What to Expect When Building a New Home:New Home Buyer’s Guide
When you decide to buy a new construction home, it’s a bit of a different process than purchasing a previously-owned property. You get to be the first person to call the house a home, and you don’t need to worry about negotiations or the previous owners’ emotional ties to the house.
Like any other home purchase, determining your budget and getting a pre-approval is always the first step. Once you determine this, you can decide how much you want to spend on your newly constructed home designed to your liking. This new home buyers guide will take you through what you need to know about building a new home.
HERE ARE THE TOPICS
THAT WE WILL COVER IN THIS GUIDE:
A New Home?
Zoning & Development
A Floor Plan
WHY CHOOSE A New Home?
There are plenty of great reasons why buying a new build home is better than choosing a previously-owned home, but it depends on what you want as a home buyer. While it boils down to personal preference, buying a new construction home allows you to have control over the design, have lower costs for maintenance, and you can handpick the home construction company.
Many interested buyers choose to build a new home purely for control over the customization of the house. Selecting the finishes and details, paint colours, and floor plans allow for your ultimate dream home to come to life. Buying new alleviates any renovations, work, and the extra money you’d have to sink into a built home that looks nothing like what you want. It’s improbable you’ll find modern homes that look exactly as you’re imagining.
When you are buying a new home, you will be reducing the cost of maintenance for at least a few years compared to buying a pre-existing home. Purchasing an older home comes with maintenance costs of older components, any renovations you want, and the replacement of aspects of the home. Purchasing a home from one of the many reputable home construction companies will allow you to save on maintenance costs for a while.
Buying from a reputable builder allows you to benefit from warranties that rarely come with purchasing a pre-owned home. There are a few ways buyers can be protected against issues that pop up, but it’s more often than not that they are stuck with the bill. Building a home often comes with several aspects of the home covered by a warranty.
CHOOSING A Location
Often when buying a new home, you’re choosing a brand new community or a new section of an established community. To determine whether a new subdivision is right for you, start by researching the area surrounding the new community. It’s helpful to drive around the communities you’re interested in to see what the other homes look like and the amenities offered. Park your car and take a walk in the communities and see how you feel. Ask any homeowner’s on your walk how they like the community. If your potential builder has show homes, take a look at them and take photos of the details you want. If you’re looking to buy in a brand new community, chatting with your realtor about what the plans are for the neighbourhood is key to making your decision.
CHOOSING A Realtor
One of the most essential parts of this New Home Buyer’s Guide is how to choose a realtor. There are many ways to find a realtor to help you with new homes for sale, and you should always start with research. You can check out reviews online for local realtors in your area. If your friends or family have realtors they’ve used in the past, you can check references and reviews on them, but don’t feel pressured to hire them just because there’s a connection. You want to find someone you’re going to really enjoy working with that shares your values. It’s ideal to meet with at least two or three realtors before signing with them. An experienced realtor will be able to ease your mind and give you any information you’re requesting. Choosing a realtor with experience with home construction companies and newly constructed homes in the communities you’re interested in is the best combination. You may feel that the best performing realtor is a quality you like or not, and neither of those is the wrong answer. It depends on your personal preference. Try not to choose a realtor based purely on price because you genuinely get what you pay for.
Read on to our new home buyer’s guide to learn more about key considerations.
TAXES, ZONING & Development
Before buying a new construction home, you want to find out how much your future property taxes will be. You’ll also want to be aware of any zoning and by-law restrictions for your ideal communities. Visiting your local city hall will be able to provide you will all the answers you need. You can also determine if there are any projects planned for future infrastructure and city services.
The typical timeline for buying a new build home generally spans ten months to a year. The timeline can change depending on your builder, the time of year and weather, and the demand for modern homes in the community.
Any new home buyer’s guide will tell you that building a home is a lengthy process, albeit exciting. Being patient is a necessary virtue when it comes to building your dream home. Before new house construction even begins, you have to choose a builder you love with floorplans you want and an excellent reputation.
In the first two months, the ground will break, the holes will be dug, and the foundation will be built. The process takes time because details like cement pouring and utility hookups will be installed. Many professionals will be coming onto the job site to ensure your home is being built correctly.
In months three and four, you can expect your new home to take shape with the construction of exterior walls and the installation of doors and windows. In months five and six, the HVAC system, electrical and plumbing will be installing. Siding will be installed, and other exterior details will be installed as well. The exterior should be looking almost complete in months seven to nine, but the work has moved to the interior. From drywalling to fixture installation, the inside is becoming a home. In the tenth month, the finishing touches are being worked on. Paint on the wall, countertops, finishes, and flooring are all being completed.
Once your home is fully finished, the inspections are complete and finalized, and you will get to complete a final walkthrough of your new house. Once you agree upon the building contract with the builder and lawyers, everything will be finalized, the closing date will be established, and you’ll be a homeowner. While this is a general timeline, you should be prepared when buying a new construction home that sometimes issues can derail the timeline. If you live in a city with harsh winter weather, it can put construction off for months at a time. New home buyer’s guides will advise you to get updates from the builder along the way.
SELECT A floor plan
Choosing your new floor plan is a big decision that requires some soul searching on your behalf as the buyer. Buying a new build home comes with plenty of decisions to make, with some future planning. Many builders of modern homes will offer desirable floorplans that offer a wide variety of options. Choosing a plan that suits your needs now and in the future is a big part of continuing to love your home for years to come.
If you’re a single person or you’re buying a new home with your spouse, it might be that you’re planning on starting a family in five to ten years. While you can’t always plan for the future, big decisions like having a family should be decided before choosing your floorplan.
If you love to entertain and host, work from home, need a home office or want a home gym space, you can choose your home based on your lifestyle.
Last but not least, choosing a floor plan you love and find appealing is vital. Do you love an open concept and a double car garage? Choose the floor plan that matches that. Although many builders have all the layouts they offer pre-designed, there may be wiggle room. If you’re purchasing before the ground has been broken, you can likely make small changes if they are flexible.
CHOOSING A Lot
Another critical part of new house construction is choosing a lot that appeals to you once you’ve chosen your subdivision. There are a few things to consider when choosing an available lot based on size, shape, and location.
If a spacious yard for your dog or future children is essential, then choosing a lot that is quite sizable would be valuable to you. Compare the sizes of the available lots to find out which one works best for your desires. Hand in hand with the size is the shape of the lot, which there will likely be a variety of shapes available, and choosing the one you like the best is key.
Something that a new home buyer’s guide may leave out is choosing the orientation of your lot. If you have big windows with plenty of natural light, you want to consider which way your home faces and whether the sunrise or sunset will come beaming through your home. The sun not only affects your utility bills, but it can affect your lawn care routine as well.
Choosing the location is important, depending on your preference. You may choose a corner lot, a cul-de-sac, or perhaps it’s not that important to you. Depending on your location in the city, the terrain may be completely flat, or there can be hills and dips. Choosing the terrain you like the best to avoid issues in the future is ideal.
What’s a new home buyer’s guide without talking about the fun part of customization!
Finding out directly from your builder what is included, what is extra, and what amenities will be available will be one of the first things you’ll want to find out.
Amenities like a community clubhouse, gated entrance, fitness centre, or playgrounds are good to know about, and they will affect the Homeowner’s Association fees you’ll be required to pay.
Upgrades in the home include getting better or different interior details, higher-end appliances, or other features you must pay more for. A builder will have a list of available options that are no-cost, but above and beyond those are upgrades. If you are confused about what is included beyond the feature sheet, you can ask the builder and take notes. A reputable builder will be happy to answer any questions. Depending on your preference for appliances, flooring, or other details, you will want to enquire about upgrading and doing it early. Deciding what features are needs and what are wants before you choose a builder can be helpful for you to be prepared.
NEW CONSTRUCTION Home Warranties
During your final walkthrough and inspection, ensure no defects happened during the building process. Because the home is brand new doesn’t mean there aren’t issues. If possible, you can have the home checked during each stage of the building process, and if this upsets the builder, you may want to reconsider working with them. Warranties are in place to protect you, so understanding and knowing your warranty is essential. While each warranty will vary in length and coverage, they are typically around ten years. The manufacturer’s warranty covers the appliances.
WHAT THE future holds
Choosing a new community can be challenging to determine what the neighbourhood will eventually look like. If you need access to established amenities, you may want to look at new house construction in a developed area because you know what’s already available. Buying in a brand new area may result in waiting several years for schools, grocery stores, and recreational amenities. Depending on your situation in life and plans, that may work out well for you.