Have you been wondering if building a new home vs. buying a resale home is right for you?

Start by asking yourself these questions.

  1. Have you looked at multiple resale homes, but you are not finding your dream home?
  2. Do you love home design and decor?
  3. Do you want a home that’s move-in-ready?
  4. Are you good at managing change?
  5. Can you wait 6-12 months to move in?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then building your dream home may be easier than finding your dream home.

The following article is the first in a series that will provide details about the homebuilding process as well as the good, the bad and the reality of building.  There is lots to consider before taking this leap.

Much of the information provided is from my background as an engineer and my first-hand experience working with local Kansas City homebuilders during the construction of my clients and my own homes.  I will also provide links to various online resources, definitions of topics and terms that relate to homebuilding and potential mistakes to avoid.

Avoid the mistake of partnering with a Realtor who has little or no experience in new home construction.  Before you get started on the homebuilding process you should reach out to an experienced Realtor like me  who understands new home construction. The process is very different from buying a resale property.

Avoid the mistake of utilizing the builder’s real estate agent as your agent or choosing to be unrepresented. The builder’s agent represents the builder.  You want someone who has your best interest in mind and will be negotiating specifically on your behalf.

  1.  Determine How Much You Can Afford to Spend on Your New Home and Get Pre-Approved.
  2.  Make a List of Your Needs and Wants.

Determining early on what is important to have in a home at this stage in your life will save you a lot of time and possible setbacks. It will do wonders in helping you determine the right floor-plan, but also the right location to build your new home.

Consider things such as whether or not you need a home office, a chef’s kitchen, a mudroom?  Are you a growing family that needs a full finished basement or loft for kid’s to hang-out? What is the maximum distance you want to travel to work, shopping, entertainment, parks, etc.? Do you want a big yard or do you prefer maintenance free?

As you consider these questions think realistically about what your home needs will be over the next 5-7 years at a minimum.

  1.   Research whether a custom or production homebuilder is right for you?
  2.  Create a list of possible homebuilders that meet your needs.

There are numerous ways to find homebuilders in your area.

  • Contact us, your local Realtor. We can provide you with a list of homebuilders to start your search.
  • Perform a Google search for homebuilders in your area.
  • Review your local Homebuilders Association Member Directory.
  • Drive around to new subdivisions that are under construction.  Stop by the model home’s office to learn about the neighborhood homebuilders and review their floor-plans. Let the builder’s Realtor know that you are already represented by your own agent. Your Realtor should definitely be with you before you start contract negotiations, even a lot reservation.
  1.  Confirm Which Builder is Best For You.

Below are ways to help you narrow down the possibilities.

  • Online research is key to review the builder’s experience history, floor-plans, price range, photos and locations they are building.
  • Consider going to the neighborhoods where a specific builder has already built homes.  Knock on the door of a few people already living in a home your specific builder has constructed.  Ask if they can spend a few minutes telling you about their experience with the builder.
    • Were they happy with the building process?
    • How was the customer service?
    • Did they have any major construction issues?
    • Were these issues resolved to their satisfaction?
    • Does the builder use high-quality materials?
    • What was the communication process during construction?
    • How long did construction take?
    • How likely would they be to use this homebuilder again in the future?
  • Set up a meeting with each of the homebuilders that made your shortlist and ask these 15 questions.  Ask your Realtor to attend these meetings with you. They should be able to confirm if a homebuilders has a good reputation in the area and will be a good fit to meet your needs.

Check back soon where I will discuss Steps 6-10!

If you have questions or to get started on the new home construction process please check-out www.iconiclistings.com or contact me at kelly@iconiclistings.com.