We always suggest our clients meet with various builders. Discuss topics that will help you determine compatibility. You want to be sure you can communicate effectively during the construction process.
Take a hard look at what you feel you can pay on a monthly basis for a house payment. Keep in mind added items in your monthly payment such as property taxes, homeowner's insurance and possibly private mortgage insurance. Try not to max out your budget but stay within what you feel you can support.
This could mean designing one with the help of an architect, a designer or looking for a pre-drawn plan in a magazine or on the internet. Builders always have plans to share. If multiple plans offer pieces to the puzzle, see if they can be integrated into one plan that works for you.
With an idea of a budget a plan (or a basis for a plan) the builder you selected an begin working on a construction budget.
Local bankers are always ready to assist with this. However, are they the best choice? Talk with your builder to get options which can save you thousands of dollars. When you know what you are looking for, it is much easier to find it.
There are no shortcuts here. The attention to detail means smooth sailing during construction. Your builder should go over all aspects of the documentation.
In order to process the loan, the lender will need plans, specifications and an executed contract. The plans and specs will assist with an appraisal, a title company will clear the property for the new loan, and final documentation will be verified. When everything is checked, you are ready to close the loan and begin construction. This is where you will bring any money needed for the transaction.
A good builder will give you a schedule of events for the construction of your new home. The time needed varies with the size and complexity of the project. We always suggest weekly meetings to track progress, answer questions, make sure selections are progressing, etc.
When the project gets within 10% (or so) of completion, the Builder will prompt you to expect certain things that may include: locking your loan interest rate, getting homeowner insurance, setting up utilities, doing a walk-thru (or scheduling a 3rd party inspection), going over the warranty and completing a punchlist. A punchlist is a list of items that will be finished in the last days of the project. Once the list is complete, the home is considered finished.
At least move in and get things where they need to be, then enjoy.