Tips You’ll Want To Know If You’re Considering Buying a New Construction Home
When looking for a dream home more and more people are avoiding competitive markets and potential bidding wars and looking into new construction. There are definite pros and cons when it comes to buying a new construction home, but as with anything, education is key. Buying real estate can already be a stressful process, and buying a new home is no different. There are just unique things to consider when starting from scratch and knowing a bit about the process can help alleviate some of that stress.
There are typically three types of new construction homes you can purchase, a home already built in an existing development, a semi-custom home, where you’ll be making some cosmetic decisions or a completely custom home which will be designed to your specific tastes, each with their own unique set of circumstances, and many decisions to be made every step of the way. This is definitely not for everyone, but for some people, it’s the only way to get the home they’ve always dreamed of having.
But before you start day-dreaming about the fun stuff, like floor finishes, outdoor living spaces and color swatches, here’s just a few things you need to consider when deciding if buying a new construction property is right for you.
1) Research the Builders
When you’re buying a new construction home, you’ll be working closely with the builder and that relationship will be one you want built on a solid foundation of trust. One of the first things you can do is go to the courthouse and make sure the builder of your potential new home is financially sound with no liens filed against them. You can even talk to the vendors they work with, including real estate agents, to get firsthand feedback on what it’s like working with the builder. In addition to the relationships they have with their business partners, see what their former clients have to say. Check them out through the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed. If you’re really social go visit the occupants of homes they’ve built and question them directly about their experience and satisfaction level. Most people are happy to share their rave reviews. They can even be more eager to share complaints.
2) Research the Development
The house you’ll be living in is one thing, but just as you would with a pre-existing home, you’ll want to check out the neighborhood or development and the amenities offered. It might be even more important with a new construction situation, since sometimes things can be undeveloped at the time, so you’ll want to find out what the future plans are for the community.
Beyond going into the neighborhood, exploring and asking questions, find out about HOA fees, penalties and regulations if applicable. How much construction will still be going on while you’re a new resident of the area? There can be many questions and unknowns, so there truly is no such thing as dumb questions. This is where having a knowledgeable and experienced buyer’s agent comes into play.
3) Know What’s Standard
When buying anything, it’s important to know what you’re getting for your money. Don’t assume the model home you look at it, is what you’re finished property will be. There are numerous upgrades, and it’s truly best to make decisions on those at the start of the process. Sometimes it is a good idea to do an upgrade up top, sometimes it’s best to wait and have an outside contractor do the upgrade you want. Here’s another area where having a strong buyer’s agent can really pay off, since they can negotiate reduced costs on upgrades in order to get the deal closed.
4) Get An Inspection and Find Out What’s Covered
Just because you’re getting a brand new home, doesn’t mean it won’t need a proper home inspection. In fact, the sale should be contingent upon the home passing a final inspection by an inspector that you hire. It’s even a good idea to have inspections throughout the building process as a trouble-shooting measure.
You should also have a real estate attorney look over the warranty that typically comes with a new home and make sure you have a full understanding of what is and isn’t covered and for how long.
Obviously there is much to consider when buying any home, and although it may be a bit more challenging, new construction can be an amazing opportunity to get exactly what you want. Once you decide that it’s the right choice for you, you’ll be planning your dream gourmet kitchen in no time.