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June 30, 2016

Buying New Construction – Get Answers to These Important Questions

When you’re shopping for new construction in Savannah, GA and the surrounding area, you’ll have a number of homebuilders promising you that they’ll give you the best deal on a fantastic home. And while many will make good on that promise, you’ll need to dig a little deeper to make sure that you are actually working with the homebuilder that is the best fit for you and your family. That may sound like a daunting task, but really, all that’s required is a little research – and asking the right questions. And to make it even easier, the staff at Ernest Signature Custom Homes has put together a list of those questions to help you!
  1. Does the builder have a good reputation in the community?
Public opinion has a measurable effect on the value of your home, especially if you think you’ll be selling it at some time in the future. Make sure that the builder uses quality materials and delivers a solid product. If you don’t know anyone in the area, get references from the builder and check with the local Better Business Bureau.
  1. Is the homebuilding company public or private?
There are reasons this is important. You’ll need to know if your investment dollars are supporting local businesses or subsidizing a national company with headquarters outside the county or state. Privately owned homebuilding companies tend to have a local focus. They also have no stockholders, no board of directors or pre-set production and sales quotas that need to be met.
  1. How many years has the homebuilder been in business, and how many homes have been built?
While new companies can do a wonderful job and have a solid financial balance sheet, you’re usually in better hands with a company that’s been around for a while and has built a good number of homes that you can “tour” with a drive through their communities.
  1. Is the homebuilder fully licensed and carrying all major insurances?
Make sure you’re working with a company that protects you and their employees properly. General liability insurance, worker’s compensation insurance, full licensure and the ability to obtain all necessary permits are essential. You’ll also want to find a homebuilder who belongs to at least one professional builder’s association of one kind or another – these groups also act as watchdogs for the consumer.
  1. Does the builder sell to owner/occupants or investors?
Owner/occupants tend to live longer in home and take better care of it, helping to keep the community clean and safe. If the builder sells mainly to investors, you may not end up in the best neighborhood.
  1. Do you have any questions about the contract or cancellation clauses?
Be sure to read all paperwork thoroughly and ask questions about anything you don’t understand perfectly. If the explanations you get don’t make sense, or seem skewed in any way, you should move along to a different homebuilder.
  1. Will your lender finance any type of upgrade you choose?
Some lenders won’t give approval for certain upgrades, so make sure to check first if you plan to add special features to your home.
  1. Will your builder let you use your own inspector?
For peace of mind, you may want to have an objective inspector look at the new home before you take possession of it. Ask your homebuilder if this would be possible.
  1. What is the current stage of development in the community?
If you are among the first buyers in a new community, you may be dealing with construction sights, sounds and vehicles for quite some time as new homes go up. If this is a concern for you, it’s best to know this before you make a commitment.
  1. How long do you think you will live in your new home?
If you expect the size of your family, your location or your job situation to change substantially during the next few years, buy the size and style of home that will fit your expectations, not your current needs. If you outgrow your home or want to size down, you may need to sell before you’ve accumulated enough equity in your home to allow you to put together a reasonable deal.
  1. Will my house be ready when I need it?
It’s important to get an accurate estimate on the expected build time, especially if you’re selling another house or will be ending a lease.
  1. How good is the homebuilder’s warranty?
Know exactly what is covered and how long the warranty will be in effect before you sign a contract.
  1. Is there a homeowner’s association, and do they have their own rules?
If there is a homeowner’s association in the community, get a set of their rules and regulations before signing on the dotted line. If you feel that any of the stated limitations will be difficult for you to live with, you may want to consider another property.
  1. What is the average price of a home in the community?
If the builder’s prices are much higher or lower than the going rate of other properties nearby, ask additional questions. There may be good answers (using higher quality materials, larger lots, more standard features that are considered upgrades with other builders) or there may be a problem. For example, a high number of foreclosures in the neighborhood may drag down the value of newly constructed homes in the community. A price near the norm is often reassuring.
  1. Why has your lot been given a premium price?
Some lots cost more because they have a more desirable location or are more suited to building. Some are randomly assigned a higher price. If your lot carries a premium charge, find out why. And most of all, if you have any questions about the questions you should ask a homebuilder, feel free to contact our team at Ernest Signature Custom Homes. We want to provide the best, most up-to-date information to those interested in the new construction process. Drop us an email or call us at 912-756-4135 today!
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