Building your first home can be both exciting and challenging at the same time. While buying a previously built home and making a few updates to fit your needs may seem like a fantastic alternative, the home will never have the feeling of comfort and adoration that a home built specifically for you can provide. Let’s face it, custom homes are a fantastic way to make your brand-new home feel like home from the very start; however, if this is your first time building a home then the overwhelming feeling of uncertainty may leave you wondering what might go wrong.
The anticipation of building a home that meets your exact taste and specifications is something that most people dream about, while the reality of learning the dos and don’ts of the process is downright confusing. While building a home may seem straightforward, each state has a different set of requirements to consider and ensuring that these requirements are being strictly adhered to could determine whether or not your home building experience is successful. That is why we developed a list of three things that you should do when building a house in NJ.
1. Consult NJ laws and regulations. While this may seem straightforward, for some it’s not always so apparent. Checking your state’s laws and regulations prior to building will help prevent serious issues later on down the line. For example, according to the State of New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, the law requires a builder to register with the State of New Jersey before starting construction of any new home and before offering a warranty on any new home bought and sold in the State. According to the website, each application should be submitted with a $200 nonrefundable registration fee and, if approved, the builder will receive a registration card that should be presented to the local construction official when construction permits are obtained. Failure to comply with this law may result in a fine of up to $2,000. This is just one example of things to consider before setting up plans to begin building your new home. Taking the time to review the regulations of your state to dot your “i”s and cross your “t”s could prevent a lot of heartache later on down the line.
2. Talk to your builder about your homeowner warranty. Home warranties are required by law in NJ, but warranties come in different shapes and sizes. While each warranty may be different, there are regulations that govern what is required or optional within each warranty. According to section 5:25-2.7 of the New Jersey Administrative Code which was published by the New Jersey Office of Administrative Law, the following is required by law: Each builder or building business entity shall, at the time of registration, indicate on the registration form the warranty plan in which that entity is enrolled or chooses to be enrolled. No builder or building business entity shall be issued a certificate of registration unless they have enrolled or have applied for enrollment in either the State Warranty Plan or a private warranty plan. This means that not only is a warranty required but it one must be obtained prior to a certificate of registration being issued.
3. Fully understand your contract. You know what they say when you assume. Well, when it comes to home-building contracts, this concept is no different. Even if you are wondering about something that may seem insignificant such as weather delays, be sure to ask questions ahead of time and incorporate as much as possible into your contract. After all, it is better to spend time working on a lengthy contract than lose thousands of dollars later because you were too afraid to ask a question early on in the process. If you would like to learn more about things to consider and avoid in a home-building contract, then take a look at some great tips from NOLO.