How do go about building a new house?

Asked by Neupane, Jersey City, NJ Thu Aug 4, 2011

guys here is a super beginner question. I often hear about people building and customizing a brand new house. How does this work? does it work like
1. look for a area and find a good open lot/land
2. contact builders
3. customize with color/appliances/bells and whistles i need in house
4. builder builds it? how long can i expect to build a house? time wise?

or is there an eaiser way? are there anywhere i can look for brand new house construction plans to buy? how do i get started with all this? anyone can direct me?

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Peter Annunziata’s answer
Peter Annunz…, Agent, Holmdel, NJ
Tue Aug 28, 2012
Find a realtor who has experience with builders and new construction. If you want to buy a spot
lot and find an excellent builder....I can help you from start to finish. I will help you design and
customize the house as you wish. Time to build depends on the town, the size of the home
and you the buyer. The more you know and research the products you want in the home, the
faster it can be finished. There are many aspects and phases to constructing a new home. I have
17 years experience in resales and new construction in Monmouth and Ocean County.

Peter Annunziata
Broker Associate
Gloria Nilson Real Living
Cell 732-598-6723
0 votes
Joan Congilo…, Agent, Freehold, NJ
Tue Aug 7, 2012
The easiest way to buy a new home without the hassle of looking for land, contacting builders and being your own subcontractor is to look for a home in a new community that is already up, move in ready, under construction or to be built. You will see the builders finished product,still be able to add upgrades most of the time to your taste and start up costs before closing will be much less. When you start from scratch on your own please keep in mind that most of the time you will have to pay cash for the land, improve the lot before you can build which can take time. You will also need to get a construction loan,, then find an architect ,& have your plans approved by the town before you can even start building .The time frame for this route is well over a year

Joan Congilose
RE/MAX Central Manalapan
0 votes
Suz A, Agent, Longmont, CO
Sat Aug 6, 2011
Hello Neupane,
1. Yes.

2. Definitely - interview at least three builders. There is plenty of diversity among builders. You can probably cross off the larger national brand names that were not doing customizing a few years ago. You're probably looking for a local builder with plenty of experience.

The builders will roll out a catalog or collection of photos and videos. Any builder worth his/her salt has a good dog and pony show. And, they like to show off their work. After getting wowed, you have some homework to do. Perform the due diligence, which means you want to see their license and references. If they have a web site, read the customer comments and complaints. If not, google the company name. As for solid proof of quality craftsmanship and solid construction, arrange a tour of one of their homes. Have the builder take you out to a site where one of their homes is under construction.

You can contract a buyer's agent who has experience in new home construction, though an agent is not essential. They can be helpful. For instance, finding a suitable lot, negotiating and helping you understand the building process are important. I would absolutely make sure the agent has worked for a builder and/or a design studio. Some builder representatives know home construction from the dirt up to the rooftop. Make sure you like that rep, because you will spend plenty of time with that person.

My husband and I have both worked for builders as community sales manager. The builder lived in one of the homes he built in the community. It was easy enough for the homeowners to walk down to his house and knock on the door. In my family, you'll find two builders. Both live in (beautiful) homes they built.

3. You can order anything through the contractor's suppliers. Many custom builders offer an allowance to go buy what you want in an appliance. Big builders will offer an array of options but are not likely to give you the option of providing your our own appliances. This is a good question for the builders you interview.

A good builder has a reliable list of suppliers and contractors they have worked with. They have deep knowledge of the products, too. Each builder works differently in this regard. In my many years of dealing with selecting products, I know there is an entire universe out there. If you shop on your own, do your research well and have your selection made well before the deadline to order and install. Please do not enter a contract thinking you will do some of the work. Let the pros do it. You might be the best non-pro out there, but you can delay other work. If you are good at communicating what you want, that is the best assurance the process will move smoothly - that is without creating expensive problems.

And, you have even more options these days. For instance, you likely will find a "green" builder in Jersey City. Tip: Check with your utility company to see what credits are available and note some have changed recently.
Some relevant links:

Many contractors work with subcontractors, specialists who perform particular work like installing home theaters or a hot tub. Be sure to ask.

4. The contractor can give you an idea on how long it takes from a dirt start to build a particular plan. This is critical for a smooth build: Know what you want before you start. If you make changes during the process - that costs time and money. The contractor absorbs the cost when he makes a mistake. If you decide you really didn't like Italian tile, that's your cost to rip out and reinstall something else. This is where I shout: Research please! Get your hands on a catalog, or web site before you head off to a design studio or Lowes.

If you don't trust your sense for design, please hire a professional. The builder likely knows a few interior designers.

And from the category "I've seen this horror show and barely lived to tell," do not even think about turning the construction of your home into a "family project." Experiences I've learned of are just crazy with bad results. Voided warranties and lawsuits are just the start. Delays? Plenty. If you want to make a cable show video (and pay for all of that), that's something different. My tip: Tell the brother-in-law he can help with the outdoor grill - after the house is built.

Sound complicated? Visit a few show homes. Ask questions. There is nothing more eye-opening than actually visiting a site.

Best of luck to you!

PML of Longmont, CO
0 votes
Lorraine Tra…, Agent, Marlboro Township, NJ
Fri Aug 5, 2011
Hi Neupane,

I'd be more than happy to assist you. I have personally designed and general contracted my own home twice! Both times the outcome exceeded my expectations and was a thrilling experience!

• First you should be deciding on location, style of home, and budget.
• You need to work out the finances - find out how much you can borrow if you need to - (I can help you there).
• Deciding on custom means finding a lot - (I can help you there).
• Having plans made yourself, hiring an architect or using pre-made plans.
• Then decide if you are able to GC the project or need to hire a builder - (I can help you there).

Once you get to that point you're on your way!
Please call me @ 732-239-3469 If I can be of further assistance :)

Thank You,
Lorraine Tracy
732-239-3469 /

Outanding Agents. Outstanding Results.
RE/MAX Landmark Realty
0 votes
Francesca Pa…, Agent, Manasquan, NJ
Thu Aug 4, 2011

If you have the time to take on such a venture, then go for it.

Franktly, budget should be the first consideration.

Then, consider whether you want a modular or a custom built home.

Finding lots in Manalapan can be a change and you will also have to determine the size of the home u desire, the size of the lot (do u plan to include a swimming pool in the future)

Do you have the time, knowledge and expertise to make the proper decisions?

My recommendation would be to look for an existing "new build" wherein you can still choose the "options" as unless u are unemployed with oodles of free time, this process from finding a lot, to finding the right builder can be incredibly time and cost consuming.

Just my view

If you would like further information, please do not hesiate to contact me direcat @ 732.606.2931

Francesca, Broker Sales Associate
Gloria Nilson REALTORS, Real Lviing
Web Reference:
0 votes
Thomas Lorber, Agent, Middletown, NJ
Thu Aug 4, 2011
First; determine your budget and then add 10% for "extras".
Do a lot of due dilligence on builders in the area you are considering. Visit current projects, speak to current and past customers and check with the "Better Business Bureau".
Some builders will have building lots available that may already be "pre-approved" to build.
Interview at least 3 builders.
Be prepared to visit the site during construction on a regular basis.
It will be an exciting experience!
0 votes
Roshan Quigl…, Agent, Manalapan, NJ
Thu Aug 4, 2011
Hi Neupane,

First you need to determine your budget, this will determine where,size and what upgrades you can apply to your new home.
I have a builder in Monmouth/Ocean Counties that has built custom homes also development homes. He will be more than happy to sit down and discuss with you your needs along with pricing.

Please be mindful before purchasing any lot that due diligence has been done, this is to ensure that you are purchasing a buildable lot. Regarding time frame - this will depend on the town that you are working in, if the lot is buildable but estimate 6-12 months as an average. Please feel free to call me directly at (732) 492-6847 to discuss further.
0 votes
Dan, Home Buyer, Alabama
Thu Aug 4, 2011
Go here first:

Tent City - Lakewood, NJ - Part 1 of 5

then realized that many of these people built homes using mortgages which they could no longer pay.
0 votes
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