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Five Things You Should Know About New Build Homes

It can be pretty exciting when it comes to buying a home, especially if it happens to be in the category of new build homes. However, it also can be very overwhelming at the same time, especially since you should be an active participant in all the different aspects of the building of your new home. You will need to work very closely with the builder in order to make sure you get what you want. Here are five important things you need to know when you are involved with this.

You need to know your numbers – Before you even start thinking about new build homes, you need to make sure to come up with some numbers to figure out whether or not you can afford to build the home. You can actually use a cost to build tool, for a small fee which will give you a very accurate estimate of the construction cost which is based on where you are building the home. The numbers will need to include cost of construction, the tax benefits, down payment amount and even a slush account and any miscellaneous items. Once this is done you can then buy your house plan and take it to your bank to arrange for the financing. This means that you are going to need a home construction line of credit that you can use to pay any subcontractors and suppliers that might be used to build your home. Then once the home is finished you need a mortgage to pay off the construction line of credit.

Credibility and reputation of the builder – There are a lot of different builders out there doing new build homes and not all of them are equal in skills or conditionals. It is important that you do your homework and find out which builders out there have the best reputation. You can search for information online or you can get your recommendations from your friends or family members. You need to find out if the builder is respected for his quality work along with if he is trustworthy and punctual. It is also highly recommended that you only use builders that are that are registered with an association like the National Association of Home Builders.

Build the home with the resale of it in mind – It doesn’t matter how much you might love the home being built for you, in today's world, it is highly unlikely that you will live in this home until the day you die. So, it is very important that when having it built that you make sure there that you keep in mind its resale value. Make sure that you don't pick something that is too out of the ordinary and don't add so many extras that you house ends up being way overpriced.

Think of the environment and think green – The environment is important to a lot of people and this is why it is important that your builder and architect ensure that your home is build environmental friendly, like having all windows facing south to get as much sun as possible to heat the home. Try to get the bathrooms, laundry room and garage are all on the south side and you want smaller windows to help lower the heat loss. Make sure you choose the best insulation and have an efficient HVAC system installed. All appliances should be energy efficient and you should include WaterSense faucets and toilets as well.

Don't forget the punch list – What is is, is a list that included at the end of the construction of all new home builds. This list will include what is still needed to be done or what might need to be repaired on the new build. You need to get together with your contractor to create this list the week before you close so you can go through the final walk through with them. Make sure to take good notes of everything you see. The problems you find will usually fall under two different categories. Reasonable flaws and unreasonable flaws. The flaws that are reasonable are ones that are within the tolerance levels of building construction. Unreasonable flaws are ones that must be fixed, these are the ones that affect the quality of the new home. The money that you will use for the punch list should be put in escrow, that way you can move into your new home while the builder completes the punch list.


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How to Find a Reputable Local Builder

If you are dreaming of having your own home built for you, you no doubt already envision what your dream house is going to look like. It's a great dream but to get the dream to come true you are going to need to find a reputable builder from all the builders in your local area. There are many quality builders around, it is just choosing the one that is right for you that might be the difficult job.

The first step in making your new home dream come true is by picking a builder. Often times this is the most important step you can take. The builder that you choose is going to determine just how good the construction of your home is going to be. There are a lot of factors that you are going to have to take into consideration when you hire a builder.

There are many different home builders around that do offer very high quality construction, not ever single one of them may specialize in what you might be looking for. You need to understand that each builder is different and they also charge differently. So it is vital that you give them as much information as you can to be fair to them, so they can give you an honest estimate for the building of your home, or if it's the style that they work with.

You also need to consider the fact that there are going to be a variety of factors that can delay the completion of the home and this needs to be discussed with the builder. Anytime something gets delayed due to an unforeseen problem it's going to cost more money. It's important to find out from the builder how much they are going to be charging for any extra issues that might come up so that they can give you a solid estimate of the total construction price.

Always make sure that each time you talk with a builder that you might be considering hiring that you ask them for examples of their work and for references so that you might contact these people to get their personal experiences with the builder. Find out if the projects were completed on time.

Often times it can be very difficult to find builders on your own and if you get to the point to where you are having difficulty doing it yourself you can use a builder brokerage service. Even though you have to pay for this service, they can actually save you both time and money in the long run with their expertise in finding just the right builder for your personal needs when it comes to building your home. They will help you figure out just what type of style home you need by asking you what your needs and desires are and then they can take that information and contact just the right builder who specializes in your particular style of home. They can also take care of the negotiations for you which could even save you more money.
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Advantages of Split Level Homes

There are a lot of different kinds of split level homes, all of them do have similar features to them. The most common of those features would be attached garages, being two stories and have a basement or a bottom level that is partly submerged under ground. These types of homes can be a Ranch style, Craftsman style or other styles when being considered split level. Usually split level homes will have two stories, however, some will incorporate levels in between the two stories. Sometimes you might find one that has a basement level, a main level and a smaller level that has bedrooms. Often the entryways are even on their own level. No matter what the style the benefits can be better utilization of the square footage of the home, using the lot it's built on better and plenty of space for custom decorating.

When it comes to space, this is important to anyone and the obvious benefit of split level homes is the space they have. Often they are considered very good homes for those who have children. With the top and bottom floors both having almost the same square footage it's like getting twice the home for larger families.

The layout is very important in this type of home. Usually the bedrooms will be on the upper floor as well as the kitchen, dining area, living space and one or two bathrooms, the bottom floor can contain things like the laundry room, the garage, a family room and sometimes even another bathroom and bedroom. Often times families with children will turn this area into a playroom for the kids.

The upkeep on split level homes is straightforward basic maintenance and upkeep. Often times the design of the ranch home is similar to the split level so you pretty much need the same kind of upkeep you would on a regular ranch home.

With split level homes owners are getting a lot of space to work with and they are easily adaptable to the ever changing needs of those who have children. They allow you the ability to change the different areas of the home to suit your needs at the time.


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Buying a Home in New Housing Developments

Buying a home that is in new housing developments is a little bit different than if you were buying a home that was previously owned by someone. The first thing is that there are no previous owners so you won't be dealing with any of the seller's emotional attachment they might have with the home and this can sometimes influence any negotiating there might be. Then there is the fact that you only have to work with the builder when dealing with a home that is being constructed.

Just like with a previously owned home you still need to figure out what your budget will be, secure the financing prior to getting into a home in new housing developments, get pre-approved by a bank or a mortgage lender. Then decide how much you want to invest and don't forget the property taxes, insurance, possibly new furniture, window treatments, landscaping and maintenance, all of which are going to drain your bank account.

If you are considering buying a home in new housing developments you may want to take a look at these five tips to help guide you through the process.

Weigh the Pros and Cons

You can buy your brand new home in one of these three ways: Buy the house already built on spec; have a semi-custom built home built as part of a development plan or you can have it completely custom built to your specifications.

So before you make up your mind, make sure to see if the new construction is going to fit your personal lifestyle. Ask yourself the following questions:
  • Usually new housing developments are not close to the city center, will you mind the commute?
  • Are you willing to take all the time it needs to help a new landscape grow and develop?
  • Can you stand living in the “cookie-cutter” nature of a new housing development drive you nuts?
  • New housing developments tend to build houses almost on top of each other, will you mind that kind of closeness and possible lack of privacy?

Make sure to Research Neighborhoods and Builders

Make sure to do your research about the places around the new development and find out about the builders working on it.
  • Understand that any listing agent you talk to is working for the builder and not for you. They are trying to get their quota they are not out to help you.
  • If you have your own listing agent make sure they are in the loop of you being interested in looking at new housing developments so that they will help you find one and so that they will get the commission for any work they do for you, otherwise if the builders agent will get it.
  • You can look online for your own listings for new home constructions.
  • Take a drive out to the neighborhood and check them out yourself and look at the amenities and the quality of the homes.
  • Walk through the community and ask current homeowners about any of their experiences.
  • Make sure to go to model open houses and keep a journal and take photos.
  • Make sure to ask the builder or developer if there are any homeowner fees and rules for the new development some homeowner fees are outrageous.
  • Ask if cable and Internet are available in the area.
  • Find out what the zoning laws are for the area.
  • Go to the city planners office to see what might be planned for that area in the future.

To make sure that a builder is one that is financially sound, reliable and trustworthy you need to make sure that you do research on them as well. Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed against them. Ask local real estate agents if the builder has a good reputation within the community. Check out the builders previous homes that his company has built and see how their craftsmanship has stood up over time and the elements.

What's Standard and What's Extra

It's important to know what is considered standard and what is considered extra with the home. So make sure that you get yourself a feature sheet on the homes that you are interested in and read this very carefully and compare the features. You want to find out what comes with the base price of the home and what is considered an extra.
  • If a stove is included check out the showroom to see the model, if it's a basic stove but you are a gourmet chef you'll want the upgrade for example.
  • Make your decision on getting upgrades early in the negotiating process.
  • Make sure that you have a good idea of what you want and need.
  • The builder makes a ton of money on the upgrades so make sure whether or not you really need them.
  • Builders however generally want to sell fast to make a quick profit so if you are haggling over the price then see if you can't get them to throw in the upgrades for free and then you'll agree to their price.

Get the Home Inspected and Get a Home Warranty

After you decide to buy the new home you need to get a final inspection done by a professional that you pay for. Don't assume that because the home is brand new that there isn't going to be anything wrong with it. It is probably a good idea that you have an inspection done at each phase of the building process because potential problems can be seen sooner.

Make sure to protect yourself with warranties. All new homes do come with an implied warranty from builders but you still should get a warranty from the builder that covers from the date of move in to at least a year after. They can vary from one year to ten years so make sure you know what you want and how long. Make sure the warranties cover what you want and need.

Closing the Deal

Often times the builders of new hosing developments will have in-house mortgage lenders or they have ties to outside lenders. You can use their lenders or you can find the financing on your own. Make sure to find out about any special funding programs that might be available if you are a first time buyer. Make sure to contact at least two different lenders so you can compare the terms, rates, fees and points.

You need to be comfortable with the lender because remember you could be committing up to 30 years of your life on this mortgage.


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Home Builders FAQ For Housing Exemptions and Concessions

When you are considering having a new home built there are probably a lot of questions stirring around in your mind and one of the best things you can do is to get them answered. You might be able to get some of them answered by checking out this home builders faq offered here for your convenience.

FAQ for New Housing Exemptions and Concessions

1. What agreements or transfers are eligible? - New home purchase are one that is eligible. This is the agreement for the sale or transfer of the land that the site of a new home that is completed and ready to be occupied. An off the plan purchase which is an agreement for the sale or the transfer of land that is intended to be used for the site of a new home. Finally a vacant land purchase. This is an agreement for the sale or transfer of a vacant piece of land that is not an off the plan purchase and is still intended to be used for a new home.

2. Are there value limits? - Yes there are. With a new home purchases or an off the plan purchase it is up to $600,000 or $400,000 if it's a vacant land purchase.

3. What exactly is considered a new home? - This is a home that has not been occupied or sold as a residence previously it does include substantially renovate homes however.

4. What exactly is a substantially renovated home? - This is a new residential home that has been renovated and has not has not been occupied or sold prior.

5. For a vacant land purchase when do you have to start building the home? - The laying of the foundations of the home must start within 26 weeks of the settlement of the agreement for the sale or transfer.

6. When must applications be handed in? - All applications must be made three months prior to the date of the agreement for the sale or transfer of the property.

7. What kind of duty is payable? - If it is an off the plan purchase where construction of the home has not started yet and for a vacant land purchase no duty is charged. If it is a completed new home or an off the plan purchase where construction has started then the amount of the duty is reduced by 25%.

8. When does construction of a new home begin? - Building of a new home starts at the time when the laying of the foundation begins. This does not include the preparation of the site in order to start the home building. It also does not include the underground plumbing that might have to be done prior to building the house.

9. When does construction of a substantially renovated home start? - For the off the plan purchase of a substantially renovated home it is considered started as soon as the replacement parts of the home are located. Demolition of parts needed to be removed is not considered as part of the start.

10. Can the home or the land be used for something else? - The new home or the land can only be used for residential and nothing else.

11. Can a person get the exemption or concession more than once? - Yes.

12. Can a person also apply for a First Home Owner Grant? - Yes, if applicants are eligible they can apply for the Grant as well.

13. Can you get the exemption or concession if you are purchasing an existing home to knock down and build a new home on the same land? - No, the agreement is that you must purchase vacant land to build a new home or buy a completed new home or a new home off the plan.

14. Can an applicant be approved in advance? - Yes, the Chief Commissioner can approve an application in advance if they meet all the requirements and they have the necessary application form and evidence is provided.

If you have further questions about home builders you can contact them personally for more in depth information on housing exemptions and concessions.


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