4 Must Know Tips before Building a House

Building a new house is an exciting project with a steep learning curve. There is much you need to know before embarking on building a home, but we are here to help you every step of the way! We ensure surprises are kept to a minimum, so you get to move into your dream home!

Here are 4 Must Know Tips before Building a House:

1. Find the right builder

When building a new house, the most important task is finding the right builder. You want to use a company that matches your needs, wants, desires, style, and price range.  

The new-build market is constantly shifting, builders come and go as new neighborhoods start, or complete.  Make a list of possible builders, if you have a preference already. If you’re not sure, what communities are being build or don’t have a custom builder you want to use.  Ask us!  We always have an ongoing list since builders keep us informed of new neighborhoods. We can even help you narrow down your choices by reviewing your wanted features and providing research on which builder will best fit your needs.

2. Have Buyer Representation

Use a REALTOR® who works with you on your behalf and is professionally and legally bound to represent your best interests. Buyer representation is important when building a new house because, not only will they help you find the right builder, they will work on your behalf to make sure that you are getting what you want and what they agreed to.

Another benefit of working with a good REALTOR® is that they will be looking at your new house with future resale in mind. The Columbus Team is intimately familiar with what buyers want and can advise you regarding choices that will improve your resale.

There is no fee to buyers when choosing representation, the builder pays a small percentage to the agent because using us saves them time and money as well.  The cost of building a home is the same price whether or not you use a REALTOR® but If you choose not to buyer representation, there is no one who is legally bound to represent your best interests. The Columbus Team has many clients who we represented during new home builds and they are very happy they did so!

3. Expect price increases

There are a many costs associated with building a new house. Unlike buying an existing home, every detail of the building and property is up to you. This includes everything from floorboards being 2” or 4” to light switch plates being brass or plastic. With each of these choices comes a varying cost. This process can become unexpectedly expensive, which is why we suggest adding $10,000 to $20,000 onto the initial cost of the home to cover your design choices.

If a community proves to be popular, the builder may raise prices as the homes sell, in the past once you were in contract you were insulated from these price increases. In 2021, the new build contracts vary by builder. There are many opportunities for the builders to insert clauses, often paragraphs, where you, the buyer, is responsible for any increased cost for materials above the original contract price.  These contractual paragraphs are called escalation clauses. Many builders are also adding clauses that state if the new build does not appraise for the contracted price, that the buyer will pay the gap between appraisal and build price.  

 “There is a lot of buyers’ beware in building a new home today,” says Sue Lusk-Gleich. “Buyers only build 1 house in their lifetime and do not understand some of these pitfalls could very well throw off their budgeting for a new home, including future unforeseen cost or loss of deposits if they cannot perform in the end because of financial changes to the transaction.”

“Realtors on the other hand help our buyers build houses every day and bring great value to the buyer client of a new build to help them understand situations they may find themselves in after the fact.”

4. Be prepared for it to take longer than expected

Everything from the weather to the delivery of parts can affect how long the project takes, regardless of the timeline you’ve been given. Building a new house is time consuming because it requires permits, inspections, plus schedule coordination of many different contractors, and suppliers working in conjunction with one another.

At times, it may be a frustrating process, but it will get done! Your REALTOR® keeps on top of the timeline and communication with the builder.  We represent you to ensure the house build meets your expectations and the contractual obligations. The Columbus Team consists of experienced new build REALTORS®.

If you found 4 Must Know Tips before Building a House helpful, or have any questions please  reach out!  We’re happy to help!

Why Use a REALTOR When You’re Buying a Home from a Builder?

Why Use a REALTOR When You’re Buying a Home from a Builder? (Builder Home Plans)

Why use a REALTOR when you’re buying a home from a builder? The short answer is that your REALTOR is trained and experienced in real estate transactions. They represent you, and you alone.  A builder represents the builder’s interests first and foremost.

Your REALTOR is your advocate. They are available while you’re at work, handling calls from the builder and contractors. Representing your preferences, your needs, and your expectations in the contract is their job.

Your REALTOR is your project manager. Purchasing a new build is complicated. You’re customizing features, working on a tight schedule, and the process of inspections, approvals, and change requests for custom items or work that didn’t go as expected can take time, energy, and even cost extra money. Use a professional to keep all the parts of this process moving and turning as they should.

Your REALTOR is your eye for detail. Your agent knows this process from start to finish, they’ve been there, done that, got the merit badge! They know the plumbing and electrical inspections can hold up the interior construction of your home until they’re completed. They know when to reassure you that this IS the process, or when something isn’t going right and it’s time for a meeting with the builder.

Your REALTOR is experienced at closings. Even though you’re buying a brand-new home, you still have a contract, you still have a closing, financing, inspections, and all the details that go into any home sale. Your agent can manage the details and stress for you, so you simply get to enjoy the process.

To learn more reasons why you should use a REALTOR when you’re buying from a builder – call us – we’d be happy to answer your questions.

Should we purchase a new home or an older home?


The following is an excerpt from The Locale Real Estate News.

My fiancé and I are searching for our new dream home in a central metropolitan area. Over the past few months we have been struggling with the decision of whether or not we should purchase a new home or an older home. I love the charm of the older homes in the area, but I’m not sure if they hold as much value as a new home would. From your experience, would you say that an older home could be worth as much as a home that was recently built?

Sandy Q.

Dear Sandy,

This is often a question we hear when buyers, like yourself, are interested in centralized properties.

Consider the Variables in a New Home vs and Older Home

When considering the value of a home, and whether or not it is a good idea to purchase an older home over a newly built home, there are many variables. Like you said, older homes offer charm and elegance, and unbeholden to some – many are built with a larger square footage and with higher quality materials than what is being built today. Some would argue that homes aren’t built the way they used to be: brick homes are being replaced with houses wrapped in vinyl, attention to detail is being lost, houses with character are being swapped out for open floor plans in cookie cutter neighborhoods.

Consider Future Expenses

However, people would consider a new home more valuable because there should be no major expenses in the first several years of ownership. In a new house, modern features like media rooms, large closets and extra-large bathrooms are more attainable. In an aged home you rely largely on the previous resident’s tastes and technological whims, unless you already plan to farm thousands into a remodeling.

Consider the Big Ticket Item Expense

All that in mind, however, a house that is 30 years old may be equally renovated and just as updated as a new home. The usual big ticket expenses are windows, roof, siding, and HVAC, so if all of those are well kept, then an older home could be of equal value as a brand new home and of more value if the foundation is stronger.

Consider Land and Location

When thinking about what type of home is right for you, land and location can come in to play. Typically the older homes are likely to be much more centralized with more properties to choose from, while the newer homes in the area are a bit fewer and built farther out from the city center. Many of the older homes in the area are generally larger than the newly built homes and are located on larger pieces of land than what people in the same area would currently be building on.

Additionally, on that land the landscaping is normally already completed and with the possibility that 10’s of thousands of dollars in landscaping could have already been completed and included in the purchase price.

Value is in the Eye of the Beholder

The truth is that value may be in the eye of the beholder. Just look at all of the details and what you are looking for specifically in a home, then relate that to the age of the home, major home expenses, the quality of the construction, the land/ location, and the overall costs to evaluate value.

If you have any additional questions about the values of your home, I am always happy to have a chat free from obligation. Just give us a call at 614-888-6100.