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Old 03-27-2016, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Proxima Centauri
4,815 posts, read 1,987,719 times
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I had a house built a thousand miles away from me before I retired. While this wasn't a mistake it did pose some problems. Lessons I've learned.

1. Buyer's broker's have their limitations. While they "represent" you, the fee paid by the seller is still their motivation.
2. Ideally, you should be able to check on the builder's progress. Some want you to close before they've put the finishing touches on the house to make their quarterly numbers. Do you have a friend in the area?
3. If you are a cash customer use a national bank. This will enable you to wire the money after you've gotten to where the house is being built. This gives you leverage on their progress just before the closing.
4. Have the money deposited in the bank well before the closing so that there are no issues with checks clearing.
5. Make yourself known at the bank branch where the house is being built and make sure that they will cooperate when your wire is required by contract. The builder may not be willing to take a bank check.
6. The builder may prevent you from using a professional house inspector before the closing. Be ready for that.
7. There is a device that plugs into the outlets that check the outlet wiring. Buy one and use it while leverage is still on your side. Don't take a chance on that new $2000 TV shorting out just because you plugged it in.
8. With some builders you have a slab to roof warranty on imperfections. Plan an extended stay early in the warranty period so that there is time to request these fixed.
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Old 03-27-2016, 08:21 AM
 
Location: Central IL
15,235 posts, read 8,527,906 times
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Wow...when I built both my houses, in the same town I lived in, I was told by many to visit the job site EVERY SINGLE DAY. I didn't do that, but I was probably there 3 or 4 out of the 5 work days a week. There's so much that happens and if you don't even know the builder I don't know how you can trust that it is really up to your specs - so many ways to cut corners.
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Old 03-27-2016, 06:22 PM
mlb
 
Location: North Monterey County
3,180 posts, read 2,856,112 times
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We plan on building our retirement home - in another state.

We will sell our current home and move and rent closeby while the house is being built.

Spouse will be on the job every freakin' day.
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Old 03-27-2016, 06:37 PM
 
14,260 posts, read 23,991,339 times
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#6 would not be an issue with me as I would have a clause in the contract that would allow me or my representative to inspect the workmanship at any time in the process. In addition, if a builder balked, I would contact my local building inspector to come by and inspect the work.

in real estate transactions, I pay attorneys to represent me as opposed to real estate agents.
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Old 03-27-2016, 06:45 PM
 
1,227 posts, read 1,260,047 times
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I've found that home inspectors don't like to rock the boat and cause problems with a sale. They depend upon referrals from builders and real estate agents. When I have a home inspected I hire a roofer, a plumber, an HVAC guy, and an electrician. Each inspects their area of expertise and gives me a report. This way there are fewer worries about who knows whom.
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Old 03-27-2016, 07:24 PM
 
29 posts, read 22,138 times
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... and a structural engineer too, to check the foundation? Here in Texas that's important.
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Old 03-27-2016, 07:36 PM
 
12,973 posts, read 12,792,417 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LookingatFL View Post
I've found that home inspectors don't like to rock the boat and cause problems with a sale. They depend upon referrals from builders and real estate agents. When I have a home inspected I hire a roofer, a plumber, an HVAC guy, and an electrician. Each inspects their area of expertise and gives me a report. This way there are fewer worries about who knows whom.
Good inspectors are very valuable and do not mind screwing up a deal. If word gets out that the Inspector missed something he should have caught it can be fatal to the career.

Nothing of course keeps you from doing both. If I were building my own home I would.

A retail serial builder is not going to be cooperative on an inspector but they will allow it. If you run into one who won't don't buy the house.

Using a lawyer to run a custom build would be far dumber than an RE Agent. While you need to be very careful about an agent for such a deal there is no reason on earth to believe an attorney would be better.
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Old 03-27-2016, 08:16 PM
 
14,260 posts, read 23,991,339 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lvoc View Post
Using a lawyer to run a custom build would be far dumber than an RE Agent. While you need to be very careful about an agent for such a deal there is no reason on earth to believe an attorney would be better.

The attorney is there to write and review contracts to ensure that the buyer is protected in case the builder breaches the agreement
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Old 03-27-2016, 08:21 PM
 
Location: Denver CO
21,177 posts, read 11,785,778 times
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My tract builder had no issue with my using a private inspector. They met with us for the pre-drywall inspection, which was helpful as they had a couple of detailed conversations about specific items. When we did the final inspection, I got a report with approximately 25 items on it, and they created a punch list of every single item, as a well as some additional things I had noted myself, and every item on the list was addressed prior to closing.

I couldn't imagine going through this from 1000 miles away. I was there multiple times a week - so often that they actually gave me the key to keep so I could get in and out as much as I wanted (yes, I had no problem being THAT person! lol!). There were several significant issues that got fixed along the way because I caught them and made sure they were taken care of.

I was not retired, but if I did decide to relocate to a new area in retirement and wanted new construction, I would absolutely move there and rent during construction so I could supervise. I think it's tempting fate to try to do it long distance.
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Old 03-27-2016, 08:31 PM
 
12,973 posts, read 12,792,417 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emm74 View Post
My tract builder had no issue with my using a private inspector. They met with us for the pre-drywall inspection, which was helpful as they had a couple of detailed conversations about specific items. When we did the final inspection, I got a report with approximately 25 items on it, and they created a punch list of every single item, as a well as some additional things I had noted myself, and every item on the list was addressed prior to closing.

I couldn't imagine going through this from 1000 miles away. I was there multiple times a week - so often that they actually gave me the key to keep so I could get in and out as much as I wanted (yes, I had no problem being THAT person! lol!). There were several significant issues that got fixed along the way because I caught them and made sure they were taken care of.

I was not retired, but if I did decide to relocate to a new area in retirement and wanted new construction, I would absolutely move there and rent during construction so I could supervise. I think it's tempting fate to try to do it long distance.
I would point out that 98% or so of the population could not do that. I could to a degree but I would use experts in many areas.

And if you can find the right agent it can work...but it is dependent on the quality of his or her sources. then again if you have the right contractor you do not need an agent. Won't work on retail serial builders though.

Lawyers and contracts do not read on the problem. They just make sure you are getting screwed legally.
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