New Construction: 6 Things to Think About When Buying a Brand New Home

Considering purchasing a new construction home? These homes come with a lot of perks, since you can customize the home to be exactly what you want, but there are few things to make sure you educate yourself through the home buying process. Here are a few of the big things to consider when deciding if new construction homes are right for you.

Topics to Consider When Purchasing New Construction Homes:

1. Research and Choose the Builder – Go online to find the listings through the National Association of Home Builders or look through the real estate section of a newspaper to know which builders in the area you are thinking of buying in.  Use your list of builders and homes to:

  • Find an Area with several new homes and drive by. Check out the quality and style you like best. Also think about:
    • What does the future of the new community look like, how about the future of the city?
    • Are there certain priorities you have in a neighborhood you’re going to live in amenities-wise?
  • Research builders online. You’ll find local business reviews, public records, and feedback from the Better Business Bureau. When looking at the reviews try to get these questions answered:
    • Do they have a reputation for quality work they stand behind? Or are they better known for putting up shoddy homes that look nice but quickly fall apart?
    • How financially sound are they and their financing?
    • What kind of warranty is offered on the home?
  • Interview a few builders and get names of references.
  • Check out their websites and social media pages for information, photos, and interviews with staff and clients.
    • See if you can do a in-person or virtual walk through of the show rooms

2. Team up with a Mortgage Advisor and Realtor – Going into any purchase you need people who will have your best interests on your side. Incentives that might be offered by the builder’s lending team but having a third party team can make sure that you are getting the best deal possible and getting better savings throughout the life of the loan. There’s a lot that goes into choosing the right mortgage and the right lender, that’s why it’s important to shop for money early on.

3. Know your Customization Options and the Costs that Come With Them – Most new construction homes offer one of the following customization options:

  • Built on spec: The home is completed and can be purchased as is.
  • Semi-custom: The structure is mostly built, but you can customize it in some ways.
  • Full custom: You have a say in everything.

Once you determine which level you’re comfortable with, make sure you know what comes standard with the home and what costs extra. You’ll be bummed if the lighting and flooring you loved in the model come with a hefty additional price tag.

4. Be Aware of Timing – Besides cost, another factor to consider when choosing a new construction home is timing. Overall, the timeline for building a home can be unpredictable, since there are so many factors that might delay construction. Typically if it’s semi-custom or on-spec the faster the process should go. On average, building a home can take from three to seven months, depending on size, but it’s not uncommon for it to take nearly a year if any delays happen along the way. Knowing which timeframe works best for your needs can also be a determining factor on which new construction home you decide to go with.

5. Make Sure Everything is in Writing 

  • If you’re working with a respectable builder there is a good chance they will honor what they say, however they may truly forget the promises they made to you.  Anything that is verbal is not a guarantee, that’s why you must have everything in writing or it’s in no way shape, or form binding.
  • Also to make sure that the home you buy is the home you wanted: write everything down that you like about the model home, from the colors to the upgrades so that the builder is fully aware of what your interests are. Just like when you go to the dealership they have the upgraded car, new construction home models are the same.

6. Get Home Inspections – Home inspections aren’t just for existing houses, getting an unbiased and trained set of eyes making sure things are in order and up to code.. In fact, when buying new construction homes, you should get two: one before the walls are closed, and one after. It’s much cheaper to correct any issues before the drywall goes up. Make sure to put a home inspections contingency in your sales contract. This way, you can back out of the deal if something major is wrong.

Are you ready to dive in to the next step of your life?


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