When discussing new home building with potential buyers, it is often the misconception that everything from the plumbers to the landscapers will be the responsibility of the buyer to screen and hire. In fact, when new homes are constructed, the contractors who perform specialty jobs such as the electricians or the kitchen company are actually considered a subcontractor, and they are in the employ of the home builder of record, who is the General Contractor.
The final draft of the design and change orders are the responsibility of the home buyer to request of the general contractor and approve the charges for, but other than that, the General Contractor is there to ensure that the new home you’ve decided to design and purchase is to your satisfaction.
Be sure to discuss your ability to submit change requests during the build if you change your mind on something that is incredibly important to you. You should decide upfront what is negotiable and what isn’t so that you know what to cut if costs exceed your budget.
When designing or selecting a predesign layout for your new home build, remember that you should design your home for life. Kitchens and bathrooms will get you the highest return on your investment, so those are the areas to put any extra funds in. A kitchen or a bathroom design can make or break a home sale. While you may want to select all of the custom options that are offered, you want to try to keep a uniform selection throughout your home for the fixtures, tile selection, and things such as window boxes and trim. A home with different trim in every room or tile that changes as you move through the rooms of the home comes off as “eccentric” to buyers, and they are much harder to resell as-is.
Another thing to consider is the direction that your new home faces. You don’t want to be unable to sleep in on a Sunday because of the bay windows you mistakenly installed on the wrong side of your bedroom that let in glaring rays the moment the sun rises. Many features, such as the wall your entertainment center or TV mount will be, require coax and electrical drops, and you’ll want to ensure that it isn’t going to be a glare issue from a certain point in the day that will leave you unable to enjoy your evening news.
Be sure to get a copy of the electrical diagram of your home from your builder. Although it is usually an afterthought to most new-build buyers, you want to ensure that your coax and electrical drops are complimentary to the design layout you have pictured for your home. It is time-consuming and unnecessary additional expense to add electrical drops and outlets after the insulation has been installed and the drywall has been cut and fitted. Lastly, don’t skim over your contract. Read every single item on your contract and fully understand what it entails. You don’t want to be disappointed with your new home because your expectations weren’t met because of a misunderstanding in the contract details.