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New Construction FaQ'S
with Smee Homes, Inc.

General Smee Homes Questions

q: Are lots available to reserve in advance?

We’re not currently accepting lot reservations, but we can start the contract process for your preferred lot and plan.

Q: How much is the earnest money deposit (EMD)?

a. The deposit is 3% of the total purchase price. 
b. USDA-Direct: deposit is $2500.

Q: When is the deposit due?

a. The deposit shall be paid directly to the community title & escrow company within 3 days of signing the purchase contract.

Q: Is the deposit refundable?

a. The EMD deposit is non-refundable after 25 days of signing the purchase contract or signing the Final Option Addendum, whichever shall come first.

Q: Are the model homes for sale?

a. Once we near the completion of our community, we do sell our model homes. Please keep in touch with our sales agents for more information on this.

Q: If we buy the model, can the garage stay as it is?

a. Unfortunately, due to California Building Regulations, we must convert the Sales office back to a functional garage.

Q: What is the warranty?

a. Smee Homes, Inc. has a one-year warranty on workmanship and materials. A two-year limited warranty on defects in the electrical, plumbing, heating, cooling, ventilating and mechanical systems. A 10-year structural warranty that covers major structural defects.

Q: Can we move the house around on the lot to accommodate RV parking, more yard, etc.?

a. This is community specific: Where able, we can move the home over slightly to allow extra space. Please consider the height of the roofline and the allowable space if requesting extra space for Recreational Vehicles.

Q: Are lots available for individual purchase?

a. No, our lots are not available for individual purchase.

Q:Will I have to make payments while my home is under construction?

a. No, your payments will not start until after the close of escrow. Please consult with your lender for specific details.

Q:What if I need to cancel?

a. Please refer to section 2.9.4 the purchase contract for more details on cancellation.

Q:What happens if life changes during the building process, and I cannot qualify for the home?

a. It is the buyer’s responsibility to obtain and maintain financial eligibility for the purchase of the home. Please direct all questions due to changes in circumstances to your lender.

Q:What if I have an agent?

a. Agents must register their clients online prior to visiting the models with their clients or must be present during the first visit to the models.

Q:Can I change my lender during the construction process?

a. You cannot change your lender during the construction process without prior approval from SHI.

Q:Is backyard landscaping an option?

a. Unfortunately, we cannot offer backyard landscaping at this time.


Q:Is Solar required?

a. Yes, California mandated that new single-family homes, as well as multi-family dwellings up to three stories high, must include solar panels starting in 2020.

Q:Is solar included in the price?

a. With the exception of Yokohl Landing, solar is not included in the purchase price of the home.

Q:Can we use another solar company?

a. No, Solar is installed using a SHI approved subcontractor.

Q:Can I pay for the solar?

a. YL: Solar is included in the purchase price of the home. CCB USDA-Direct: No, Solar must leased.
CCB All Other Financing & VSM: Solar can be purchased or leased.

Q:Will I get a tax credit for the solar?

a. There may be a tax credit available to those who opt to purchase their solar system. Please consult with your CPA or tax advisor for more information.

Q:What are the terms of the solar lease?

a. Please contact your SunPower New Homes Energy Consultant for more information.


Q:When will construction begin and how long will it take to build?

a. This will depend on where we are with each specific community. There are several steps and processes to building a home: Site preparation, Permits, Pouring the first foundation, Framing, Electrical, Plumbing, HVAC, Insulation, Drywall, Fixtures, Flooring, and Finishes. The building permit process can take 8-12 weeks. Once the building permit is received, it takes, on average, three to six months to build a new home from start to finish. Remember, your builder’s schedule is more of a guideline than a hard-and-fast deadline. Inclement weather, utility companies, subcontractor schedules, material shortages/delays, and permit delays are just a few reasons to keep flexibility in mind.

Q:What if I am not able to do the walk-through inspections?

a. If you are not able to complete the walk-through inspections yourself, you’re welcome to provide written authorization for an adult over the age of 18 to complete walk-through inspection in your place.

Q:What if colors don't match the color samples in design center?

a. Variations between samples and actual material installed can occur. This is because of the manufacturer's coloring process (dye lots) and the fact that over time, sunlight, and other environmental factors affect the samples. Some colors will appear different when seen in a large area as opposed to the sample.

Q:How does the tankless water heater work?

a. Tankless water heaters heat water instantaneously without the use of a storage tank. When a hot water faucet is turned on, cold-water flows through a heat exchanger in the unit, and either a natural gas burner or an electric element heats the water.

Q:I've been advised to get a home inspection; how can I schedule that?

a. You may schedule a home inspection with a home inspector of your choice at your own expense with these conditions: They must provide a copy of their business license as well as proof of insurance, prior to scheduling a home inspection. For safety reasons it is necessary that we have this information, and your home inspection appointment is coordinated with Smee Supervisors.

Q:Can we go through the house when it is under construction? (to show family, see progress, etc..)

a. We understand that you may want to visit your new home during construction. Although a new home construction site is exciting, it can also be dangerous. Site visits can also disrupt production schedules and your safety is of prime importance to us. Therefore, if a site visit becomes necessary, it must be arranged with your sales agent and then coordinated with construction staff. These arrangements usually take a few days to coordinate and, depending on circumstances, a site visit may not be possible. We require that you wear a hard hat and that a member of our staff accompany you during your visit.


Q:Are all floor plans available to be shown if they are not modeled?

a. If Inventory allows, we can show other floor plans. Please contact your sales agent regarding availability. Select plans can also be viewed in 3D on the SHI website.

Q:Can we change or modify the floor plan (move walls or windows)?

a. Our building plans are approved by the city/county as drawn. We cannot alter/move/modify any part of the home outside of the offered options.

Q:Can we get a bigger patio?

a. For homes in our Cross Creek Bend Community: Unfortunately, extended patios are not an option at this time.

For Homes in our Villas at Sierra Meadows or Yokohl Landing Communities: Some of our plans offer an extended patio option.

Q:Can I choose my own contractor for floors, landscape, countertops, cement, etc..?

a. Your home is built through the combined efforts of specialists in many trades—from excavation and foundation, through framing, mechanicals, and insulation, to drywall, trim, and finish work. To ensure the Smee Homes, Inc.'s standard of construction, only SHI authorized suppliers, trade contractors, and Smee Homes, Inc. employees are permitted to perform work in your home.

Q:Can I change the color of the front door, shutters, etc.?

a. Our Designers have created pre-selected color palettes that specify compatible field, trim, and accent colors. You are welcome to add your personal touches to the home after you close and take possession of it.

Q:Can we upgrade to a tile roof?

a. No, our building plans were designed to include Cool Roof Composition Shingles only.


Q:What happens if the house does not appraise?

a. The buyer shall be responsible for the difference between the appraised value and the purchase price.

Q:Can we use another USDA-Direct Packager?

a. We recommend using our preferred USDA-Direct Packager.

Q:Can we use any lender that we choose?

a. You are welcome to use any lender of your choice, but we require potential buyers to obtain an additional pre-qualification from one of our preferred lenders.

Q:How much is my monthly payment?

a. This will depend on the sales price of your home, down payment etc.. Please consult with your lender for details.

Q:When can I lock in my interest rate?

a. Because there are multiple stages in the building process that depend on outside entities, the builder cannot suggest when to lock an interest rate. Any lock-in of any interest rate with a lender is done entirely at Buyer’s own risk and discretion. We recommend working with a trusted lender that is familiar with new construction time frames to help advise you on such decisions.

Q:How do I get prequalified?

a. Applying for preapproval for a mortgage is a straightforward process that requires some paperwork and, in many cases, just a few days for the lender to verify your personal and financial information. Each lender’s process is different, but they’ll generally review your credit history, income, assets, and debts before deciding to grant a preapproval and, if so, for what amount.

Q:Who do I use to get prequalified?

a. We recommend reaching out to one of our preferred lenders to get the process started.

Q:How much will I need to put down?

a. This will depend on the sales price of your home, and several factors pertaining to your loan. Please consult your lender for details.

After Completion QUESTIONS

Q:When do I get the keys?

a. When the closing process is complete, your superintendent will arrange an appointment with you to pick up the keys to your new home.

Q:When are the scheduled warranty walk through appointments?

a. We plan two standard warranty contacts with you. The first is 90 days after your closing and the second is 12 months after closing. We also have emergency response procedures for miscellaneous warranty requests between the standard 90-day and 12-month reports. Please refer to the SHI Warranty Manual for more information.

Q:Is there an HOA?

a. There are no HOA’s in any of our Smee Homes, Inc. communities.

Q:Who is the internet provider?

a. CCB: Xfinity or Unwired are a few. VSM: AT&T or Spectrum are a few. Exeter: T-Mobile, Frontier, or Spectrum are a few.

Q:Who maintains the landscaping in between the sidewalk & road?

a. The City or County officials will maintain this space.

Q:Are there any rules for homeowners in this neighborhood?

a. Please refer to the community CC&R’s.

Q:After the close of escrow who do we contact with questions, concerns, or problems with our new home?

a. Please contact our Customer Service Department at (559)788-2853.

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