Home Buying FAQs

For one of life's biggest purchases, be sure

While there are so many factors that go into any home buying decision, there's one aspect of the process that you really can simplify—know the track record and reputation of the builder of your home. We gladly offer that advice as we're sure you'll like what you discover about Van Metre homes.

Frequently asked questions

Why buy a new home?

New homes offer certain advantages over resale homes. A few advantages include:

  • Modern architecture and floorplans that mesh with today’s lifestyles 
  • Increased energy efficiency for lower utility bills 
  • All new materials and components for lower maintenance costs 
  • An opportunity to make interior selections so your home reflects your personal aesthetic 
  • Current building and life safety codes to protect your family 
  • Wired for new technologies allowing maximum connectivity  
  • Included warranties for peace of mind after you move in 


What is included in the base price of a new home?

The base price refers to a fixed list of included features the builder considers standard. Important considerations to keep in mind as you review base prices include:

  • Every builder includes a different list of included features 
  • Included features may include both structural items and designer finishes
  • Builder website pricing refers to the base sales price of the home and typically does not include items marked as "Optional" on floorplans 
  • The sales team can show and/or tell you what your new home comes with and what is considered an upgrade
  • If it is unclear whether an item is included or an upgrade, ask the sales team

How much home can I afford?

How much home you can afford drives many decisions you make throughout the homebuying journey. Here are a few recommendations on determining how much you can afford:

  • First and foremost, get qualified by a reputable lender as they can help you determine your budget
  • The lender you select will assess how much home you can afford on a monthly basis, based on your income and existing monthly debt. They will also examine your total move-in costs which include down payment and closing costs
  • Closing costs include items such as owner’s and lender’s title insurance, settlement costs, transfer taxes, government recording fees and pre-paid items (like real estate taxes and HOA fees) 
  • As you review monthly estimates, be sure to include principal, interest, property taxes, insurance and HOA fees

What is an Earnest Money Deposit?

An Ernest Money Deposit (EMD) is a deposit a buyer makes on a home they want to purchase. 

  • All builders collect Earnest Money Deposits 
  • EMDs represent a buyer’s good faith in purchasing a home 
  • There is no universal amount for an EMD 
  • The amount required varies from community to community 
  • The signed sales agreement outlines the conditions for a refund
  • Your EMD will be credited towards the total amount you owe at settlement 

Will I receive any financing incentives? 

Buyers who choose to use the builder’s affiliated lender usually receive financing incentives.

  • If the buyer chooses to use the builder’s affiliated lender, they usually receive financing incentives 
  • Financing incentives will not be given if an outside lender is used
  • Financing incentives may not be used towards a down payment, but they can be applied to closing costs 
  • Builders strive to provide the best experience possible for their customers and trust their affiliated lender to reputably conduct business 
  • By using an affiliated lender, both the builder and customer can have faith they will receive accurate and reliable information 
  • Get pre-qualified with Van Metre's highly regarded Intercoastal Mortgage, LLC today by clicking here!

What should I look for in a builder?

With so many builders in the marketplace, exercise your due diligence and make yourself an expert before you make a final decision. The homebuilder you choose should have many years of experience and:

  • A wide variety of floorplans
  • Proven financial wherewithal to guarantee they'll be there throughout the life of your home’s warranty
  • Roots in the area you're settling—it will be easier to confirm claims of a quality reputation
  • A dedication to satisfying your needs and delivering quality service for years to come

How do I get started?

Starting is simple. Just take these easy steps!​​​​​​

  • Get pre-qualified by a reputable lender, such as Intercoastal Mortage, LLC
  • Figure out where you want to live and which features are important in your new home
  • Check out Build Your Own Home to look at all the different design selections available to choose from
  • Schedule a call to speak with an Online Sales Concierge to answer questions and help pinpoint which communities work best for you
  • Schedule a tour at any one of our communities 

Questions to ask when looking at a homebuilder

What is the builder’s reputation?

A company’s reputation helps clarify what to expect when purchasing a home from a specific builder. 

  • Look for positive reviews, both online and in-person 
  • Talk to settled homeowners in an actively selling community 
  • Look for a builder who does what they promise 
  • Accept nothing less than a sterling reputation within the industry 
  • Remember, satisfied homeowners are usually happy to recommend their builder 

What is the company’s history?

A company’s history reflects past performance and predicts their future commitment to customers.  

  • Consider how long they have been in the industry overall and how long they have been building homes in a specific area
  • Examine how much experience they have building homes similar to the one you are considering 
  • Visit other finished communities they have built 
  • Ultimately, the builder’s story should demonstrate a history of success  

What should I expect from the sales process and onsite sales staff?

A builder’s sales process should always revolve around you—the customer. Expect the builder’s sales staff to help you in a variety of ways.  

  • They will help you discover what you want and need in a new home 
  • Expect them to review the plans, features and homesites that work best for you 
  • They will provide instruction regarding the home buying process 
  • Trust them to guide you through the contract phase 
  • Rely on them to help coordinate your next steps

How many post-sale meetings with the builder do I get?

Buying a new home does not end with the writing of a contract. Post-contract is when the real fun begins! 

  • Consider upfront how involved you want to be in the post-sale process 
  • Understand how many post sales meetings and walk throughs you can expect 
  • Builders may offer a variety of meetings including selection appointments, a meeting prior to the start of construction, a walk through before drywall installation, a walk through before settlement and a re-walk of the home immediately prior to settlement  
  • Explore the builder’s policy regarding onsite visits, including how much notice you must give to see the home under construction 
  • Construction sites can be dangerous places—know the rules for visiting 

What type of warranty comes with the home?

Purchasing a new home does not mean it will be problem-free, however, an important benefit of new construction is the warranties builders include. 

  • In the event your new home does not function properly or as originally intended, a warranty refers to the terms and situations in which repairs will be made  
  • Know what warranties come with your new home 
  • Builder warranties may include both manufacturers’ warranties and a Limited Builder Warranty, which covers workmanship for the first year and structural defects for 10 years  
  • All homes—even new ones—may have unforeseen issues that arise 
  • These warranties protect your investment and give you peace of mind after you move in 

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