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Simplified Off-site Building for St. Louis New Home Buyers

The typical new home buyer in St. Louis will visit many traditional subdivisions when searching for a place to live.  Some of these are large master planned communities with hundreds of homesites, others are infill neighborhoods with under ten while the majority fall somewhere in between.

But, there are many people who are looking for a new home in the St. Louis area that do not want to be in the traditional neighborhood setting.  Often for this group, the idea of pulling onto a street with dozens of homes and the typical subdivision homesite feels confining.  Still others, want that traditional neighborhood, but in a different location than the builder they select is currently offering.

These new home buyers are searching for a new home builder in the St. Louis area that can follow them where they want to live.  Some already own a piece of property that they want to have a home built on, while there are those that have an idea of where they want to be, but the ground has not yet been identified.

When selecting the right builder, buyers need to weigh out all their options and understand exactly what they are responsible for, what they are responsible for.  These buyers need to dig into the details of the pricing, financing and construction process to truly know what they are signing up for.  Since many of these buyers haven’t been through an “off-site” build before, the next several paragraphs are some of the questions and concerns that they will need to understand.

  1. Property Ownership: If they already own the ground, what is the process for the build?  Most builders will want title to the property for insurance purposes, as well as protection for their work.  How is this handled?  Is it a quit claim deed, or does the builder purchase the ground and then transfer it back at the same price later?  What if money is still owed on the ground?  Does the builder expect that it is paid off before taking possession, or will the builder pay off or assume the note?  If they do not own the ground yet, who purchases the ground?
  2. Sales Price: This is one of the most confusing aspects of off-site builds.  What does the sales price really include?  Is it the shell of the home and the interior finishes are separate?  Is the buyer expected to go to a kitchen and bath studio to select the cabinetry and countertops?  What about flooring or the plumbing and electrical fixtures?  Are they included in the price, or is there a budget to select them?  What about the drive way and landscaping?  Is that included in the pricing?  Often there are additional utility costs when building on a property, have those been considered?  Many builders will run a “cost plus” pricing basis for these types of builds.  These models incentivize the builder to go for the most expensive options when selecting contractors.  What types of protection does the buyer have to make sure the builder is securing the best price?
  3. Contingencies: No matter what the sales price is, or what pricing model the builder utilizes, there are almost always unforeseen costs when building a new home in St. Louis.  In a traditional neighborhood, these costs are typically absorbed by the builder and factored in the pricing for all the homes in the community.  When building off site, the opportunity for the builder to absorb these costs is lost.  So, when something like rock excavation or unsuitable soils remediation is encountered, how is the cost for these items handled?
  4. Financing: This too is often a difficult aspect of off-site builds.  Most builders require the buyer to obtain a construction loan.  This loan will be used to pay the contractors working on the home during construction.  Money is released by phase, or by draws at milestones.  This will often involve bank inspections to ensure that the money being requested is truly for work that has been completed.  A title company typically be in control of releasing the funds after lien waivers have been signed.  For the average homebuyer, this is a difficult and arduous process.  It requires a great deal of paperwork and understanding of construction to process a release.
  5. Warranty: Since so many builders require the buyer to obtain construction financing, the builder doesn’t necessarily have to be very large.  In fact, there are a lot of companies doing off-site builds that are one-man operations.  The buyer needs to gain a very good understanding of what warranty the builder is providing and ensure that it is in writing.  A smaller outfit may not have the staff to adequately provide service for a new home.

There is a new home builder in St. Louis that offers a simplified off-site building opportunity.  They call it “Your Land, Our Plan.”  The Rolwes Company has worked to make the purchase process as easy as buying a home in a traditional neighborhood.

Rolwes allows buyers to select from their existing floor plans that are designed to meet today’s living needs.  If the buyer owns the property, Rolwes will take title via quit claim deed.  However, if the buyer does not own the property, Rolwes is able to pay off the note, or purchase the property outright and figure that into the cost of the home.

As with purchasing a home in one of Rolwes’ traditional neighborhoods, everything is included in the sales price.  Full kitchens, flooring, lighting and plumbing packages as well as a standard landscape plan are included.  There is no need for the buyers to select individual light fixtures for each room of their home.  Of course, there are upgrades available for the buyer to customize the home to their individual needs and desires.

Prior to signing a Purchase Agreement with Rolwes, careful examination is made of the property that is to be built on.  The goal is to incorporate all the costs that will be incurred while building the home on that specific ground.  Items such as length of drive, utility runs, clearing and grading concerns are factored in and a budget is provided that will be included into the purchase price of the home.  There are items that can’t be accounted for, such as rock excavation, but Rolwes’ policy on how to price those items is very transparent to the purchaser.

The largest advantage to choosing to utilize Rolwes Company’s Your Land Our Plan program is that there is no need for the buyer to obtain a construction loan to finance the build.  Rolwes again makes it as easy as building in one of their traditional communities in that regard.  Rolwes handles all the invoicing and payments.  There are no bank inspections, draws or title company disbursements that need to be processed.  This takes an enormous burden off the buyer’s shoulders and saves them a great deal of money on interest with the elimination of the construction loan.

Lastly, the Rolwes family name has been building new homes in the St. Louis area since the mid 1950’s.  They have earned a reputation for quality within the market.  Rolwes offers a 1, 2 and 10 year written warranty program that comes with the sale of every single home.  Their Your Land Our Plan program is no different and buyers can rest assured that if needed, Rolwes will be there to take care of any service that is needed.

For More Information Information About Your Land, Our Plan Visit: https://www.rolwesco.com/communities/your-land-our-plan/

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