It’s Easy to Buy a House from GHI
The first logical step in buying a new house is to get pre-qualified by a mortgage institution so you’ll know about how much money you can spend. Not all mortgage institutions have the same interest rates and some are easier to get along with than others. A good one can help make your home building experience much more pleasant, recommend the right type of loan for you, and not slow things down when it’s time for you to move in. If you don’t have a relationship with a lender already, call us and we’ll recommend a couple to you. With GHI you don’t need a costly construction loan with two closings. We take care of all the construction costs. Aside from your deposit (generally from 2.5% to 10%, depending on the type of loan and house), we don’t get paid for your new home until it is finished to your satisfaction.
Once you have an idea of how much you can spend on your new home, call us and make an appointment to come to our office. Tell us how much you can, or want to, spend and we’ll try to put together a building lot and house style package that is in your price range. Our new home prices are based on lot cost, a certain cost per square foot for the house, real estate agent commissions (if any) and other options that you may want to add. We’d be happy to share our pricing formula so you can estimate the price of a house yourself.
Together, we’ll look at plot plans that will show you what we have available for land. Later, when you’ve found a lot that interests you, we’ll take you there so you can see it for yourself. We’ll also show you some house plans in the style of home you want. We can go over any changes and options you may want and give you a basic idea of the cost. All of our new homes are custom built and we offer a complete in-house design service. If one of the home plans we show you doesn’t come close to what you want, we’ll start from scratch and design your new home with you.
At the end of our first meeting, you’ll have a copy of our Standard Specifications, a basic price for your new house, a plot plan showing the location of your lot and the locations of a couple of houses-in-progress that you can visit to get an idea of the quality of our homes. You will be given the allowances for your cabinets and vanities, lights, and floor covering. The lights you can buy anywhere, but we will give you the names of the cabinet and floor covering specialists we prefer to use.
At this meeting, or a subsequent one, you’ll have the opportunity to sign a Lot Reservation or Sales Contract with us. A Lot Reservation will hold your lot for a specified number of days while you decide if it’s the one you really want, and a Sales Contract will lock us into a price for your new home. You can enter into a sales contract with us even if you have not sold your existing home, received a loan commitment from your lender, or have not finalized your house plans. We simply make the contract contingent upon these things happening. So, if we can’t come up with a home plan that you like, if your current house doesn’t sell or if you can’t get a final loan approval, you can get your deposit back and the sales contract is void. Your lender will not be able to finalize your loan until you have a signed contract and a completed house plan.
Generally we’ll have between one and three meetings before we build your new home. During that time you’ll be able to pick out colors for your roof shingles, house siding and other things from samples that we have here at the office and you’ll make appointments to meet with our cabinet and floor covering specialists. We’ll also complete a final house plan for you. You’ll be asked to sign the final plan and it will become part of your Sales Contract. We can’t start construction on your new home until the house plan is finalized and signed. The plan is submitted to the town as part of your “Building Permit” application and your lender will use it to do an appraisal on your property for your final loan commitment. As you can see, it’s quite important that once your plan is finalized, no further changes are made. If changes are made at this point, you will probably incur extra charges.
Once all the paperwork is done, we can finally start construction of your new home. From start to finish, it will generally take between fifteen and eighteen weeks to complete. We have one sub-contractor that will clear your lot, do the excavation and pour your foundation. His work is usually finished in one week. When he’s done, we send in the framing crew. The first stages of construction go very quickly. Depending on the size of your new home, the framers will have the shell finished and the roof on in ten to fifteen days. Next, they’ll move on to the interior partitions. When these are done, or nearly done, you’ll be asked to meet with our electrician to walk through your house with him. You can tell him about any special electrical requirements you have (do you need an outlet next to a phone jack for a cordless phone?) and where you would like your lights installed. Our master plumbers will also start roughing in your pipes at this stage.
The Town Code Enforcement Officer will do a minimum of three inspections on your new home at different stages of construction. This is to ensure that we are abiding by all building codes, that the workmanship is professional and your new home will be safe to occupy. The first is done when the forms are stripped from your foundation and before it is back-filled. Among other things, they’ll check the integrity of the foundation and the inside and outside drains. The next one is done after the rough-in wiring and plumbing and before the insulation is installed. The framing, wiring and plumbing are inspected to make sure they meet the Town’s building codes. When the house is finished, a final inspection of all the construction, heating, plumbing and wiring is done before a Certificate of Occupancy can be issued by the town.
Perhaps the easiest way to describe the progress of your new home is with the following table.
This is what you should see happening. It doesn’t include things we do behind the scenes, like scheduling inspections or when we order materials, windows, fixtures, and trim packages, etc. Of course, a smaller house could be done a little fastre and it’s possible that one or two more weeks could be added to this time for a larger house with complex roof lines and large porches. Bad weather, your lender, or other unforeseen circumstances could also slow things down. When your home is finished, you’ll be asked to accompany us on a walk-through to make sure you’re satisfied with the final product. When you are ready to accept your new home, a “closing” with a Title Company will be scheduled. At the “closing”, GHI will be paid and ownership of your new home will finally be transferred to you.
Building a new home can be an enjoyable experience for you, or it can be a stressful one. That will depend on you. Some people enjoy shopping for their light fixtures, picking out siding and roofing colors and choosing their floor covering and cabinets. Others are inundated by it. We do our best to make it simple and enjoyable for you. Just keep in mind that you don’t have to know how to build a house. That’s our job. Every phase of construction is checked by the Town Code Enforcement Officer. We are professionals and have built hundreds of new homes since 1984.
|IN WEEK #||WE’LL BE WORKING ON|
|01-02||excavation and foundation|
|04-06||exterior framing, roofing, siding & interior partitions|
|06-07||interior partitions, rough-in wiring and plumbing|
|08-09||insulation, drywall hanging, taping and mudding|
|10||more mudding, priming and painting|
|13-14||trim, cabinets, plumbing fixtures|
|15-16||trim, final electrical fixtures, grading and loaming outside|
|17-18||floor covering, touch-up painting, clean-up, loaming and seeding outside|