Building a home is new territory for most people. If you’ve never been through the process before, you probably have some questions. While every home building journey is going to be slightly different, we’ve outlined some general steps you can expect to follow. Think of this as the big picture overview, and look for future posts that go into more detail about each step.
(Still not sure if building a home is right for you? Check out this previous post on the benefits of new home construction.)
Step 1: Choose Your Location
We can’t think of a better place to live than Terrain Castle Rock: close to I-25 and downtown Castle Rock with a tight-knit community feel; easy access to hiking trails and open space; local amenities like a first-class Swim Club, numerous parks, and top-rated Douglas County schools. The list goes on. As you investigate various master planned communities, here are some questions to keep in mind:
- Does the location provide easy access to work?
- Are the homesites and floor plans the right size for your lifestyle? (e.g., Yard or no yard? Attached home or single-family?)
- How much home can you afford? A pre-qualification letter from your bank or lender will provide helpful parameters for your search.
- What type of amenities are available in the community (parks, swimming pools, club houses, etc.)?
- What schools are in the area?
Once you’ve thought through your priorities, needs, and wants, it’s time to get out there! Research new homes and new home communities online and visit your favorite communities. Get a feel for what the area is like and decide whether you can picture yourself living there.
Step 2: Choose a Builder
After you’ve zeroed in on a community, you get to decide which builder offers the best floorplan and location for your needs. At Terrain, there are five options: DR Horton, Century Communities, Richmond American, Taylor Morrison and TRI Pointe Homes. The number of builders you have to choose from will vary depending on the community, as will the variety of floor plan options.
Tour model homes and speak to the sales specialist from each builder to learn more about what they offer. Most new home builders build a few models of the collection of homes they’re marketing. For homes that are not modeled, in-office displays and technology help home shoppers see all models and floor plans within the collection. You’ll want to refer back to your list of priorities and consider which builder offers the best floor plan within your budget.
Step 3: Choose a Homesite and Reserve It
Many builders in master planned communities build a few homes for quick move-in buyers. These
homes are often referred to as spec homes, because the floor plan and many of the options are chosen based on speculation (i.e., the builders project and install various options and upgrades they think will appeal to the most people). You may find a spec home that suits you perfectly, in which case you will go directly to the purchase process. (Don’t worry, most spec homes still allow for some personal design choices, such as carpet, tile and paint, as well as other upgrades, like bathroom fixtures, door hardware styles, and the like.)
More commonly, though, you will work with a sales specialist to choose a homesite and model. Prices will vary depending on the size and location of the lot. There may also be restrictions as to which home style can be built on which sites, but the sales specialist will guide you through all of these details. Once you’ve picked the perfect homesite, you’ll put down a reservation fee. Typically, all money invested from this point on is applied toward the final purchase price of your home.
Step 4: Financing Considerations
If you’ve come with a pre-qualification letter, you probably have a good idea of what mortgage company you’ve decided to to finance your home through and what you can afford. Many times, builders have preferred lenders that you can investigate as well. There are often incentives offered for financing through the builder’s preferred providers. These usually come in the form of upgrade allowances or other home purchase enhancements. You should also check with your bank or credit union to find out what they offer. A good rule of thumb is to always compare rates from several lenders to ensure you’re getting the best terms on your loan.
Step 5: Construction
After you reserve the homesite, finalize your home selection, and go to initial contract on your new home, the construction work begins. Within a few weeks (after the necessary permits are secured by your builder), you’ll start to see activity on your lot. As progress is made, you’ll be given opportunities to tour the home. You’ll undoubtedly find yourself looking forward to your “dusty boot” visits, when, with each passing week, you’ll see progress being made on your dream home!
As the construction process nears its end, you can expect periodic official inspections as well as a few personal walk-throughs with your builder superintendent. There are many steps in the construction process, and, at times, it can seem a bit overwhelming, but your builder will provide a detailed timeline and guide you carefully through the process.
Step 6: Design Details
While construction is underway, you get to visit the builder’s design center and work with a design specialist to determine all of your interior finishes: light fixtures, tile selections, door hardware, bathroom and kitchen fixtures, paint and flooring—this is when you get to personalize your home.
Builders include certain finishes in the base price of the home, which are called standards. You can expect to pay more for options that are considered upgrades, so it’s important to ask questions and stay informed about pricing. Enticing options and upgrades can add pressure to your budget, so be mindful of what you’re selecting and how much each upgrade adds to the purchase price of your home. You’ll work closely with your design and sales specialists throughout the process, and can rest assured that they will guide and you and keep you informed of the financial picture as well as critical dates. Have fun with the process—you’re designing your dream home!
Step 7: Closing & Moving In
Your home has been built, you’ve completed the final walk-through, finishing touches are being made, and now it’s time for delivery. You’ll be given a thorough education on how your home is built, the technology involved in the various systems—from HVAC to electrical to low-volt audio and security—as well as how to care for your home.
You’ll close on your new home following your delivery meeting, and that’s when you get the keys! This is an extremely exciting day and the feeling of walking into your newly-built and personalized brand new home is well worth the wait. Pop the champagne and don’t forget to let the post office and your friends know that you have a new address!
Terrain Castle Rock is a planned community of new homes ranging from the $300s – $600s. Check out the variety of floor plans available from four reputable and award-winning builders. Better yet, come visit! Model homes are open daily.