Questions To Ask Your Custom Home Builder

What To Look For When Buying Land To Build A House

Have you always dreamed of escaping your unruly neighbors, the restrictions of your homeowners association or the hubbub of city life? If so, building your dream home on your own plot of land could be the best option for you.

Finding Land For Sale

While designing your own oasis may be a dream come true, finding land for sale isn’t as easy as just wandering through a neighborhood looking at for-sale signs. Of course, you can keep an eye on land listings via aggregate

Community members with a pulse on the local market or an agent who specializes in land will know more about potential upcoming zoning changes and similar happenings that can create opportunities.

But they might find that selling it is harder than they thought. Then the listing expires several times, they and the agent give up, and they ultimately let it sit until someone approaches them about selling.

Questions To Ask When Buying Land To Build A House

Just finding a plot of land in a desirable area isn’t enough. You’ll want to do plenty of research to ensure the land will allow you to build what you want in a cost-effective manner.

New Construction Home Buying Tips: How To Buy a New House

Last week we wrote an article on how to buy a house for first time home buyers. The feedback we received was incredibly gratifying, overwhelming and unexpected! We received a question from one of our readers, Jerry, regarding how buying an existing home compares to buying a new construction home, asking for both the similarities and differences.

With that being said, if this article reads with familiarity, that’s because there are similarities between buying an existing home and buying new construction. If you haven’t read the most recent guide to buying a home article yet, stop and read that first. It’s filled with great information from some of the best Realtors

By the end of this article you will learn:

How to buy a new construction home

Questions to ask your builder

Things to know when buying a new construction home

Do I need a Real Estate Agent to buy a new home?

How to make an offer on a new construction home

New construction home buying process

How to identify a good builder for new construction

What to look for in New Construction and New Community future plans

If you’re buying new construction and want to learn more about the process, this guide will offer 11 tips to start you off. We will also be linking to some incredible content on the web. With so many articles out there it’s important to read what’s going to help and avoid reading what isn’t. 

Educate Yourself on the New Home Buying Process

You’ll probably notice from our infographic that the first steps are the same in the new construction home buying process. Like so many things, it pays large dividends to begin with an education. This guide is to help educate consumers on how to buy new construction homes from builders. Not having a strategy, the right team, and the right education could cost you tens of thousands of dollars in the purchase process.


Building new homes

You may not have to charge on labour or building materials for work you do on a new house or flat.

What counts as new

For work to be zero-rated, it must qualify as a genuinely new, self-contained house or flat. This means:

it’s self-contained – there are not any internal doors or connections to other houses or flats

it can be used independently of any other property, including businesses

it can be sold on its own

it has proper planning permission

any existing buildings on the site have been demolished completely to ground level (unless you’re extending an existing building to create a new house or flat)

Timing, labour and materials

Work that’s zero-rated for must take place during the construction project, or be closely related to it (eg demolishing existing buildings and preparing the site). This is known as work done ‘in the course of construction’.

You cannot zero-rate work you do after a building’s finished, apart from correcting defects in the original work (‘snagging’).

All labour on a qualifying building can be zero-rated, but there are special rules on what counts as building materials for purposes.

Buying New Home Construction: Tips for Getting it Right

Buying new home construction — is it making a fresh start or a journey into the unknown? It’s actually both, but with some effort and planning you can limit the unknowns. You want the benefit of a brand-new home you can customize to your specifications.

Check the home builder’s reputation

If you purchase a home that’s new or still under construction, you’d better consider the builder’s reputation. Check out past projects. Visit those neighborhoods to see how the properties have held up. It’s great if you can find older developments to look at. If possible, chat with homeowners to find out what their experience with the builder was like and how the home has held up.

Remember who the agent represents

Most real estate agents get their commissions from the seller. And in any case their incentive is to close the deal. They might find you the right property and give you some sound advice. But rely on yourself when you choose a property and negotiate with the builder.

Don’t take the home builder’s list price at face value

Just because you’re dealing with a property developer and not a homeowner doesn’t mean the price isn’t negotiable. If the builder has multiple properties on the market, find out how many are unsold and how long they’ve been on the market. The more properties home builders have on their hands, the more apt they are to make price concessions.

Look beyond the builder’s recommended lender

The builder may offer to arrange financing for you. That might prove helpful, but do some comparison shopping of your own. The builder might have a financial incentive to steer you to a particular lender, so don’t assume that’s the best deal. Listen to what the builder’s lender has to offer, and then do your own research to see if you can find better mortgage terms.

Stages of the building process

Every building project is different, but you still need to tick off essential stages to make it a success. Understand the stages of a building project so you know what you need to do and build it right.

Your building project might be quick and simple or complex. It might be an alteration, a renovation or a completely new build. It could be a seaside holiday house or a multi-unit central city apartment building.

Planning a successful build

Get your ideas together, separating out what you must achieve and would like to achieve, so that you can think about priorities, budget and timing. You can get some idea of cost from designers or builders, so that you know whether it’s a realistic project.

The location of your land, and the position of your building site on it, can have a big impact on your project. You need to think about the finished building and how it needs to sit in relation to:



water, electricity and other services

boundaries (a registered surveyor can remove uncertainty)

neighbours (preserve your privacy and theirs)

access onto and around the site (for example, paths, driveways and door placement)

any hills or slopes (and how they might affect your finished height and width)

existing features that you want to retain (for example, trees or outbuildings).

If you’re planning a rural build, there might be other things to think about. For example, do you need a septic tank? Will you have to store your own emergency water supply for putting out fires? You might be surprised to know that some renovation projects can be more complicated than a new build. Talk to your council to get a better understanding of your land, how your ideas will fit and whether you’ll need a building consent, resource consent or any other permits.