So you’ve decided to build a home and become a New Home Buyer instead of purchasing an existing one. Awesome decision, and one you will not regret. While the process might seem daunting, there are a few tricks I’ve found to help reduce your stress level.
As the homeowner, the real work begins months prior to making the decision to build. If this is your first time being a new home buyer one thing will amaze you: the amount of decisions that need to be made throughout the whole process. Everything from positioning of the home on the lot to the color of metal edging for the tile. Working with an experienced builder will help alleviate many of the stresses involved with decision making. However, the builder needs to get a sense of what you like. Providing your builder with a clear picture of your vision starts with creating digital “scrapbooks”.
A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words
In digital world we live in there are now more resources for inspiration than ever. I recommend setting up two free services: Pinterest and Houzz.
Create a Pinterest board and share it with your builder. Start by organizing your pins based on the room: kitchen, living room, bathroom, exterior, etc. While searching the web, simply pin the items you like and add a personal note for your builder to reference.
For those who haven’t explored this rabbit hole of internet goodness, I highly recommend taking an hour (or most likely what will end up being 3) to go through the site. Much like Pinterest, on Houzz you can save pictures to different “boards” along with the ability to add personal notes. Where Pinterest is a visual search engine, content on Houzz is professional-grade photography and interior design.
Utilizing these two free resources will aid in sharing your vision as well as open up a line of communication with the builder and architect. I love Houzz and use it for my personal go to resource!
Having been around new home construction as a Realtor I can tell you the most common saying I hear is, “nothing has happened for the last week.” In some cases, you might be correct.
Inspection backlog, back ordered supplies, subcontractor scheduling issues, bad weather are just a few of the hundreds of reasons that a home might sit for a few days. In most cases, work is in fact being completed.
Little items like installing gas pipes can easily go unnoticed. Also, remember that subcontractors often work early in the morning and not weekends, so when you go visit the construction site after work it might be empty of workers. Having an empty job site is not a sign that the project is delayed or not moving forward.
Much like in the pre-construction phase, the key is communication. If you feel the project is moving slowly, talk to the site superintendent or builder. Even better, bring treats for them. Remember the old saying, “sugar catches more bees than vinegar.”
Walk-Thru/Punch List Phase:
Traditionally, new home builders complete an inspection walk-thru with the owner 2-3 weeks prior to occupancy. While much of the walk-thru time is spent discussing items still needing to be completed, it’s also the time where the builder/superintendent introduces you to the home.
Remember that the construction manager has been with your home through the entire process. They know about the things that went wrong (yes, there will be things that go wrong). But most importantly they know how to maintain the home.
The walk-thru is their opportunity to show you the ins and outs of the home, and to explain the process of properly maintaining your home. Everything from how to clean the hardwood floors to how often a diode in the water heater should be changed. Take in-depth notes. Ask in-depth questions. Learning the correct maintenance procedures now, will save you lots of money in the future.
Building a new home is a fun and very rewarding process. The fact that it was designed for you and constructed with your needs ensures it’s the “perfect” home. With these three things hopefully your new home building experience is a positive experience!
Your Realtor, Liza:
Providing Service with a Royal Touch!