You've decided to build your next home, so what's next? Well, let us be the first to congratulate you! You have such an exciting journey ahead. We've found that the home building process is much more enjoyable when everyone is well informed - and that includes being prepared from day one. That's why we've written this post. And to guide us, we called on two of our New Home Specialists to get their best advice.
At Buffington Homes, we have people who guide you through the entire process, from signing your initial contract to closing on your new home. These are our New Home Specialists. They start out as a matchmaker, helping you find the right community, lot, and floor plan that best fits your lifestyle. From there, they become your main point of contact, sharing milestones and answering questions as your home progresses through each stage. We have two New Home Specialists assigned to each of our communities, so you always have a dedicated team on your side - like Faith and Jamie!
Faith Castleberry and Jamie Grayum are two of our New Home Specialists and have been with Buffington for a total of 8 years. With so much experience under their belts, we asked them to share their thoughts on how homeowners like you can feel as prepared as possible going into the build. Here's our Q&A together:
Q: What would you say is the very first step of the process?
A: Many people think the first step is signing a contract, but the very first step is to get pre-approved by a lender so you have a clear idea of what you can afford. From there, choosing a community, floor plan, and even the specific lot will be much easier. We offer a range of price points and options, so knowing your budget will allow us to guide you in the right direction.
In addition to getting pre-approved, we suggest you visit our website. It's full of great information about the company, our homes, and our process. You'll also find our office hours, contact information, inspiring photos of our homes, floor plan selections, and community details, such as nearby schools. Researching all this information is a fantastic way to prepare before meeting with us.
Q: What happens right after the contract is signed?
A: Once you sign your contract, we give you a New Homeowner's Guidebook. We encourage you to read through this booklet, which walks you through the process of building your home and will probably answer most of your questions. We tried to make it as complete and helpful as possible!
Your New Home Specialist will also send an email that outlines three initial meetings you'll need to schedule right away: a Technology Appointment to go through the options for your smart home package, a Lifestyle Appointment where a designer helps you choose options for your floor plan that best suits your needs, and a Design Appointment where you visit our inspiring studio, meet with a designer, and see and feel samples while personalizing the interior and exterior details of your home! We offer some great tips on how to prepare for each appointment in the email, so be sure to read through it carefully.
Q: What's one thing homeowners generally don't know?
A: Most homeowners don't realize the range of emotions that can come with the process. It's perfectly normal to have ups and downs, but know that your home will end up in a great place when it's all said and done! Everyone at Buffington is working to build a home you'll love. It does take time, and it is a process. New construction can also be unpredictable, and we can't predict delays. This is why we allow two years to build a home, accommodating any fluctuations. So, understanding this and being flexible with timelines can help ease some of the emotions.
Another thing some homeowners don't understand is that we're not a custom builder. With Buffington, you get to choose from a preset selection of floor plans and design options. There are plenty of beautiful options to choose from, so you can feel confident in achieving a look you love. We just don't customize every detail of the home. If you're interested in learning more, we've written a helpful article explaining the difference between a custom and personalized home and the benefits of each.
Q: What advice do you have on preparing for the build process?
A: Building a home is extremely exciting, and you'll probably want to visit all the time, but it can make the experience more stressful and lead to delays. We have to stop what we're doing each time you visit, so frequent visits can hold things up.
It might be helpful to know we have several scheduled times during the build when we invite you to come, take pictures, ask questions, and stay excited about your home coming to life. Visiting at these times helps us be better prepared for you!
It's also good to keep in mind our homes are crafted by real people, so mistakes can happen. That's why we have checkpoints along the way to catch and fix everything. If you happen to show up before we've had a chance to fix something, there could be unnecessary stress. We like to tell homeowners that until your Buyer's Orientation meeting, which happens toward the end of the build, your home can feel like a mess. It is highly supervised, though, and when it's time for you to move in, it's 100% complete and as promised!
Q: What's the most common question about the build process?
A: We get a lot of questions about interest rates and home loans. Our suggestion is to find a trusted lender early in the process so you can stay in touch with the most current rates and available options.
We also get questions early in the process about the closing date. We keep the date flexible at the beginning, and as soon as we hit key milestones, we can determine a final closing date. We will let you know right away when that happens so you can communicate with your lender.
Q: What other advice do you have to help make the process smoother?
A: If you're building with Buffington, check your email often! Your New Home Specialist and Designer will send emails early in the process to help guide you along. These emails are time sensitive, so reading and responding will keep your home on track. As you get into the build, we use our Milestone Tracker to keep you informed. As your New Home Specialist is alerted that your home has reached a particular milestone, they will email you with details.
It's good to know that, at times, it can look like nothing is being done on the homesite, but things are always happening and progressing. Often, they're happening behind the scenes with permits and other paperwork.
Another important note is not to make large purchases during the build, so you don't run into any issues with lending. We also suggest contacting your lender about rates and how far along your house is in the process so you can be best prepared for closing day.
If you have any questions about your home, be sure to stay in contact with your New Home Specialist. We're here to help make your experience feel effortless, and working with you is the best part of our job! We love the excitement that comes with moving into a completed home. And we enjoy not only building homes but also relationships. Many homeowners are still dear friends of ours today. We've also had several families come back to build with us and are on their second or third Buffington home.
First of all, thank you for taking the time to read this article. We hope you found it helpful as you prepare to build a home and a life you'll love. We'd also like to extend our gratitude to Faith and Jamie for sharing their best advice. This team currently works in Preston Park, so if you decide to build in that community or tour our model home there, you'll get the privilege of meeting them in person. Curious about our other communities? Explore them here.