Choosing a Builder
There are so many builders to choose from, where should I start when choosing the right builder for me?
It’s critical to make the right decision. Make a list of possible builders, do your homework on each one, check references, and ask a lot of questions. You are not only buying a home, you are buying a company and its ability to guide you through the building process, construct a quality home, and take care of any warranty issues once you live in your home.
I’ve got a few builders narrowed down. Now what?
Research the builder’s background and reputations with customers and realtors, how long they’ve been in business, number of homes built, financial stability, and if they are an industry leader in design and customer satisfaction.
Check references from homeowners. Drive through some of the builder’s neighborhoods and stop to ask homeowners about their experience.
Examine the builder’s construction quality. Energy efficiency, the brands of appliances, fixtures and H/V/A/C, cabinetry, carpeting, trim work, and general workmanship. Ask if a third party company inspects and certifies the quality of the home.
I’m almost ready to choose. Is there anything else I should consider?
Get to know the builder. Are the Sales and Construction manager friendly, experienced, knowledgeable, service-oriented, and trust-worthy? Ask about the building and design process and what warranties come with the home. You will be working together for an extended period of time during this process, and being comfortable with the whole team involved will put you at ease.
- There are so many builders to choose from, where should I start when choosing the right builder for me?
Should I purchase a move-in ready home or build from the ground up?
There are many benefits to each option, depending on your individual preferences and timeframe. Move-in ready homes offer the ability to move in quickly and start enjoying your new home, and building from the ground up offers you the ability to select your home site, plan, and options for your new home.
Should I get pre-qualified for a mortgage loan before shopping for a home?
At this early stage of the selection process, loan pre-qualification is not required, but recommended. Understanding your buying power allows you to make better purchasing decisions and shop with confidence.
If I choose to build, can I pick my lot?
Yes. Your Sales Counselor will show you the available lots and what plans can be built on them.
Can I make any structural changes to the home?
All of our plans offer a variety of structural and exterior elevation options to choose from to personalize your home. Your community Sales Counselor will assist with your selections.
How long does it take to build a home?
The timeframe for each home varies, depending on factors such as lot surveys, city permits and inspections, vendor deliverability, and weather. Currently, our average contract-to-close time is approximately eight to ten months.
I have a Realtor – how does he/she work in conjunction with my new home purchase?
We love Realtors! Highland Homes recognizes the importance of having a realtor guide you in making one of the biggest purchasing decisions of your life. Our Sales Counselors are happy to include your Realtor in not only the selection process of your home, but in all aspects of the construction process, beginning to end.
- Should I purchase a move-in ready home or build from the ground up?
Purchasing & Financing
I found the plan/home I love – now what?
Congratulations! Signing a Purchase Agreement is the first step in purchasing your new home. Your Sales Counselor will go over the agreement in detail and provide you with important information for next steps.
How much money do I need to put down?
A small percentage of the purchase price, called earnest money, is required at time of contract. This is a good faith deposit which starts the process of building your home. This money is applied and credited towards your closing costs or sales price when you close on your new home. See your Sales Counselor for full details.
How do I apply for financing for my new home?
Once a purchase agreement is signed, you are required to submit a loan application to a lender within 5 days. Our partnership with Highland Home Loans simplifies this process, however, you are free to select a lender of your choice. Your lender will provide you with a list of documents needed with your application, which typically include, but are not limited to:
- Recent pay stubs(last 30 days)
- Bank Statements (last 2 full months)
- 401(k)/Retirement acct statements (last 60 days)
- W2s (last 2 years)
- Current valid ID
You must send a loan approval letter from the lender to us within 15-30 days of the purchase agreement date. If you use Highland Home Loans, your approval will automatically be sent to Highland Homes.
What happens after I receive the loan approval letter?
Once you receive the loan approval, it is very important to review and understand any conditions of the approval that the lender may have placed on the loan. During the remainder of the construction process, you should be sure meet those conditions in order to ensure a smooth closing process on your new home.
- I found the plan/home I love – now what?
I’m building from scratch. What design selections/decisions can I make?
At the time of contract, you will need to choose the exterior colors for your home. This includes brick, stone, mortar, and trim colors. These items are needed quickly because they have a longer delivery time. Your Sales Counselor will give you the color options, and guide you through this process.
Soon after the contract is written, you’ll have a dedicated design appointment to choose interior colors for cabinetry, countertops, flooring, interior paint colors and more. This is the time for you to start visiting models, browsing websites, and gathering ideas that you love. During your design appointment, a designer representative will go over what colors and options are included in your home purchase price, and what options can be purchased for an additional charge.
I’m buying a home already under construction. Can I change any design selections already chosen for the home?
Depending on the construction stage of the home, it may be possible to make or change some design selections. Consult with your Sales Counselor for specific details.
Can I add my own fixtures or materials?
We offer a wide variety of stylish fixtures, materials and finishes to suit any style. Once the home closes, you are free to install any personal fixtures or materials, however, these items will not be covered under our warranty.
- I’m building from scratch. What design selections/decisions can I make?
I’ve made my design selections. What happens next?
Once your selections are complete and submitted, many “behind the scenes” things start to happen. The Highland team prepares your blueprints, requests permits, and orders your design selections. When the construction manager receives your final blueprints and lot fit, you will be contacted to schedule your pre-construction meeting. This is a very important meeting where you and your construction manager, who will be overseeing the construction of your home, review specific details of your home, room by room and category by category (electrical, plumbing, etc.). You will sign off on any changes allowed and discussed with your construction manager.
What is the construction process?
The building of your home happens in stages: for example, foundation, plumbing, framing, HVAC systems, electrical, insulation, sheetrock, cabinets, etc. Each stage has its own timeline and inspection schedule. At time of purchase, you will receive a Construction Timeline that outlines these stages.
Can I visit my home while it’s under construction?
We understand that watching your home being built is exciting and we encourage you to visit the home periodically. However, please remember that homes under construction can be hazardous, and the safety of our customers is top priority. We recommend you coordinate visits to the home with your construction manager so that they can answer any questions you might have.
I’m excited about buying new furniture and other items for my new home! Can I start shopping?
During the building process, buyers should refrain from making large purchases or acquiring any additional credit lines without consulting your lender first. Minor purchases on credit or even one late payment can affect your credit score, which may affect your home loan.
- I’ve made my design selections. What happens next?
My home is almost complete – do I need to do anything else?
Yes! There are several more things required as your home nears completion. These include:
- Lock in your interest rate. About 30-45 days prior to your closing, your lender should contact you to lock in your loan rate.
- Satisfy final loan conditions to prepare for closing. Your lender will provide you with a final list of conditions that should be satisfied before closing. Proof of homeowners insurance should be submitted to your lender.
- Review and understand your loan. Federal regulation requires buyers to receive the closing disclosure of their loan at least three business days before closing. The title company will contact you to set the date and time of your closing meeting.
- Set up utilities, change of address forms, and other moving-related items
How do I learn about operating all the features of my new home?
Within about one week of closing, your construction manager will schedule a Homeowner Orientation meeting with you, which includes review of how to use the systems installed in your home. This meeting is quite detailed, and usually takes several hours.
What do I need to bring to closing?
You will need a valid photo id, a copy of your purchase agreement and your Closing Disclosure at minimum. You will likely need to bring your closing funds in the form of a certified check. Your lender and Sales Counselor will guide you on the specific items needed from you at closing.
I just left closing and all documents are signed! When can I move in?
Your keys can be picked up from the model sales office after they receive confirmation that the loan has funded. One of the benefits of using Highland Home Loans is once your documents are signed, you will be able to receive your keys and move in right away! When using an outside lender, delays in funding sometimes occur, which would delay your ability to move in to your new home. If using an outside lender, we recommend you do not schedule movers for the same day as your closing.
- My home is almost complete – do I need to do anything else?
Does Highland offer a warranty on their homes?
All Highland homes include a 10-year structural, two-year mechanical and one-year functional warranty. At contract, you will receive details of the items covered under these warranties. If a warrantable item in your home needs attention, we strive to resolve all warranty requests within seven business days when possible.
How do I submit a warranty issue?
We’ve made it very easy to submit a warranty issue through our online Warranty Request portal. This will automatically connect to the appropriate warranty representative, who will then contact you to schedule the repairs needed. For warranty requests that require immediate assistance, please contact the appropriate emergency warranty vendor contact for your community.
- Does Highland offer a warranty on their homes?
Will Highland build on property I already own?
Highland Homes partners with land developers to build our homes in well-appointed, ideally located communities across Texas. We do not build on individual customer-owned lots.
Does Highland sell to investors?
No. Our purchase agreement contracts include an addendum which stipulates that the buyer agrees to be the home’s primary resident.
I love the décor in Highland’s models. Who decorates them?
Our design partner is IBB Design Fine Furnishings. To learn more about them, visit their website at ibbdesign.com or connect with them on social media.
- Will Highland build on property I already own?