Building a new home in a different state

moveinSeptSeptember 17, 2012


We are first time home buyers, currently in Michigan. We are in process of buying/building a new home in Frisco, TX. We haven't signed any papers yet. We have lived in Dallas area before. its not about the familiarity with locality or the financing part.

Is it advisable to trust the builder and get a new home constructed in a different state, where we aren't available personally to monitor the construction/progress?

Your thoughts/opinions/comments are appreciated.

Thank You

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I could never do this. Too many questions arise during the build.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 8:29PM
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I'm not sure if its advisable but its not entirely crazy either, husband and I are doing it right now. I'd say make sure you choose wisely regarding builder, and know what you want pretty definitively if you are going to attempt it. Be ready to drop everything and fly out to check on things, especially during the framing phase. Make sure the builder will go the extra mile to work with someone long distance.

Consider someone in the area to act as your man on the ground perhaps, a real estate agent maybe. It will cost you of course and I'm not sure this type of thing is standard. We didn't go this route since the builder we chose is a smaller developer that has thus far been easy to talk to and work one on one with.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 10:00PM
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I'm sure many people have had good experiences with building long distance. We regret it, as many things were not done properly. Our neighbors who had the same builder were able to check on their home daily and have much better drywall and paint, neater brick work and the list goes on and on.
We interviewed a few builders and had references. Our builder was a nice guy, but he just didn't keep a close watch on things.

If we could do it again it would be worth renting a place while the house is being built, because unpacking and packing twice is nothing compared to the stress this caused us. Not only that, you get the joy of seeing your home being built on a regular basis and catching any mistakes. There is so much more time to choose cabinets etc if you are living close by. I found this part extremely stressful as we were pushed for time on our 1,000 mile trip.
I would love to build another home for the excitement of watching it go up and making sure there are no mistakes made. Good luck with what you decide.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 10:59PM
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since you've lived in the area before is there
anyone you could send on a weekly basis to
see how things are going?

I'd be leary otherwise.
but, best of luck.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 7:56AM
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Bless your heart 'cause I know I couldn't do it. It's stressful enough living on the same property the house is being built upon!

We've caught many things that needed to be corrected or changed. We made some major window and door changes that we would never have considered until we actually walked through the house.

For example, our southern view is so beautiful and we thought the 4 rather large windows would show it off. Walked through & tested. Nope. The tops of the mountains didn't show while we were standing. So, we had them take out 3 of the 4 windows and put in a huge sliding door which was higher.

Same for our bedroom...tops of mountains didn't show.

We improved the upstairs closet placements and other things that we wouldn't have known unless we did a walk through.

Everything looked good on paper but it's another thing to actually walk through the space and see how things relate to each other. So many elements can influence your decisions, like the landscape - what you see as you look out the window, that sort of thing.

Good luck and keep us posted!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 7:17PM
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Have you thought of mocing down and renting while you build? I think that would give you more peace of mind. If this is a 100% custom home I could not do it. BUT if this were a home in a subdivision where I pick one of the builder's floorplans then I could.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 7:21PM
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Is this a custom or semi-custom build? Or is it a neighborhood where one company develops and builds the homes, for example M/I Homes, Pulte Homes? If it is a company such as this, I don't see it much different from a spec home. Large companies like this pretty much do things with the same techniques in all the homes. I wouldn't have a problem doing a situation like this. With a trip of a few days, you could make all your finish choices. And, chances are, someone in the company would probably be willing to take progress photos for you.

Now if it is a custom home......hmm....there are too many questions and decisions to be made. An architect or project manager could do it for you but there are costs involved with that.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 9:29PM
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