Homebuilding 101


The thought of building your first new home can be very exciting. But you’re likely wondering where to begin and have a lot of questions. As you take on this new venture in your life where do you start? And what questions should you ask, not just your homebuilder, but yourself?

Here are a number of things to consider as you tour homes in-person or virtually, choose your homebuilder and start the homebuilding process. 

What makes a homebuilder stand out from the rest?

Not all homebuilders are created equal, especially when it comes to quality, says Cliff Stahl, National Vice President of Sales for Meritage Homes. So, the question to ask your prospective homebuilder is what they do to make your home safer, quieter, healthier and more comfortable. Another thought to consider: what can the home do from a performance standpoint to save on your energy bills? In other words, is the house energy-efficient? 


Another area to consider is what tools does the homebuilder offer to make the process easier or more convenient.  For instance, some homebuilders are using technology to enhance the homebuying experience. Meritage Homes offers virtual tours to its potential buyers, in addition to in-person tours, and follow-ups with virtual meetings throughout the homebuying process. In a virtual tour, a salesperson will take you room by room – through video chat – all while you sit comfortably inside your own home. Of course, you can set the pace of the tour and ask the salesperson to get a better look at specific areas, like closets, corners of rooms and windows. If you’re interested in seeing the community amenities, the salesperson can give you a virtual tour of those as well.

What’s vital to me when it comes to my new home?

This is a very important question you need to ask yourself as you decide what you want from your new home. Prioritize what you can’t live without and what can go away. The best way to do that is to go through your home, room by room with a notebook and write down what you like and don’t like about each room. Also, take some time to note what isn’t in your current home that you want in your new home.  That way, when you talk to your homebuilder, whether in person or virtually, you can explain what you’re looking for, and even what you don’t want. “Be as forthcoming as you possibly can with the salesperson about how you live your life and what are priorities for you in your new home,” says Stahl. “Use a checklist to see if they’re meeting your needs and wants.”

What can I expect from the building process?

With some builders, the process may involve many steps that may come as a surprise. Don’t be afraid to ask your homebuilder questions like: What is the estimated build time for a home? Who handles any questions or concerns I may have along the way? What steps are involved in the process? It’s important to be aware of what to expect during this journey to help make the process as smooth as possible. With Meritage Homes, you can ask all these questions in person, through video chat during your virtual tour, or even in a separate virtual meeting with your salesperson. 

For those purchasing a to-be-built home from Meritage Homes, builder representatives will communicate with you often about the progress of your home and will be able to provide you with photo and video updates and virtual walk-throughs throughout the build process. Homebuyers can attend their online new home orientation and closing appointments virtually as well.

Who is the construction manager on site?

The construction manager is the person in charge of building your house. Just like you’d want to know about the plumber coming to fix your bathroom, or the electrician fixing your wiring, it’s important to know the background of the construction manager. Questions to ask include: Where have you built before? How long have you been building homes? Additionally, “get a feel for their style of communication and how they work with homebuyers,” says Stahl. “This way you can know more about the person responsible for managing the construction of your new home.” 

In addition to in-person meetings, Meritage Homes also offers homebuyers a chance to meet with their construction manager virtually to ask any questions they may have.

Now that you know some questions to ask yourself and your homebuilder, you’ll feel more prepared every step of the way. Just remember, never be afraid to ask about anything you don’t understand, whether in person or virtually. Be true to yourself about your expectations and what you want from a homebuilder and your new home.