How do I purchase a lot?

We had a great question come in to us recently and we received permission to share it with you all. Matt emailed with a question:

Matt: My wife and I would like to build a new home. We've found several lots and several developments that we're interested in, but don't know how to go about buying a lot. Would I need to first find a builder that we like, then find out which lots they have available? Or would I need to buy a lot myself, then choose a builder? Any help would be appreciated. 
Do you know if there is a map of lots for sale in the Omaha area?

Build Omaha: Great question!  Each development is different. Some sell every lot to a home builder before the roads even go in. These are called builder-attached lots. Other developments have lots open for anyone to purchase, which they may advertise as having lots NOT builder-attached. The best option would be for you to choose a builder and then ask them what lots they have available in that development. If you find a lot you would really like, but it is owned by a builder other than the builder you would like to go with, then your builder can sometimes trade lots with them to still get you that lot. So, yes, find lots you prefer, but first look around for builders and see who you would like to build with and they can usually help you get a lot you are satisfied with. 

As far as a map of available lots, the closest thing to that is on our website. It does not have everything available listed, but it is the best out there. The most up to date list of lots available can sometimes be found on a developers website, if you are able to track down who developed the neighborhood. Usually it is posted on signs at the entrances to the development.

Thanks, Matt, for your question!  If YOU have questions about the building industry and new homes in Omaha, please contact us.

The Step-By-Step Building Process

So you have decided on a builder for your new home, you've found the perfect lot, the papers have been signed, and you're all set to go. So now what?  Below is a general guideline of the typical flow and process of building a new home. While it won't look exactly the same for every builder, this is the general step-by-step schedule that you need to follow in order to build your home in an efficient manner. Keep in mind that all of these items will be managed by your building company, but it can be helpful to know where you are at, where you're headed, and what may be too late or very expensive to change if you decide to modify something that has already been completed.
  1. Apply for building permit
  2. Stake the house on the lot
  3. Dig the basement
  4. Form and pour the concrete basement
  5. Backfill foundation
  6. Frame the house
  7. Plumbing rough-in
  8. Pour basement and garage floors
  9. Install duct work
  10. Install electrical wiring
  11. Apply roofing and front stone
  12. City inspections
  13. Insulation in walls
  14. Drywall
  15. Interior doors and window trimmed
  16. Cabinets installed
  17. Painter finishes interior and exterior
  18. Ceramic tile and other surfaces installed
  19. Fireplace veneer applied
  20. Plumbing ,heating ,and electrical finishes are done
  21. Yard grading ,landscape ,sprinkler system, and sod installed
  22. Flooring and carpet laid
  23. Punch list (items that need to be tweaked based on the final walk-through)
  24. Cleaning
  25. Close on the home and move in!

A Step by Step Guide to Begin Building a New Home

While the journey of building a new home won't look the same for every buyer or every builder, there is a flow to the process that is a good guidepost to help you know where you are, where you've been, and where you're going when you are getting ready to build. 
  1. Get pre-approved for a home mortgage. This will help you know what you can and can't afford to build. 
  2. Begin to narrow down the community and location you want to live in. Not all builders can build in every neighborhood, so this is a good first step before determining who to build with in most cases. Make sure the neighborhood has the school system, lot sizes, and parks, for example, that you prefer and is in a location that is most advantageous for you. 
  3. Make a wish list of features you want. By evaluating your current home and exploring ideas in our inspiration gallery and even through tours of homes in the area, begin to create a list of "must haves" and "wants" for your next home.
  4. Select a price rangeBased on your pre-approval information, the neighborhoods you're considering, and your wish list, come up with a reasonable range you are willing to spend in purchasing your new home. 
  5. Start to narrow down the choice of buildersUse our mapping feature as a tool to help you begin to narrow down who is able to build in your preferred area(s) for your price. Try to narrow it down to 3-4 builders and begin contacting them to meet and discuss the specifics of what you're looking for. They will propose to you a layout that meets your needs, with the features you've chosen, and give you an estimate of what it will cost.
  6. Select a builder. Using this list of what to look for in a builder (coming soon!) choose the builder that you feel most comfortable with and best fits your needs. Keep in mind that you will be working closely with this person and their company for anywhere from 6-12 months or more, so when choosing a builder, don't consider only price but also compatibility, their home warranty service, and their years of experience. 
  7. Begin building your new home! Once you have selected your builder and the contract is signed, this is where the real fun begins as you begin to conceptualize and then see your new home being built from the ground up. The building process brings along its own set of choices along the way, but make sure to enjoy the journey knowing that in the end you have found a home that not only fits your budget, but also fulfills your dreams of a new lifestyle and home.