Friday, May 30, 2008

Lake Norman Real Estate: Production Homebuilding Process!

The Production Homebuilding Process

In the next few weeks I am going to gather information on builders in the Cornelius, Huntersville, and Mooresville areas. Check back over the next few weeks for community specific information in the Lake Norman Area!

Today I am going to share some of the ins and out of purchasing a new home from a Production Homebuilder. First of all, just as a reminder of what classifies a production homebuilder. Production homebuilders tend to offer the best option on a new home with a budget... although many production homebuilders also offer higher end homes nowadays. They use STOCK floor plans and allow their purchasers to modify a few options and make selections within the home. They also focus on building in mass production, which allow them to have competitive pricing.

When visiting a model home or sales office, take notice on the upkeep of the Model Home(s) and the organization of the people working within the models. The condition of the model reflects on the professionalism of who your dealing with. What does the community entrace look like, how well maintained is it? Drive the jobsite, take notes on the overall community appearance and how well the jobsite is maintained. There is always going to be debris on a construction site, but how are the materials stored and how safe and clean is the jobsite overall (especially on the weekends). This will reflect on the Superintendent of course and how well organized they are and gives you an idea on the quality of the subcontractors you have performing the work.

Ask the sales person or builder if you can walk through a home under construction. Don't do this alone, as someone from the company should be present with you for liability purposes! This can give you an idea of quality of construction.

Make sure to check out all the features and ammenities that the community has to offer. What are the HOA fees??... and it's not bad to stop a resident that is walking down the sidewalk and ask them how well they like the community. Residents don't represent the builder, so they will give you the down-low on the community.

Here is a rough description of how the new building process works... some builder differ on this:

-secure financing and writing the contract (most large builders offer financing which is where you can usually take advantage of their incentives... they may give you 6K in free options but is their interest rate comparable to the going rate... some people use the builder to finance and then refinance later... make sure you look into the details of everything you sign!)

-selecting your options/finishes (most people can't visualize what something looks like so make sure you SEE what you are purchasing... walk through a house that has the same or similar options you are buying... and make sure you know your colors and selections and how well they go together... seek opinions of family and friends if not sure)

-Pre Construction Meeting ... this is usually held with the sales rep and the superintendent. This is essentially where the sales rep hands it off to the person in charge of construction. You normally go over all the options in the house before construction starts. This is also a good time to discuss with the builder if you want to have your own home inspector perform inspections throughout the building process! Your Builder will have to pass different inspections throughout the process, county inspection usually include (footing, foundation, framing, service, rough trades, insulation, final trades, and final inspection... although this can change depending on the area. The most important inspection you can have done is an inspection before drywall is hung in the house!

-Pre Drywall Meeting... usually between the superintendent and the buyer. Allows the buyer to see the house in the framing stage with all the trades in place, before the drywall is hung. Good time to check phone/cable/speaker locations and double check all the visible options.

-Walk Through... held before closing after the house is completed. Walk through and make a punchout list with the superintendent and rewalk the list before closing.


-Service... every builder is different but all have a service program in place. Make sure you know the warranties on your home... Sewer, Structural, Trades, Finishes, Exterior... ect. Make sure you also get a emergency contact list from the builder in the event that something happens after hours!

You can see why it is important to have representation when you purchase a new home... you always want to protect your interests as the buyer! There are many things to know and keep track of! Please contact your Lake Norman Real Estate Professional for more info!

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