Category: Buying A Home

7 Tips for Touring A New Home

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Made the decision to explore new construction homes for your next home? Congratulations!

Touring a new home is exciting, but it can also be overwhelming.

There’s a ton of benefits from going this route. From custom upgrades to choosing your home site, there’s a lot to love about new homes.

One of the first major steps in the home buying process is the preview. Ashdon Builders is here with a few tips to help you along the way!

Make a List of Wants and Needs

One of the first things to consider before visiting the community is writing down what you want and need in a new home.

  • Are there any specific locations you are looking for?
  • How long of a commute is ideal?
  • What nearby amenities are you looking for?
  • Are there any features you want to include in the home such as a downstairs Master Bedroom, mudroom or a large kitchen?

By writing down home priorities, you begin to develop a solid foundation of what you are looking for, before even visiting a new home community. Listing items that you want vs. need in a new home will save you a lot of time and let you focus on the communities that are the best fit.

Take a Ride Through the Neighborhood

It’s worthwhile to take a couple of minutes to ride through the new home community to get an idea of the area. A quality new home builder will have picked a location that reflects the beauty of the home. Explore the nearby neighborhood as well as research the local schools, if you have children.

View a Model Home

Now that you’ve done your research, it’s time to visit!

When you visit the model community, pay attention to the small details. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the size of the kitchen and the bedrooms. Inspect the craftsmanship and the finishes incorporated throughout the home. A quality home builder will make sure that every detail flows together as part of a bigger picture. The details and craftsmanship are what make the home.

Take Notes

Remember to take notes while you are touring the new home. Write down some of your favorite features so that you remember them. This will help you compare/contrast between communities when you sit down to make decisions later. Taking notes can also include picture and video. Sometimes having a photo of the bathroom can jog your memory on its use of space or the quality of the fixtures.

Know What to Ask

Inquire about customization options, customer service after the sale, and how many years the builder has been in the business.

If you are visiting a builder who does customization, ask what options are available. You’d be surprised about the scope of upgrades that a builder can provide. Additionally, some of the features in the model home that you visit may be custom as well, so don’t be shy and ask the site agent if they can also be included in your home!

Ask About Builder Warranties

A builder warranty can be a huge deciding factor for many people when looking into new homes. Even if you work with a quality builder, it’s wise to ensure they have a warranty included in a new home purchase. One of the best warranties to look for is the 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty®. The 2-10 Warranty includes:

  • 10 full years of structural defect coverage for load-bearing components.
  • 2 full years of systems surety coverage against defects in wiring, piping, and ductwork in electrical, plumbing, heating, cooling, ventilating, and mechanical systems.
  • 1 full year of surety coverage against defects in workmanship and materials.

This kind of warranty is vital for a new home purchase. Don’t forget to ask your agent what warranty would come with your new home.

Have Fun with It!

All the tips listed are designed to help make a big decision a little easier. While you’re touring a new home, be sure to enjoy the experience as well. Do your research beforehand so that you can enjoy the process of touring the new home. Explore your options and have fun!

A New Home Community That Matches Your Personality

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Before Ashdon Builders ever breaks ground on a new home community, there’s a lot of thought that goes into delivering the amenities and conveniences that matter to our future homeowners.

If you’ve taken a look around our website, you may start to notice that each of our new construction communities have a distinct look, feel, and even personality.

Whether your dream home involves easy water access, nature trails, close proximity to the beach, lots of activities nearby, or small-town living, we have a community that fits your family’s ideal lifestyle.


Princess Anne Quarter East

Located in the heart of Virginia Beach, this community is perfect for the social butterfly. Easy access to fine dining, entertainment, recreational activities, and the beach—there’s always something to do close by.

Princess Ann Quarter East (PAQE) highlights:

  • Nearby Schools: Princess Anne Elementary, Princess Anne Middle, and Kellam High
  • Flexible floor plans with 4-6 bedrooms
  • Square footage ranging from 2,300 to 3,801
  • 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty, in addition to the One Year Builder Warranty

Open Daily at Noon!

Riverside Estates

In the western section of Suffolk, Virginia, located on the Nansemond River, this location is ideal for the boat and water

lover. Most properties boast deep water access with stunning water views. Enjoy a beautiful day on the water or an evening on a pier, taking in the view!

Riverside Estates highlights:

  • Nearby Schools: Oakland Elementary, Kings Fork Middle, and Kings Fork High
  • Flexible floor plans with 4-6 bedrooms
  • Square footage ranging from 2,300 to 3,801
  • 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty, in addition to the One Year Builder Warranty

Bella Manor

Located in the heart of Hickory in Chesapeake, VA, Bella Manor is perfect for the growing family—with spacious lots and up to six bedrooms! This location is conveniently located to shopping and entertainment in both the Hickory and Great Bridge areas of Chesapeake.

Bella Manor highlights:

  • Nearby Schools: Southeastern Elementary, Great Bridge Middle, and Great Bridge High
  • Square Ft: 2,300 – 3,801
  • 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty, in addition to the One Year Builder Warranty

Last opportunity to become a new homeowner in this community—only one home left!

Greenbrier Station

This new home community is opening March 1, 2019 for the Carriage Home architecture-lover! With a limited number of available homes (both carriage homes and single family homes available), we’re excited to bring this neighborhood to market in Chesapeake! An added bonus—the Greenbrier, Great Bridge, and Mt. Pleasant boroughs are all minutes away.

Greenbrier Station highlights:

  • Location: Close to the Great Bridge Bypass, Kings Daughter’s and Chesapeake Regional Medical Center and of course, the Greenbrier Mall is within close proximity.
  • Nearby Schools: Greenbrier Primary, Greenbrier Intermediate, Greenbrier Middle School, Oscar Smith High School, Greenbrier Christian Academy, Tidewater Community College

New models opening soon!

White’s Landing

In the Western Branch area of Chesapeake, the White’s Landing is another perfect community for the boating and water lover, with waterfront properties and deep water access. Launch your paddleboard or take off on your boat right from your back yard!

White’s Landing highlights:

  • Location: Waterfront community
  • Nearby Schools: Western Branch school system
  • Square Ft: 2,861-3,200
  • Bedrooms: 5

Act fast – only two water front homes still on the market!

Find the new home community that fits your family’s personality today!

A Beginner’s Guide to Buying a New Construction Home

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Buying a home is a big milestone in our lives and it’s typically the largest purchase we will ever make. So it stands to reason that we would want a new home to be as perfect as possible. It’s especially exciting to start fresh, in a new construction home. Imagine moving into a home that is completely pristine, without a fingerprint on anything, modern features, energy efficiency, and options that you can customize to your own tastes.

For new homebuyers, often there can be worries of the buying process being stressful and confusing. It doesn’t have to be so however. With a little planning, research, and patience, homebuyers can stay in control of, and enjoy the process.


Where to start? Breathe.

And do not start looking at homes yet. Consider first, is the time right to buy a new home? Do not make your decision to purchase a home on the idea that you are throwing away money on rent or because it’s a buyers’ market. Make the decision to buy a home because you want to become a homeowner, you are ready to settle down in one place for several years, you are ready to take on the responsibility of maintaining a property, and because you are financially ready.


Determine what you can afford

Take a look at your current financial situation and your financial habits. If you are not saving for a down payment, start immediately. Having a down payment can make a huge difference in your monthly mortgage payment; more on that in a moment.

If you have the time, it also might be a great exercise to do a dry run of paying bills with a mortgage. This can help you experience the reality of making a mortgage payment each month before making the commitment. One important thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want to compare rent to mortgage. When looking at mortgage payment calculations, there are always additional costs to be added in, including homeowner’s insurance, PMI (private mortgage insurance) depending on your down payment, and property tax. On the flip side however, there are really some great tax benefits for homeowners such as deductions for property tax and mortgage interest.

Pros typically recommend the following for financial preparedness:

  • Your mortgage should not exceed 28% of your income; less if you have several other high costs such as private school for example
  • Aim to have 3-6 months of income in an emergency fund.
  • Also plan to have funds saved separately to use for any home improvement and future maintenance. Even with a new construction home, maintenance is a must to keep it in great shape!
  • Be prepared to make a down payment, unless you have VA eligibility. Most loans will require a down payment, the minimum is often at 3% of the purchase price.  It’s important to know however, the more you put down, the lower your monthly mortgage payments will be. And if you are able to make at least a 20% down payment, you will avoid having to pay the PMI (private mortgage insurance) which will save quite a bit as well.


Determine Your Ideal Location

We know the phrase “location is everything”, and that has never been truer when it comes to where you live. Whether it be for a convenient commute to work, proximity to shopping and entertainment, or a particular school district, the location of your new home is a huge factor to consider before you start looking. Once you have narrowed down the locations that would be ideal for your preferences, then you can start looking for new construction homes and communities within those areas.


Decide which features are “must-haves” and which ones are “nice-to-haves”

Before you start shopping for your new home,it’s important to make a list of all the features you want in a home and determine which ones you can’t live without. This is a large investment, and it’s also the place you will call home for several years to come. Your new home should always be a source of comfort and be able to evolve with you as time goes by. For example, if you happen to love gardening but your new home doesn’t have a mudroom, you may find yourself wishing for one as time goes by. Once you have a list of all the features you want, separate them into the “must-haves” (the deal breakers) and the “nice-to-haves”, features that you might be able to add later or live without.


Start house hunting

Now the real fun begins. Searching online is an excellent way to get started, but definitely take drives around the areas you have decided to search in. Get a first-hand look at the communities, layouts, amenities, the neighbors, and look for the open models. Depending the time of day, odds are you can stop at the model and take a tour! Also, be sure to jot down the community and builder details so you can check them out online for more information. Narrow your searches based on your features list and preferred location and enjoy browsing!

A tip to keep in mind. Don’t fall in love at first sight because, sometimes there are other potential buyers who are also falling in love. You don’t want to get your heart set on a home until you know your offer is in and you’ve got your dream home in the bag!


Reach out to the site agent

You don’t need to have a real estate agent when buying a new construction home. Your best bet is to work directly with the site agent who will have the most in-depth knowledge of the homes they are selling and can usually get you a much better deal than a third-party agent. He or she can discuss all of the options available with each model and will have a thorough understanding of what the builder can offer and customize. Your site agent will also be able to guide you through the entire purchase process to make it a streamlined and stress-free experience.


Understanding the types of loans available

There are several types of loans, and multiple options out there, so it pays to do your research to understand what to expect for your financial situation. The most common types of loans include conventional, FHA, and VA. Conventional mortgage loans are not part of any government program and are not guaranteed by the federal government. These loans can sometimes offer additional features based on guidelines set by lenders, for example, using stocks and bonds as security. FHA and VA loans (among others) are government-backed and insured. Benefits include low (FHA) or no (VA) down payment, which makes buying a home accessible to more people.

When you start working with a builder, they will connect you with their lender who can help with all the complexities and specifics of loans. The benefit of working with your builders preferred lender is that often they will be able to provide additional incentives.


Get Pre-qualified

You’ll hear the terms “pre-qualified” and “pre-approved” used frequently when starting your search for a new home, but it can sometimes be confusing to know the difference. Pre-qualified is the first step, it’s fairly simple, and helps you get an idea of what you can afford. Based on your financial picture, including your assets, debt, and income, you will get an approximation of the amount of mortgage you may be approved for. This does not guarantee an amount but will get you started with planning. Getting pre-approved is a more in-depth process, and involves completing a mortgage application, as well as extensive checks into your financial background and credit rating. Your builders preferred lender will be able to help you through this process.


Research homeowner’s insurance

Home insurance is a must! Often you can get a discount on your homeowner’s insurance by using the same company you use for your automotive insurance. A few questions to ask when shopping for insurance. What will the policy cover and what won’t it cover? How much do I need to protect? How much would it cost to rebuild my new home?


Making it official

Once you have found a home you like, it’s time to take the step of making it official. This can be exciting and nerve-wracking all at once, but your site agent will help you through the process and handle all the paperwork. Be prepared, there is a lot of paperwork, but the site agent will review it all with you in detail. You will also be required to put forth “earnest money” as a show of good faith to secure your interest in the property. These funds are held in escrow and are applied to your down payment at closing.


The walk through

Either the day before, or sometimes on the day of closing, you’ll take one more walk through of the home you are about to purchase to ensure all work is completed to your satisfaction. If everything looks good, it’s time to go sign your final paperwork at closing.


Closing the deal and getting the keys to your new home

By now, you’ve traversed the full path to new home ownership and you are just moments away from the next phase of your life.  Be prepared to review several legal documents including the agreement between you and the lender on your mortgage terms, and the agreement between you and the builder. Once you have signed all of your paperwork, you will be given copies of everything, and the keys to your new home.

While buying a new construction home does involve many steps, it can be a very pleasurable experience. We encourage you to take your time shopping for the right home, enjoy all of the wonderful, exciting moments along the way, and most of all, have fun making memories in your new home. Cheers!