If you are buying a brand new home for the first time, or it’s been a long time since you last worked with a new home builder, you are in for a pleasant surprise.
A new home purchase is a partnership between the builder and the home purchaser. For builders, the key is to ensure that your new home purchase is an enjoyable and satisfying experience. Building companies invest a lot of effort in designing systems that work for customers, and in training their people to help purchasers through the buying and construction process.
While every company has its own approach, here is what a typical home buying experience is like.
· Choosing your home. The salesperson’s job is to assist you in finding the right home for you. Most companies sell from model homes and plans; the salesperson will help you become familiar with the company’s range of homes, features, upgrades and prices. They will spend time getting to know you and understand what you need and want in a home, and how much you are willing to spend, so they can help you arrive at the best decisions for your family and your budget.
It usually takes a number of visits to a sales centre to make final decisions. During this time, the salesperson will help you work through your choices, and find solutions to any special requests you may have. When you are ready to sign the purchase agreement, the salesperson or builder will go through the contract with you in detail, so you understand precisely what both parties are agreeing to. They will also explain the next steps, so you know what to expect in the months coming up.
· Pre-construction meeting. Before construction of your home begins, the builder will go over the working drawings and the construction process with you. This is done to eliminate errors and ensure that everyone is in agreement. They will explain the blueprint and verify any changes you made to the standard plan. This is also your opportunity to meet the site manager who will be supervising the work on your home.
· During construction. Builders know it can be difficult for home buyers to sit back and wait patiently for their homes to be built. You are excited, want to know what is going on and begin to make plans for moving in. Most builders schedule a series of site visits at various stages of construction. You may also get updates by phone or e-mail. A few builders install a web cam on site so you can check on your home 24/7.
· Colour selections. At some point before or during construction, you will be asked to make your selection of finishing products—tiles, flooring, cabinets, countertops, faucets, and so on. This is an exciting and enjoyable part of the buying experience—your opportunity to personalize your home and get exactly what you want. Builders offer a range of products, and will usually have a trained coordinator or designer available to assist you with selections.
· The walk-through. Shortly before the builder is ready to hand over the home, you will be asked to go through it from top to bottom, inside and out. This is another highlight—seeing your home completed and your dream turned into a reality. The purpose of the walk-through, or pre-delivery inspection as it is known in some areas, is to verify that everything has been done according to plan. Anything outstanding will be noted and completed before or right after move-in. The builder will also explain the operation and maintenance of the systems and products used in your home.
· After-sales service. The customer experience doesn’t stop when you move into your home. Expect your builder to check in from time to time to see how you are enjoying your new home, or to remind you of milestones in your warranty coverage. Some will ask you to complete a customer satisfaction survey to get your opinions on your home and the buying experience—important feedback that helps builders keep on improving their products and their services.