Dream House: How to Buy a Home From a Builder

Buying a home from a custom design/build company can be an exciting and rewarding experience. However, it can also be complex with many different factors to consider. If you aren’t familiar with the process, here’s how to buy a home from a builder. 


The first step in buying a home from a builder is to do your research. You should begin by identifying the custom home builders in your area. Look at the builders’ websites and check out their reputation with other homebuyers. You can also ask for recommendations from friends and family members who have purchased homes from builders in the past.

Once you have identified a builder that you are interested in working with, you should contact them to schedule a meeting. During this meeting, you will be able to discuss your needs and preferences for your new home, as well as any questions or concerns you may have about the buying process. 

Typically, the builder will provide you with information about the different home styles they offer, the features and upgrades available, and the prices. With a custom home builder, they most likely won’t have model homes to show you. Instead, you can ask about previous custom homes they have built. They’ll be able to tell you the different kinds of customizations they offer, which can include a wide variety of features from mother-in-law suites, larger garages, home offices and custom mud rooms to even more specific aspects like kitchen counter height, an indoor dog wash station, built-in storage and more. 

At this point, if you haven’t already purchased land for your home, it’s important to do so. Some builders will have building lots available for purchase. Some will help you find a lot to buy. 

Designing and Building Your Home

You will meet with the builder’s design team (or an independent designer or architect) to map out your home’s design. Take your time with this process, making sure the design takes full advantage of your site and is exactly what you want. It’s much easier to make changes while a custom home is in the design process than after construction begins. 

Once you have decided on a design for your home, the next step is to negotiate the terms of the sale with the builder. You will need to discuss the purchase price, the payment schedule, and any other details related to the sale.

Finally, once you have agreed to the terms of the sale, you will need to sign a contract and provide a deposit to the builder. This deposit will typically be a percentage of the purchase price, and it will be held in escrow until the closing date. If you plan to finance your home construction project, you’ll most likely take out a construction-to-permanent loan. One of the benefits of this type of loan is that it covers the construction costs then rolls directly into a typical mortgage, saving you the time of searching for a separate mortgage loan. 

The builder will then begin construction on your new home, and you will be able to monitor the progress of the construction and make any necessary changes or upgrades along the way. When the construction is complete, you will attend a closing where you will sign the final paperwork and take possession of your new home.

Still Have Questions About How to Buy a Home From a Builder?

We understand a custom home is a big project, so we’re here to answer your questions. Hensley Homes is a veteran custom home builder in Cincinnati areas including Indian Hill, Montgomery, Mason, West Chester and Loveland. We know the area very well and are accustomed to building homes that suit their site and their owners’ vision. If you’re looking for new homes or are curious how to buy a home from a builder, contact us today to discuss your goals.