Have you decided to build your next home? Answer 3 easy questions before you decide to build.
You’re exhausted after looking at every house on the market. And now you’re thinking about building a new home and wandered through homes under construction or “spec” homes and think you need to start from scratch.
There is something so intriguing and scary about building a home.
A home built to your specifications is uniquely “yours”. It’s clean, neutral colors and you don’t have to redo several rooms within to the place “home-sweet-home”. Whether you are building a multi-million dollar palace or contracting to build in a local subdivision, there are 3 questions you need to answer to make your building experience great:
1. Know the builder?
- Don’t be afraid to check out potential builders. That includes asking neighbors, Better Business Bureau and if needed- ask for references. The majority of the builders in the greater Cincinnati area belong to the Home Builders Association. Members of the HBA have agreed to abide by a set of industry standards for construction and repairs. Most builders require a large downpayment so before you hand over a check for thousands of dollars do your homework. You are probably wondering why I would even suggest “due diligence” since it is so obvious-yet you would be amazed at how many buyers sign first and discover problems later.
- Ask questions about what’s included and what’s extra. Don’t assume anything unless it’s in writing.
2. Do have a budget and have the ability to cope with extra costs?
- Budgeting is critical! I don’t care if you are building a small home in a subdivision or a mansion on a pond costs can explode. The average buyer usually isn’t happy with standard light fixtures, quality of the carpet or the appliances. These add-ons can significantly increase the final cost. Take a close look at the fixtures, carpet/padding, appliances, furnace capacity and so on. The best suggestion to spend your building dollars on items that are very expensive to upgrade later. You can always upgrade carpet or light fixtures after a few years, it is much more difficult to add a few feet to the family room or additional space to the garage. Also, many builders charge you for every “change” order after you make your final selections. Before you sign on the dotted line understand the costs and how the builder handles making changes during the building process.
- Have some money in reserve. You’ve budgeted and planned but “things” can happen. Having a house or condo to sell can add some unknown costs. Moving, landscaping, window treatments, garage door openers, and the list goes on- all cost money. Nobody wants to be house poor and it’s not fun to move and not enjoy eating out or going to a movie for once in a while.
3. Do you know who is representing you?
- The builder’s rep represents the builder! They are very helpful and make the process go very smoothly but they don’t represent you. Working with an agent who is familiar with new construction allows you to have some representation.
Not everybody is suited to building a new home.
Delays, construction issues, changing plans as the home progresses, cabinets not quite the shade you ordered often leaves some buyers regretting they ever began the project. On the other hand, if you can handle a moment or two (or three or four or five) of stress, building a home can be worth the effort. We have built 3 times and I would build again in a heartbeat. (and yes we did encounter some stressful moments)
Using common sense, doing your research and having patience are all part of building a new home. If you have some questions or concerns – Call/Txt