• The New Construction Home Buying Process: A Complete Guide — Blog by Kroll Enterprises builders in Chesapeake, VA

As exhilarating as it is to undergo the construction of a new semi-custom house and see the structure start to take tangible form, the process does not begin with breaking ground.

Before construction can start, prospective new home buyers first face a series of pre-build financial steps and decisions to make that will lay the foundation for a smooth and satisfying process. When followed methodically, these steps set up the project for success and for you to acquire your new home in a timely and efficient manner. Here is a brief run-down of the process for buying a new construction home and what steps to expect along the way.

1. Start Mortgage Pre-approval

Unless you plan to pay for your new, freshly built home out of pocket, you have to finance the project. You should consult a financial institution about obtaining a mortgage for your new home. Their professionals will walk you through the process, answer your questions, and give you a thorough understanding of what you can afford without threatening your financial security. They also will go over potential payment plans. From there, the financier also will handle other administrative tasks, including underwriting, closing, funding, and post-closing functions related to financing your new home.

How long does it usually take to get pre-approved for a mortgage?

Once you have provided the bank or lender of your choosing the needed information about your household income, credit scores, assets, debts, and a few other details of your financial history, the mortgage pre-approval process will take as little as one to three days.

Do you have to get pre-qualified for a mortgage before building a house?

You do have to have to have an accredited pre-approval letter before you can begin the process of building a house. Keep in mind, this does not fully guarantee your mortgage, as the details of that come a bit later.

How long do I have to buy a house after getting pre-approved?

Your pre-approval letter is typically valid for 60 to 90 days. If you are still deciding whether or not to build a home past this timeframe, you will need to get a new pre-approval letter issued.


2. Pick a Floorplan

Once you know what you can afford financially from your mortgage pre-approval letter, you get to select the floorplan for your semi-custom home that fits into your price range and meets your needs and preferences. Our comprehensive floorplan collection contains both traditional and contemporary styles to fit a range of lifestyles and tastes. Our inventory includes expansive two-story homes with four bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms, and two garages along with two-story homes with five spacious bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms, among other features. As you peruse the collection, you have the chance to determine which floorplan will best support your family dynamics, lifestyle, and future plans.

What does “semi-custom home” mean?

With a semi-custom home, you are able to choose from a variety of floorplans and make minor changes to end up with the home of your dreams. If there are elements in your home that you love, let us know and we can work on getting those same elements in your new home.

Custom Homes

  • Your home blueprints are designed specifically for you
  • Typically takes 10-12 months from start to finish
  • More of an investment and involves extensive decision making since options can feel limitless

Semi-Custom Homes

  • You select from a collection of floor plans & make minor changes
  • Typically takes 8-10 months from start to finish
  • The perfect solution to accommodate price, value, and timeline

Production Homes

  • You select from a collection of floor plans & do not make changes
  • Typically takes 3-4 months from start to finish
  • Faster turn-around, but you may have to settle for layout features you do not prefer

Custom Homes vs. Semi-Custom Homes vs. Production Homes


3. Choose Your Additions

Semi-custom home builders also offer a selection of special features for you to choose from to add to your home. Some of these optional additions include media and study rooms, sunrooms, covered patios, gourmet kitchens, and a butler’s pantry with a wine rack. While most additions are available for a variety of Kroll Residential’s floorplans, it is best to talk with your home builder to see which options are available for your preferred model and how they might affect the budget for the project.

You may also be interested in 6 Things to Consider When Selecting a Floor Plan


4. Signing the Contract

The next step is meeting with the home builder to draft and sign a contract, which is designed to protect both parties. The home builder needs to know unequivocally that they will be paid for their work and you also need confidence the home will be completed to the agreed-upon specifications and will not be sold to someone else. Review the contract carefully before signing and then celebrate that the decision-making stage is complete!

5. Pre-Construction Meeting

The pre-construction meeting is an important part of having your new home built and generally takes place after the contract is signed and before breaking ground. Home builders know there are many important decisions that need to be made during a new home build, so the pre-construction meeting helps ensure nothing was missed.

By reviewing each major and minor design features of your home to verify each aspect of your home build is aligned with what you envision your dream home to be. Depending on who you work with, you can give final approval on colors and materials, along with the added features for your home during this meeting. Once you are confident both parties are on the same page, you are ready to break ground.


6. Construction Gets Underway

The construction process itself includes several steps that occur over several months, depending on the scope of the project and other external factors. Some of the phases included in the construction timeline include laying the foundation; framing; installing electric and plumbing systems; installing windows, interior trim, and cabinets; and painting and flooring. Your home builder will keep the lines of communication open throughout the project so you can stay up to date with the progress and bring forward any questions or concerns.

Related Resource: Kroll Residential’s New Home Construction Timeline


7. Homeowner Orientation

One of the final steps in the new construction home buying process is getting an introduction to your new residence. Once construction is finished and the project site is cleaned up, our Kroll Residential representatives will meet with you at your new home for a walk-through. They will familiarize you with various features of your new home, along with providing a maintenance overview and tips for upkeep. If you identify any needed tweaks, they will start the procedure to implement them. After the orientation, you and your family can move into your new home!


8. Take Advantage of Warranties

While our construction team makes every effort to be meticulous and precise while building your home, we know mistakes can occasionally pop up that detract from your enjoyment of your new house. That is why Kroll Residential offers a complimentary warranty service that’s readily available for all clients. Customer care is one of our top concerns, and you have the opportunity to submit home warranty service requests at 10 weeks and 11 months post-construction. Our site team then works quickly and efficiently to address any warranty items you submit.


The Kroll Residential Experience

From start to finish, the representatives at Kroll Residential will guide your through the process of building a new home and each of the decision making and implementation stages. We try to make both the pre-construction and new home construction processes as seamless and stress-free as possible.

Take a look at the types of homes we build in Chesapeake, VA.