Think Winter All Summer, & Summer All Winter


Think Winter all Summer, and Summer all Winter
Wisdom of The Homebuilder

In the world of homebuilding, there is a mantra builders introduced me to years ago. It was simply this: Think Winter all Summer and Summer all Winter! As a new home sales professional, these words have guided me through the past 19 years but too often buyers looking to build have never heard this wisdom.

 As buyers on a new home search, they enter our lovely decorated model homes and begin dreaming about moving into a brand-new home of their own. With the possibility of actually being able to have a home built exactly like their dreams, they can start giving serious consideration to building the home they need. After all, how long can it take to build? Wasn’t there a TV show where they built amazing homes in just 7 days?

Then the realization of building a new home requires a lot more time then just 3 months of construction. More likely it's revealed to be a 6-month process on average. Slowly you can see their dreams start to fade. They don’t have that kind of time. They’ll have to move twice or extend their lease and pay extra. How can they make this process work? And why would it take so long?

Figuring out how to make the 6-month process, numerous moves, storage needs, and lease challenges work, will be helped by your REALTOR on a case by case basis. However, I can help shed some light on why so much time is needed and where does it go.


You signed, now what?
So congratulations, you decided to have a new home built and you just autographed your purchase agreement, now what? Well, over the next several weeks you’ll be meeting with loan officers getting your financing arranged and loan application started.

Now that a month has passed you should be getting close to seeing a copy of the plan drafted up for your new home, based on the selections you made over the past 3-4 weeks. A few minor revisions or adjustments may be needed but then your good to go! On to the permit process.


The Permit Process:
You didn’t forget that the builder needs to get permits, did you? By now it’s probably been 4-6 weeks since you officially started the purchase paperwork, the builder should be about ready to submit for permits. Could it take 3-4 weeks?

Short answer, Yes! OK, so the municipality just got the permit application. Now they must review the plans, verify everything is kosher with the proposed construction and materials. Also, need to ensure no codes are being violated and that all municipal ordinances are being adhered to. Here in central Pennsylvania, our municipalities are given 15 business days for their review. Essentially that means it could take up to 3 full weeks for our local townships to “respond” to the permit application. What do you mean by RESPOND?

Well, after the plan review there may be adjustments the township requires or additional they request. They have every right to make those requests and then your builder will help you through it, work with the township and ultimately get the needed approved permits.

Honestly, not all places will take the full 3 weeks. In Central PA, there are even some townships that have gotten permits approved in 3 days. It has a lot to do with how much staff the township or municipality has, how many applications have already been submitted ahead of yours or if they use a 3rd party code review company to do the work for them. Whichever way it worked to get your permit, it may now be just over 2 months or so, since you started the process.


The Process of Construction:
This article is already long; I’m not going to explain every step of constructing your new home here. I’ll do this in another blog or over several others. Just know that many builders work from a schedule that is between 100-120 days of construction. Throw in a few weather delays or vendors who missed their delivery dates, and its likely this 4-month construction journey will finally conclude about 6 months or so after you initially started the purchase process.


But Wait, There More…
My article may be nearly over, but there may be a bit more to this journey for you. The last remaining steps towards move-in would still be any final inspections, new home orientations and of course settlement! All special events each worthy of their own blog post.


In Conclusion,
We just saw the steps involved which make the process of having a brand-new home built, take 6 months or so. Hopefully, now you understand the saying of Winter All Summer and Summer All Winter. So, if you Buy a home in Winter, you’ll probably be moving in this summer. If you buy or build your new home with me this summer, you should be home in time for the holidays. And if you visit my model home in June hoping to move-in before the new school years starts, I’ll laugh at you! (Actually, I won’t laugh, not much anyway. I’ll just try to figure out what planet you’ve been on and why haven’t you read my blog!)