Rob Gow and Chris Pfauser
Developments, Conversions & New Construction
Learn how builders and buyers can work together - creating a Win-Win
Steps to Purchasing in a New Development:
Choosing a builder is just as important as choosing the style of the home. The builder not only has the responsibility for the largest investment a buyer may ever make, but his or her skill and preferences can have a direct impact on future comfort and happiness.
Not all new home communities are the same. Each one carries the distinctive mark of the builder, whether that happens to be innovative floor plans, distinctive craftsmanship, bold architectural statements, or just great value. Each builder also has a different personal style and way of communicating with his or her clients.
The buyer should consider references of past clients. Drive through one of the builder's previous subdivisions on a Saturday morning and try to get a random sample of opinions. Ask questions like: are you happy with your home? People are usually willing to share their joy or their sorrow.
Determine the Amount of Deposit
Selections increase in proportion to the price tag of the home. Correspondingly, the time it takes to build the home increases with the size and the number of custom features selected.
Realistically, a home delivery date range, if started from scratch with an improved road to the home site, can take anywhere from 120 days to 18 months. Remember, the builder is anxious to keep the home delivery schedule on time. The builder does not get paid until closing.
Manufacturers provide warranties that are covered by the manufacturer, not the builder. The builder is responsible for any building code violations that occurred. However, in the unlikely event that there has been a violation (because builder research was conducted), the responsibility becomes the builder's.
During the inspection, the purchaser should look for scratches in the counter tops and flooring. Walls should not have gouges and the moldings and trim should be square. The buyer should take pictures before the title is taken, particularly if a problem is discovered. The builder will prefer, under all circumstances, to conduct any and all repairs prior to the buyer moving in because it is easier for them to work on repairs in an empty house.
There are over 30,000 parts in a new home. Therefore, the propensity to find a small imperfection is great. However, many builders conduct their own thorough inspection before the buyer sees it. Most builders employ a cleaning service to make sure the home is clean prior to the closing.
After the Closing
Tips &Terms: Buying a New Development or Conversion
Common Construction Terms: Here's a sample of some of the terms the home buyer needs to know.
Base shoe: Molding used at the junction of the baseboard and the floor.
Bracing: Framing lumber nailed at an angle to provide rigidity.
Casing: A frame, as of a window or door.
Cornice: A decorative molding at the top of the exterior walls under the eaves.
Eave: The overhang of a roof that extends beyond the walls of the house.
Flashing: Sheet metal or other impervious material used in roof and wall construction to protect a building from seepage of water.
Floor joist: Horizontal boards laid on edge resting on the beams or walls that provide the main support for the floor. The subflooring is nailed directly to the joists.
Head casing: The strip of molding placed above a door or window frame.
Mantel: The decorative facing placed above a fireplace.
Muntin: Thin vertical strips inside the window sash that divide the window glass into panes.
Parging: A coat of cement mortar on the face of rough masonry. Typically used on the exterior of foundation walls to cover up concrete block.
Site Plan: A plan of a construction site showing the position and dimensions of the building to be erected and the dimensions and contours of the lot.
Soffit: The under-surface of a cornice or overhang.