Buying a new build house | Home and Real Estate | Pikes Peak Courier

Coming from a house building background, I can attest to the satisfaction of building a house from the ground up. After working with an architect to design a great house plan and then building the house, it feels great to hand over the keys to a home buyer and let them make the house their own.

Of course, there are two ways to buy a new build home. One is to buy a custom home designed just for you, with a specially selected lot location, architectural design, permits and fees, actual construction, including the buyer’s choice of specific finishes and colors. The second option is to buy what is called a “spec” that has been created speculatively by the builder or developer.

While the process of actually building a home is similar for a buyer, the buyer’s involvement in a home is traditionally much greater. The main benefit for the buyer is that they can get exactly what they want, from the design to the doorknobs. The downside for the buyer is that you have to put in the time, dedication, and schedule of your builder to get your home finished the way you envision it. Traditionally, the first stop in building a home is discussing your dream home with an architect. This first stop will give you a sense of how realistic your ideas really are and a general idea of ​​the approximate cost of realizing your vision.

It is not uncommon for you to interview one or more builders right at the beginning of your home construction project during your due diligence phase. Your architect can give you some builder guides to talk to depending on the type of home you want to build. In any case, make sure you and the builder speak the same language – that is, do you communicate well with them? Does the builder listen to you? Does the builder seem to have the same enthusiasm for your home as you do? Does your gut tell you this can be a good relationship?

Keep in mind that over time you will be talking to the builder a lot and spending a lot of time with them as your home builds. The relationship can span a period of two years, so follow your instincts here.

Your builder should be your advocate and help educate you throughout the construction of your home. Many builders will work closely with your architect to ensure your vision is within your budget. This can save a lot of time in the process, so you don’t have to ask your architect to remodel the house to meet a lower budget after the house is fully designed. Ever heard of a champagne flavor on a beer budget? Other builders act as design-build contractors, contributing much of the design from their past experience building certain styles of homes. Typically they will still work with an architect, draftsman and engineer to create final plans to adapt to your vision and ensure the design meets regulations and local design criteria. The latter method can save you some time and money throughout the process if the home design matches your ideas of what you ultimately want for your home. It can depend on the amount of detail that you, the buyer, want to control when designing your home.

What if you want to buy a new build home but don’t want to spend time doing a lot of shopping and designing the home with an architect and engineer? You may not care to work with the builder during construction and make many decisions along the way. Or let’s say you just want to pick carpet and paint colors and that’s it. You may also want predictability in the price of your home purchase. We’ll explore the new construction home buying process in next month’s column to give you some guidance.

Until next time. In the meantime, please feel free to call or contact me if you have specific questions about this section or any other real estate issue.

Michael Harper is the owner/broker of Michael Harper Real Estate. Contact him through his website,


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