Never done it before? Bring on the patience. Get knowledgable about what you might not think you need to know. Select a REALTOR® to help you get that knowledge. Local REALTORS® know the area, the neighborhoods and sometimes the builders. Each new construction project has its system of getting from A to Z. This can vary by builder, so you need to understand the process and how you fit in.
There is a lot of coordination involved, be it the general contractor, all the trades involved, town inspections and Mother Nature! Yes, she plays a large part of making sure things progress on time. You won't be intimately involved in every step, but you need to under stand where you fit in and when as each process will vary builder to builder.
It's time to start the search. Where do you want to live? Do you know enough about the area - the traffic, the schools, the covenants and restrictions? Visit the neighborhoods with your REALTOR®, tour the model homes, meet with the builders representatives, walk around and talk with current owners - discover their likes and dislikes to make sure you've covered all your bases. Is this a HOA community or not? Are there restrictions on the fence type or color? Can you keep a boat in your yard - overnight or as long as you want? What amenities do you get for your fee?
LOT and FLOOR PLAN OPTIONS
Does your lot guide your floor plan? Some neighborhoods operate in this fashion. Not every floor plan will fit on every lot. There are specific town set-backs that limit what can be done on the land. Some lots become 'premium' lots due to their location. Premium=MORE$$, usually because they are woodland views, water views or extra large lots that make them much more desirable.
FINALIZE SALES CONTRACT
Your contract outlines the scope of work, timelines and potential issues related to construction delay. It also covers how changes to the scope of work will be handled and how disputes are resolved. Work with your REALTOR® to understand every aspect of the new home construction process or speak with a lawyer. You need to be fully aware of YOUR responsibilities under the term of contract, as well as the builder you selected. Be clear on everything to reduce anxiety as you move forward. Don't forget about discussing the warranty the builder offers as well. Everything needs to be clear before signing on the line.
TIME FOR THE DESIGN CENTER
Wow, the can be overwhelming for some - especially if you are challenged with picking out a new throw pillow or similar. Here is where your house comes together and how you make it your home. Finishes, fixtures, colors, oh my! If your builder provides early access to the design center, take them up on that. Price things out. How much of a difference is the standard versus upgraded? Is it cost effective to swap it out after you close, or does the price difference make it a hassle? Do add extra outlets (inside and out) and water spigots with construction as these can becomes a nuisance to add after the fact, and no longer cost effective. Think out your choices as often times they can not be changed after selection.
ONTO CONSTRUCTION PHASES....(Part 2)