With the number of homes on the market in West Michigan at an all-time low, finding a home to buy is more complex than ever. So, why not build a new home instead? Maybe you think it’s too hard, or perhaps you think you don’t have the money or the time. However, the process is much more straightforward — and, if you make smart decisions, can be more cost- and time-effective — than you might think. Let’s explore some tips and things you need to know about the process.
Getting a mortgage for a new home is much easier than you think. Construction loans cover the price of the land as well as the cost of the house. Unlike a standard mortgage, before the completion of construction, you only make interest payments. Repayment of the original loan balance only begins once the home is completed, so staying in your current home until the new home is ready is affordable.
Typically, it takes 8-10 months to build a home and another 2-3 months to settle the financing to close on the land and construction loan. If you were to find a house today, your new home would be ready in about a year.
Finding a Lot and Builder
Finding a lot is only one step. Finding a builder who is a good fit for you is also extremely important. I recommend finding a realtor with new construction experience to help you find a lot and a builder. It’s also a good idea to do this simultaneously.
First, select your realtor and then start driving through neighborhoods. Does it feel like a good fit? If it does, begin interviewing builders, and when you find one you like, have him or her walk lots with you. Builders can see things the untrained eye can’t.
Once you’ve selected your lot, have your realtor write an offer on the lot. Your builder then starts the building plans and land inspections. You may pick a home from existing plans, your plans, or combine the two. You may even want to design your home from scratch, using ideas from several sources. Either way, discuss with your builder, as they may have an architect to recommend.
Once you are through these steps, which take 2-3 months, your lender will want to see your plans for building the home, including an estimated schedule and a budget. These plans will determine your loan amount. Once you’ve secured a loan, the lender pays the builder in intervals called draws that follow each phase of construction. Be sure to communicate with your builder or their representative throughout the process. Stop by and check out the progress. Ask questions. Soon enough, you will be in your new home.
Want to Learn More?
All of this may seem overwhelming. If you’re dreaming of new constructions in Grand Rapids, we can help. Our team has experience with new construction and working relationships with many top builders in West Michigan. The Cheryl Grant Team represents Verbena Home Sites Development in Ada.