So You Think You Want to Build

You've been clicking through listing after listing and you're just not finding that home with all the upgrades and details you're looking for in your next home. Have you considered new construction? Choosing to build can offer you options you don't get with existing homes. Like being able to choose that open floor plan you've been dreaming about. Or getting to choose those unique touches like the cabinets, countertops, and flooring finishes. Choosing new construction can give you flexibility that just isn't possible with existing homes.

But finding a builder can be a daunting task. And how do you know what community to choose? You want to find a reputable builder who builds quality homes. And what about a location with a reasonable commute for work and good schools for your kids? Is there an HOA or condo association? If only there was someone to help you navigate this labyrinth of issues.

We have great news! There is! Our agents at are new construction professionals. We are here to help you understand the myriad issues involved in purchasing a new construction home. We have a great relationship with numerous builders in the area. Our agents are familiar with the various neighborhoods in Hampton Roads and can help you figure out the best places to start looking based on your particular needs.

Top 10 Things to Do when Buying New Construction


Choosing an agent to represent you ensures that you have someone advocating for you throughout the process. The builder has site agents who are there to help you understand their builders and their products. It is important that you have an agent who is dedicated to negotiating on your behalf. Check out our list of agents on to choose one of our professionals who can represent you.


Here at we have compiled a list of many of the local builders for your convenience. Explore our site to see examples of local builders' models and some of their communities. There are pages and pages of photos to peruse. Our agents can help you decide which community and builder would be right for you.


Deciding how much you can afford can be one of the most difficult decisions to make in purchasing a home. There are many variables to consider when coming up with your bottom line. How much cash have you saved to bring to the table? Do you have 20% for a down payment? This will help you avoid PMI (private mortgage insurance) which is usually 1% of the loan amount. PMI guarantees the lender that they will get paid even if you fail to make your mortgage payments. A good rule of thumb is to keep your mortgage payments to about 25% of your take-home pay. Your debt-to -income ratio will be another factor lenders will consider as they let you know how much you qualify for. Speak with a loan officer at our affiliate SimonTowne Mortgage to find out more about how to determine what you can afford.


As you are trying to decide where you want to build, take a drive through the neighborhoods you are considering. Visit at different times of the day to get a feel for the area. Do you feel safe at night? Is there more traffic than you imagined? Look up information about the schools in the area. Be an informed consumer. If you don't know how to get the information you need, ask your agent. They are experts about all things concerning real estate. And whatever they don't know, they know how to find.


Building a new construction home can be very exciting. Choosing all the great finishes and upgrades is like making your Pinterest boards come true. But as you are deciding how to spend your budget, be wise in your choices. Location is one of those issues that is set in stone. Once you pick where you're going to build, you can't change that later. However, upgrading your flooring at a later date is very doable. If you're choosing between a fourth bedroom and granite countertops, the extra square footage would be very expensive to add on later. Weigh out the pros and cons of the choices you have to make and be prepared to leave some upgrades for the future.


Choose to build a home with size and options comparable to your neighbors. You want to keep up with the Joneses without getting too far ahead of them. You don't want to price yourself out of the neighborhood with upgrades beyond all your neighbors. At the same time, be careful not to be the only house with linoleum, if the standard in your neighborhood is hardwood.


It can be difficult know what a 12'x15' room looks and feels like until you are physically in one. Rather than rely on a printed floor plan, go tour your builder's model homes to visualize the home you are building. If the model you are planning is not in the community you've chosen, ask if that home is in a different community. Being able to physically walk through your future home will help you visualize what you're getting. You don't want to be surprised or disappointed when you walk through your new home for the first time.


As your home reaches the final stages, the builder will have various walkthroughs for you to inspect the final product. Make sure you are physically present for as many as are offered. This is your chance to speak up if something does not look as you expected. Communicate clearly what you expect and be aware of what the builder plans to deliver. This is also a great time for your agent to be present as your advocate. Our agents are skilled negotiators and well informed about the new construction process. They will help guide you through the final stages of your new construction home.


Most builders offer warranties on materials and workmanship. In fact, if your desired builder does not, find a new one. Familiarize yourself with the warranty that is offered. A typical example would be a one-year warranty on workmanship. A two-year warranty on mechanical and electrical elements, five years on water leaks and 10 years on structure. Make sure you understand what is and is not covered. Find out contact numbers and the process you'll need to follow to get service.


Not all lenders are equal. With the rise of the internet, there are all kinds of tempting rates out there. Be careful that you choose a reputable lender. As you are doing comparisons, be sure to check out our affiliate SimonTowne Mortgage. This trusted lender has some of the most competitive rates available and we stand by the integrity of their loan officers. Choosing a good lender can be the difference between finalizing a successful closing or not.

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Categories: Home Buying

Cities: Virginia Beach Chesapeake Norfolk Williamsburg Newport News Hampton Suffolk

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