Do's and Do Not's of Buying a Spec. Home

  • Do investigate the track record of the builder.
  • Do check licenses through the state, Better Business Bureau, and the Builder's Association.
  • Do look at the model home, as well as, several other examples of this builder's work. You might want to walk through the development that was completed 3 years ago.
  • Do interview previous customers of the builder to find out their level of satisfaction, and the way in which any post-construction concerns were handled.
  • Do take the time to review the plans, and if the house has already been started, take a careful early inspection and walk through the house.
  • Do find out what standard options exist, and the deadline for selecting among those options.
  • Do make all selections on time and agreements in writing.
  • Do make sure that you have the right for a final walk through prior to closing, and an inspection by a professional home inspector.
  • Do make certain that you will receive a copy of all completed building and other permits, and a certification of occupancy.
  • Do get a copy of any builder's warranty and review the content of the warranty in order to determine what coverage is provided.
  • Don't wait to have the house inspected until all the work has been completed, a good inspector will be able to spot many potential problem early.
  • Don't try to "customize" a spec. house by trying to talk the builder into providing you with options beyond the standard options. The end product of such "customizing" is usually not satisfactory to the buyer or the builder.
  • Don't assume that everything included in the model home is also included in every unit. For example, garages in model homes are usually used as sales offices with better finish work than in the standard custom home.
  • Don't assume that projected completion dates are cast in concrete and that all details will be completed prior to closing.
  • Don't over-supervise or neglect the construction process. A visit to the construction site once a week with praise for work well done is a reasonable and productive schedule.
  • Don't miss the builder's schedule for selection of colors and products. Even if the builder has fallen behind schedule, don't provide an excuse for further delays.
  • Don't be tempted to make changes after the deadlines or after an item has already been built or installed. Such changes are very expensive, counter-productive to the builder, and a common source of problems and callbacks.

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Spec Homes