Building your new home is exciting and at the same time – overwhelming. For your builder however, it’s a daily routine. We encourage our home buyer to stay active in the home building process. This way you end up your dream home.
There are so many decisions that need to be made by you. If you are unable or unwilling to, your builder has the difficult job of making them for you and that means it might not be the home you had in mind.
Here are 5 things we think you need to know when building your new home:
1. Know your budget
Before you start building your new home, look at your budget and determine what you can afford to build. This includes the costs of construction, certain tax benefits, funds for the down payment, and maybe some reserver funds for other related costs.
Once you’ve determined you can afford to build the house you want — get qualified. Avoid wasting time or unrealistic expectations and know what your mortgage lender will approve. It’s also good to consider not maxing out what you can afford.
2. Check your builder’s reputation
Many builders are out there, but not all have the same reputation. Do a little research to find out which builders have the best reviews or rating. If you search online, look for both complaints and compliments and always get recommendations from your family and friends.
3. Build to invest
It’s unlikely that this home, will be the last you will ever own. Knowing that stay be mindful of its future resale value. The best thing is not to add so many upgrades that your home is the most expensive in the neighborhood. We also recommend you don’t choose anything too out of the ordinary. You might have unusual style or want specific features but unless this is your last purchase, consider installing things are going to appeal to others.
4. Consider building Green
Ask your selected builder how they maximize energy-efficiency in the design of your new home. Your builder can help ensure that you have plenty of windows, and when possible ones that are South-facing so you can heat your home from the sun (for those few cold Florida days). You night want to consider asking if your bathrooms, laundry and garage can be are on the south side of your home and have small windows to reduce heat loss. Consider upgrading your insulation and HVAC systems. And if you’re want to get green – choose energy-efficient appliances and WaterSense faucets and toilets.
5. Punch the list
A punch list is a list created at the end of construction, before you close and helps identify what needs to still be done before you move in. Do this with your builder when you go through your final walk through. Take notes every time you visit your construction site or do a walk through.
It’s a good idea to have your realtor participate as well, they are not as emotionally attached to your home as you are and may have a better eye for identifying flaws.
Keep in mind that there are typically two categories: reasonable flaws and unreasonable flaws.
Reasonable flaws are what fall within the tolerances of building construction (generally they do not affect the quality of the new home). Unreasonable flaws however, need to be fixed as they can affect the quality of the home. Once any unreasonable flaws are corrected in your new home, this is called substantial completion. Basically – you can live in your new home.
Before closing on your new home, you’ll have one final walk through to verify that the items on your punch list were fixed. If everything appears to be done, you should proceed with closing.
If there are a few items that still need to be complete, put your closing money in escrow. You can still move into your new home while the builder completes the items on the punch list.