New Homes

Building or Buying a New Home

A custom home built according to a set of plans drawn up especially for your family, your style and lifestyle, is as good as home ownership can get.  

Almost as good, is building a semi-custom home in a new home neighborhood developed by a single home builder or multiple home builders.  You can still pick out the finishes for a semi-custom home.

Even though building gets you a home that really fits your lifestyle, it does have drawbacks that have to be considered.
  • Building a custom home from plans to completion takes from 9 to 12 months or more depending upon it's complexity. Building a semi-custom home in a builder's neighborhood takes from 6 to 9 months on average depending upon size and complexity.  Buying a new "Spec" home already under construction can take far less time to complete than building from the planning stage.  Spec Homes can save you a lot of money as well.
  • Building a new home takes time and effort from you, as well as a lot of attention, but, we will help you throughout the entire home building process to help make sure you understand every aspect of the process.  We have helped our clients build almost 100 custom and semi-custom homes.
  • New homes, typically, do not appreciate as quickly as existing homes for the first three-or so years, however, this has not been the case over the past few years.  As an example, at this time, (2021)  if you start a new home in January, before it is completed, it will have appreciated by 10% to 20%.  New homes now appreciate form the moment they lay the slab and our clients are realizing appreciation at the moment they close on the house.  On average right now, a typical new home of $400,000 will have appreciated $70,000 by closing.
  • New home neighborhoods tend not to have as many shopping and commercial amenities nearby compared to older neighborhoods.  The shopping centers and Doctor's offices come after the new home neighborhoods, not before.  Within a few years, though, the area amenities will all be in place.

Once You Decide to Build

Once you have decided to build your new home, we will meet and make a list of the things you want in your new home and determine your price range.

I then send you a list of all of the New Home Neighborhoods where they are building homes like you have described within the price range.  We then tour those neighborhoods to find the ones you like best throughout the area.

If there are more than one builder in the neighborhoods you like best, we interview with each of the sales representatives in the model homes to see exactly which plans come with options that will make the homes even better suited to your family and see if there are any special price incentives to help us get into the home.  Once again, at this time, there are very few incentives, and new homes sell so quickly that there are no example homes to walk through, so, we go over the home plans very closely and just use pick finishes from the design center.

Once we have a very good idea of which builder has the best plans and is willing to work with us the best, we make an offer and start to negotiate.  If our negotiations go well we will sign a contract to build.

Two Notes.  
  • Builders have a bottom line below which they really cannot go.  They will offer extra options and incentives and make every effort to get us into the home, but, the sales agents and interior designers have profit margin / bottom line in mind all of the time.
  • Custom Home Builders have a profit margin bottom line also, but, their profit margin allowance is larger than with the new home builders because of so many unknowns involved with custom homes.
Once we have a contract to build:
  • We schedule your trip(s) to the builder's design center to make the interior and exterior materials, appliances and color selections.
  • The builder completes the final plans and submits them to the city or county building permit office for approval.  This can take a few weeks.
  • The builder determines the final price based on our materials selections.
  • We schedule a pre-slab pour walk-through at the site to verify that the plan is exactly as you had desired.  At this point, we hire an inspector to make sure the preparation work has been done properly and that everything is in place.
  • The foundation is poured and, almost overnight the framing starts to go up... fast.
We will have two additional inspections over the time it takes to build your home.  One inspection and walk through will happen right before the wall board is installed.  The final inspection is at completion just to test all systems in the house and make sure everything is working correctly.  

Right before closing, we do one more walk-through called the punch list walk.  In this walk, we look for any minor flaws in the paint, chips in the tubs, appliance dings, scratched or broken window panes, etc.. All of these issues will be repaired prior to closing unless something is found that make take time to repair.  In this case, a list is made of issues to be repaired after closing.  This is acceptable since builders all want to have "excellent" reviews posted online and will make every effort to make that happen.

Steve Ritchey
Steve Ritchey
Exclusive Buyer Broker
4925 Greenville Ave. Dallas TX 75206