The Building Process
Building your dream home can start several different ways. You can start by identifying a builder that you are comfortable with not only in product, but also reputation. It’s important that you have a complete understanding of the entire process. Every builder is different and therefore, all their processes are different. We represent Dave Paik Builders, one of the most respected homebuilders in the area with thousands of homes built in the Omaha market and over 40 years of experience.
Another approach is to choose your lot, or neighborhood first and then identify what builder will build your home. If you own your lot and have a floorplan you are interested in, have your builder give you a ballpark idea of what the pricing may be to build your new home. Make sure to include all of your ‘must haves’ as well as some items on your ‘wish list’. Some neighborhoods have exclusive builders that are represented there, and you must choose between one of them. Others are open to any builder to purchase a lot and build your new home.
Before taking your first step of choosing a builder or ground, find out where you are or want to be financially. Meet with your financial person to determine what price you want to be in with your new home. That helps your builder keep you on track with expectations of your final sales price range.
Meeting with your builder
Set up a time to meet with your agent and the builder, builder’s agent or superintendent. If you have a floorplan identified, that’s great. You can then go about making your adjustments, adding, or subtracting square footage, and pricing out what amenities you want included. Keep in mind until you identify the lot you want to build on, many times other builders or clients may act before you and get the lot you want. Ask your agent what needs to be done to reserve your lot while you work out the details with your builder.
Preparing your contract
When you have your lot, preliminary plan, and acceptable pricing you can move to the paperwork stage. At this time, you would be required to invest an earnest deposit to move to the next stage. This deposit may or may not be refundable, depending on whether the builder than incurs costs on your behalf (customizing your plan to suit your needs would be one example). That contract typically is contingent on your final approval of your house plans and the builder specs (materials, allowances, etc). Once you approve your plans and specs, an additional earnest deposit would most likely be required and that is typically non-refundable. The builder then goes to the permit stage and moves forward with your home.
The process of the build
Watching your new home being built is exciting. Please keep in mind that even though many times it may not look like there is progress there usually is. Sometimes a perfectly beautiful day would indicate that crews should be at the house working. It’s possible that the builder is still waiting for one of the permits or inspections to sign off prior to moving forward. (foundation, electrical, etc)
Access to the house
Most builders welcome you visiting your new home in progress. Keep in mind it is an active construction site and be extremely careful when there. There are thousands of components in building your new home. If you see something you want clarification on, please reach out to your agent or builders superintendent to ask. I can’t speak for other builders but with Dave Paik Builders, we welcome your visits to you new home site while under construction.
You will most likely think of something you want to add, or subtract, after your plans and specs are signed. Most builders welcome any change orders to make sure you get what you want. Generally as long as the item isn’t past the point of already being built, the cost is treated as an addition just like it was prior to the contract. If for example, your tile floor is half installed and you decide you want hardwood, then of course there would be an extra expense involved. Some builders charge an actual change order paperwork fee, others do not. Dave Paik Builders does not charge any arbitrary change order fees. You can handle those extra expenses in a few different ways. If they are significant (adding a covered deck) you may want to have an addendum to the contract adding it to the final price of your home. If there are minor, allowance overages, etc. most likely you will just pay your builder for those extras at closing day.
Speaking of closing day
You will do a preclosing walk through ideally a week or so before your final closing day. At that time you will identify anything that is in need of attention. (paint scuffs, scratches, or anything you notice may be out of alignment). That gives your builder time to get those things done before closing day. In rare occurrences, those fixes may have to happen after closing (ordering a part that may be delayed). Make sure you have a good line of communication with the builder to get those items handled.
Warranty on your new home
Most builders will be providing you with a full year comprehensive warranty. This typically covers the house except for something you may cause from neglect, accident or normal wear and tear. Many things in your house will have their own extended warranties beyond that year (furnace, windows, etc). Make sure you ask about what your builder will provide. At Dave Paik, we also provide the full year comprehensive warranty. We ask that you make sure to call us with any issues that may arise you are concerned with. If it’s something urgent, we will get over there right away. Even if it’s not urgent, we will get on your schedule to get it taken care of.
What if I have a home to sell?
There are some builders who will not start your home on a contingency (contingent on your home selling prior to the home being done) but most will. Meet with your agent and make sure you will be asking a fair price for your home and time your entry to the market to make sure you have it sold in plenty of time to finish your new home, especially if you need the funds from your prior home to closing on your new home. At Dave Paik Builders, we will happily get started on your home while you work out the details of selling your current home.
It’s ok to show off!
After you move in, we love to hear how much your friends and family love your new home. And we love building new houses for friends of our clients. We are only a phone call away!