Post # 1
Okay bees, I’m back! In continuation of this thread, http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/new-construction-advice, and I’m asking for more help!
I’m meeting with my realtor on the 21st to go over some new construction homes in my area. There are three different builders/three different areas that I’m looking at.
So, I’m compiling a list for my realtor to gather answers on to help me make the best decision on choosing which house/builder I go with.
I’ve gone back through the previous thread and wrote a few things down – Thank you again ladies! Anyone else have anything to add?
My list so far:
How long will the process take?
Is there a warranty, and what does it cover?
Are there other home models I can choose from?
Any HOA rules out of the ordinary? No fences, dog restrictions, etc.
Will I be able to be in contact with the construction manager?
What are the standards? Upgrades available? Will they be willing to throw in upgrades at no additional cost?
Will they pay closing any fees?
Post # 3
Looks like a good list.
I would also ask how often you can stop by the building site because you might get new ideas from just being in the space.
Also, have someone “walk you through” a blueprint of the models you like. We got surprised when they didn’t have a door to the materbath on the standard layout, it was just open, you can see the toilet while laying in bed–YIKES!! So ask, what modifications have other people made to this layout that I may not think of from just looking at this (because those $400 add-a-door costs add up).
See if there are any energy efficiency standards that the builder uses (Energy Star 2.5 and 3.0) because this will require a third party evaluation/certification and will likely mean a well sealed house.
🙂 Good Luck!!
Post # 4
I don’t have an HOA in my area, but my city has some pretty strict rules about fencing, pets, yards, out buildings, etc. And some rules about shoveling snow and leaves that are on the books but not enforced, so you may want to look into whether the town itself has rules, too?
If its not built yet, perhaps some questions about the street, how often it is plowed for snow, if there are streetlights and sidewalks? These are all things that influence your daily life.
Wha type of water and heat are available? Gas heat is cheaper than electric and much cleaner than oil.
Post # 5
I would also consider asking the following:
How long before closing is the first inspection where you get to walk through the house. Is there an additional walk through the day of closing?
What price ranges do the builders build in?
Are the finish options from their standard offerings? How extensive is their selection and what upgrades are available?
Is the pre-construction meeting held at the lot or in the office? Who all is present for this meeting (like the sales person only or the sales person and the construction supervisor)?
How much is the cost for contract changes after the pre-construction meeting? Like if you want to add a light fixture that may be $90, but there may also be a $50 charge for making a change to the plans. Some builders will allow any changes before the pre-construction meeting but will charge per change after that meeting, with the cost of changes increasing the further the project is progressing.
I would ask for a specific amount of upgrades (up to about 3% of the price of the lot and home) and see if they would negotiate throwing those in. Anyone can say “oh sure we can throw a couple of extras in” but when it comes to quantifiable, see who is willing to commit to what and make sure it’s in the contract.
Also, which builder has the spirit of a teacher? Who is willing to take the time to clearly explain the process and why things are being done the way they are? If they are just trying to steamroll you, run.
That’s all I can think of right now. Fiance and I moved into our new construction home a couple of months ago and I work in construction, so feel free to PM me if you have any questions.
Post # 6
@Miss Gamer: No door to the bathroom! Yikes! Thanks for the great info! Never thought about asking what others changed/added.
@kerensa: Great ideas! Added to the list. Thank you!
@LittleCricket: Great!! Thank you. I appreciate that. Thanks for the great advice!