Buying An Existing Home Builder

Being an owner-builder

An owner-builder is someone who takes responsibility for domestic building work carried out on their own land. If you become an owner-builder, you will be responsible for:

ensuring a building permit is obtained and paying the building permit levy

supervising or undertaking the building work

ensuring the work meets building regulations and standards

notifying the VBA if the estimated cost of works has increased at the end of the project.

If the value of the domestic building work you’ll be doing is over $16,000, you’ll need to have a certificate of consent from the VBA to be an owner-builder. The value of the building work includes labour costs and materials. It’s the estimated cost if you were to engage a registered builder to do the work. Your building surveyor or architect can help with calculating the cost of the work.

Owner-builder duties and responsibilities

Being an owner-builder can be very satisfying, but it comes with certain risks and legal requirements. For instance, your property may become a workplace under Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) law. This means you will have obligations such as ensuring the site is safe for workers.

Owner-builders have several important duties and responsibilities. These include, but are not limited to:

obtaining and complying with a building permit

arranging for the certification of completed work and ensuring that the work is compliant with Australian standards

ensuring site and worker safety

rectifying any defective building work

ensuring appropriate insurance policies are in place if you sell an owner-built home.

It is important to have a thorough understanding of these duties and responsibilities. Some of the obligations of an owner-builder last for several years after completion of the building work. For example, if you sell your home within six and a half years after you finish the work, you will need to provide a defects report to the buyer and provide certain warranties.


What you need to know before building a custom home

The process of building a custom home is often the most misunderstood segment of housing hunting. Said differently, a high percentage of prospective home buyers start out thinking they may want to build a custom home but then end up buying an already built “spec” home or working directly with a builder to modify a home that is in the process of being built.

The reason for the confusion is that most would-be “custom home buyers” have the basic sequencing wrong. They think that they will be able to find and buy a perfect lot, then hire an architect to design their dream home, then take the architect’s plans to a handful of builders who will eagerly bid out the project, then pick the builder with the lowest bid. The reality is that the order is usually reversed. That is, a home buyer ends up choosing a builder, and then together they identify the lot and build the house. The process is usually faster, smoother and less expensive for the buyer.

First, let’s start with identifying a lot to purchase. To do so, it’s critical to understand the builder/new construction market. In our local real estate market (the DMV), you’ve probably noticed a ton of new construction. While some of the construction is “custom” projects in which a property owner has hired an architect and builder to construct a home on their lot, the vast majority of these projects are “spec” homes. A spec home is one where a builder/developer buys a lot and then designs and builds a new home on “speculation” that they will be able to sell to a consumer.

When real estate markets are strong (like they are now), you’ll see increased spec home activity. Builders and developers invest enormous amounts of energy and resources into trying to identify the best lots on which to build a spec home. When they find a potential lot, they are prepared to pounce and quickly prepare a clean, cash-written offer with limited contingencies and closing terms customized to the seller’s needs (short or long settlement, rent-back period, etc.).

They try to make it easy and simple for the seller to agree to their offer. There is a saying among spec home builders that they make their money on the lot purchase (as opposed to the ultimate sale of the finished home). The better the lot, the less risk it is to the builder. In fact, if the lot is good enough (and the builder has a good enough reputation), the builder might be able to presell the new home before it’s even built.


Builder Technology Resource

Technology is transforming homebuilding, making new homes smarter, safer, more connected, greener, healthier, more productive and more entertaining and improving the way new homes are marketed, sold, designed, constructed and cared-for.

As builders lean forward into tech, Builder steps up as the builder technology resource, helping all kinds of builders and multifamily property operators get a handle on the fast-moving challenges and opportunities of tech and quickly take the actions required to turn tech into a strategic advantage.

maybe the better metaphor is digging the hole for the basement—when home control was X-10 devices that worked now and then and speech recognition was that didn’t work at all. Still there was this foggy dream of the (or the Smart Home or Connected Home of Intelligent Home), and there were really smart, wild-eyed entrepreneurs who tilted into it.

some of the biggest names in global tech made their plays and retreated. And builders, in the wake of the Smarthouse debacle, were really smart and limited their tech plays to a structured wiring can, even in the boom years of the mid-2000s.

Now the struggles for legitimacy and just plain functionality are over. Have been for five years or more. There are thousands of solid tech products for new homes and the homebuilding enterprise –from the low voltage stack to the line voltage stack to mechanical systems to major appliances to high performance building materials, from indoor to outdoors, from marketing and sales solutions to design, production and customer care solutions.


The Home Buyer’s Guide To New Construction

New Home Construction

it isn’t crowded. If you desire a rural or suburban lifestyle, there are plenty of locations in the northern region of the state where you can purchase land to build on. Live in the White Mountains region to enjoy year-round outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, and ATV riding. If you’re looking for waterfront property, and your finances allow, choose between lots with views of the Connecticut River and other bodies of water in the North.

Home Buying

tells the paper that buyers “are unable to find what they’re looking for in a resale home and even if they find something in a resale home, by the time they’re done renovating and make it to their home, they’re almost better off to build new.” With no real estate slowdown in sight, it may be a better time to build new construction than to buy an existing house

What is the average cost to build a home?

According to the home construction website, the average cost of a new construction home  is $143.34 per square foot. That works out to $286,680 for a 2,000 square foot home, which isn’t much higher than the state’s current median sale price for an older house. Of course, the ultimate cost of your new construction home will depend on multiple factors, including costs unrelated to the house itself.

Here are the most important considerations:

Floor Plans: Make sure the design you select will fit your lot. If you find your own floor plan or use one from a different building company than the one you end up hiring, you may have to pay an extra fee. Obviously, the square footage of the plan will directly affect the total cost, so stick to the amount of space you need instead of thinking bigger is better. Overall, the more your home design conforms to typical styles, the cheaper it will be. If you go for a unique architecture style and/or expensive interior design features, you’ll hike up the end price of your home.

Basic Construction Costs: Get estimates from multiple home construction companies before you choose one to work with. The type of materials you select for inside your home, such as flooring and kitchen cabinetry can either raise the price or keep it lower. Stay mindful of prices as you make decisions about interior details.

Site Preparation: If your land lot is heavily wooded or has other obstructions like rocks, you’ll incur site preparation fees to clear the land for construction.

Permit Fees: In each municipality has its own permitting rules and regulations. Call or visit your local town hall to find out the costs of various permits.

Labor Costs: This fluctuates by season and according to the present demand for construction workers.

Materials: As with labor, the cost of construction materials is influenced by supply and demand, reflecting prices in nation, and sometimes, international markets.

Finding Land To Buy And Build On

If you are buying your own land to build on (as opposed to an empty lot in a planned subdivision), you’ll need to remember real estate’s golden rule: location is everything. Since building regulations are determined on a local level, the municipality you choose to live in will influence your choice of land nearly as much as the condition of the lot itself


Building a New Home, Have You Considered Radon?

There are so many things to consider when having a new home built – so many choices to make. How many bedrooms should you have? Is the kitchen large enough? Do you need a basement?

You may even be concerned about environmental issues, such as the fumes from new building materials and furnishings. But are you concerned about radon? You should be.

What You Should Know about Radon

Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from the soil. Exposure to radon gas it the second-leading cause of lung cancer (after smoking) in the United States. About 21,000 people die each year from radon-related lung cancer.

Radon is produced from the natural breakdown of the uranium found in most rocks and soils. As it further breaks down, radon emits atomic particles. These particles are in the air we breathe. Once inhaled, they can be deposited in our lungs. The energy associated with these particles can alter cell DNA, thus increasing the risk of lung cancer.

Radon Entry

Radon can enter your new house through cracks or openings in the foundation. The differences in air pressure between the inside of a building and the soil around it also play an important role in radon entry. If the air pressure of a house is greater than the soil beneath it, radon will remain outside. However, if the air pressure of a house is lower than the surrounding soil (which is usually the case), the house will act as a vacuum, sucking radon gas inside.