Building a new home is an exciting time! When you build new, you have the opportunity to design and build a home tailored to your family. From selecting the community and floor plan to choosing the colors, features, and finishes, your home is completely unique to you. Once the home is completed, you have a space that was made specifically for your lifestyle.
Because this time is so exciting, it can be easy to get wrapped up in the excitement and rush to a sales office to talk to a sales manager. While we’re thrilled to meet you and help you build you dream home, there are questions you should consider first that will make the process run more smoothly.
This goes beyond size and bedroom count. Think about how you live in the house today and how that may change in the years to come. Will your family grow? Do you have older children who may leave for college and move away from home? These questions can help you determine which features and options are most important to include in your new house. If you’re building with a partner, discuss your top three non-negotiable items when it comes to house design so you’re on the same page before you begin your new house search. Once you come up with your list of new house must-haves, share these with your sales manager and design consultant! They can use that information to make suggestions for floor plans and options that best suit your lifestyle.
Think about the extra things you’d love to have in your dream home. Maybe it’s a cozy fireplace or a fancy kitchen. Take time to imagine what would make your home even more special and write them down. Consider the costs of adding these items and be sure to speak with your builder before starting construction to add these items in. For example, you won’t want to ask for a bay window after the home is already framed and drywalled. This would incur further costs and slow down construction.
When you’d like to move into your new home will determine what kind of new home you buy. Our build time is typically 8-10 months, so if you have the time to experience the entire build cycle, that may be the right choice for you. Those months will fly by as you watch your dream home come to life! If you need to move faster – perhaps you’re relocating, or experiencing life changes, or your home sells faster than you expected – then a quick close home may be a better option.
One of the most important things to do before you buy a new home is agree on a budget, and commit to sticking to it. Your budget may even be less than what you’re approved for, depending on your long-term financial goals, and that’s okay! Before you walk into a sales office, make sure you recognize and understand what you’re willing to spend on a down payment and monthly mortgage. If you’re moving to a community within another city, be sure to factor in property taxes and HOA fees.
Everyone wants their home to be a good investment. Take the time to research the area you plan to build a home. Are there good schools in the area? Are there parks, and places to shop nearby? What is the crime rate for the neighborhood, but also the town? These are just a few things to think about and research before picking an area to build.
HOA’s come with a lot of benefits for homeowners. However, HOA’s are not for everyone. They help maintain communities and set rules to keep the area nice. Some HOA’s have very demanding requirements, while others are pretty lenient. Think through if living in a place with an HOA is something you would enjoy or not.
Once you have a budget in place, meet with a mortgage loan officer to discuss what financing options may be available. Depending on your situation, you may qualify for a conventional loan or FHA loan. VA loans are available for homebuyers who are part of the military.
The most common mortgage options are:
A conventional mortgage is a type of home loan not insured by the government. This type of mortgage is provided by private lenders like banks, mortgage companies, and credit unions.
FHA mortgages are insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). The FHA is a government agency. The purpose of FHA loans is to make homeownership easier or more accessible and affordable, primarily for first-time homebuyers and people with lower credit scores or limited down payment funds.
Homes come with the responsibility of care and attention to stay in good shape. Think about how much time and effort you’re willing to spend on maintenance. Consider a smaller home if you don’t want to spend a lot of time cleaning. Even though everything in a new build is brand new, spring for the higher-quality items if you’re able to.
If you or someone in your family requires accessibility features, think through what they may be. This could include ramps, wider doorways, larger more accessible bathrooms or elevators. Ensure you’re building a home that meets everyone’s needs in the household.
The build process can be overwhelming for some people. It is a long process with a lot of decisions to be made. One of the most stressful parts (often most fun) is the design process. In the design process, you can pick out floor plans, colors, and materials. Some people love having a say in every little detail, and others do not. Decide how involved you would like to be.
Almost all new-build homes are equipped with energy-efficient appliances. However, you can go one step further by including some higher-end features to your new home. Energy-efficient features like solar panels and improved insulation can help you “go green” in your new home. They are a great way to be eco-friendly and also save money on monthly expenses.
Now that you have the internal questions mapped out, you can begin your build process! Be sure to interview your home builder and make sure they are the right choice for you. Check out our top questions to ask a homebuilder to help you on your homebuilding journey!