Purchasing a new home can be a tricky process. But purchasing a home that isn’t built yet can be trickier. That doesn’t mean that you have to go into it blind, though. To help you, we put together a list of advice from our very own homebuilders, so you can go into the process with your eyes open and build a home that suits your tastes and needs both now and in the future.
Come with Inspiration
Homebuilders follow your lead, not the other way around. While they can give you some expert tips, it is your decision that will matter at the end of the day. If you haven’t done some essential planning up front, you might end up with the same generic house that everybody has.
To create a plan and detailed scope of work, hire a design professional, like an architect or interior designer. It’s important that you have a budget for your project in mind and communicate it clearly to the firm you hire, so the design you want is aligned with what you are planning to invest.
Budget More Than You Expect
Leave room in the budget for additional construction costs. No matter how much you think the building process is likely to cost, it’s likely going to cost more. There could be a number of materials your builder might not have considered, including: electrical and gas meters, internet and cable hookups or window coverings. Finishing costs – such as landscaping and outdoor concrete, fences and gates – could run anywhere from 15-25% of your budget. At the same time, delays could occur during the construction process and cause additional costs.
Monitor construction expenses carefully to ensure you are getting what you asked for and are paying for. This includes decorative details as well as structural elements. For example, if you and your builder agreed on setting up insulation, make sure to check whether that is part of the budget. If not, be ready to make some cost adjustments.
Find the Right Builder
Make list of potential builders that you want to contact. It’s best to reach out to the homebuilders association that is local to you. It can also be a good idea to ask your friends and family members for recommendations on builders they’ve hired directly. Don’t just go with the first person you talk to. Seek out multiple bids to ensure you’re getting the best possible deal.
Before hiring a builder, drive past their previous jobs to see their work in person and speak to the homeowners to get their feedback. Many builders offer customer references and referrals. If not, ask. A few great questions to ask: Would you buy another home from this builder? Or recommend them to close friends or family?
Understand the Contract
Never go forward with your house project without a contract. Most often your builder will provide you with a contract that’s ready for signing. If not, you may draft one or hire an attorney to draft one. The contract ensures that there is no disagreement before the actual work begins, and to provide a guide to follow in case a problem arises later.
A well-drafted construction contract clearly sets out the work to be done, the price to be paid for the work, and the terms and conditions of payment. The contract should also allocate various foreseeable risks between the parties. Before you sign the contract, it is important that you clearly understand the terminology and scope of the contract and the rest of the things that you are committing yourself to.
Building a new home can be an incredibly rewarding experience but it is not for the faint of heart. Consider some of these points and make your home something that will stand the test of time. Remember, your home is likely to be the biggest investment you will ever make, so make sure you plan and research everything you can so you get the end result that you desire.