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Building a Home... for Beginners

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When you choose to build a home, you are only limited by your own imagination and the resources you have at your disposal.

Those who have not been part of the process before, wonder "What is a builder, and how much can he really do for me?" Be sure to enlist the right professionals as you obtain information and decide whether home-building is right for you.

What is a builder?

A home builder will facilitate the entire construction process of your new home, from choosing the floor plan, obtaining the building lot, and managing subcontractors to do the physical work. He is knowledgeable about trends in home styles and economical alternatives for building and safety issues, as well as a valuable resource for repairs after you are living in your new home. Builders already have lots purchased in select communities and can get started immediately after a contract is written.

The benefits of using a Realtor

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Before asking the question, "What is a builder," perhaps the question "What is a Realtor" should be addressed. A Realtor is the professional who negotiates the terms of the entire home-building process between the home buyer and the builder; somebody who has your best interests in mind, and can discuss terms in a non-emotional way with all parties involved. Your realtor is the collective memory for the agreements made between the buyer and the builder so that you can know you are being treated fairly. Most builders will not work directly with home-buyers, so it will be important for you to find a Realtor who knows the ins and outs of the new home market.

Builder costs

Some home builders will quote a price for your new home with his costs included in that price. It will then be in the builder's best interest to save money where he can, because he will directly benefit from the savings. It is to your advantage to find a builder who calculates his costs in your best interests. Your Realtor can help you find someone who will pass the savings on to you during the building process; someone who will fix his price for building your home and then work to bring the costs down.

The process in a nutshell

Your expectations will help as you make your home-building decisions and answer the question: What is a builder?

1. Get pre-qualified so you are aware of your purchasing capabilities.

2. Find a realtor who is familiar with local builders who will have your best interests in mind.

3. Set up a meeting to discuss the floor plans that fit your needs. This will be with you, your Realtor, and the builder you are considering.

4. With the knowledge and help of your realtor, draw up a contract for the home you want.

5. When your builder is ready, you may be able to choose fixtures, appliances, and floor coverings. This invitation will come through your Realtor.

6. Move into your new home in 60-90 days.

7. With the process of building your new home complete, you will know how to answer someone who asks you, "What is a builder" with confidence and testimonials from your own great experience.

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