• 7 Mistakes to Avoid When Building a Home in Chesapeake, VA

Large-scale construction projects, like building a house, are often accompanied with similarly substantial pitfalls and challenges. Thinking ahead through potential problems and home-building mistakes that could arise throughout the process puts you in an advantageous position to either prevent them or confront them head-on.

If you are preparing to build a new home in the Chesapeake or Virginia Beach area, here are a few potential problems to keep on your radar:

1. Choosing land carelessly

You may not have an overwhelming number of options when it comes to your new home site, but you likely have at least a few. When purchasing the land you intend to build on, remember location will heavily influence not only the construction but your life once you’ve moved in. Take a look at the surrounding infrastructure, nearby amenities and traffic conditions. The lots that reputable home builders sell from are thoroughly vetted to avoid any issues down the line that you may run into when purchasing a plot of land from an individual seller. Also, consider any land costs – such as grading the lot or connecting utilities – that may affect the home-building process and investigate the region’s general cost of living.

2. Thinking in the short term

Building a house allows you to create and invest in the kind of home you’ve dreamed of, rather than one you accepted because it was the best temporary option. With that being said, you should think about the house in terms of how it will fit into your future and what spaces you may need. Do you plan to be there well into old age? If so, you should consider how you will get around with reduced mobility and what elements could potentially pose problems, such as elevated porches or second-story master bedrooms.

3. Making other big purchases

Big purchases, such as a new vehicle, appliances or furniture, can potentially alter your debt-to-income ratio and negatively impact your mortgage eligibility. Lenders are looking for a certain debt-to-income ratio – usually less than 43 percent – and you can typically get a lower interest rate the lower your ratio is. For that reason, it’s best to make substantial purchases well before you’ve started the home-building process or after you’ve signed the mortgage paperwork.

4. Overlooking energy efficiency

Energy efficient homes with green appliances and features are growing increasingly popular among prospective home buyers, particularly baby boomers. So if you think you will sell your custom home a few years down the road, consider the ways you can make your home more energy efficient and keep an eye out for issues detracting from that characteristic. For instance, you can choose energy efficient windows, but if they’re not installed properly, the benefits are radically reduced. Additionally, choosing an oversized furnace or air conditioner or putting ducts in unconditioned spaces can cause tremendous energy waste.

5. Asking for changes during construction

You should consider all your needs and preferences during the design phase of a project – not once construction is underway. Trying to make changes after the builder has broken ground is costly in several ways. You may add extra construction work, which inflates the total cost, or cause delays in acquiring necessary supplies. If you are a visual person and have a hard time conceptualizing your new home from how it looks on paper, ask to see physical examples of homes that have floorplans or features similar to those you are considering.

6. Not planning extra time for delays

In Virginia, there are several issues that can delay your construction project, including inclement weather, backlogs for permit approval, and difficulty procuring labor and materials. If you anticipate these issues and the delays they may cause – and calculate them into your timeline estimation – you can ensure your budget and expectations are tailored appropriately. Or, if nothing unexpected happens, you can move into your new home even sooner.

7. Not getting an inspection

There is no better time to have your new home inspected than right after the work is done, before you’ve closed with the contractor. Bringing in an objective, third-party inspector will give you confidence that all the work was done properly and that various features comply with relevant local codes and regulations. If the inspector finds issues, you still have time to bring them to your builder’s attention and get them fixed. At Kroll Residential, we also give our home-owner’s the ability to submit 10 week and 11 month warranty requests if anything arises.

Finding the right team

Doing your homework before starting a construction project and planning accordingly can save you time, money, and frustration over the long run. The same goes with selecting the right contractor in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake or the surrounding area. At Kroll Residential, we prioritize your best interest, ensure appropriate preparations are made, and are happy to address your questions and concerns throughout both the design and construction phases.




“7 Blunders to Avoid When Building a Home of Your Own.” By Jamie Wiebe | Aug 24, 2016, Realtor.com. Accessed online at https://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/mistakes-when-building-your-own-home/