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Home Building Frequently Asked Questions

Q. We plan on being our own general contractor. What savings can we expect?

A. Being your owne GC or being an owner builder as it is called is a growing trend in our country that can save 15% or approximately $25-40K on the average home. However, it is not for everyone, and there are several obstacles to doing such a project. The biggest is finding financing. Almost NO banks will loan a money for these types of project, no matter how much experience you have. There are companies that specialize in these types of projects that can get you a loan. If you are interested in exploring the possibility of an owner builder project n more detail, we would suggest you go here.


Q. Should we expect to save money when we purchase a package that includes both the lot and the home from the same builder?

A. Possibly. To verify how much you will actually save, have the builder separate the lot price from the home. This way you can compare prices individually. If this is your choice, be sure you understand the contract, including the warranty and have legal counsel present at the closing. NEVER buy a lot from a builder that requires you to use him to build your home, without having an agreed upon price for the house.


Q. We are paying cash to have our home built. How can we safely make building payments to our builder?

A. First, hire a private home building inspector to examine the completed work at each stage that your builder requests a payment. Secondly, retain a Title Company to disburse the payments. Both of these parties should be familiar with this process.


Q. Our municipal building inspector is not licensed, as this is not a requirement.. Seems like he does a good job. Do you approve of this?

A. No. If though the muncipal inspector is NOT licensed, he may or may not be knowledgeable about home construction. Even if he is knowledgeable, his job is to inspect work to make sure it meets the requirments of the building code -- it is not his job to look for other things or for your best interests. Wwe suggest hiring a licensed inspector who will do four inspections or more. If a problem arises, your independent inspector can point it/them out to you and where appropriate the local inspector, who in turn will have it corrected. It will be money well spent.


Q. We' re having problems with our builder regarding his workmanship and remaining on schedule. What do you suggest?

A. Retain a private building inspector to validate the "poor workmanship" with a written report. Send a copy to your builder and one to your lender. Inform your builder not to proceed any further until the faulty work is corrected. In addition, inform your builder that no further payments will be made until the problem work is corrected. After the builder informs you he has corrected the faulty work, have your inspector re-examine the work to validate that the corrections are up to are up to standard. Finally, request in writing a construction progress time table as to what will be done when and what date will the home be completed. Be sure the builder signs this.


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