When buying a new-construction home, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with various terms to ensure you have a clear understanding of the process. For first time home buyers considering new construction, it might feel like the real estate agents and builders are speaking a different language!
Here are 12 terms you need to know if you’re considering purchasing a new construction home:
- Plat: A plat refers to a detailed map or survey of a land area, typically showing property boundaries, easements, rights-of-way, and other relevant information. It helps define the dimensions and layout of the land.
- Plot: A plot refers to an individual piece of land within a larger development or subdivision. It represents the specific area where your new-construction home will be built.
- CO (Certificate of Occupancy): A Certificate of Occupancy is a document issued by the local government or building department. It certifies that a newly constructed or renovated building complies with all applicable building codes and regulations and is safe for occupancy.
- QMI (Quality Assurance/Quality Inspection): QMI is a quality assurance process that involves inspections conducted during the construction of a new home. These inspections help ensure that the work meets the required standards and specifications.
- Blueprints: Blueprints are detailed architectural plans that outline the design, layout, and specifications of a new-construction home. They include information on dimensions, materials, and structural elements.
- Elevation: In the context of new-construction homes, elevation refers to a drawing or visual representation of the home’s exterior appearance from different angles. It helps you visualize how the house will look once it’s built.
- Allowances: Allowances are predetermined amounts of money allocated in the home’s purchase contract for specific items such as flooring, lighting fixtures, or appliances. You can use these funds to select options within the allocated budget.
- Change Order: A change order is a document that outlines changes or modifications to the original construction plans. If you decide to make changes during the construction process, a change order will be issued, specifying the revisions and any associated costs.
- Punch List: A punch list is a checklist of items that need to be completed or corrected before the new-construction home is considered finished. It typically includes minor details or touch-ups that require attention.
- Builder’s Warranty: A builder’s warranty is a guarantee provided by the home builder, covering certain defects or issues with the construction of the new home for a specified period. It provides assurance that the builder will address any qualifying problems within the warranty’s terms.
- Covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs): Many homeowners in newly built communities belong to a homeowners association, which establishes its own set of rules on how its members should maintain their homes. These rules are set out in the HOA’s covenants, conditions, and restrictions, or CC&Rs. Some examples of CC&Rs might include paint colors, street parking rules, pool hours, pet restrictions, or noise levels after midnight. You’ll definitely want to check the CC&Rs before deciding if a certain new-construction neighborhood is right for your needs and lifestyle.
- Rough-in: A rough-in is when the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing lines are laid out in a home that is being built. This term is important to know as far as the timeline of how a new-construction build is progressing. It comes after the framing of the home, which is where you can start to see the structure of a home coming together with where the walls will be.
Understanding these terms will help you navigate the process of buying a new-construction home more effectively and ensure you make informed decisions throughout the journey. We are very experienced both personally and professional with the new construction process. We also have our very own licensed contractor, Kenny Richard, on the team who has 20+ years experience as a Licensed Tennessee contractor with a focus on building, construction and remodeling. He’s a great resource for our clients by providing his local knowledge of all the aspects related to home renovation, custom home building, upgrades and more. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions. We’re here to help!