It’s a process getting to the point where you decide whether to buy or to build your family’s next home. Then you have to work through the steps to choose the right home builder. As you’re making that decision or immediately after, it’s important to make sure you understand what you’re buying. Before you commit to spending the money you worked so hard to earn, make an appointment to talk with your Laredo home builder or their representative.
Buying new construction is more complex than buying a home that’s already built. On one hand, you have to be patient during a process that could take many months. On the other, you’re only limited by your imagination and your budget. Here are 10 questions to ask your Laredo home builder.
What Costs are Included?
Probably your biggest concern is how much your new Laredo home is going to cost you. No matter what Laredo home builder you’re working with, you’ll find the price they quote is a base cost and anything you change or add increases that amount. What you need to know is what’s included in that base cost. It typically includes the cost of your home’s structure and basic interior and exterior features.
Sometimes the cost of your lot isn’t part of that, so be sure to find out. Ask what you can expect to pay if you decide you want to add features like extra windows or fireplaces, move doors or change electrical and plumbing configurations.
What Options and Upgrades Can I Choose?
People choose new construction because it allows them to get specifically what they want. One of the best things about WestWind Homes is that owners have a huge variety of choices to work with. To start with, we have floorplans for every taste and lifestyle. From there, you might choose to upgrade your kitchen cabinets, flooring, light and plumbing fixtures, molding, even your appliances.
You can always make changes after construction. However, if you upgrade during construction, you can make those costs part of your original mortgage, which makes them more affordable for most individuals. You’ll probably be amazed how many choices your Laredo home builder offers for options and upgrades.
Who is In Charge of Construction?
Who is the person in charge of making sure workmen complete every step according to the highest standards? Do you know the man or woman in charge of making your dream come true? If you have questions or problems, who do you contact and how available will they be when you need them?
Your Laredo home builder might assign you to one contact person, or you may find you have a team of individuals working under one authority. One contractor might complete early phases, then the next might step in to give you the benefit of an expert at every stage. Here are some of the experts on your team:
- The developer – This professional buys the land on which your community is built and gets it ready for homes.
- The architect – He or she works hand in hand with your Laredo home builder to create your house plans.
- Laredo home builder – Your builder manages the team of contractors who construct each stage of your home. They may also have sales consultants who help you choose the right home for you and design consultants to talk you through choosing plans, upgrades and features.
- Contractors – You may work with a general contractor who oversees the whole process. You’ll also have trade-specific contractors like electrical contractors, flooring installers and plumbers.
- Inspectors – Your plumbing, electrical and structure will all receive an inspection during and at the end of the process.
How Long Will Construction Take?
Every project is different, but your Laredo home builder should be able to give you a time frame based on his or her experience with similar projects. The estimated time to completion depends on how big your home is, how complex your floor plan and upgrades are, where it’s being built and what time of year you start.
It helps if your lot is already cleared and ready for construction to start. Otherwise, you’ll need additional time for clearing trees and removing debris, leveling and dirt work for the foundation and getting utilities to the location. With undeveloped land, you could run into setbacks like poor soil conditions, contaminated materials, archaeological sites, endangered species or utilities already buried that get in the way.
You might also experience delays in getting permits and approvals. And while building during summer months makes you less likely to be interrupted by weather, they’re also when contractors are busiest. Sometimes the next team that’s due to work on your home gets delayed on their current job. It throws off your schedule to have to wait.
That’s why it’s vital to choose a Laredo home builder with extensive experience building in our area. At WestWind Homes we’ve been doing this long enough we’re usually pretty close on our estimates. A large part of that is because we see potential problems from far off and take steps to adjust. We only work with subcontractors who do the same.
We know you’re not existing in a vacuum while you wait to move into your new home. Most people are either renting or they have a home to sell. You need to have a reliable timeline so you can know what to expect and plan accordingly.
What’s the Laredo Home Builder’s Process for Inspections?
During the months your home is under construction, your Laredo home builder should have a process for evaluating progress. City or county inspectors will visit after the foundation is poured and cured, after framing and before you move in. Your Laredo home builder will be present for those, but he or she should also make additional visits. If you want to attend official inspections, ask how you can be sure you’re present when they occur.
What About Appliances and Materials?
Some Laredo home builders include kitchen appliances in the home’s price, others don’t. You’ll want to know what’s included and what you’ll be responsible for. Also, you might prefer specific brands the builder doesn’t offer or bring appliances from your current home. Ask how that affects your overall price.
If you bring your own appliances, will you get credits or dollars off the purchase price? Also, what if you want to purchase or bring your own materials? If you’ve been stockpiling recycled barn wood for an accent wall in your living room or you fell in love with a sink you bought traveling out of the country, what happens when you use them instead of the materials the builder included in your estimate?
Does Cost Include Landscaping?
When construction starts, you’ll find your yard is just dirt. Not all Laredo home builders include landscaping in the base price. If you want grass, shrubbery, walkways or flower beds, it could cost thousands of dollars extra.
Ask what the builder includes already and think through whether or not that’s what you envisioned for your dream home. If you want to make changes or add landscaping, now is the time to do it. It’s more cost effective to include changes in the original plans than to go out and buy those things and add them yourself down the road.
When Will I Know My Home’s Final Price?
Construction materials costs and labor rates fluctuate. Sometimes waiting on materials or weather cause a job to run behind, and the delay affects your home’s final price. Any changes you make also impact what you can expect to pay. Talk to your Laredo custom home builder about how you can know you’re staying within your budget.
What Should I Know About My Community?
If your community has a homeowner’s association (HOA) or architectural review committee, your Laredo home builder should be able to tell you about them. There could be rules for construction or dues you need to know before you commit.
WestWind Homes are built in communities that offer an extensive range of amenities for homeowners. For example, townhomes in AltaVista at Escondido have amazing views, and they’re right next to Texas State Park for phenomenal biking and hiking. Green Ranch is close to Loop 20, the Max Mandel Golf Course, shops and restaurants. Lomas Heights is part of a fast-growing community with wide sidewalks, a neighborhood park and great schools.
What About Financing?
If you haven’t already secured financing, some Laredo home builders have programs that can help. WestWind Homes has strong relationships with some of the nation’s best mortgage companies and banks. We have highly trained home investment advisors who can help you explore your options and help find the option that’s right for you.
Even if you have credit issues, we have a solution. Our Home Buyer’s club helps buyers who may not have been able to get financing with other builders. Set up a pre-qualification appointment to find out how much home you can afford and how to get approved for a new home loan.
When you talk to a Laredo home builder, one with experience will welcome your questions. Careful, methodical buyers are always a pleasure to work with. Call WestWind Homes at 1-800-587-1302 and we’ll start making those dreams come true today.