Building a Home in Austin: The Essential Checklist

What to Know About Building an Austin HomeAre you looking into building your dream home in Austin in the future? Building a home is one of the biggest commitments anyone can have in their life. The process is exciting as it gets. However, there are some instances where mistakes are unavoidable, a reason why it's important to familiarize yourself with each process and stage in homebuilding. In this blog, we'll walk you through the different stages of building a home in Austin so you can see and understand what is involved.

As you build your own house, you will be dealing with various professionals with different roles and responsibilities. Most decisions will be coming from you while these professionals will be here to navigate you and bring your dream house to life. An Austin real estate agent will help you find a lot where you'll build your new home. They will assist in purchasing the lot to closing. Your Home Builder who will build your home and oversee the entire construction process; Architects, who will work with the home builder to ensure that your vision is met. Structural engineers, too, ensure that your home is free from problems and conditions that may arise during the building process.

Unless you already have a lot, the first stage in building your home is purchasing a lot. Knowing your budget and what you can afford is very important. Mortgage options can be fixed-rate, variable, 15-year, 30-year, FHA, or traditional. Speak to a local lender so you can find out how you can obtain the best interest rate.

Take the proper steps in obtaining building permits and insurance once you have secured your lot. Here is the essential checklist for building a home in Austin.

Land

Your home's location is important. Is the land you plan to build on convenient for you and your family to get around to the areas you go to the most such as schools and your workplace? Will you need other features or groundwork within the lot? When it comes to searching for land in Austin, find a location that is convenient, comfortable, safe, and within your budget.

Foundation

Slab foundation, crawl space, or a basement? The one you get will depend on you and your home builder. This process involves getting a water meter, rough grading, adding gravel to the driveway, and surveying the spot foundation.

Framing

When the foundation is done, you'll begin to see the structure of your home. In this process, your home builder will be adding subfloors, walls and/or partitions, wall sheathing, ceiling joists, and install doors and windows. Built-in cabinets are also being measured. Your roof will also be installed to protect your home during the process.

Plumbing and Electrical

Your builders will then install plumbing, wiring, air conditioning, and heating systems. A power company will also recommend how much Amp service will be needed. In most cases, payment is made after being approved in the inspection.

Insulation

This is applied to your attic, basement, and walls. A power company will help determine the amount of R-Value and insulation needed by your home.

Drywall

Panels are installed to seal the walls' insulation. However, if you install drywall yourself, let a contractor give it a smooth finish.

painting a home in austin

Interior Finishes

The builder will install doors, window sills, staircases, sinks, and bathtubs during this process. Lighting, paint, and wallpaper will also be applied. Over the drywall, a coat of primer will be applied, followed by two finish coats of your chosen room color.

Exterior Finishes

Exterior paint, driveway, patios, retaining walls will be conducted in this stage. You may also choose to hire a landscaper to design the ideal outdoor space that you may utilize to entertain guests or create an outdoor oasis in your backyard.

Final Inspection

You're almost there! A final inspection will ensure that your home is safe for occupancy and meets the local code and building standards. The home inspector will inspect the roof, gutters, driveway, garages, foundation, plumbing, electrical, ventilation, and even appliances throughout your home.

Strategies for Negotiating With a Home Builder

Negotiating with a home builder isn't the same as trying to cut a deal in the typical real estate process between a buyer and seller. Most of them will not negotiate the price, so you'll have to look at other potential ways to negotiate and perhaps save yourself a few dollars. Ask about any potential upgrades, such as nicer appliances or a landscaping package. You never know what they might offer!

If the builder wants you to use their preferred lender (some even have their own mortgage company), tell them you're going to shop around – they might just give you a sweeter deal. If they don't and you find a better deal, see if they'll match it. Other negotiation points you can try are asking if the builder will pay your first year of HOA fees, help with closing costs, or give you a premium lot.

And then, finally, you can move into your newly built Austin home! For most home builders, the average production is 6 months, while for custom homes, it could take anywhere from 9 months or more. The process can be long, overwhelming, and exciting, but at the very end, it will be rewarding to have your dream home come to life!

Looking for the perfect lot to build your dream home? Check out our featured listings or newly built homes in the Austin market. If you have questions or inquiries about buying or selling a home in Austin, start a live chat with us or speak to a consultant!

Posted by Ryan Rodenbeck on

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