New Home Buyer's Toolbox
All of us at Ann Arbor Builders know that building a new home can seem - well, a little overwhelming. That's why we've put together The New Home Buyer's Toolbox, this series of installments to help guide you through the process.
In reality, building your dream home should be an exciting adventure as you choose all the details and watch it take shape. But not only are you buying a new home, you're also buying services: good communication, expertise, quality of materials and workmanship, and service after your new home is finished..
There are several scenarios in which you may purchase a new home, from purchasing a “package” of land and home from a building company which owns the land to hiring a builder to construct your home on land you own or will buy. Every scenario must be reflected in the building agreement, but beyond the legal requirements that all builders must follow, each has his or her own practices.
Every builder must adhere to the same rigid building codes, but the goal of building codes is to ensure the health and safety of the people who will actually live in the home once it is completed. They are not designed to define or evaluate quality.
While our homes meet, and often exceed, these codes, they must also meet our standards of quality, and more importantly, yours. Our quality program has three components:
Choosing all the finishes that reflect your own personal style - this is the fun part!
By the time you've signed your building agreement, you've undoubtedly made some choices about the features and finishes that your new home will include, but you'll still have choices to make. For example, your building agreement will specify the type of roofing and siding materials we’ll use, but we’ll need to know which color you prefer.
You undoubtedly have an idea of the size and style of the home you want, but many factors influence what can and can’t be built on any given site. Most often, sites have features which dictate the home’s size, its location on the site, and in some cases, the materials that can be used. These factors can not only influence your budget but also what you can or cannot build. That’s why it’s best to secure a site before finalizing plans.
Some common questions that should be asked and answered before purchasing any site are:
Just like purchasing an existing home, the first step in building a new home is consulting a lender who can help you determine a realistic budget. Even if you’re paying cash and know how much you have to spend, there are factors that impact the overall budget of your new home, such as site preparation and the finishes you choose, that must be taken into consideration.
It’s also important to choose the right lender, one with construction lending experience – and better yet, with local construction lending experience.