If you haven't already done so, we recommend taking the following steps:
Establish a budget
A good place to start is your local bank; find out what you qualify for, and what different programs are available. Are you selling your existing home? What amount do you expect to net from the sale? Answers to these questions will impact your overall budget, and should be considered at this stage. For additional information, please see our Financing section.
We recommend clients schedule a meeting with us at the site before buying. Are there features of the site which may make it more expensive to build on? What else about the site should be considered before purchasing? A local custom homebuilder who is accustomed to building on all types of sites will best be able to give you some pointers, which may be very valuable prior to committing to the lot.
Select House Plan
Whether you’re thinking about buying plans from an internet site or plan book or having custom house plans designed by an architect, it’s very important to get the input of an experienced custom homebuilder during the design stage, someone who knows from a construction standpoint what works and what doesn’t, and what design ideas are going to significantly increase the cost of the house.
Most of our clients finance their new home project via a construction loan. Some points to consider are:
Does your lender offer a rate lock program, which enables the borrower to lock-in an interest rate for an extended period of time (generally 12 months)?
What points and fees are associated with their construction loan programs?
Does your lender charge for each draw?
If your lead-time is a bit longer, and your plan is to purchase the property and wait, rather than immediately starting following the lot closing, then perhaps a Lot Loan is the right vehicle. Not all lenders offer Lot Loans, so be sure to ascertain whether your lender offers this program.
Whatever stage you may be at, we suggest breaking-down your
into the following three categories:
Absolutely must have
Would like to have, but don’t absolutely have to have Here are a few examples:
The deed restrictions for our lot specify we must have brick on the front elevation and the first 3’ on all other sides, but siding is acceptable everywhere else. We would like brick on the entire exterior, but realize it will significantly add to the cost, so, being conscious of our budget, we’ll go with the siding where permitted.
We would like granite in the Kitchen, Laundry Room, and all bathrooms, but again, knowing that granite is significantly more costly than laminate, we’ll go with granite in the Kitchen and Master Bathroom only, and laminate everywhere else. We’ll allocate that extra money somewhere else in our budget.
We’d like a fireplace in both the Great Room and the Master Bedroom. Since homes with fireplaces have a better re-sale value than ones without, we’ll go with a fireplace in the Great Room, but not in the Master Bedroom; we’ll save that money for something else.
Our budget really can’t accommodate right now, but would like to possibly do in the future Here are a few examples:
Although it doesn’t fit into our budget right now, we’d like to finish the basement at some point in the future. So, we’ll have the Builder install the rough-in-plumbing (refers to the drain lines) in the basement, for a future bathroom. This facilitates the installation of the plumbing upon finishing the basement, thus avoiding breaking-up concrete.
If your budget is tight, interior trim upgrades are a good feature to reserve for the future. They generally doesn’t require any special preparation, and can thus be easily added down the road. Crown molding, wainscoting, coffered ceilings, etc. are all good examples of this.
When you call us, please have the following information available so we can make the best use of your time:
If you aleady have property, here’s what we’ll need to see…
Lot number and/or address
Plat or any other surveys you may have
Map to the site
Perc test results, if applicable
Soil borings results, if available
Deed restrictions, if applicable
If you already have house plans…
A full set of blueprints, with the floor plan(s), elevations, section details
Specifications/notes on what you want to go into the home (i.e. brick vs. vinyl siding on the exterior, granite vs. laminate countertops, etc.)
Choosing a Builder: some points to consider
At Platinum Development Corp., very simply put, we deliver what we promise. Our contracts are very specific, so what we promise is not vague and open for a lot of extra costs. Our customers know very clearly what features are or are not included. We specify in our contracts a move-in date, and a penalty (on us) if we do not meet that deadline. Most builders are unwilling to include this in their contracts, but because we are experienced, and we can accurately estimate how long a project will take us, we write this guarantee into all our contracts. Our past clients have found this to be valuable when planning for (existing home) closing dates, “temporary residence” lease terminations, etc. We have never exceeded a specified deadline on any home we’ve built.
Listed below is a checklist to aide you in asking the necessary questions when selecting a builder for your new home:
Platinum Development Corporation
Do you include a guaranteed move-in date in your contracts? And is it backed-up by a penalty if you don’t get us in by that date?
Will I be dealing only with the owner of the company, and therefore won’t be pushed off to a field superintendent or salesperson?
Can I expect to have regular on-site meetings with you to review my home’s progress and to answer all of my questions? How often is "regular"?
Can I expect that all work is directly supervised by the Owner of the company, and that an inexperienced superintendent is not supervising construction?
Do you genuinely care about the satisfaction of your customers and the quality of the homes you build?
Are you able to provide me with references?
Are you experienced in building on all types of parcels, including acreage as well as tight “in-fill” lots, and parcels with difficult topographies?
Are you experienced with special circumstances, such as engineered septic systems, geothermal HVAC systems, engineered-fill foundations, etc.?
Do you provide your clients with fixed-price contracts, meaning clients are not hit with unexpected costs?
Do you provide your clients with a lot of direction during the building process, such as providing them with a Selections Schedule (details what selections need to be made and when) to help them make selections in an orderly fashion?
Do you provide your clients with thorough, detailed contracts, eliminating uncertainties about the building process? How many pages is your typical contract? And can I expect that it will specify all the many details of building a home, down to the type and thickness of the subfloor, size and species of trim, the number of towel bars, etc.?
Do you have an in-depth understanding of how the construction draw process works and have you worked with numerous lenders?
Are you experienced in building a wide array of homes, from the smaller to the estate-sized homes?
Do you offer a Do-It-Yourself program?
Are you a licensed builder? And are you a member of any builders associations?
Is building homes your main business?
Have you ever been sued by a client?
Have you ever had a lien placed on one of your projects by a subcontractor or supplier?
Do you have current Liability and Workers Comp policies?