So, you are planning on buying new construction! You can start to imagine the family dinners and kids and dog playing in the yard. As you set off on this somewhat stressful but exciting journey, there are some things to need to ask your builder. Remember that no question is a stupid question, and these are things that need to be clarified for you and the builder. If this is your first time buying new construction here are some things to keep in mind during your planning and building process.
Are there specific HOA rules and regulations?
Before you move into a community you should know what you can and can’t do. A lot of communities have rules against commercial vehicles being parked outside. Some HOA’s do not allow you to park on the street at night. If you have pets, you should know any leash rule or community specifics. There are some communities that require you to have certain colored flowers and mulch; so, if you plan to garden and want to have some uniqueness to your yard, make sure you are allowed to! Some of these things may seem silly, but they are more common than you think. Ask the home builder and touch base with the community to get all your homeowners paperwork and learn about where you could be moving into.
What is the builder’s reputation, and can I see past work?
Sometimes we think we know what we are getting into with a builder. Some communities only offer a certain builder for you to work with so your options can be limited. But, if you have the chance to interview and learn about your builder, we highly recommend it. Get to know who you are going to be working with for the next several months. Ask to see some of the homes they have built before and with their permission, talk to past clients. At this point you should also get to know the project manager and who you plan to be in touch with throughout the process. Having a point of contact is huge and can make the entire process a lot easier when you have questions or concerns.
What comes standard and which aspects are upgrades?
This is a common and costly way for people to end up spending way more than they intended. Some builders are not quite upfront with the costs of the floors, ceiling décor, lighting fixtures, and paint colors. A lot of builders will recommend a certain aspect and not explain that those costs will come later. Make sure you get things in writing! As you begin the process, make sure that you explain exactly what you want and find out what is standard, what is an upgrade and how much it will cost you to get it. Some things are definitely worth it, while others may not be something that you really need. This can sometimes make the process seem a little longer and drawn out, but you will be happy you spent the time on these details.
At what point should we get home inspections?
Remember one important thing while building your house… it is YOURS! It is okay to get a home inspection done at different times to make sure that things are getting done properly. A lot of the time people wait until the very end and they fail inspection. At this point, things need to get changed, re done, and that takes a lot of time and even more money. Try to get a home inspection done before the foundation is poured. Make sure the lot is solid and there are no issues. Then get it inspected before the drywall is poured. They can check the structural integrity and placement of important aspects of the home. Then get an inspection before the final walk through. At this point you can spot last minute fixes that will hopefully not push your move in date back too far! Be consistent with details and inspections from beginning to end!
What warranties do you provide?
Knowing about warranties you are covered under before you move in is one of the best things you can do. Depending on the builder, you may have the option of a 2-10 HBW. Look into what you are covered under regarding damaging weather, and natural disasters. Although you may have insurance, warranties are important regarding other aspects of your home. Do they offer a 1-year workmanship warranty as well? And do you have manufacturers warranties on things such as your air conditioner and kitchen appliances? Make sure to get a list of everything that you have warranties on! This can and will save you a ton of money in the future if something happens to go wrong.
Building a home is one of the most exciting things you can do in your life! Planning, customizing and building your home will allow you to be creative and create the home of your dreams. These 5 things are crucial in making this process as enjoyable and stress free as possible. It is okay to ask questions, and it is important that you trust your builder! We hope this helps you in your future home building experience!