New Home Construction Terms Every Homebuyer Should Know

New Home Construction Terminology: An A-Z Guide for Homebuyers

Are you ready to embark on the exciting journey of purchasing a new construction home? As a trusted builder with over 50 years of experience in crafting homes across the East Coast, we are here to break down essential new home construction terms and words every homebuyer should know. Let’s dive in:


What is an appraisal? An appraisal is an assessment of a property’s value conducted by a certified appraiser. It helps determine the home’s fair market value, which is crucial for securing a mortgage loan and ensuring its price aligns with market standards. 

Learn more about home appraisals.

Buildable Plan:

A buildable plan refers to a specific home design or layout that can be constructed on a given lot. It includes architectural details, dimensions, and features that guide the construction process. Buildable plans typically include various upgradable options to help make it your own.

Certificate of Occupancy (CO):

A Certificate of Occupancy (CO) is a legal document issued by local authorities once a new construction home is completed and deemed safe for occupancy. It confirms that the home complies with building codes and regulations. A Certificate of Occupancy is a crucial document for new home communities, as it signifies that each individual dwelling within the community meets all necessary safety and regulatory standards, allowing occupants to legally reside in the homes and access essential services.

Community Development District (CDD): 

A Community Development District (CDD) is a special taxing district created by developers to finance and manage infrastructure and amenities in a specific residential area—these districts fund projects like roads, utilities, and recreational facilities. Overall, a CDD plays a crucial role in the development and management of new home communities by providing the necessary infrastructure and services to support residents’ quality of life.

Closing Costs: 

Closing costs for a new construction home are expenses incurred by the buyer during the final stages of the home purchase process. Closing costs are fees associated with finalizing the purchase of your new home. These can include lender fees, title insurance, property taxes, and more. Budgeting for these costs and the home’s purchase price is essential. These costs are in addition to the purchase price of the property and are typically paid at the closing, the meeting where ownership of the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer.

Learn more about closing on a new construction home.


An elevation refers to a home’s structural exterior design from the front, back, and side, including various brick, stone, roofing, and trim options. Elevations will help you understand the home’s exterior aesthetics and curb appeal. In new home construction, elevations are typically categorized by the home design name with various letters.

Miramar A

Miramar B

Flex Space:

A flex space refers to a versatile area within a home that can serve multiple purposes. It’s a space that can be adapted to meet the changing needs of homeowners, such as a room that can function as a home office, home gym, guest bedroom, or playroom. Flex spaces play a valuable role in new construction homes by offering homeowners the flexibility to personalize their living spaces and create environments that reflect their individual preferences and lifestyles. These versatile areas enhance the functionality and usability of the home, providing homeowners with the freedom to adapt their living spaces to suit their evolving needs over time.

Floor Plan: 

A floor plan, also commonly referred to as a home design, is a detailed architectural drawing that outlines the layout of a home. It includes the arrangement and dimensions of rooms, walls, windows, doors, and other structural elements. Reviewing floor plans is essential to visualize the flow of your future home and ensure it aligns with your lifestyle needs.

Learn more about floor plans and home designs.


Framing is the construction stage where the skeletal structure of a home is built using wood or steel studs. This includes walls, floors, and the roof framework that forms the basic shape of the house. Framing is a fundamental aspect of new construction homes, as it provides the structural framework upon which the rest of the building is constructed. A well-executed framing process is essential for ensuring the strength, stability, and safety of the home for years to come.

Homeowners Association (HOA): 

An HOA is an organization established by a community’s developer to manage and maintain common areas and shared amenities within a residential development. When you purchase a home in an HOA-managed community, you become a member and must pay regular dues. These funds go toward maintaining the community’s appearance, amenities, and services. An HOA plays a significant role in new construction homes by providing governance, management, and maintenance services to ensure that the community remains well-maintained, cohesive, and desirable for residents. While HOA membership comes with certain obligations and responsibilities, it also offers benefits such as shared amenities, enhanced property values, and a sense of community pride.

Learn more about HOAs.


A homesite refers to the specific piece of land within a development or community where your new home will be built. It’s your canvas for creating your dream home, and its location, size, orientation, and features can significantly impact your overall living experience.

Learn more about homesites.

Home Inspection: 

A home inspection is a thorough evaluation of a property’s condition conducted by a certified inspector. It identifies any existing or potential issues with the home’s structure, systems, and components.

Learn more about home inspections.

Integral Garage vs. Attached Garage:

The main difference between a flat homesite and a hilly homesite is the positioning of the garage. The garage of an integral home design is built into or next to a hill on the lower level of the home, whereas the garage of an attached home aligns with the home’s first floor.

Learn more about integral vs. attached garages.

Leaseback Home:

A leaseback home, also known as a leaseback arrangement, occurs when a builder constructs a model or showcase home within a community and then leases it back from the buyer for a predetermined period. This arrangement benefits both parties: the builder can showcase their work in an actual living environment, while the buyer, often an investor, receives a rental income stream. It’s essential to clarify the terms of the leaseback agreement, including rent amount, lease duration, and maintenance responsibilities, before entering into such an arrangement.

Learn more about leaseback homes.

Lot Premium:

A lot premium is an additional cost for selecting a specific homesite within a development. Homesites with desirable features such as larger dimensions, better views, corner locations, or proximity to amenities may have a higher price tag due to their increased desirability. Lot premiums are meant to reflect the added value of these features and are often disclosed upfront, allowing homebuyers to make informed decisions based on their preferences and budget.

Master-Planned Community:

A master-planned community is a residential development that is meticulously designed to offer a holistic living experience. These communities typically incorporate a variety of amenities such as parks, recreational facilities, schools, shopping centers, and more. The goal is to create a self-sufficient and well-balanced living environment for residents.

Model Home:

A model home is an entirely constructed and furnished floor plan which exemplifies what the builder offers. It showcases the design, finishes, and features available for homebuyers to choose from.

Explore our model homes.


Permitting involves obtaining the necessary approvals and licenses from local authorities before beginning construction. This ensures that the construction plans meet building codes, zoning regulations, and other requirements.

Learn more about building permits.

Rough Ins:

Rough ins, short for rough installations, refer to the initial stages of installing essential systems within the home’s walls, floors, and ceilings before finishing work begins. These installations include items like plumbing, electrical wiring, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) ductwork. Rough-ins are crucial in the construction process, as they lay the groundwork for the home’s functionality and comfort. Once rough-ins are completed, the finishing stages, such as drywall and interior fixtures, can proceed.


A rendering is a visual representation or illustration of the completed home’s appearance. It’s often a highly detailed and lifelike image that provides a realistic preview of the home’s exterior and sometimes interior spaces. Renderings are helpful tools for helping homebuyers visualize the finished product and understand how various design elements will come together. Builders may use renderings during pre-construction to showcase different design options and allow buyers to make more informed choices.

Carlisle: Rendering

Carlisle: Model Home

Scattered Lot:

A scattered homesite is a plot of land that intertwines with other builders. It allows you to build your dream home on a lot that is not part of a specific planned community. 

Learn more about scattered lots.


A slab is a flat, concrete foundation upon which a home is built. It serves as the base for the structure and provides stability and support for the walls and floors. Slab foundations offer several advantages for new construction homes, including cost-effectiveness, simplicity of construction, and resistance to moisture and pests. However, they may not be suitable for all soil types or environmental conditions, so it’s important to consider site-specific factors when choosing the foundation type for a new home.

Quick Delivery Home:

A quick delivery home, also known as a move-in ready home or inventory home, is a newly constructed home that is already complete or nearing completion. These homes are ideal for buyers who want a faster move-in process without waiting for the entire construction timeline. With a quick delivery home, you can often enjoy the benefits of new construction, including modern features and finishes, without the typical wait time associated with building from scratch. It’s essential to inquire about available quick-delivery homes if you’re looking for a more expedited homebuying experience.

Learn more about quick delivery homes.

Upgrades and Options: 

Builders often offer various upgrades and options that allow you to customize your new home. These include upgraded flooring, countertops, appliances, lighting fixtures, and more. Understanding your options and their costs can help you tailor your home to your preferences.

Walk-Through Inspection: 

Before closing on your new home, you’ll have the opportunity to conduct a walk-through inspection. This involves reviewing the home’s condition, systems, and finishes to ensure they meet your expectations. Any necessary adjustments or repairs can be identified and addressed before you take ownership.

Learn more about inspections.


A new home warranty is a guarantee from the builder that covers certain aspects of your home’s construction and systems for a specific period. It offers peace of mind that the builder will address any issues arising within the warranty timeframe.

Learn more about our warranties.

360 Tours:

In the digital age, 360 tours offer an immersive way to explore homes online. These virtual tours use interactive technology to provide a panoramic view of interior spaces, allowing you to “walk through” the home virtually. This technology enables you to navigate the rooms, view details, and get a realistic sense of the layout and design. 360 tours benefit remote or initial home shopping, as they comprehensively understand the property’s features before scheduling an in-person visit.

Virtually explore any floor plan.

Navigating the world of new home construction can be both thrilling and overwhelming. By familiarizing yourself with these essential terms, you’ll be better equipped to communicate with builders, make informed decisions, and turn your dream of new construction homeownership into reality. 

At Maronda Homes, we’re committed to providing you with the knowledge and support you need to make your new home journey a smooth and rewarding experience. 

Start building a new home today!


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