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Navigating New Construction

Tips for Buying a New Construction Home

Whether you are considering a new build for the very first time or you’ve done it multiple times in the past, the experience of building a home from the ground up in 2021 is new. As the effects of the pandemic continue to ripple through the world economy, every aspect of new construction has been or could be changing.

Most builders have a “What to Expect In the Building Process” presentation – whether it’s a flyer, a checklist or an email. Each builder’s process varies slightly, but the main steps are:

  1. Mortgage approval
  2. Lot selection
  3. Floor plan selection
  4. Contract signing
  5. Design center appointment
  6. Permits pulled
  7. Lot prep
  8. Foundation poured
  9. House framed
  10. Mechanicals installed (plumbing, electrical, HVAC)
  11. Insulation
  12. Sheetrock
  13. Trim
  14. Cabinets/Flooring/Tile/Granite/Counters
  15. Lighting & plumbing fixtures
  16. Final paint
  17. Final Clean
  18. Builder Walk through
  19. Closing
  20. You move in and start living your dream!

Here’s our best advice for getting through the long and winding road that ends with a beautiful new home: 

Get educated

Our team has worked with most of the local builders, in fact, we even represent one of them. Sure, your friends and co-workers have advice (and horror stories – YIKES) about what it was like when they built a house. But we are in touch with builders every day!  So in addition to driving through the neighborhoods that interest you, and visiting the websites of the builders you like best, ask us anything. From mortgage pre-approvals with preferred lenders and the steps in the construction process, to the price of various upgrades and how your closing will work, we either have the answer or we can get it to you quickly.

Expect the unexpected

The list of things that can cause delays is LONG! Mother nature can cause some, like extended periods of rain that can put off the pouring of a foundation. Pandemic-related issues continue to cause disruptions such as sub-contractors, who do many things from framing the house to installing the plumbing, having labor shortages; appliance manufacturers having trouble getting the parts needed to deliver stoves, dishwashers and refrigerators on schedule; and city inspectors who are experiencing a glut of requests for inspections may not schedule plumbing or electrical inspections in a timely manner. Home construction is a step-by-step process, and a delay in one step delays all the rest of the steps. 

Practice patience and flexibility

There are almost a million decisions or actions that have to happen from the beginning to the end of the building process. Mistakes are going to be made along the way. How everyone handles those mistakes will be critical to your experience. If you live close enough to the site of your future home, you will likely visit the site frequently and see many things that don’t match what you were expecting.  Feel free to ask questions, but understand that what looks like a mistake to you could actually be part of the process or could already be on the list of things to fix before you noticed it. There’s a fine line between inquiry and accusation. You will have a relationship with the builder for at least a year after you take ownership.  If you assume good intentions from almost everyone involved on the builder’s side, they will do the same for you.

If you are thinking of building or buying, use the contact form below to reach out to us and get started!

Rebecca Lowrey

Realtor/Team Lead

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