The Building Process with ICI Homes
Buying Your ICI Home - 5 Easy Steps
OK, you're ready! You've decided on the community, you've picked out the perfect home site, you know exactly which floor plan you want, how much customization you would like, and you've got your financing lined up. What's next?
Step 1: Make Your Decisions
It's time to go to contract, and in order to do that, you need to make a few decisions regarding your new home up front so that it can be included in your agreement. This is done so that as soon as everyone has signed off, the building process can get started right away! Plans are drawn, a survey ordered, energy calculations secured and roof truss engineered. Here's what you need to know:
- Model name, plan number and lot number
- Exterior elevation
- Garage right or left, as viewed from street
- All structural options like a bonus room or extra square footage that’ll be part of the "foot print", including any additional customization you’d like to include
Step 2: Sign Your Agreement
Signing the Agreement for Sale and Purchase or Construction Agreement marks a very important step in the process and outlines everyone's responsibilities for the construction of your new home. It sets out time line for action, buyer and seller responsibilities, and other general terms and conditions. Make sure your sales consultant thoroughly reviews all the paperwork with you and that you understand every word. Ask questions! It's our job to answer all your questions so that you are comfortable with the process.
It’s a big step, so don't rush!
Step 3: Schedule Your Appointments
You have a few important responsibilities regarding your new home. First, you need to make a design center appointment within the time specified by your agreement. If you are financing your new home, you need to make application to a lender within three days. Once the contract has been fully executed, additional steps must be taken before construction of your new home may begin.
Step 4: Personalize Your Home
After the contract has been fully executed, the color selections, options and upgrade selection process can begin. A meeting will be scheduled at ICI Homes’ Design Center with a design professional to finalize your plans, options and color selections. There you will decide on all the interior finishes. This can be overwhelming but it can also be a lot of fun. Take your time and communicate your personal preferences so the designer can help to create an environment that both suits and pleases you.
Please note that the timeframe for completing selections is one of your contractual requirements because construction of your home cannot begin until your plan is finalized, all the materials are ordered and a building permit is submitted for approval and granted. If you are not able to make your design selections personally, designate a representative to make the choices for you.
The more prepared you are the more fun you will have! Do your best homework BEFORE your design center appointment. Changes made after purchase orders have been released and/or construction has begun are costly and will delay the construction process.
Step 5: Finalize Your Financing
The additional options and colors you select will be added to your agreement. In some cases, a portion of the options may be financed along with the purchase of your home. Note and remit additional deposits due as specified in the agreement and finally, finish up your loan application and submit a copy of your loan commitment to ICI Homes. During this time, all of the purchase orders will be initiated so that as soon as your building permit is received, all of the components of building your new home can be assembled in a “START” package and released to your builder.
Building Your ICI Home - 4 Easy Steps
OK, this will seem like the longest part of the process because you see nothing happening on your home site for weeks, and of course it seems like months. But there is a lot happening behind the scenes. So, what IS happening?
Well, important things are being completed like energy calculations, roof truss design, finalizing your selections, cutting all the hundred pages of work orders, scheduling the trades, and working with the city and county municipalities to obtain your building permit. So hang in there…
Step 1: Meet Your Builder, Pre-Construction Time
Once the permit has been received, the “START” package is released to your ICI homebuilder. This package includes the permit, survey showing your home on the lot, color selections, plans and the entire set of purchase orders that inform the builder which suppliers and subcontractors will provide labor and materials for your home.
From there, the builder designs the work schedule and contacts you to set up the Pre-Construction meeting to confirm your selections, verify the orientation of the home on the proposed house survey and answer specific questions you may have about the actual construction process. It’s a good idea to take some time to think about questions ahead of time and come prepared with a list so you’re comfortable with your builder and the exciting process that’s about to begin. If you cannot attend your construction meetings, make sure to line up a substitute.
Step 2: Watch Your Progress, Essential Communication
Build time will vary depending on the location, size and complexity of the home you have ordered. From the time the slab is poured to the issue of your CO (certificate of occupancy) typically takes between sixteen and thirty-six weeks. Periodically, you’ll be asked to attend construction meetings. These meetings will take place during normal weekday business hours, and your attendance is highly recommended. If you have authorized someone to act on your behalf at the time of contract due to your inability to attend the meetings, your builder will schedule such a meeting with your representative.
Step 3: Make Your Notes, Progress Walk
A mid-construction walk between you and your Builder will occur after construction is well underway, but prior to insulation and drywall. This review will familiarize you with what goes on “behind the walls”. During this meeting, you will go through the home to ensure that the standard features and options selected are included. This is another excellent opportunity for you to get answers to most of your construction-related questions.
Step 4: Do Your Final Walk-Through, Home Orientation
Approximately two weeks prior to closing, your builder will contact you to arrange the Final Walk-Through and Orientation which will occur after your home is complete, usually one to three days prior to closing. Your builder will walk you through the many features of your new home, familiarize you with the proper operation of the home’s equipment and review the maintenance requirements. This is your chance to go through your new home thoroughly. Ask questions! Make sure all items of concern are noted in writing on the Walk-Through form so they can be addressed as quickly as possible.
This is important so take your time. Finally, you are on the home stretch! Your builder will be attending to the items noted at the Walk-Through and coordinating all the final touches. The builder’s highest priority is making sure that your new home is complete, clean and ready for your move-in day.
Closing Your ICI Home - 5 Easy Steps
After watching your new home come to reality, the time has come to prepare to close or settle on your new home. ICI Homes uses the experts at Southern Title to prepare your closing documentation and close your new home with you. Good communication on all sides is essential for an efficient closing process. This can be the most stressful time, but it’s also the most exciting time and being prepared is the key to a smooth closing.
Step 1: Prepare to Close, Stay In Touch
Approximately thirty days prior to your closing, you will receive a Closing Letter from ICI Home’s Closing Department with your closing date and location. This notice contains necessary information needed to ensure a smooth closing. Should you be financing your new home, now is a good time to check with your lender to be assured you have met all of the conditions of your loan approval and that all is on track to meet the closing date.
Step 2: Line Up Your Insurance and Utilities
Contact all local utility companies to start service in your name as of the closing date. If you have not yet contacted an insurance agent to acquire Homeowner’s Insurance, you should do so at this time. Your lender will normally require a twelve month prepaid policy in order to process your package for closing. Please be sure to get your insurance agent’s name and address to your lender as soon as possible.
Step 3: Finalizing Your Closing Figures and Wire
Once your lender has finalized their closing package, they will give you the final figures for closing which must be wired to the Title Agent. (Southern Title will send their wire instructions via USPS to your address. For safety measures, Southern Title cannot email wire instructions to you but are happy to discuss over the phone should you need).
Step 4: Closing Your New Home
On this important day, you’ll meet with the Title Agent to sign your closing documents. It is the Title Agent’s responsibility to disburse all money to the appropriate parties and to record the necessary documents to protect the interests of you and your lender. Once signing is complete, you will receive a Closing Binder which will include a copy of the paperwork along with your keys, garage door openers, original survey, termite treatment warranty, copy of the Certificate of Occupancy, and a number of other ‘builder’ materials. Your warranty deed and title commitment will be mailed to you in 4-6 weeks. The whole process usually takes about an hour. Once concluded, it’s official!
Step 5: Take Possession of Your New Home
You are now the proud owner of your new ICI home! It’s finally time to move in. Take the first few weeks to become familiar with your home and note any items you may discover as you settle in which might need repair or attention. Please Log In to the ICI Homes’ warranty department ‘web portal’ as outlined in your Closing Binder so we can schedule time to complete any outstanding items on your list.
Congratulations and welcome to the family of ICI Home Owners!
Caring for Your ICI Home - 5 Easy Steps
You’re finally moved into your new ICI Home. Great customer satisfaction does not end at closing, but continues after you have settled into your new home and ICI Homes’ warranty team will be there for you every step of the way, working to make sure your home is in perfect working order, so how does all this work?
Step 1: Organize Your Documents
It is important to gather all your closing documents together and tuck them safely away for easy future reference. Your closing statement, termite guarantee, final survey, certificate of occupancy, subcontractor contact information, warranty forms and your HBW 2-10 Warranty application form were all included. You will refer to it often in the initial weeks after move-in.
Step 2: Complete Your Forms
How important is this? It’s very important. If you haven’t filled out your manufacturers’ warranty registration cards, get that done because it triggers the products specific warranty that may extend your coverage beyond the first year, and then stash those manuals in a safe place. Also, you received a sample 2-10 HBW Booklet at the time of purchase. If you haven’t already done so, take the time to review it now so you know what is and isn’t covered. Fill out the HBW application form and send it in. Whether you take occupancy or not, your HBW warranty begins on the day of closing.
Step 3: Start Your Punch List
The ICI Homes Warranty Team is your primary contact for any questions about your home and warranty, and to request additional service that may be required after you move in. There may be a few items left on the pre-close punch list that will need to be scheduled for repair. In addition, there are always a few things that you will find only after you have lived in your new home for several days or weeks. You will need to grab that warranty form you stashed with your closing documents, fill it out and send it in. If you group your requests together, they will be processed in a more timely fashion and the work can be scheduled with a minimum of disruption to your daily life.
Step 4: Tell Us What You Think
Your complete satisfaction is the number one goal at ICI Homes. One of the best ways for you to communicate your satisfaction and yes, your dissatisfaction if any, is to take ten minutes to take the satisfaction survey when our 3rd party research firm calls you 30-45 days after closing. You will be called a second time about five months later and a final time just before the one year mark. This gives you three opportunities to speak your mind and let us know what you think and gives ICI Homes three opportunities to improve our customers’ experience. Whether it’s to acknowledge someone who did a great job for you, relate a process that drove you crazy, or tell us about the quality of the subcontractors, the products, overall design and workmanship, your good and honest opinion is worth its weight in gold.
Step 5: Get Your Maintenance Schedule Going
Neglect of routine maintenance can void applicable limited warranty coverage on all or part of your home, so you will want to set up a maintenance schedule and stick to it! Many times a minor adjustment or repairs preformed immediately can save a more serious, time-consuming and sometimes costly repair later. The ICI Homes Warranty Team can furnish you with a ICI Home Systems Maintenance Guide that will answer the most commonly asked questions to the Warranty Team and spell out the proper care and suggested maintenance in detail for every major system in your new home including the heat/air conditioning, plumbing, electrical, flooring, insulation, windows and doors, landscaping, ventilation, cabinetry, appliances and more. Performing the necessary maintenance on your new home will protect your investment and enable you to enjoy your new home for years to come.