Possibly Signing New-Home Contract Next Week, Seek Advice

Possibly Signing New-Home Contract Next Week, Seek Advice
Hi,
Next week I'll begin negotiations with a builder regarding a home that has been framed in and is nearing the bricking stage. It will be the first home I've purchased (although I've bought, and own outright, a Condominium). I have a few basic questions. First, note that the builder has a good reputation: He's built two homes in the neighborhood already, and a third with his Father-in-Law, and the owners are very happy with his work. Furthermore, folks that live in adjacent homes have watched him build, and they have been pleased with what they've seen.
1. Are there any forums, web-based or Usenet, that are very active and are designed for those that are building homes?
2. I need to study-up on contracts (if we succesfully negotiate I will sign a contract and give him earnest money), most especially contracts that are signed in mid-construction, when quite a bit is left to do. Generally speaking, how detailed should the contract as regards what the builder is obligated to do with the remainder of the construction? In other words, should it contain details like soffet lights, types of doors, number of electrical outlets, countertop materials, etc, or should it address those issues in broad terms? One of the things I'm most concerned with is the quality of the HVAC unit, Water Heater, and Appliances.
Thanks,
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are
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The best advice I can give is to seek an attorney or realtor in your area and get an typical contract to read. If you want to read horror stories go to KBhomesucks.com or any other big time builder. Ask the guy for his contract to read first.
Make damn sure you can get your money back if he fails to perform.
What out for the completion date. I know people that have had to wait up to 6 months for their new home for one reason or another. Pretty hard on ya when you have sold the old place based on the fact that there was a date given for competition.
Good luck, may fair winds be at your back on this one
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Drawings and Specifications are part of the contract. Study them carefully. If you are not sure you understand them, have the builder explain them to you. An architect, designer, or drafter can do the same for a fee.
TB
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