If you have finally made the decision to buy a new home and have chosen to go with a newly built home, good for you! A brand new home will come with all the upgrades and amenities that you cannot get in an older, existing home. If you are ready to move forward, here are 5 useful tips from expert home builders that can help make the process easier.
Define your Needs
First, before anything else, you must define your needs. How much are you willing to spend on a new house? What is your budget and do you have enough of a down payment in the bank? Have you been pre-approved or pre-qualified by a lender? How many rooms do you need and what is important in terms of upgrades? Which Tampa neighborhood do you want to live in and does it have all the amenities you want for your family? There are a million other questions to consider so take your time and make a solid plan.
Contract with the Right Builder
Once you have determined all the details, it is time to find the builder you feel can offer what you are looking for in your new home. You can find new builders by contacting your local home builders association to obtain a list of builders who construct homes in your area. If you selected an individual contractor, verify that they are licensed and check for testimonials and awards. The best way to find a builder that suits your needs is to visit new communities in the area and tour model homes to find the one that fits your tastes. Once you have narrowed your list visit with them to discuss about what is important to you. It is important that you have good synergy with your builder as you’ll be in contact with them during the entire construction process. If you are moving to Tampa, consider looking at the larger, private local builders, such as Homes by WestBay. You will find these local builders have the clearest understanding of the Tampa lifestyle and may be an ideal partner for you.
Check out the Neighborhood
Often you will have already decided on the neighborhood where you want to live, but make sure that you spend some time in the community to see if it is exactly where you want to live. Visit at different hours to see if there is noise (is it under a flight path or near a highway?), see if people are out and about, check how heavy the traffic is at various times of day. Also talk with the existing residents to see what they like about the community. And make sure you check on the quality of the school system, whether or not you have school age children, as this enhances the resale value of a home. Visiting the development may also help you narrow the search for builders as there may be a select few that are building in that community.
Study the Floor Plan
Once you’ve researched builders, communities and visited new home models, it is time to decide on the style and layout of your new home. By now, you have most likely narrowed down a handful or so of floor plan designs that will give you the bedrooms/bathrooms, living and entertaining space you need for your family and lifestyle. Now is the time to think about how you will use the home and check to see if the rooms are the right size for your lifestyle. For example, is there adequate space in the kitchen and does it give you a good flow for indoor/outdoor living? Speak with the builder’s representative, tour model homes again, check if the design of your choice is under construction anywhere for you to review. This will give you the opportunity to get a better idea of what the finished home will look like and whether it is a fit to your tastes. Doing a walk through will give you the best idea if the home is exactly what you’ve dreamed of and if the finishes are what you desire. Now is the time to talk through the details with the builder and start the building process.
If you have set your budget and found your builder, then it is time to consider all the final details like appliances, finishes and flooring. Most model homes feature upgrades and options available through the builder. Ask your builder where you are allowed to customize the home and what comes standard. Discuss the design process, preview the builder’s design studios to determine your wish list and your budget. It is good to have a little extra money in reserve to allow for additional upgrades you may do after you move in that will add value to your home and help you with resale down the road.