communication should be acceptable to both the builder and buyer.
Can I visit the construction site?
Of course you want to check the progress of your new home. Giving your builder advance notice of when you want to stop by will allow him to inform workers for security reasons and to let them know it’s ok if they see people touring the project.
What’s your process for inspection during construction and at the final walk-through?
You’ll want to make sure that any issues you have concerns about are addressed or corrected. Your builder should give you an outline of how homes are checked and double-checked and that others from the construction company are involved in the final walk-through to give unbiased opinions.
Want to learn more about choosing a new construction home and how you can build your own dream house? Contact us today!