Looking for a new home can be both a stressful ordeal and an opportunity to express your creativity. Over the past decade, we’ve bought and sold many homes, but this will be our first time embarking on a semi-custom new build.
Here are some tips for navigating the process of finding a new build:
- Research: Begin by scouring online listings daily. Location is key for us—we desired a property with a couple of acres, no HOA fees, and low property taxes. Filtering our searches based on these criteria was essential. Make sure to research property taxes in your state to find the best rates. As artists, we opted against an HOA to avoid extra costs.
- Utilize Filters: Use search engine filters to narrow down your options to include only new builds. In our experience, these homes are often overlooked by the public, resulting in less competition and rarely paying over asking price.
- Timing Matters: Look for homes that show pictures of the property fully framed or recently sheet rocked. This indicates that the builder will likely finish the home within a few months. Timing is crucial—aim to get in before the builder finalizes finishes. We were fortunate to customize our home’s kitchen, tile selections, counters, laundry room layout, school room loft details, and lighting, providing our personal design touches without a long wait.
- Research the Builder: Before falling in love with a home, research the builder. Look for references and reviews to ensure quality craftsmanship. Trust is essential when choosing a builder—consider it akin to a blind date. We trusted our builder because they lived nearby, allowing us to closely monitor progress and communication.
- Collaborate with the Builder: Learning to work with the builder as a team is crucial. Communicate openly and keep a record of all decisions and receipts. Discuss any desired upgrades or adjustments with the builder, ensuring they align with their vision and are feasible. Any significant changes should be added to the contract before finalizing the offer.
As we near completion of our semi-custom build, we’ve experienced both pros and cons. Quick turnarounds on requested changes have been a highlight, but the uncertainty of the process has been challenging. Nonetheless, we’re excited to share our real experiences—both the ups and downs—with our audience. We welcome your thoughts and comments as we continue on this journey together.
Here’s a sneak peek of our faucet, lighting and tile we chose:
Lighting we chose
The Jacqueline chandelier is on sale!
Faucets we chose
Tile we chose
Foyer Black and white tile
Boys subway tile for the wall
Girls bathroom shower floor marble hexagon
Girls bathroom white hexagon floor
Master bathroom floor tile in running board
Master bathroom shower floor
Laundry room tile