Q & A About New Construction in NH
- In New Hampshire, what is the difference between a Spec Home and a Custom Home?
- Why are Ranch Style homes more expensive than colonial style homes?
- What about using "online" plans?
- What if I have my own house plans?
- How long does it take to build a home?
- How do I choose kitchen cabinets, flooring, appliances and such?
- Where can I find land?
- What's an "open space" subdivision?
- What's the role of a Realtor in the process?
- What's new in construction financing?
- What's the deal with transfer tax in New Hampshire?
- Questions to ask your builder?
- What makes some homes of equal square footage price out more than others?
- Where do I go now?
What is the difference between a Spec Home and a Custom Home?
NH Spec home is a home that a builder constructs and uses as a sample of
his work and design. The home is used to show different qualities of
the NH builders portfolio including trim packages, kitchen design and
layout, countertop materials, flooring choices, etc.
A NH Custom home is one that is designed and built specifically for a new
home buyer. It gives the home buyer the option of complete
customization from design and layout, features, amenities, colors; You are involved from the building plans to the mailbox.
Why are Ranch Style homes more expensive than colonial style homes?
We hear this question often. Single
floor homes are more costly than two floor styles since the square
footage is all on one floor and the foundation and roof are so large;
by contrast, a colonial style actually can have the same square footage
but the foundation and roof are about one half the size of the single
floor home. Colonials are simply more economical to build. Simple roof lines and square plans can be more cost effective as well.
What about using "online" plans?
need to caution you about relying on plans you find online; many of
these plans quote square footage based upon room sizes and don't
include vaulted areas, hallways or stairs. The entire square footage of
a home needs to be computed to accurately determine costs. For
instance a home that has a foundation size of 40X30 would be 1200
square feet. Another consideration with some of these plans is they
quote prices based upon areas of the country that might not take into
consideration our framing and insulation requirements or the plan may
be priced with a slab and our homes most commonly have full
foundations. Also, watch the pricing on some of these plans. Many homes are designed for southern living and are not designed for colder climates in New Hampshire.
can use local New Hampshire architects that will customize your plans
to fit your needs and that will comply with our local NH building codes.
What if I have my own house plans?
will vary by builder. Some NH builders will not allow any changes at all;
they will build their home and the buyer will purchase it when
completed. Most builders allow for modifications of their house plan
and choices. You will need a custom builder to work with you on your
own plans. A custom New Hampshire builder will meet and help you plan and layout your
dream home, provide you with pricing and work with you to build your
How long does it take to build a home?
variables affect the timing to completion; weather, the size and style
of the home, the builder and the building lot are some of the
considerations. Some smaller homes can be completed in as little as 90
days from foundation. The larger and more complicated builds are more
commonly 6 months to completion. Building a home in New Hampshire's winter climate can also lengthen the building process.
How do I choose kitchen cabinets, flooring, appliances and such?
a builder has a variety of vendors you will be directed to so you can
make your own choices. You will be given a dollar allowance. You make
your selections and if you go over the allowance you will owe the
difference, usually directly to the vendor.
Where can I find land?
Builders often have land in their portfolio. Find a good local New Hampshire Realtor specializing in new construction and he/she will be a great resource.
What's an "open space" subdivision?
towns in New Hampshire, in an effort to preserve natural land and
resources, have embraced the "open space" concept. The board will
review a proposed NH subdivision plan and allow a specific number of NH homes
based upon traditional zoning minimums.
For instance a
200 acre parcel of land can support 30 NH new homes based upon the zoning
guidelines of 2 acre minimums (after wetlands, parcels with slopes
over a minimum etc have been removed from the computation); Rather
than spreading 30 homes over the entire 200 acre parcel, the developer
might dedicate 100 acres to open space and the remaining lots are
clustered so as to minimize the impact on the land, leaving wildlife
habitat untouched and preserving the "open space." The open space is
then either donated to the town or kept for the exclusive use of the
inhabitants of the new subdivision.
What's the role of a Realtor in the process?
Using a New Hampshire based Realtor that is experienced in the home building process is very important. Ask your NH real estate agent what experience they have; using an inexperienced Realtor may actually hurt you. A Realtor
that is familiar with the process will help make the homebuilding
experience one with which you will be pleased. There are so many
details and questions to ask; it is impossible to know if you haven't
done this before.
Rene Brin, of Brin Realty Group
has been involved in millions of dollars of new construction
transactions. She knows the process intimately; she works with the best
builders in the area; she can guide and recommend the best builder for
you. Call Rene - you will be glad you did!
What's new in construction financing?
home financing in New Hampshire has come a long way in recent years.
Today a buyer can choose a new NH home, plan the project with the builder
and once plans and prices are agreed upon, the buyer makes application
with a lender and it becomes a single project loan.
1. The land closing takes place
2. The house is constructed and progress payments are made to the builder
When the house is complete, the loan converts from a construction loan
to a permanent loan with just one set of closing costs.
This is a great product. Rene can recommend some of the best programs available in Southern New Hampshire.
What's the deal with transfer tax in New Hampshire?
At time a closing it is typical to pay $15 per $1000 of sales price. This is equally split between the buyer and the seller.
of the advantages of a construction loan product is that the New
Hampshire transfer tax is paid only on the land at the time of closing,
saving the buyers thousands in closing costs.
Questions to ask your builder?
- How long have you been building homes?
- What are the addresses of some properties I can take a look at?
- Can you get me inside a finished home?
- Can I see a home in progress?
- What projects to you have under way?
- How long is your warranty and what does it cover?
What makes some homes of equal square footage price out more than others?
and multiple roof lines, circle top and or odd shaped windows, exterior
veneers such as stone and brick, roof pitch, custom trim, tile,
custom wood work, custom cabinets, curves in walls or stairs, high
ceilings, upgrades to building materials such as granite, marble, solid
surfaces, solid wood flooring are some of the components that drive up
the price of a home.
What About Green Construction in New Hampshire?
More and more NH builders are embracing green building techniques including geothermal, solar, Energy Star homes and more. Rene can get you the names of projects under way or planned with some of the best NH builders that are going green.
Where do I go now?
a builder you can trust and who listens to you, a builder with a great
reputation for quality and price - sounds pretty simple and it is if
you know the answer. Speak with the experienced New Hampshire Realtor who can direct you to the best builders in the area - .call Rene Brin (603) 672-2004 - she can help.