How to choose the best home builder for your new home

Are you ready to finally build that home you’ve been dreaming about? That’s a big decision. The next big one iswhowill build it. Spend some time learning how to choose the best home builder for your new home. New Home Inc. has some experience in that area and offers tips to make a choice you can—andwill!—live with.

Start with a wish list.

Write down everything you know that you want. What size and style home are you thinking of? Where do you want to build? Do you have a piece of land? A particular floor plan in mind? How do you live? What’s your desiredtimingto get started and to move in?

List the features you want—get specific. For example, a first-floor owner’s suite with a bath that includes both a tub and a shower. Or a child’s bedroom right next to the owner’s bedroom, plus the laundry close to the bedrooms. Or a kitchen with an oversized island, walk-in pantry, and dual wall ovens—and a pull-out trash can would be nice. Maybe a fenced-in yard is a must because you have dogs or kids, or just want the privacy it adds.

Be as complete and detailed as you can get with yourmust-havesand nice-to-haves. By understanding what you want in your new home and WHY, you’ll be better prepared to talk to a builder about your priorities.          

Build a list of builders.

You’ll have a lot of choices when it comes to home builders. You can start by contacting your local or regionalhome builders association. Members of these groups adhere to specific standards. You can also ask Realtors for recommendations that will help you choose the best home builder for your new home. These referrals come from professionals who are in a good position to know who has a good reputation. You should also ask people you know who have built their homes to get their suggestions and advice. 

Once you have a list of home builders, check their online reviews. Look for input on the builder’s timeliness—not just completing on schedule but showing up to work when promised—sticking to the budget, responsiveness to requests and questions, and dealing with issues like changes, delays, and repairs. You need someone who pays attention to the details and communicates well with you.                                                                                                                                     

Know who builds what.

Every builder has a specialty. Some bring expertise in custom homes, offering the ability to customize anything from the structure to the finishing details—such as cabinetry and built-ins or masonry for your fireplace hearth. These builders welcome your floor plan or will work with you to develop one. They’ll also build on land that you own.

These broader strokes come at a price. As with anything “custom”, you’ll need an above-average budget.

If you’re looking for something more affordable, start by looking at builders’ websites. Search for homes that are comparable in size and features to what you’re anticipating. Seek out residential builders who build communities of homes in the areas where you’re searching. Even if you have your own lot somewhere, you might find builders among these types who welcome what they call “build on your lot”.

Do you want to avoid a construction loan?

If you’ve never had a home built for you before, here’s something you need to understand. When you contract a custom homebuilder to build on your land (or sometimes a non-custom homebuilder), you will likely need to secure ahome construction loan. This loan covers the cost of the land (if you haven’t yet purchased it), the contract labor to build it, the permits, and materials. The home construction loan is a high-interest, short-term that covers the construction period, usually about a year. You withdraw funds as needed to pay the costs directly associated with building your home. When the construction is completed, the loan converts to a mortgage. 

However, if you choose a homesite owned by the builder or developer and you contract them to build there, you skip the construction loan. Instead, you sign a contract for that home, provide a deposit, and close on the home when it’s ready for occupancy, just like you would do with an existing home.

So, if you want to live in a neighborhood, building a home within a community in this way is the most affordable option!

Look at the builder’s floor plans.

A key step in knowing how to choose the best home builder for your new home is by reviewing their floor plans. To provide more affordable options, these builders offerfloor plansthat are tried and true. They’ve built from the plans and know they are error-free, which can happen with some home plans that are acquired elsewhere. Bear in mind that if you provide your builder with a set of plans and there’s a mistake, you’re the one responsible for the cost to fix it—both materials and labor.

Another advantage of using a builder’s plans is that they purchase materials in higher volumes, based on their floor plans, which saves you money as well.

So, look at the plans and see if you can find something that suits you. Talk to the builder about your design ideas and whether plans can be amended. Some builders have interactive floor plans on their website. You can click on the available options and see how they appear on the floor plan. Virtual tours andvideo toursare helpful to see a more dimensional perspective on a home design. Use these tours to experience what it feels like to walk through the home, moving up and down the stairs, around corners. You get the feel of the space within a room, too.

Be crystal clear on what’s included and what isn’t.

Imagine walking into your home as it’s under construction and discovering that certain things aren’t what you expected. Maybe the kitchen sink is different or the hardware is the wrong color.

It’s critical to understand exactly what’s included in the price of your new home. Review the list of included features with your builder. Ask the builder to point out anything you’ve chosen that is an upgrade and how much it adds to your bottom line. If you have any questions whatsoever, ask before you sign the contract!

Discuss how design selections are made.

Ask your builder how you’ll be making design decisions, like choosing your cabinets, countertops, flooring, hardware, plumbing and lighting fixtures, doors, and the color of your walls. Do they have In-house designer or design center? Will you need to visit the showrooms of various suppliers to make your choice?

If your builder has a design center, walk through it before deciding. Look at the options available to you. Ask which ones are upgrades. Talk to the designer about your ideas and preferences. They can help you curate the look for your home and guide you to options you might not have otherwise considered.

And do the same with the suppliers’ showrooms. It’s valuable to know that a builder has viable design options for you so you don’t feel like you’re making a compromise later.

Ask about the plans for the community you’re considering.

When you’re choosing to build your home in a subdivision, learn about the neighborhood and future plans. Is there a homeowners association (HOA)? If not, will there be one? What about plans for amenities? Are more phases planned beyond where you’re going to build your home? Look beyond the community as it currently presents itself so you can be sure it’s a place where you’ll be happy in the years ahead.

Know the warranties that are included.

A new home is usually covered by a warranty—another great reasonwhy buying a new home is better than a resale home. The builder’s warranty covers everything structural, from the foundation to the roof. But the depth of the warranty varies from one builder to the next.  A common home warranty covers the workmanship and materials for one year, then the systems (electrical, plumbing, HVAC) are warrantied for two years. Some builders guarantee their homes against structural defects for ten years. Major household appliances are covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.

Like anything else, make no assumptions! Review the warranty that your builder provides with the purchase of your new home. Also, ask how claims are handled. Are they processed by the builder or the insurance provider? 

Your choice of home builders in Raleigh, NC

New Home one of the home builders in Raleigh, NC, for you to consider. Our team brings decades of experience. With that experience comes the insight to do something that others aren’t. We call it“Future Proof” homes. Our new home design ideas support the way you live now, not five years ago. Maybe you’re working from home, have more family members living with you, or get more home deliveries. 

We include a list ofstandard featuresthat other home builders in Raleigh NC consider an upgrade that you pay extra to have. New Home Inc. doesn’t think important factors likehealthy home and energy efficiency advancesshould cost extra. Andsmart automation technologyshould be a given, right?

Our “Future Proof”new home design ideasalso add convenience that we think is important for the way you live. Are you concerned about having packages left outside your door? Our fully enclosed and securesmart home delivery zoneis the solution—and something that you won’t get from other Raleigh NC home builders.

Is your kitchen overflowing with people and things? Check out New Home Inc.’s“messy kitchen” service pantry. We also  include anelectric vehicle charging stationrough-in so it’s easy to install when you need one.

When you’reshopping for a new home builderin Raleigh, NC, please consider New Home Inc. We buildnew homes and townhomesincommunitiesin and around Raleigh. Browse ourvideo toursandfloor plans. Then,let’s talkabout how New Home Inc. is the best choice among Raleigh NC home builders for you!