New Construction In Charleston SC

Dated: February 17 2017

Views: 1025

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With many opportunities for new construction in the Charleston area, you may have considered this option for yourself. It is important to understand the process of building a home and the role that a buyer's agent plays in the process. (Yes, you still need a buyer's agent even in buying new construction!)

The Process

  • Foundation

    • A crew will clear and prepare the homesite by leveling the land and putting up wooden forms to guide the foundation. They dig the footings and fit the plumbing drains and electrical chases, then poor the slab. The concrete takes time to cure before the crew can apply a waterproof coating to the foundation and install plumbing. A city inspector will check the site and ensure that the foundation is up to code. 

  • Rough Framing

    • The floors, walls, and roof are completed and covered in plywood or oriented strand board on the exterior. The windows and doors are installed, and the house is wrapped with a protective barrier to reduce the risk of mold or wood rot.

  • Rough Plumbing, Electrical, and HVAC

    • The next step is installing pipes, wires, sewer lines, water lines, tubs and showers, and the ductwork for an HVAC system. Once the roofing is complete, the builders install the receptacles for outlets, lights, and switches. Throughout this process, three more inspections will be completed for framing, plumbing, and electrical and mechanical systems. These inspections typically happen separately.

  • Insulation

    • Insulation for new construction is typically in the form of blanket insulation or blown insulation, and is usually made of fiberglass, cellulose, or mineral-wool.

  • Drywall, Interior Fixtures, and some Exterior Finishes

    • Drywall is hung, and the seams are taped before painters apply a primer coat. On the outside of the home, finishes such as siding, brick, stucco, or stone are applied.

  • Finish Interior Trim, Install Exterior Driveways and Walkways

    • Inside the home, the doors, baseboards, window sills, crown molding, stair railings, cabinets, vanities, fireplace mantels, and other such features are finished. Then, painters apply the finishing coats of paint.

  • Flooring and Counters

    • All flooring, kitchen counter tops, and bathroom counter tops are installed in the home.

  • Mechanical Trim and Bathroom Fixtures

    • Light fixtures, outlets, switches, and the electrical panel is finished. The HVAC is installed and begins running. In the bathrooms, all sinks, toilets, and faucets are installed. Mirrors and shower doors are also put in place before the fifth inspection. A building-code official completes the final inspection and issues a certificate of occupancy. Outside, landscaping is completed.

  • Final Walk-through!

    • You will walk through your home with your agent and your builder. This is the time for you to learn about where the features are in your home and to note any items that need to be fixed or changed. After you move in, there is no way to prove that there was an issue prior to your arrival, so be sure to scrutinize each room. Your agent will be vital at this time because he/she will often notice items that you may not even think to look for as you move from room to room. Agents typically bring painters tape to mark areas to bring to the builder’s attention.

Why You Should Still Have a Buyer's Agent

It is important to have a real estate buyer's agent during the building process. As soon as you hire an agent, it is his/her responsibility to help you get the best deal, look out for your best interests, and navigate the sometimes murky waters of the new build process. It is quite common for a buyer to think they are going to "get a better deal" not using a buyer's agent, after all, this is new construction we're talking here, not a resale! HUGE myth!  The building company (the seller) actually pays your agent after the closing. You're not paying a dime to use your buyer's agent, yet reaping all the benefits of having a person that has your back, has loads of experience walking through the journey of new construction, and who knows how to talk to the builder's site agent managing your new build and keep them on track. You should be sure to have one before visiting the new construction site so he/she can support you throughout the process. Your realtor will also help you line up a professional home inspector and write a contingency in your offer for this additional inspection. The agent will also help to put you in touch mortgage brokers and closing attorneys. Buying a new home can be intimidating, so it is comforting to have someone to turn to with questions, and be a major advocate for you when unexpected situations arise or if something has not going according to your satisfaction. Because as we all know, even with the best of intentions, things just happen sometimes!  More importantly, your agent will ask the questions that you may not think to ask! The builder has an agent on his side. Do you have someone on your side?

Contact us at for more information or to set up a time to see some new construction communities in the Lowcountry.

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Dan Lorentz

About Dan Lorentz, ABR, CRS, Founder & Team Leader of Greater Charleston Properties: Founder and Team Leader of the Greater Charleston Properties Team, Dan Lorentz, has lived in the Charleston, SC ....

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