With the highly competitive resale market the country is experiencing, many consumers are choosing to build or contract on a new-construction home. This can be done by purchasing a lot and choosing a builder/general contractor to work with, or going directly to a builder (national or local) and choosing from their pre-planned options. Here are some things to consider and plan for when choosing one of these construction options.

Purchasing a Lot for Custom Build

· Ask seller if soil has been tested and water tap fee has been paid. Water tap fees can be expensive, potentially more than $20,000. Obtaining a soils report is required for the land development process, to determine foundation and drainage.

· Inquire about HOA restrictions, if applicable. Some HOAs require construction to be completed in a certain time-frame and may have rules around design and size.

· If financing, construction loans have different requirements and not all lenders offer them. Research your options to find the best fit.

Working with Production Builders

· Attend first visit with real estate agent.

· Ask about incentives, promotions, and financing options.

· Find out if you have the ability to choose finishes or add features such as additional outlets. Ask what appliances are included.

· Window blinds are not included so be sure to budget for them.

· Backyard landscaping and perimeter fencing are typically handled by the homeowner after closing. Check with builder on specifications and HOA approval process if applicable.


Working with Small or Independent Builders

· Attend first visit with your real estate agent.

· Request copy of contract and warranty information.

· Check on the ability to add options and choose finishes.

· Find out what the builder is including/offering for incentives, appliances, landscaping and fencing.

Construction Meetings and Independent Inspections

· Expect a walk-through with your construction rep at pre-drywall (8-12 weeks before closing), buyer orientation (7-14 days before closing), and final walk on closing day to confirm finished punch list items.

· Builder will provide approximate timeline as construction moves along.

· Builders allow independent inspections within a certain time-frame, and your agent can provide options and information. A sewer scope should also be considered. These are out-of-pocket expenses but a worthwhile investment to get your new home checked out by an independent professional.

The last two years have been challenging for construction, with unpredictable material costs, material shortages, labor shortages, and city/county inspection delays. This can be frustrating for all parties involved. Communication, patience, and flexibility are key for working through the process, and even enjoying it! Your brand new home will be worth it end the end.


This post was written by Laura Erwin and for more information on new construction contact Laura Erwin at (303) 353-8251 or laura@lauraserwin.com