Building a new construction home is a multi-step process that involves a lot of planning and patience, which is why we prepared your free checklist for building a new construction home! Though every new build process is unique, this guide will give you a general idea about the building process and what steps buyers can take to make it easier. Of course, buyers will be in touch with their builders to know what steps are coming next.
Note: Our builder partners offer many options, from building from scratch to providing you with an existing inventory of new homes near completion. They should also provide you with a guide about the home building process and what steps you can take to streamline affairs on your end.
Your Free Checklist For Building a New Construction Home
1. Make a List of What You Want
Ask yourself what you want in your dream home. Make a list of must-haves in your dream home. This is your time to create a forever home! You can do this along with step 2, but knowing your wants can help you establish a budget. Considerations include the following:
Location: Are you buying land as a home site or choosing to build a new home in a growing neighborhood?
Desired Structure: What architectural theme strikes your fancy? Do you like traditional colonial homes, or does one-floor living suit your needs better?
The Bling Factor: What luxuries have you always wanted in a home? This is your time to dream big! Whether you want the basics or to go all out with an advanced security system, the choice is yours!
The Details: Do you want automatic garage doors? What about storage space? If lack of room has always been a problem, then this is your time to get the oversized storage closets you want.
Size and number of rooms: Building a new home allows you to choose all the things you want, which is a totally different experience from house hunting. You can select floorplans, number of rooms, and kinds of rooms, like offices or a laundry room (which is one of the most desirable home features of 2023).
2. Work Out Your Financing & Budget
When you know what you want, you can seek out homes and floor plans that are within your budget. Financing may come from a lender of your choice, or you may work with a builder with its own financing options. It’s important to match your vision with your top dollar so that you don’t go overboard (or miss out on anything you’ve really wanted)! Getting a preapproval letter is incredibly helpful to understand your financial capabilities and to give your agent a good idea of what properties to show you.
You may also get much of the proceeds for your new construction home through a Marketplace Homes special incentive program like Guaranteed Sale. This frees equity from your first home to go toward your new build, which can give you a large sum of money to pay down interest points and be a generous down payment.
3. Check What Options You Have.
Rates are steadily and significantly higher compared to recent years, which means you need an agent who has creative ways to help. Explore all your options, such as knowing how much equity is in your home and the movement at which homes move in your area. To expedite and streamline your purchase, you need an agent with guaranteed solutions and experience in new home buying to help. These agents can also help you find builders that offer financing incentives from preferred lenders.
4. Talk to a Real Estate Agent Who Specializes in New Builds
New Home constructions have more complicated contracts and extended building timelines. Whether it’s your first time building a new house or your fifth, it’s always a good idea to hire a real estate agent specializing in this type of home sale. They will ensure that you find the right builder for your needs and help you understand everything about buying a new construction home. Real estate agents from Marketplace Homes can also help you find a new build that is almost complete if you desire a speedy timeline.
5. Choose Your Builder
After you have an agent, you are in a good position to find a builder. While any licensed agent can represent you in the new construction search, an agent that already has connections with builders and is an expert with new construction contracts will help you exceedingly.
They will let you know what to expect and educate you on how to pick the right home and incentives. For instance, if a financial guarantee is on your mind, they will help you find a builder that offers excellent warranties.
6. Work With Your Builder, Lender, & Real Estate Agent
Throughout the homebuying process, you will be in contact with your real estate agent, lender, and builder a lot. Typically, builders have their own mortgage lenders that offer special incentives like lower interest rates, making it a good choice to choose them.
Talking with your builder will help you determine if you want to buy a home from the ground up or get one near completion. This influences your timeline and how long you have to get financing. Deadlines are also related to regions and seasons, so it’s best to speak with a builder as soon as you want a new construction home.
If you buy a home that is halfway built or near completion, you will have fewer customization options compared to starting from scratch. Depending on the stage you get under contract, here are some of the elements that may be under your control:
Materials (i.e. type of roofing shingles)
Number of stories
Finished basement, unfinished basement, or crawl space?
Quality of building materials (builder grade windows vs. designer quality)
Future homeowners should make their expectations clear during the buying process so the builder can do their best to make their dream a reality.
7. Work With Your Builder
Throughout the new home construction process, your builder will contact you about what’s coming up. The house checklist they give you will be extensive if you begin from scratch. You will be informed when they are prepping the site, laying the foundation, laying the framework, and prepping the house for utilities.
Every builder has its unique home building checklist that they give its clients to keep them fully informed throughout the process. You will know when they are done with the significant exterior work and are moving on interior walls, drywall, and roofing. They will also keep you informed about important financial figures like labor costs, the price of materials like gutters, and other components that tally up to the final home value.
8. Work Out Moving Logistics
If you need to sell your home to free equity, find a rental for a season, or do anything else related to your move, this is your time to get your affairs in order. You may work with your realtor on marketing your old home and selling it for top dollar, or you may want to explore keeping it through a financial backup like Guaranteed Lease Agreement.
As your new home is being built, your contractors will organize details like building permits, HVAC, meeting building codes, and other major details. While your home is in construction, you should stay on top of the timeline. Work with your real estate agent to ensure that your first home will sell on time, coordinate plans with movers, and work out other tasks like transferring school records, doctors’ records to new providers, and other essentials related to moving.
9. Discuss Finishing Touches
Chances are, even if you’re coming in at the tail end of a home-building process, you may have some say in the finishing touches. If you do, you can have fun selecting elements like lighting fixtures, cabinets, mirrors, faucets, fittings, and tweaks in exterior landscaping. This is where your creativity can shine. Choosing a stylish interior paint color is another important step that greatly affects your home’s character. You may also discuss potential upgrades with your builder to make your newly built home even better.
10. Attend The Final Walkthrough & Home Inspection
The final step of every new construction home buyer’s journey is one of the most satisfying events: the final inspection. Even new houses should be examined by a professional home inspector to ensure everything is in order. Hvac systems, After the finishing touches have been installed and the clean-up process is over, you can see the construction project at its near completion.
As the buyer, you will walk through the brand new home and inspect it. This is your chance to speak up if anything needs to be changed. If you have suggestions or notice something different from what you imagined in the building plan, your builders will fix these elements. Go line by line on the walkthrough checklist and make sure everything is to your liking. When you officially approve your custom home, move-in day will be not too far away!
Your Free Checklist For Building a New Construction Home
Marketplace Homes is a nationwide, integrated brokerage that specializes in new home constructions. We have unique solutions that eliminating the common pain points of buying a new build like selling your first home too quickly or too slowly. Our unique programs like Sell & Stay remove home sale contingencies and make sure you can live in your old home while your new home is under construction. We also offer savings on commission when you work with one of our trusted builder partners. For more information on how we offer peace of mind during th new construction buying process, contact us today!
Alicia Persson is a real estate content/SEO writer at Marketplace Homes. She has several years of experience working in real estate teams that specialized in investments and property management. Before she joined Marketplace, she was a freelance writer for 7 years, leading to a specialization in real estate and home living content for boutique digital marketing agencies. During her writing years, she learned the basics of SEO and gained experience writing for many different clients, making her highly versatile at creating diverse content.
She is a proud University of Virginia master’s graduate and enjoyed her undergraduate years at the University of Mary Washington. When Alicia is not writing, she plays keytar and sings in a local 90’s rock cover band, or she spends time with her amazing family.