5 Tips When Buying a Newly Constructed Home
The lack of existing inventory for sale has forced many homebuyers to begin looking at new construction. When you buy a newly constructed home instead of an existing home, there are many extra steps that must take place.
To ensure a hassle-free process, here are 5 tips to keep in mind if you are considering new construction:
1. Take your Real Estate Agent with you.
The nice sales reps at a new build site do not represent you as a buyer. They are employees of the builder and as such, are solely obligated to them. Having your own agent, one bound by a fiduciary obligation to you is crucial in these transactions. Real estate agents can provide you with important information on homes, neighborhoods, and master planned communities that isn’t easily accessible to the public.
Their knowledge of the home buying process, negotiating skills, and familiarity with the area you want to live in can be extremely valuable. And best of all, it doesn’t cost you anything to use an agent – they’re compensated from the commission paid by the seller of the house, or in this case, by the builder.
One important thing to know: in almost every state, your agent MUST accompany you the first time you visit the new build site. Most builders will not allow your agent to come into the transaction once you’ve registered at a site, and again, the sales person at the site does NOT represent you, they solely represent the builder’s interests.
2. Maintain good communication with your builder
Starting with the pre-construction meeting (where you will go over all the details of your home with your project manager), establish a line of communication. For example, will the builder email you every Friday with progress updates? If you are an out-of-state buyer, will you receive weekly pictures of the progress via email? Can you call the builder and if so, how often? How often can you visit the site? Here again, having your agent work on your behalf is essential. He or she can act as the intermediary between you and the builder, ensuring that deadlines are met and your home is proceeding along as you expect.
3. Look for builder’s incentives
The good thing about buying a new home is that you can add the countertop you need, the mudroom you want, or an extra porch off the back of your home! However, there is always a price for such additions, and they add up quickly!
Some builders offer incentives that can help reduce the amount you spend on your home. Ask your agent which developments are offering these incentives.
4. Schedule extra time into the process
There are many things that can impact the progress on your home. One of these things is the weather, especially if you are building in the fall and winter. Rain can delay the pouring of a foundation as well as other necessary steps at the beginning of construction, while snow can freeze pipes and slow your timeline.
Most builders already have a one-to-two-week buffer added into their timelines, but if you are also in the process of selling your current home, you must keep that in mind! Nobody wants to be between homes for a couple of weeks.
5. Visit the site often
As we mentioned earlier, be sure to schedule time with your project manager and agent at least once a week to see the progress on your home. It’s easy for someone who is not there all the time to notice little details that the builder may have forgotten or overlooked. Additionally, don’t forget to take pictures! You might need them later to see exactly where that pipe is or where those electrical connections are once they’re covered up with drywall!
Watching your home come to life is a wonderful experience that can sometimes come with hassles. To avoid some of these headaches, keep these tips in mind!
If you are ready to put your current home on the market and find out what new construction is available in your area, let’s get together to discuss your options!