Questions You Need Answered
Questions To Consider Before Purchasing A Newly Constructed Home. Experience has shown us that few home buyers have a builder’s knowledge of new construction different construction methods and packages. Knowing some of the important questions to consider will help you gather the essential information necessary to choose the right home for you and your family and yes, you should consider a well trailed Realtor agent. What protection do I have when buying a new home? The answer to this question is somewhat complex. There are numerous types of protection available to home buyers, but they do vary from county to county and builder to builder. Some forms of protection are listed below:
- Governmental inspections enforcing local building codes.
- Lender inspections
- Reputation of the builder.
- Seminars on purchasing new homes.
- “Buyer protection insurance” policies that some builders offer.
- Manufacturers’ guarantees on building materials.
- REALTORS® contract of sales and knowledge of the area.
- Protective covenants in some plans
Does my newly constructed home provide me with energy efficiency? When we consider energy efficiency, we often think of the unit that actually heats or cools the air in the house. What we should consider, however, is how well the house actually retains the heated or cooled air. To evaluate this you must consider a variety of factors, some of which are listed below:
- Types of windows and doors.
- Caulking and weather stripping.
- “R” factor of insulation used in walls, ceilings, attics, crawl spaces, and basements.
- Air movement and circulation.
- Cathedral ceilings.
- North/South exposure.
- Heat plant size.
- Fireplaces and woodstoves.
- Trees, plants, and shrubbery around the home.
Selecting heating/cooling equipment based on present energy costs might only bring a temporary savings. In the past decade each form of energy – gas, oil, and electricity – has at one time been the cheapest available. Although we can’t control the weather, we can control the energy efficiency of our homes, so be sure to evaluate that thoroughly. How do I finance my newly constructed home? The answer to this question can be a critical one. There are many important factors to be considered when choosing a mortgage financing plan. Some are listed below:
- Monthly payment and qualification.
- Down payment requirements.
- Special builder financing.
- VA-FHA approval.
- Time needed for new home delivery
What are the closing costs on my newly constructed home? You will find that the closing costs will vary according to the purchase price and mortgage amount. Some of the items that normally make up a closing costs package are listed below:
- Loan origination fee.
- Appraisal fee.
- Credit report.
- Prepaid interest.
- Insurance premium.
- Prepaid taxes.
- Title examination.
- Title insurance.
- Preparation of deed.
- Preparation of mortgage.
- Notary fees.
- Recording the deed.
- Recording the mortgage.
- Local transfer tax (varies by jurisdiction).
- State transfer tax.
- Location survey.
- Termite inspection.
- Mechanics lien insurance.
Since other fees may be required, check with your realty associate for specific information. What standard features are included in the price of my newly constructed home? A “standard feature” can best be described as that material, system, or item that the builder includes in the base price of the home. Standard features may vary from builder to builder and even from model to model. Builders normally provide the customer with either a brochure or a handout indicating their standard features. Standards usually include: Electrical, Plumbing and Heating Systems, Kitchen Appliances and Cabinets, Counter Tops, Gutters and Downspouts, Water Heater, Full Insulation, Floor Coverings, Carpentry, Lighting Fixtures and Hardware. Often a builder will provide a list of extras or options from which you may select such as: Patio or Porch, Deck, Seeded or Sodded Lawn, Fireplaces, Finished Basement, Wet Bar, Special Wood Trimming, Bay Windows, Paved Driveway, or Special Finished Rooms. The base price of a home can escalate rapidly with the inclusion of extras. Ensure that you receive in writing each particular and its cost whenever options, changes, extras, or material selections are made between you and the builder. Manufacturers and suppliers also provide literature describing the advantages of their products. Obtain this literature, plus copies of any warranties, guarantees, and service information provided by the manufacturer. For more information contact our local realty office. What should I know about the utilities servicing my newly constructed home? The term “utilities” normally describes items that are available for utilization by the homeowner such as water, sewage, natural gas, electricity, and telephone. Electricity, gas, and telephone service are provided by a public utility company, while water and sewage can be provided either by a public or private utility, or on the site itself if there is a well or septic tank. The private well on the homeowner’s property would be installed in accordance with state and local building and health department regulations. The septic tank, also installed on the property according to governmental regulations, provides for the dissipation of household sewage waste into property owner’s land via drain fields or dry wells. For more information contact our local realty office. What are some of the key things I should consider when selecting a new home building site? Listed below are some of the important items to consider: Location:
- Values of properties in the area.
- Proximity to conveniences.
- Zoning of adjacent properties.
- Topography and drainage.
Availability of Utilities:
- Natural Gas.
- Public Sewage. Are there costs incurred to extend public sewage lines to the proposed building site?
- Public water lines.
- Private sewage. Has a percolation test been approved for a private septic system?
- Private water supply – well.
- Does the local government require a water yield test?
- Do they require a bacteriological and chemical test?
Other Important Items:
- Building permits requirements.
- Proper lot approvals and recordation.
- Zoning restrictions.
- Recorded rights of way and other easements.
- Protective covenants.
The above items are only a sample of considerations when selecting a new home site. To be sure, always check on your specific building site. How do I coordinate the sale of my present home with the purchase of a newly constructed home? This is a situation which must be handled very carefully. It is very easy to find yourself with two houses – or no house! Some of the important considerations are listed below.
- Analysis of equity available in your present home.
- Funds available in bank accounts, stocks, bonds or other similar sources.
- “Bridge” or “gap” loan possibilities.
- Projected delivery date of your new home.
- Careful market evaluation of your present home.
- A sound marketing program.
Your realty associate can help coordinate the sale of your present home with the purchase of your new home. What’s the vocabulary of new construction? The vocabulary of new construction ranges from “A to Z.” A few words you should be familiar with are: Bearing Wall: A wall that supports the ceiling, floor or roof above it. Blueprints: Working drawings that show the construction details of the home. Casing: A piece of trim material around the top and sides of doors and windows. Corbel: A piece of wood or masonry projecting from a wall used to support some part of the house above it. Dry Wall: A masonry wall laid up without mortar. Any interior wall finished with something other than plaster. Flashing: A piece of material used to protect, cover or deflect water from places where two materials join or from angles. Footings: A concrete support under a foundation, chimney or column that rests on solid ground and is wider than that what it supports. Framing: Putting together the lumber skeleton parts of the house. Girder: A large horizontal beam often carrying other beams and joists on which the first floor is laid. Parapet: The part of the wall of a house that rises above the roof line. Soffit: The underside of a structural part, as of a beam, arch, etc. Specifications: Written statements that establish the quality of materials and workmanship required. Studs: Vertical framing in a wall or partition.