Tips to ensure a smooth and successful home building process!
1. Determine a realistic budget
Before shopping for a home, you should consult with a lender. A lender can pre-qualify you for your loan amount. Your loan amount plus the amount you are planning on putting down on the home will determine your end purchase budget.
2. Shop for a neighborhood/community
Many factors determine the right location to live. If children are a factor, confirm the school district. Check with the homeowner’s association to determine what is included in your association dues and confirm the dues amount. Verify if the neighborhood is part of a SSA (Special Service Area). If so, your taxes will be significantly higher and should be considered as part of your total monthly living costs.
3. Research your builder
As simple as it sounds, researching a builder is often overlooked by consumers, yet is probably the most important thing to do when purchasing a new home. You can start with seeing the builder’s work in their model homes. But don’t stop there. Ask the builder for a list of references – and not just one or two. Ask about their history with lawsuits and arbitration cases. How many times and when have they been sued or taken to arbitration? Be sure to inquire about the experience level and longevity of the builder’s staff. There may be issues with a builder who has had a great deal of turnover with their employees. Remember, those employees will be with you through the entire building process which takes months to complete.
Bobby P. shares her experience with King's Court Builders' "standard" products
Third parties are a good source of feedback too. Be sure to check out the websites from organizations such as the Better Business Bureau (Chicago.BBB.org). Also ask your attorney, friends, family, co-workers, etc. about their experiences with the builder you are contemplating building with.
A home is usually the largest single purchase that one makes so when choosing your builder, choose wisely by doing your homework.
4. Ask what is included and get it in writing
Be sure to get a list of standard features and review what features are included. It’s difficult to compare builders side by side if you take the “price per square foot approach.” What is included as standard by one builder may be an additional cost for another. Be sure you know what you’re getting as included features and make sure it’s in writing.