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Deciphering Builder Lingo: Key Terms Every Home Buyer Should Know in McKinney

Entering the world of new home construction in McKinney can feel like stepping into a different universe, especially with the unique jargon builders use. For first-time homebuyers, understanding this "builder lingo" is crucial to ensure a smooth purchasing process. In this guide, we'll demystify some of the most common terms you'll encounter when buying a new construction home in McKinney.

1. Base Price

This is the starting price of a home before any upgrades, additional features, or lot premiums. It includes the basic structure and features of the home.

2. Elevation

In builder terms, elevation refers to the exterior look of a home. Builders often offer multiple elevations (A, B, C) with different architectural designs and features for the same floor plan.

3. Floor Plan

A drawing that shows the layout of the home, including the placement of walls, rooms, windows, and doors. It gives buyers an overview of the flow and design of the house.

4. Lot Premium

An additional cost for specific lots within a community, usually based on size, location, or view. For instance, a lot overlooking a pond or green space might have a premium.

5. Spec Home (or Inventory Home)

A home that the builder constructs based on a popular design without a specific buyer in mind. These homes are often closer to completion and can be a quicker option for buyers.

6. Change Order

A formal request to make changes to the original construction plan. It might involve structural changes, upgrades, or design modifications.

7. Punch List

A list created towards the end of the construction process detailing any repairs, adjustments, or finishing touches needed before the buyer moves in.

8. Walkthrough

A pre-arranged tour of the home with the builder. This allows buyers to inspect the property, understand its features, and note any issues.

9. Escrow

A neutral third-party account where funds are held—like the down payment—until specific conditions are met, ensuring both the buyer and builder meet their agreed-upon obligations.

10. HOA (Homeowners Association)

An organization within a community that sets and enforces rules for properties and common areas. They often collect monthly or annual fees for community maintenance.

11. Upgrade

Any feature or component that is an added cost to the base price of the home. This can include higher-quality countertops, flooring, appliances, and more.

12. Warranty

A guarantee provided by the builder that covers specific aspects of the home for a set period. It ensures any defects or issues arising from the construction will be repaired at the builder's expense.


Understanding builder lingo is essential for any homebuyer in McKinney, ensuring clear communication and setting the right expectations. As the city continues to grow and attract new developments, being well-versed in these terms will empower buyers to make informed decisions and enjoy a seamless home-buying experience. Whether you're eyeing a cozy townhome or a sprawling estate, knowledge is the key to unlocking the doors of your dream home in McKinney. Please call us at 469-269-6541 for more details about McKinney and available homes!

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About us: McKinney New Construction Expert Real Estate Agent

As a Top Real Estate Professional in McKinney, I understand the challenges that arise when buying a new construction home. There are over 100 builders in the DFW area. I work with most of the new home builders in McKinney and understand how various builders operate. I am familiar with the options they offer, current incentives and I frequently visit the upcoming communities they are building. I guide my clients through all steps of the new home construction process and aggressively protect their interests in the transaction.

As a holder of top real estate industry certifications and designations like CRS, ABR & GRI, I can offer my clients experience as a Buyer's Agent and REALTOR®, top Industry Customer Service, in-depth, up-to-the-minute and comprehensive market knowledge; honesty, integrity, dedication, and professionalism in my business.

Whether you are a first time buyer in McKinney looking to buy a home in Highland Lakes or whether you are relocating to McKinney from California or moving your entire family from areas like San Francisco, Fremont, Palo Alto, Los Angeles, San Diego in California due to job transfer with your company, I can help you find a new construction home in Highland Lakes in McKinney. Our relocation team eases the transition - whether you are moving across town or across the globe. We will work with you to find an area that best suits your professional, family and lifestyle needs. We have all the tools you need to help your home search. Whether it is video previews of homes, extended work hours, digital signatures for documents or more, we can make this process as comfortable as possible no matter where you are located.

What is most important to you in your new construction home in Highland Lakes in McKinney? Send us an email at info@NitinGuptaDFW.com or give us a call at (469) 269-6541 to schedule a no obligation consultation. We’ll give you honest advice about Highland Lakes community that you can use to help make your home buying decision.

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