June 5, 2013
New Home Construction – Questions to Ask Before Signing on the Dotted Line
A couple of times over the past year, I have looked into the process of building a new home. Not because I don’t like my current home, but because I was intrigued by the thought of living in a brand new property.
New home construction in my township is extremely common. It seems as if there is a new neighborhood breaking ground every month. If nothing else, this gave me plenty of options.
While I decided against moving forward, I learned quite a bit about the process and what it entails.
New Home Construction Questions
Regardless of the builder, you will have one main point of contact. This is the person you can turn to with all your questions, no matter what is on your mind.
I would venture to guess that I asked hundreds of questions during the few times I met with my primary contact. However, I narrowed the list down to five of the most important:
1. Can I shop for my own mortgage? Believe it or not, some builders, especially those that “build in bulk,” request that you use their mortgage company. While there is nothing wrong with this, it may not work in your favor.
You should have the right to select your mortgage lender, based on your own findings and personal preference.
2. How long does the construction process take? Not only will you be anxious to set up shop in your new home, but this will have an impact on your finances as well.
If you currently own a home, you will want to sell it before your new one is available. This way, you don’t have to carry two mortgages. Of course, if you sell it too quickly you may find yourself looking for a place to live while your home is being built.
3. What type of warranty is included? It is easy to believe that nothing could go wrong with a newly built home, but this is not the case.
From basement leaks to electrical issues, the potential for trouble is always there. To protect against these problems, you want to learn more about the warranty including what it covers and how long it lasts.
4. Are there any rules on when I can visit the home site? Let’s face it: the builder does not want you roaming about the job site while your home is being built. Not only is it unsafe, but it can quickly become an annoyance.
You should ask upfront when you can visit the home site, and what you are and are not allowed to do. This will help you avoid trouble, while saving you a lot of stress and headaches.
5. Who is working on my home and how do you know they are qualified? The best homebuilders can answer this question in great detail. They either have their own staff that will build your home from the ground up, or they contract with top professionals in your area.
Either way, you need to know the answer to this question and be comfortable with the details you receive.
Why I Turned Back
Despite the fact that I was excited at the thought of new home construction, I ended up turning back at the last minute. There were several reasons for this, including:
- Could not muster up enough courage to leave my current home
- The cost of homes in the community I was interested in had become too high
- The construction process, from beginning to end, was going to take nearly a year
Before you sign on the dotted line, you want to get every last question out of your system. Don’t be shy about speaking your mind and digging for answers. This is a big decision and an even bigger undertaking.
Hopefully my experience will help guide you down the right path. Can you see yourself opting for new home construction in the future?