Your Quick-Start Guide to Buying a New Construction Home

Dec 19, 2022 | Buyers Guide

Buying a new home is always an exciting time, but it can also be notoriously stressful. While some stress is usually unavoidable in the process of moving home, our guide below will help you start your journey on the right foot.

Why buy a new construction home?

There are pros and cons to buying any home, so let’s take a look at the pros and cons of buying a new construction home.

Pros

  • Brand new home – no one else has put their stamp on it
  • If you buy your home before or as it’s being built, you may be able to make some key decisions about kitchen cabinets, flooring, etc
  • You’re not going to discover something is wrong with the house due to age or neglect by the last owner
  • New homes have a warranty
  • You can’t find a more energy-efficient home (especially if you buy from an energy efficiency-focused builder like us)

Cons

  • You usually have to wait unless you’re buying a home that is finished
  • Things that are outside the builder’s control can delay the build
  • A lot of decisions to be made if the home isn’t finished, which can get a little overwhelming

5 Steps to Buying a New Construction Home

1.    Decide Where You Want to Live & What Kind of Home You Want to Buy

This may sound obvious, but the first step is to look at developments and builders in the area(s) you’re interested in and reach out to them about their plans if they don’t already have a community you’re interested in.

Also, consider what kind of home you want to buy. Generally, there are four types of new-construction homes to choose from:

A buildable home plan: here, a builder will set floor plans for buyers to select for empty lots. You will get to have a say in any major decisions on the finish of the home.

An inventory home or speculative “spec” home: this is where you buy a home that’s already in the process of being built. Depending on how far along the process it is, you may or may not have a say in the finish of the home.

Semi-custom homes: these are the middle ground between a custom build and a buildable home plan. Here, you purchase the lot and select floor plans with some scope to make structural changes.

Custom homes: are entirely customized by the owner. This option involves the most work and is, unsurprisingly, the most costly.

2.    Decide How You’ll Fund It (& Where You’ll Live in the Meantime)

Once you’ve decided to buy a new construction home, you need to think about funding. You’ll usually need to seek a home construction loan, but a mortgage expert can help you decide what’s right for you.

You can also consider “buy-down” programs. This is where you can pay more cash upfront to save interest on your loan later. One point equals 1% of the purchase price (for example, you would get 1 point for $1,000 on a $100,000 home). The more points you have, the more you can save on the interest of your loan. Considering interest rates are currently increasing, this could be an incredibly beneficial strategy.

You’ll also need to consider where you’ll live while your home is being built if you need to sell your current home to fund the purchase of your new home. There are loans that can help you do this (such as bridge loans, but they come with risk so step cautiously), but it may be best to rent or stay with family if you cannot fund your new home and stay in your current home while it’s being built.

3.    Enjoy the Process

From here, your home will be built, and you’ll either start getting ready to move in or can start making all the fun decisions about the decor of your new home. Most people visit their new home regularly throughout the process (if they live locally) to see the progress and check that things are moving smoothly. Once the house is complete and you’re ready to move in, it’s closing time!

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Your builder will endeavor to do everything they can to ensure the process is moving smoothly, but there are some common mistakes we see buyers make. Here are a few quick tips to help you avoid them:

  • Work with the right builder – don’t choose a builder because they’re cheap or simply because they’re building in the area you’d like to live in. Review your potential builder’s values and build standards to make sure you’re getting the best product for your money.
  • Don’t work on a tight timeline – your builder will do everything they can to get the house done on the timeline they told you, but you should expect some delays. Bad weather, economic conditions, made-to-order cabinets, and other factors that are out of their hands can delay the process.
  • Think about additional expenses – Make sure you’re clear about what is and isn’t included in the finished home and what you want to fix straight away so you can budget for them as the home is being built. Consider things like curtains and blinds, landscaping the front and backyard, and appliances.

Buying a new construction home is one of the most exciting ways you can buy a home, but the extended timeline can be stressful if you aren’t prepared. With this guide, you’ll be well-equipped to buy a new construction home. If you’re thinking about moving to the Prescott Valley, Clarkdale, or Flagstaff area, take a look at our communities to see if they’d be right for you.

Read More New Home Articles

2023 RESNET Cross Border Challenge

RESNET South President’s Award is Mandalay Homes, Arizona with an average fleet HERS score of 24. The award winners of the 2023 RESNET Cross Border Home Builder Challenge, which helps promote the utilization of the HERS® (Home Energy Rating System) Index have been...

Mandalay Homes: A Energy Star Partner of the Year since 2017

We are beyond excited to announce that we’ve won the prestigious ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year Award for the seven-year running. This recognition for our exceptional energy management programs and unwavering commitment to sustainable building practices is a shining...

Soak Up the Summer in Northern Arizona: 13+ Upcoming Events & Outdoor Activities

There’s nothing quite like the beauty of northern Arizona in the summertime. As the weather turns warm and the desert blooms, it’s the perfect time to enjoy the great outdoors. If you’re looking to spend your summer exploring all this region has to offer, you’re in...

Building a More Sustainable Future: The Vital Role of Energy-Efficient Homes

Resource sustainability is a concept that can be both abstract and overwhelming. We know it’s important on an individual level; recycling our family's refuse and investing in an electric vehicle just doesn’t feel like enough.  We need to look to businesses to make...

Welcome to Jasper: Your Dream Clean Energy Community in Arizona

Nestled in the heart of Northern Arizona’s rolling hills lies Jasper, a groundbreaking, eco-conscious community in Prescott Valley. This 1,200-acre, master-planned community stands as a testament to sustainability and convenience, blending harmoniously with the...

Do You Really Know What’s in Your Home’s Air? The Truth May Scare You

If you’ve ever lived in a city, you’ll be familiar with the feeling of stepping outside your door and feeling as though the air itself is unclean. A trip to the country often means our first step out of the car includes a deep breath of fresh, clean air. While people...

What is a Warranty Period for a New Home, and What’s Included?

Purchasing a new home is a huge financial, time, and emotional investment. You choose your homesite, you may even choose the design of your home, and then you spend months watching and waiting for it to be built. Of course, we all hope to move into our new homes,...

Solar After Sunset: How Much You Can Save Using Solar in Prescott Valley

Solar power is a rapidly growing industry, with more and more people choosing to harness the power of the sun to meet their energy needs. Solar offers us a clean and renewable energy source that not only helps the environment but helps us save money on our energy...

Is Now a Good Time to Buy? Lower Interest Rates Boost Home Sales

After rising interest rates through 2022, the start of 2023 has seen interest rates stabilize around 6%. Now that buyers have more confidence that they know what to expect regarding their mortgage payments and mortgage lenders are starting to pursue buyers again, home...

Mandalay Homes and Water Conservation: Buying a New Home in Arizona When Water’s at a Premium

If you’re looking to buy a new home in Arizona, you may have heard that local community members believe developers have difficulties supplying water to their developments. State law requires all developers in many parts of Arizona to prove that their homes will have a...
Add iON PLUS Solar Package for $2,500
Upgrade to iON PLUS Solar and HERS 25 significantly lowering your energy bills. You own the solar system and qualify for the tax rebate. Contact one of our experienced sales representatives for details. Offer ends Sept 30.
*Promotion valid only in connection with new home purchase agreements on or before Sept 30, 2020 and may not be available on inventory homes for sale. Mandalay reserves the right to cancel or change this promotion at any time, without prior notice or obligation. Promotion cannot be combined with any other promotion or incentive without Mandalay's approval.
Upgrade to iON ZERO for $2,500
Upgrade to iON ZERO and HERS 0 significantly lowering your energy bills. You own the solar system and qualify for the tax rebate. Contact one of our experienced sales representatives for details. Offer ends Sept 30.
*Promotion valid only in connection with new home purchase agreements on or before Sept 30, 2020 and may not be available on inventory homes for sale. Mandalay reserves the right to cancel or change this promotion at any time, without prior notice or obligation. Promotion cannot be combined with any other promotion or incentive without Mandalay's approval.
Upgrade To the Next Level of iON for $2,500
Upgrade new 600 & 700 series homes to iON ZERO and HERS0 or upgrade 500 series homes to iON PLUS (HER25) significantly lowering your energy bills for just $2,500. You own the solar system and qualify for the tax rebate. Contact one of our experienced sales representatives for details. Offer ends Sept 30.
*Promotion valid only in connection with new home purchase agreements on or before Sept 30, 2020 and may not be available on inventory homes for sale. Mandalay reserves the right to cancel or change this promotion at any time, without prior notice or obligation. Promotion cannot be combined with any other promotion or incentive without Mandalay's approval.
GET $7500 TOWARDS iON PLUS OR DESIGN STUDIO UPGRADES!
Sign a contract today and get $7500 towards the iON PLUS Energy Storage upgrade OR the your Design Studio selections.
*Promotion valid only in connection with new home purchase agreements on or after April 16, 2020, or until further notice, at select communities. Promotion is provided in the form of a credit towards the purchase price of either the iON PLUS upgrade or Design Studio selection upgrades. Mandalay reserves the right to cancel or change this promotion at any time, without prior notice or obligation. Promotion cannot be combined with any other promotion or incentive without Mandalay's approval.
This home is eligible for energy tax rebates.

Installation of renewable energy and energy storage is eligible for state and/or federal tax rebates. Availability and rebate amounts are subject to change. Learn more about state and federal tax rebates in your area visit WWW.DSIREUSA.ORG

Home Start & Delivery
While we cannot guarantee the exact your new Mandalay home will be completed* our improved build processes let us get pretty close. Ask your sales rep for details.
*Start and delivery dates represented here are estimated based on current cycle times. They are estimates only and do not account for weekends or holidays. These estimate may be adjusted at any time prior to contract. Actual start and delivery may be affected by conditions, including but not limited to, weather, customer change orders, industry trends, material availability, and product availability.
More Information
Virtual Appointments Available.

Oops! We could not locate your form.

Schedule an Appointment
[wpv-post-body view_template="element-by-appointment-byline"]

Oops! We could not locate your form.

More Information

Oops! We could not locate your form.

More Information
Sales Offices Are Closed Today, Virtual Appointments Available.
Request a brochure