RESOURCES FOR NEW HOMEBUYERS

The process of having a new home built for you can be a bit intimidating, especially if it’s your first time. Empire has pulled together great resources to help you along. If you have any questions, just contact us.

WHY HAVE A NEW HOME BUILT FOR YOU?

New home versus resale? Which is better? Which costs more? Which appreciates faster? Which comes with a warranty? We dare to compare.

Getting a little lost in the new homebuying lingo? This glossary defines some of the terms you might come across.

FINDING A FANTASTIC COMMUNITY

Urban, suburban or country? Not sure what type of community suits your needs and style? We have an article with a slider that you might find helpful.

Jump right in and check out all of Empire’s communities.

GETTING YOUR FINANCES READY

Empire’s homebuyer guide to finances spells out what you need to know, from getting pre-approved to special programs available for new homebuyers.

What can you afford? Get some estimates with Empire’s mortgage calculator and monthly budgeting tools.

PURCHASING YOUR NEW HOME

Do you need an agent to buy? What about a lawyer? Empire walks you through the entire purchasing process in a helpful Infographic.

DESIGNING YOUR NEW HOME

Empire partners with the best in the industry for design to make the process of personalizing your new home enjoyable. Find out more about our decor process and local design partners below.

CLOSING YOUR NEW HOME

Help make your big day efficient! Empire’s homebuyer’s closing guide makes sure you have all your bases covered. Read the article and download our handy Closing Checklist.

PROTECTING YOUR INVESTMENT

As a new Homebuyer with Empire we want to make sure you are protected by the most comprehensive coverage available.

Empire prides itself on being one of the most recognized green builders in the industry. Homes in the Texas market will be certified under the Environments for Living ® program, the only national turn-key program designed to assist builders in constructing energy-efficient homes using the principles of building science.

If you buy a new home from Empire, we ensure to have it inspected by a third party certified building inspection service. Dale Phillips Inspection Service is a trusted partner providing a high standard of quality assurance.

Your investment requires seasonal maintenance to ensure it continues to run smoothly. View our checklists and other home maintenance resources to make sure you have all of your bases covered.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Still have questions? Check out our frequently-asked-questions section to find an answer.

Q:WHAT IS A HOMEOWNER ORIENTATION?

A:A Homeowner Orientation consists of a walk-through and visual inspection of the home. It provides you with an opportunity to view your new home prior to taking occupancy and to document any damages or missing items. While inspecting your new home for any scratches, chips or dents to your finishes, you should also verify that all upgrades and specific selections that you made during your color selection are accurately installed.

Q:CAN I ADD OR DELETE AN ITEM AFTER I COMPLETE MY FINAL APPOINTMENT WITH MY DESIGN CONSULTANT?

A:Your Design Consultant will find out whether the production schedule allows for the change. You will meet with your sales consultant after your last design center appointment to finalize all upgrades.

Q:WHY DO SOME UPGRADES COST MORE THAN AT THE LOCAL HOME RENOVATION STORE?

A:Upgrades provided by Empire Communities will be fully installed when you move in, which eliminates potential scheduling changes or the inconvenience that may result from making an independent purchase after closing. What’s more, the upgrade pricing you’re given at your Design appointment is guaranteed until closing, and you can finance the cost of the upgrades into your loan, which reduces out of pocket expenses.

Q:WHY DON’T WE NEGOTIATE PRICING AT THE DESIGN CENTER?

A:We like to think that we’re giving you the best home for the best price with the best builder upgrade prices. We also believe in treating every single purchaser in a fair and consistent manner. The best way to treat every one equally is for us to charge everyone the same price.

Q:HOW DO I SUBMIT MY WARRANTY FORMS?

A:If you live in Austin and San Antonio, you can submit warranty claims on the third party warranty website. Once they receive the warranty form, they will contact Empire to schedule an appointment to review the noted items. You may also contact Empire directly using our warranty request form.

If you live in Houston, please submit any request, in writing, directly to the 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty for processing at Empirewarranty@2-10.com. Once they receive the warranty form, they will notify our Construction Team to contact you in order to schedule an appointment to review the noted items.

Q:WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR SETTING UP THE UTILITIES FOR MY CLOSING DAY?

A:You should contact the utility companies to transfer your services. This should be done prior to your closing day.

Q:WHY CAN’T I PERFORM ANY WORK ON MY OWN PRIOR TO CLOSING DAY?

A:For your own safety and for quality assurance reasons, we cannot allow you to do any work in your home prior to closing day. Should you wish to perform any work on your own you must wait until after closing day. Any independent work will be removed immediately as it can interrupt the production schedule, impede the certification process and void your warranty with Empire Communities.

Q:HOW DO I GET MY KEYS ON MY CLOSE DATE?

A:The sales consultant will give you keys after you have closed at the title company and the loan is considered fundable. If you closed with an Empire approved mortgage company and title company, your keys will be available the same day as closing.

Q:What do I need to do to ensure a timely start of construction on my new home?

A:If you live in Houston, there are a few steps that you can take over the next few weeks to help us obtain all the information needed to start the construction of your home, including:
a) complete a loan application with one of our preferred lenders and provide evidence of your loan application to your Sales Counselor within 7 days of your contract date,
b) schedule and complete your Design Center selections within 21 days of your contract date,
c) obtain a Conditional Loan Approval letter from the lender and provide it to your Sales Counselor within 30 days of your contract date,
d) review all selections, options, and any notes with your Sales Counselor before signing off on the Options & Upgrades Agreement, and
e) provide your Sales Counselor a deposit for the full amount of your options.

Q:Can I add or delete an item after I complete my final appointment with my Design Consultant?

A:If you live in Houston, your Sales Counselor will find out whether the production schedule allows for the change. Changes and/or cancellations made after the finalization of the Options Agreement will be charged a fee of $250 per item, plus a 10% restocking fee. The full amount must be paid at the time of reselect.

Q:Why do some upgrades cost more than at the local home renovation store?

A:Upgrades provided by Empire Communities will be fully installed when you move in, which eliminates potential scheduling changes or the inconvenience that may result from making an independent purchase after closing. Depending on the product, there may also be an extended warranty with the manufacturer. In addition, the cost of the upgrade can be financed in the home purchase. What’s more, the upgrade pricing you are given at your Design appointment is guaranteed until closing.

Q:I like decorated model “A.” Will my house be finished like that?

A:One of the main purposes of our model homes is to show you the many different ways in which you can personalize and decorate your home. That is why the models are decorated with a wide variety of upgrades. We are very proud of the large selection of upgrades available for our homes. At your Empire Design appointment, your Design Consultant will be happy to show you all the features included in your home as well as the upgrades.

Q:Where can I get the working drawings for my home?

A:Empire Communities does not release the working drawings as they are the property of our company.

Q:How do I get my keys on my close date?

A:Our Sales Counselor will give you the keys to your new home after closing, when your loan has funded.

Q:I had a verbal agreement with someone in your organization. Will you fulfill that agreement?

A:We are committed to fulfilling our obligations as noted in your Earnest Money Contract and we are confident you will be as proud of your Empire home as we are. That said, we are unable to fulfill any verbal agreements. We recommend you get all commitments pertaining to your home in writing. Included features are noted in your Standard Specifications sheet, which is part of your Contract Package.