Housing starts increased right along with home values in 2021. According to a release from census.gov on November 17, 2021, housing starts were 0.4 percent above the October 2020 rate. This is partly due to the shortage of available housing inventory this year. Many national builder developments across the country are selling homes faster than they have in some time. According to builderonline.com the top 5 builders in the nation are D.R. Horton, Lennar Corp., PulteGroup, NVR, and KB Home. These national builders have a system in place for the buyers who purchase their homes.

How National Homebuilders Sell Homes

National homebuilders develop communities, often times with parks and amenties within.  Typically you'll find model homes fully furnished in each available design. Potential homeowners are able to walk through the models and ask questions of the on-site sales teams. Builders often release a set amount of lots available to purchase at a given time. Building your home within one of these develpments allows you to choose many of the finished, appliances and landscaping.

Often times, builders will choose a certain number of lots and models on which to build what they call "spec homes." They build these spec homes so buyers can purchase a finished product if they do not have time or do not wish to wait for a home to be built. Most of the time the builders choose the amenities such as flooring, counters, fixtures and the like for the spec homes.

The First Steps

If you want to build a home with a national homebuilder, the first step is to visit the community, walk through the models, look at the survey of lots and speak to the sales staff. You'll then work with the sales staff to choose a lot and a model. They will ask for a deposit to hold the lot for a few days until an appointment is made to sit down together and write the formal sales contract. Home values are increasing, so it is a smart idea to write a contract before they raise the prices. It's not uncommon for the builder to raise the prices of the models as the community is built.

Writing the Contract

When you sit down with the sales staff to write the contract you will confirm the lot and model. You will choose certain amenities. The color and style choices will be made at a later appointment. You will be asked to put down a non-refundable earnest money deposit. Earnest money required can vary from approximately five to ten percent, depending on the builder.

Making the Home Your Own

Most national builders have design centers where you will go to choose styles and colors to make the home your own. You will choose flooring, counters, cabinets, light fixtures, bathroom fixtures, kitchen fixtures and the like. This appointment is done soon after the contract appointment, as they have to order the fixtures and supplies for your home. It's an exciting appointment.

Building Begins

The building takes quite a few months from ground-breaking to completion. Per the US Census Bureau, it takes approximately seven to eight months to build a house right now. This includes everything from finalizing the plans, obtaining the necessary permits, the actual home construction, and the final walkthrough.