1. Securing a Loan
Before the contract is signed, you will either need to have pre-approval for a construction to perm loan or show that you can cover the cost of the home with your current assets. See the Preferred lenders list. These lenders frequently work with us and they understand the process and can provide competitive rates. Potential benefits of working with preferred lenders include possible closing cost benefits and better communication among all parties. An added benefit of purchasing a new construction home our lenders may be able to offer to lock in rates for longer terms. If interest rates are expected to go up over the coming months, your loan will be secure until your closing date months down the road.
2. Purchase Agreement
Once you have decided on which home/homesite to purchase, you will need to enter into the New Residential Construction Real Estate Agreement with the builder. Either one of our Real Estate Broker’s or your own Broker can help you write, review and explain this agreement. Be sure to take the time to read it thoroughly before you sign. Review the Builder’s Warranty, Builder’s Addendum and the Consumer Protection Documents from the Contractor’s Construction Board. Once all parties have signed, it is then called a ratified contract, by which the builder and purchaser are now held accountable. An earnest money deposit is required at this stage. This deposit will be released to the builder after your home selection options have been made. The earnest money may include and additional deposit to cover the cost of the upgraded options you chose.
3. Selecting Options -Meeting(s)
Part of the fun and excitement of buying a new home is selecting options and designing the home with your preferred choices of flooring, cabinets, countertops and more. As your home is being built, you will meet with the builder to select the options you would like in your home. This may include structural options (such as changing an open study to a bedroom) and finish options (such as color and type of cabinets and countertops).
Standard & Upgrades Standard Features: You will receive a sheet of standard items that are included in the negotiated sales price of the home. This may include items such as standard flooring, cabinets, countertops, appliances and more. Be sure you are clear what items are included in the sales price of the home before you sign the contract.
Upgrade Features: Available upgrades are dependent on the home model and may include structural options such as rear decks and finish options such as appliances, fireplaces, and lighting. Structural Options: Structural options include items that impact how the home is built. Examples include whether you would like to turn a study into an extra bedroom, add a rear deck or other changes to the home’s layout. If you are purchasing a custom built home, you will have more options to choose from than if you are purchasing a production home. These decisions need to be made early in the construction process.
Finish Options: Finishes refer to items that are the finishing touches of the home – cabinets, countertops, flooring, lighting and more.
4. Home Walk-Throughs
Throughout the construction process, there should be a series of walk-throughs with the builder. These may include pre-construction, pre-electrical and pre-settlement. Take “inside the walls” pictures or video during your pre-electrical walk-through so you know where there is extra blocking, wiring, pipes, etc. for when you begin to hang TVs and artwork. The pre-settlement walk-through is similar to a final walk-through of a resale purchase and is your last opportunity to point out any potential issues before closing. Find out who the utility companies are and call to get them set up in your name
At last, your new home is ready and the final step is the closing process! Closing typically takes place at the office of a title company. The title company ensures the loan has been approved, all necessary paperwork is signed and the purchaser’s ownership is recorded. There are a number of items you will need in advance (such as an insurance policy, cashier’s check, etc) so be sure to come prepared with all the requested items.
6. Warranty Services
One additional benefit of purchasing a new construction home is the warranty services. A walk-through is typically performed prior closing to orient the homeowner and address any issues. Although it will vary, typical builder warranties offer one year of coverage on materials and workmanship. State Contractors Construction Board allows up to 10 years on structural elements.
Tips to help the purchasing process go smoothly:
Stay in regular communication with your builder/broker
Come prepared to meetings with any questions
Delay meetings, walk-throughs, and options selection as it could delay the construction timeline
Make other big purchases (such as a new car) before you close on your home
Change your job before you close on your home
Whether you're purchasing a new construction home for the first time, or for the first time in years, it's important to understand the process and make sure all your questions are answered.
Watching your dream home come to life is an exciting experience and a lot more goes into building your home than you may be aware of. While the following list is not exhaustive of every step included in building a home, below are the basic phases in the home building process, in approximate order.
1) Building Pad Preparation
2) Framing & Carpentry
3) Rough-In, Air Sealing & Insulation
4) Drywall & Interior Finishing
5) Exterior Finishing
6) Final Walk-Through & Quality Assurance
How long does it take to build a home?
How long it takes to build a home will vary due to many factors such as the type of home being built, size of home, time needed to obtain permits, weather conditions, material supply chain, your location and more.
According to a 2020 Survey of Construction from the Census Bureau, the nation-wide average time to build a single family home is 7 months.* Production homes take less time (average 6 months) while custom homes take longer (average 9 months).