Frequently  Asked Questions

Stonehouse by Don Pearse Photographers, Inc.
Chapel Hill by Don Pearse Photographers, Inc.

Do you have questions? We have answers! We’ve compiled frequently asked questions (FAQ) to help you. If you can’t find an answer, send us your questions through our Contact Us form (add link when available).

How do I know how much I can afford to spend on a new home?
The best way to determine how much home you can afford is to meet with a lender for pre-qualification. Pre-qualification will also position you to write a strong offer that will appeal to the seller.
Should I use an agent to find and purchase a new home?
A knowledgeable buyer's agent can help you find a new home and guide you through the buying process. Experienced agents will know the value of homes in the neighborhood and surrounding area. Your buyer's agent represents you and can negotiate on your behalf. Agents understand financing and all of the details required to get you to settlement.
How does my buyer’s agent get paid on my new home purchase?
In most cases, the builder or seller will pay a commission to the buyer's agent. Open communication between you and your buyer's agent is always the best policy so that everyone involved is in agreement on how your buyer's agent is paid. Talk to your agent before you engage in your search or visit any new homes. If you've signed a buyer agency agreement, make sure that you fully understand what you've signed and you are clear on your responsibilities and your agent's responsibilities. Have your agent check the builder/seller’s registration policies before your first visit to a new construction open house or community sales center. Stay involved with your agent during every step of your new home home search and throughout the buying process. agent has registered with you on your initial visit to a new construction community, the builder will usually pay a commission to the selling agent.
Are new home prices negotiable?
In general, builders will not negotiate the base price of the home. They may offer incentives which can range from discounts on lot premiums to including features or contributing towards closing costs.
When can I get the best pricing?
The best pricing is usually during pre-construction when a new community is open for sales but the models are not complete. But for all new construction homes whether in a community or an individual new construction home in a neighborhood, pricing, like all items for sale, is determined by supply and demand. Pricing can fluctuate depending on market conditions, cost to build and sales pace.
How long does it take to build a new home?
It can take as little as 4 months to build a home in a subdivision or up to 2 years for a completely custom home. Quick move-in homes, often called spec homes by builders ( homes built on speculation), are homes that are partially and/or fully complete. These homes are usually ready for settlement in 120 days or less. Quick move-in homes will already have structural options chosen. As the construction continues, the builder will make more selections to finish the home. You may not have as many choices to make, but your home will be ready for you to move in quicker.
What is fee simple ownership?
Fee simple ownership means that you own the land your home sits on. This is the most common form of ownership and is limited by zoning codes, deed or subdivision restrictions, or covenants.
What is an HOA?
A Homeowners Association (HOA) is the organization that maintains the shared common areas (clubhouse, pool, trails, open space, etc.) in a community. The HOA collects fees from all community homeowners on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. The HOA will also enforce the covenants, conditions, and restrictions: the rules all members agree to before purchasing a home in the community. These are found in the community Public Offering Statement. Once an HOA is turned over to the community, it is usually run by a board of elected homeowners. Be sure to carefully review the HOA documents to make sure you’re in agreement with the fees, rules and regulations before you buy a home.
What is a Condominium?
The deed in condominium (condo) ownership is for the air space within the unit. The common space is owned by all of the residents. While a condo owner enjoys many of the same amenities as a fee simple homeowner, the condominium is managed by an association that keeps the common areas in good repair. A condo may take the form of an apartment, a townhome or even a detached home.

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