For a home buyer having a new home built or buying an existing older home is a big decision. More first time home buyers are even considering new construction is a great opportunity to personally design their dream home and save big money down the road on the repairs and maintenance costs of owning an older home. Here are a couple things to think about if you are considering new home construction:
New construction allows you to design everything from the roof to the basement. You can choose your floor coverings, windows, doors, cabinets, appliances, bath fixtures, built security and entertainment systems and a lot more. Some predesigned home floor plans even allow for customization of interior space like the location of walls and number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Brand new homes come with modern energy efficient heating and cooling and Smart Home technologies. All can be designed to your specification when you build a new home. All customization items should be factored into the total construction cost budget. This is very important when selecting custom items to avoid any unexpected financial issues during construction.
For economic and social reasons it seems fairly certain, there will be more multi-generational households in the years to come. New construction can be designed specifically for multi-generation occupancy, or with that option to convert later. They may even sell for more someday when it comes time to move (something else to think about!)
Unless you plan to use personal funds for everything, financing will be a critical part of the home construction process. Lenders require more documentation than they did a few years ago. So have your paperwork in order and ready to go. Your lender will tell you what’s needed. Speak to a mortgage loan officer with construction lending experience. An upfront review of the documentation and a prequalification interview will help you determine an affordable budget. This, in turn, will help you to determine what type of home you can build.
Building a new home provides many personal rewards and personal satisfaction but it’s also complex and can also be costly. A “one-time-close” construction to permanent mortgage can help keep monthly expenses low with interest-only payments during the construction phase. On a purchase, you can finance up to 80 percent of the land and construction costs. If you own the land (or house if it’s a knock-down) you can finance 100% of the construction costs but you will need to pay off any outstanding loans on the land. This can be included in the new construction to permanent mortgage. When the 12 to 18 month construction phase is complete the construction loan converts to a permanent mortgage with principal and interest payments.
One last thought. Don’t be in a hurry. The planning out, design and construction of a new home can take a lot longer than you might think. Expect delays. In fact, plan ahead for them if you can.
ABOUT: Arthur Aranda has been in the mortgage business for a long time in various roles and capacities. He specializes in home construction and renovation finance. Aranda is also a Certified Financial Education Instructor and provides First Time Homebuyer Seminars. For more information on construction loans or to schedule an FTHB seminar please call Arthur Aranda at 201-741-1537.