Many potential home buyers are leery of new home construction, but it can be a fun and rewarding experience if you know the right questions to ask. Here are just a few great questions to ask that will help you determine if you are ready to build a home.
Do you know your budget?
Being able to select your home and customize it to fit your needs can be fun but you don’t want to set yourself up for failure. Before talking to a bunch of builders you should make sure to get pre-approved from a lender and know what you can comfortably spend. Once that is done you can start talking to some builders. Be sure to ask the builder what items you need to add to fully complete the project.
It is important to understand what allowances are. Many builders use them. They are a monetary allotment for part of the project. It is a certain amount of money you are allowed to spend to make selections on your home. These are typically reconciled at the end, so if you spend more than the allowance, you owe the builder. Be sure to know what items are allowances vs. standard inclusions. This is important because you can drastically change the final cost of your project by overspending on allowances.
Do you have flexible living arrangements?
Building takes some time, and there usually is not an exact date until further into the project so you need to carefully asses you living arrangements. Do you have to sell first? How long will it take to sell your home? What if it sells early? Do you have an apartment? Are you going to move back in with Mom and Dad? Well you better find out before you find yourself in a difficult situation.
Can you make decisions easily?
Building a new home is exciting because you can get just about everything you want but if you are the type of person who has trouble making decisions, this could be difficult for you. You are in full control; you pick the floor plan, the changes, the products, and the colors. This all sounds fun, but if you find yourself second-guessing yourself you could be creating anguish for yourself and your builder.
Do you know what you really want in your home?
It is good to have a wish list of what you really want. In a perfect world you can have everything you want, but in reality some sacrifices must be made. Make sure to prioritize your top items vs. nice to have items. It is also good to consider changes that would be difficult to make later vs. cosmetic items. For example, putting in a taller basement cannot really be done later but a fancier carpet could easily be installed at a later date.
Do you understand the process?
Most people don’t understand the process, and that is totally understandable. Building a home is not something people do often. How do you get around that? Easy, ask your builder questions. Lots of them. Each builder does things a little differently and it is important to understand how things work. If you builder isn’t accommodating of your questions you may want to find one that is. Realize you are going to be working with them for a while, so if communication is an issue at the beginning it could be signs of trouble later.
If you keep a curious mind and find a patient builder, you will set yourself up for a pleasant building experience.