What Questions Should I Ask a New Home Builder?
Deciding to build a brand new construction home can be a daunting, yet exhilarating experience. New construction homes are very different from used homes. With a used home, a majority of the decisions have been pre-selected so there’s not much room for personalization. However, because a new construction home is built from scratch, you become the main decision maker. This gives you the reins to build and customize a home that fits your ideal vision. There are a lot more decisions involved in this option, from choosing a homesite to a floor plan, to the design elements and final finishes.
Luckily, at Bosgraaf Homes, we won’t make you do it all alone. With decades of experience, we’re able to guide you through each step of the building process with ease. We’ve even created our own Seamless Process Road Map to use as a reference when understanding how we build homes from the ground up. This way, we can erase that daunting feeling you might have when building your new construction home.
Another way to help ease that feeling is by preparing a list of questions before we begin the process. This way, you’ll have the knowledge needed to make sure buying a new construction home is the right choice for you AND feel confident making the other decisions that come with it. If you’re stuck on what questions to ask a new home builder, we’ve come up with this handy list to help you get started.
10 Questions for Home Builders in Western Michigan
1. How long does it take to build?
This is the all time important question. It’s especially true if you need to sell your current home first or are renting with a short time left on the lease. When building a brand new home, there are variables involved. Things like weather, supply shortages, and labor shortages can cause a huge delay in building progress.
Most builders will factor these things into the home building timeline, but they won’t be able to give an exact date of completion, just an estimate on how long it will take. With Bosgraaf Homes, we include several checkpoints throughout the process to make sure you’re not guessing what stage your home is in.
2. Does my home come with a warranty?
Most builders should have some type of warranty program available, but they can vary from builder to builder. Certain warranties will only cover specific repairs and fixes for a pre-determined amount of time. That could be 1 to 2 years or even up to 10 years for structural defects. Here at Bosgraaf Homes, we offer warranty coverage that is outlined in our Residential Construction Performance Guidelines booklet.
3. Can I make upgrades during construction?
Once construction starts, it can be difficult to make changes along the way. That’s why at Bosgraaf Homes, we are proactive by including a thorough selection and pre-construction meeting in our process. In the selections meeting, you’ll have plenty of time to discuss the upgrades and details you want and then sign off on your choices in the pre-construction meeting.
Our expert design center host will guide you through the wide variety of options from top suppliers to ensure you know exactly what you’re getting and have all of the finishes we know you’ll love. And all before construction starts!
4. Are there any incentives for working with a preferred lender?
Many builders have a list of preferred lenders they work with. Because of their strong relationship, lenders will often offer financial incentives to appeal to potential buyers. Some perks of this might include:
- A lower interest rate
- Extended rate locks at no charge
- Money towards the closing costs
This could potentially save you money in the long run, so make sure to ask this anytime you purchase a new home. Especially because most home builders may not readily provide these options.
5. What’s included in the cost of the home?
There are a lot of costs associated with building a new construction home. Some you may not have even thought about. The lot, the structure itself, and the exterior and interior features (which we’ll discuss next) are a few things that might be included in the base price of the home. Even lots can be priced differently depending on size and location.
We not only include all of these things in the cost of our homes, BUT MORE. Bosgraaf Homes come equipped with high-performance and energy-efficient features to keep your home comfortable, cost-effective, and long-lasting.
6. What are the standard features, and what are the extras?
While you’re shopping online for your future home, you’ll often see a beautiful photo or virtual tour of a designed floor plan that looks very close to what you envision for yours. Keep in mind that these are just to get an idea and might not come standard with the plan you choose. Make sure to check with the builder for a list of items that come standard, such as the high-performance features included in all Bosgraaf Homes, and what items are considered extras. You’d be surprised at how many builders don’t include things like ENERGY STAR-rated appliances and high-efficiency HVAC systems like we do. This can vary widely across builders, so it’s a crucial question to ask.
7. Will I be able to visit the home during construction?
The home building process can be very fascinating, and if this is your first time building a new construction home, you might want to make periodic visits to the site. After all, you’ll be living in it and have a right to see its progression. Due to safety concerns and keeping on schedule, some builders may not be comfortable allowing you to visit the site regularly. Check with the builder in advance to see about coordinating a couple of visits throughout construction.
8. Will there be a final inspection?
Though it’s common for a builder to offer a final inspection once the home is completed, it can’t be a contingency included in the sale of the home. Regardless, it’s very important to ask that one be completed. With Bosgraaf Homes, you can expect a top-quality inspection along with a walkthrough of the home to show you how everything works (even a few maintenance tips!)
The inspection can be done by an inspector recommended by the builder, or you can search for a dependable one on your own. In the end, you’ll be confident that your new home is built to code, and learn a few things about its major components.
9. Are there any homeowner’s rules or regulations?
Sometimes within builders’ communities, there is an HOA (homeowner’s association) that’s great for keeping up curb appeal and overall community improvements. There’s often an additional cost as well. But, even if there’s no HOA, sometimes builders will have rules for what is and isn’t allowed on the property. Knowing the answer to this question can set a good expectation for any add-ons you may want in the future.
10. Who do I contact with questions?
Throughout the process, you’re sure to have many questions. Depending on the question you have, there may be a particular team member you’ll want to reach out to. If so, find out if you’re able to contact these team members individually or if there’s one point of contact you can go to. For example, a lot of builders have sales agents of their own that can answer all of your questions, but if it’s specific to the construction of your home, you may need to contact the construction manager.
No matter who you need to contact, our team members are more than happy to help with warm, welcoming smiles. As a builder grounded in family, we’ve made it a priority to treat our buyers with the same respect and friendliness we would give our own family members.
Design Your New Construction Home with Bosgraaf!
At Bosgraaf Homes, we have generations of experience and stay grounded in the importance of building homes that are high-performing and durable. That’s why we work hard to ensure our homes are built with meticulous craftsmanship and fit the needs of our buyers.
Across Western Michigan, our communities are filled with a wide range of spacious open concept floor plans to choose from. We have single-family homes with 1 to 2 stories, up to 6 bedrooms, and up to 4,121 square feet of space. If you’re considering a quick move, we have homes available in varying stages of construction that are sure to grab your attention.
Buying a home is a huge commitment, especially a new construction home. Being prepared with a few questions for home builders will make your home buying process so much easier. It will also help you choose the right builder for you.
We hope you found this list helpful and choose us as your trusted West Michigan home builder. Connect with us today to learn more or to schedule a tour of one of our communities.