5 Things to Know When Building a New Home
Recently, I have been on the hunt for a great new construction home with my buyers relocating from California. These are some awesome people and I am so grateful to be sharing my love of Colorado with them. On top of getting to know some great people, I have been getting to know a lot about the builders around the Longmont, Firestone, and Erie areas.
A lot of people wonder if they should build their own home or if they should get something that has been pre-owned. After spending several hours at each of these locations and learning about the process with a builder, here are some things you should know in order to make your decision.
1. KNOW HOW MUCH YOU WANT TO SPEND
It is still worth it to meet with a lender you trust to find out how much you can afford before going into a new construction home. Most of the builders will list a base price for the house and then provide you add-ons or upgrades to customize the home to make it exactly what you want. Depending on which builder you go to, they may have some different upgrade features to choose from. Some of them have this incredible over-sized shower while others have an option for a wet bar in your finished basement. How about an outdoor fireplace, sunroom, or an oversized kitchen island? Not all of the sites offer the same things, and of course, not all of them offer the same things for the same prices. So KNOW HOW MUCH YOU WANT TO SPEND. When you find the style of home you like, you can sit down and create a "wish list" of all the features and upgrades you would want. They will give you an estimate on the spot of how much all this is going to run you and then you can easily make adjustments and avoid sticker shock if you know what your true price point is going to be.
"Great Julia, I already knew all of that." If this is going through your mind right now,how about this?
2. NOT ALL BUILDERS OFFER SPECIAL UPGRADES.
Some builders will keep their costs to build these amazing home down by choosing to keep all the features in all of their houses the same, or at least very similar. You have a few options for upgrading, but not many. Don't worry, these houses are still phenomenal. You won't be losing out, but you may have to pass on some of the ultra customized items that you really wanted but don't necessarily need. The trade-off here is that you are going to get a great house in a more affordable price point, because the builder has made some choices for you. If you like the finishes they have chosen, this is a great option to explore. I can tell you 2 of the builders that have this model of business right from the get go.
3. KNOW YOUR TIME FRAME
New construction sites will have many options to choose from here as well. Some of the homes have already begun being built while others are just empty lots waiting to be chosen. If you are looking for a quicker timeline for moving in, investigate homes that are already off the ground or that are already completed and waiting to be sold. You may not get to choose all of the specific upgrades if you go this route however, as some of them like the technology, lighting, and wiring may have been completed already. If your timeline is longer, a dirt start may be the right option for you. Depending on the specific builder, you are looking in the neighborhood of around 8-10 months for your home to be completed. The good thing about the long wait time is that you can fully customize the home to meet the vision in your mind.
4. ASK ABOUT THE INCENTIVES
Each builder I recently visited had a special incentive that they were offering to their buyers. Most of these involved assistance towards closing costs or to the design centers and required that you use the specific builders preferred lenders. If you aren't already working with a specific lender, then grab the deal and go!
5. TAKE YOUR REALTOR WITH YOU
Many people don't think a realtor can help you with a new build, but the opposite is true. A realtor can get you access you to the homes that have already been built and are waiting to be sold, they can help you negotiate the pricing and terms that you are getting, and who doesn't want an advocate on their side to make sure timelines, terms, and conditions are being met? A main complaint about builders is that they sometimes push things back and the timeline gets stretched out. It is totally worth it to have someone taking this on for you, so you can enjoy watching your dream come to life versus stressing out about the fine print. Make sure your realtor goes with you to every appointment so they don't miss anything!
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