Existing Plan Reservation Process:

  1. The prospective buyer chooses one of our many communities in which they desire to reside.
  2. They then select an available lot.
  3. They select a desired plan and advise us of their targeted price range.
  4. Next the prospective buyer enters into a Reservation Agreement and makes a fully refundable Reservation Deposit of $10,000.

Existing Plan Steps to Contract:

  1. After selecting one of our existing plans, they will meet with our design team to determine the available features they desire. 
  2. We will then present a base contract price prior to their final selection meeting.
  3. They have the following options.
    1. Accept the price and enter into contract.
    2. Modify features and/or authorized options to amend the price.
    3. Or, request a 100% refund of the Reservation Deposit.
  4. Once the prospective buyer accepts the design and price, they enter into the Deposit Receipt Agreement of Sale and Joint Escrow Instructions (Contract).

Custom Plan Steps to Contract:

  1. Prospective buyers chooses one of our many communities in which they desire to reside.
  2. They select an available lot.
  3. They then enter into a Design Agreement and make a Design Deposit of at least $10,000 of which a portion will be refundable and a portion will be nonrefundable.  The amount will be determined by the plan design complexity.
  4. They will meet with our architect and design team to determine the features and plan design they desire.
  5. We will then present a base contract price prior to their final selection meeting.
  6. They have the following options:
    1. Accept the price and enter into contract.
    2. Modify features and/or plan design to amend the price.
    3. Or, request a refund of the refundable portion of their Design Deposit.
  7. Once  prospective buyers accept the design and price they enter into Contract. 

Entering Contract:

  1. Read the Contract carefully.
  2. It has been approved by the State of California Bureau of Real Estate and  changes cannot be made to its form and content.
  3. Prospective buyers are free to visit with their attorney or other professionals should they desire.
  4. They then enter into Contract and make a 10% Contract Deposit, which is inclusive of their Reservation Deposit or your Design Deposit, which is now nonrefundable.  They are now a Buyer.

Subcontractors and Suppliers:

We go through a very extensive process before we hire our subcontractors and suppliers.  We perform an extensive review of their work and product.  We check references and verify that their license is in good standing and that their reputation in the industry is solid.

They must enter into contract with us and supply us with adequate insurance and agree to our building process as well as our customer service and warranty procedures.

The price at which our Buyer enters into contract is a price offered by us using our subcontractors and suppliers and produces a profit margin that results in our willingness to both build and sell the Buyer one of our homes on one of our lots.

Should the Buyer desire to use other subcontractors or suppliers, perhaps friends or family, thinking it may save the Buyer money, if allowed by us, would negatively impact our profit margin and as a result, will not be allowed.  There are also contractual issues of warranty, timeliness, and quality of work.

The Buyer should not be concerned about our profit margin on any specific item in the home because the Buyer was in agreement on the total price of the home and its amenities at time of contract.  The Buyer is not buying a home on a cost plus basis but rather a completed home at a specified price.

When someone purchases a car they are not concerned, or even aware, that the manufacturer may be making a 50% profit margin on the engine, or 30% on the tires, while perhaps making nothing on the airbags and radio.  They do not ask the dealer, “At what price do you have the tires and wheels in the total price because I have a friend who can supply tires and wheels of equal or better quality at a lessor price.”   All they care about is they purchased a car they like at a price they were willing to pay.

If the dealer were to agree to swap out the tires and wheels it would impact their profit margin and at some point make selling the car to the Buyer a loosing proposition.  Some of the profits made from various parts that make up the car are used to cover the loss, or lower than acceptable profit margin, they are making on other parts that make up the car.  Like the dealer, we too are in business to make a profit.

Selection Process:

The timeliness of our Buyer’s selection process is extremely important and greatly impacts our ability to include the items they desire in their home .  Buyers receive a copy of our Design Selections Timeline to which they must comply.  By not doing so, we have the right, but not the obligation, to install the standard selections.  The timeliness is also critical because delays cost money, can create a penalty charge to the Buyer, unsettles our scheduling process, delays the construction schedule and moves out the closing date.  As an example, if our subcontractor is ready to install tile or granite and the Buyers have not yet made their selection, the installers must move on to another job and the Buyer’s job may be delayed until the next available date on the subcontractor’s schedule.  Since we have multiple homes under construction at any given time, it is difficult for us to tell the Buyer when the installer will be available for the install on their home.  Contract Section W. OPTIONAL SELECTIONS is also attached for review as Exhibit B.


  1. We will send the Buyer a Design Selection Timeline for two Design Center Appointments.
    1. Design Center Appointment #1:
      1. Exterior color schemes
      2. Fireplace surrounds
      3. Floor plug locations
      4. Appliance selections
      5. Range hoods
      6. Cabinet and hardware selections
    2. Design Center Appointment #2:
      1. Granite
      2. Tile counters and backsplashes
      3. Floor coverings
      4. Interior paint
      5. Shower doors and towel accessories
      6. Kitchen and bathroom plumbing fixtures
      7. Interior doors and hardware
      8. Electrical additions
  2. Buyer will also be contacted regarding the following selections:
    1. Closet layout
    2. Tech placement and upgrades
    3. Landscape design
    4. Pool design
    5. Lighting selections

Construction Process:

  1. First we must design the plan.
  2. This can be a lengthy process that involves third party service providers, whose priority scheduling is not in our control.  These include but are not limited to preparation of:
    1. Structural engineering
    2. Fire sprinkler design
    3. Solar design
    4. Title 24 review
  3. Upon receipt of the above items, the architect will incorporate them into the plan.
  4. Buyer will be asked to sign off on both the floor plan and elevation presented on 8 X 11 size paper.
  5. The plan is then submitted to the City to obtain the building permit.  This process can take several weeks depending on City staffing and number of plans in front of ours requiring a permit.
  6. Often times, the City’s review requires some modification and the need for more work on the part of the architect and/or third party service providers.
  7. The plan is then resubmitted and the permit is pulled.
  8. Once the permit is pulled and subcontractors scheduled, we will be able to give the Buyer an estimated completion date.  This date is truly nothing more than an estimate because of all the scheduling variables that exist in building a home.
  9. A superintendent will be assigned to the Buyer’s job to oversee the construction process.
  10. The superintendent will have two assistant superintendents.
    1. A frontend superintendent who will oversee the construction through sheetrock.
    2. A backend superintendent who will oversee the completion of the home.
  11. Construction begins and unfolds as per Exhibit G.

Important Documents to Review:

  1. This document
  2. Reservation Agreement
  3. Or, Design Agreement
  4. Deposit Receipt Agreement of Sale and Joint Escrow Instructions (Contract) and all addendums
  5. Public Report if required
  6. Buyer Understanding  Exhibit E
  7. Tract Disclosure  Exhibit F

Points to Remember:

The purpose of this section is to review a few very important items related to buying a Gary McDonald home.  They are outlined in the Contract, along with its related addendums, and the Buyer Understanding.  The Buyer signs both of these documents at time of Contract along with the Tract Disclosure.

Occasionally, a Buyer doesn’t clearly understand the relationship between the Buyer and Gary McDonald Homes which is spelled out in the above documents.  The basis for this misunderstanding is often found in the two completely different methods to build a home.  It is important our Buyers understand the method we have used for over 45 years. 

Method One – Not Our Method:

  1. You can have your home designed with the selects and amenities you desire and pay an architectural fee of at least $4.00 per square foot.
  2. You then pay permit fees as well as school fees etc.
  3. In this case, each and every item is detailed and priced for your review.
  4. You locate the lot in the area in which you want to live.
  5. Unless it’s a cash purchase, you find a lender to make you a lot loan.
  6. Unless it’s a cash purchase, you find a lender to make you a construction loan with a take out loan for the term you desire. 
  7. You own the lot and the home from start to finish subject to any lender liens.
  8. You hire a qualified contractor on a cost plus basis. 
  9. Any changes you make will be at your cost, are in addition to your loan, may delay construction and will raise the amount you will pay your contractor.

With this method, you have hired the contractor and the contractor is working for you.  This is not the method of construction or the relationship to which you have already agreed. While we will try to do everything reasonably possible to work closely together you have not hired us to be your contractor.

Method Two – Our Method:

  1. We own the lot in the area in which the Buyer wants to live.
  2. The Buyer does not need to obtain a lot loan.
  3. We have the home plan the Buyer desire to live in or we may, at our sole discretion, agree to make some modifications. 
  4. Or possibly, we work with the Buyer to design a completely new plan.  If so, we own the plan.
  5. We pay all the fees.
  6. We give the Buyer the price for the finished home, not each line item.
  7. Changes will be at Buyer’s expense, may delay the construction of Buyer’s home and other homes we have under construction for other buyers.
  8. Except for a 10% deposit and the cost of Change Orders, the entire cost of the home is being built with our money.
  9. The lot and the home belong to us until close of escrow.
  10. The Buyer will obtain a loan or pay cash for the price less amounts paid at close of escrow.

Contract Section V POSSESSION, attached as Exhibit A, clearly states our relationship.   Please read it carefully and make every effort to comply with it and the terms of the entire Contract.

Both the Contract and our Liability Insurance carrier prohibit the Buyer’s unescorted presence during the course of construction. In addition, the Buyer’s presence can be disruptive to both our subcontractors and our superintendents.  The subcontractors work for us not the Buyer.  Excessive Buyer engagement can slow down construction, create confusion and hinder supervision efforts.  Contacting our superintendents on the job site compromises their ability to supervise the Buyer’s home as well as others, schedule subcontractors and inspect subcontractor work, etc.  Rest assured, should an error occur, we will make it right.

If Buyer desire to see their home, Buyer needs to call to schedule an appointment with one of our superintendents by calling Jean Ishimoto in Customer Service at 559-256-4537 or email her at jeani@garymcdonaldhomes.com.  All appointments, while subcontractors are working, will be scheduled between 3 PM and 5 PM, Monday through Friday.  In some circumstances, other times between Monday and Friday may be acceptable.

Change Orders:

As stated in  Contract Section W. Optional Selections,  Exhibit B,  “The Buyer’s selections shall be final unless Seller/Builder agrees to any additional Extras which are then to be memorialized in a Change Order.”  We are not obligated to allow changes during the course of construction.  If we do so, we do so only as an accommodation.  And, we will give Buyer a price for which we are willing to execute the change and it need not be a detailed accounting of the work or product to be included.  Change Orders are expensive; disrupt scheduling, slowdown construction, require our subcontractors to return to the job when they are on another and can involve additional design work for our architect to modify plans for the various subcontractors.  As a result, if we allow a change, we will charge $500 for each in addition to the cost of the change.  Per Contract Section X. CHANGE ORDERS AND EXTRAS, attached as Exhibit C, we can also charge for the cost of any delay that may result.

Buyer Inspection:

Buyer will have the opportunity to inspect their home before close of escrow.  All items needing repair or completion will be documented at that time.  Should any mistakes occur during the course of construction, they will be corrected and all facets of the Buyer’s home will be within the building industry’s acceptable guidelines.  It is possible that a few items will need completion after the Buyers have moved in.  Minor items will not prevent the Buyers from closing escrow and taking possession of their home.  Please see Contract Section Y. INSPECTION OF RESIDENCE, attached as Exhibit D

Completion Dates:

We understand that the Buyers may have lenders with whom they are dealing,  rentals to vacate, a home to sell, furniture to be delivered, etc., and knowing an exact date would be of great help in planning their move.  We apologize in advance because giving an exact date is difficult until we are within two weeks of closing when the Buyers will be asked to perform their final walk through of the home with our superintendent.      There are several variables that result from our reliance on others.  Some of these are outlined in the Buyer Understanding, a copy of which is attached as Exhibit E. That being said, we will do our best in this area, which in some cases, will not be good enough to meet our Buyers’ expectation.

In all of this, there is one thing of which our Buyers can be assured, having been doing this for 45 years; we have never turned the keys over to a Buyer that opens the door to an inferior home.