There are many elements that are different when it comes to buying a “new construction home,” which is the choice of many Home Buyers. For one you won’t have to deal with a previous Homeowner’s emotional scale which often affects the negotiation process. But that doesn’t imply that the developer(s) or builders of that “new home community” won’t have a similar reaction to the negotiation process. In previously owned homes, the Homeowners tend to associate the sale price with the accumulated memories made in the home whereas the Developers of a New Home construction tend to associate the sale price to the amount of work, materials, planning, and execution of the home sites.
Here are a few tips to know about buying a new construction home–particularly if the property you selected is not completed yet.
Similar to buying a previously owned home, you must know how much your entire budget can allow for and remember to account for the costs that Home buyers tend to forget about such as appraisals, home inspections, property taxes, insurance, home warranty, landscaping, maintenance, and furniture.
Tip #1: Measure the Pros and Cons
There are typically 3 ways to buy a New Construction Home.
- Buying a Spec home — new and already built (or nearly finished) so it’s move-in ready
- Semi-Custom Home — part of a Development (you can choose from a set of finishes and upgrades) and may not be built yet
- Full Custom Home — built on your own lot and everything will be built and designed to your specifications
However, before you get lost in selecting all the fine details and custom kitchen island, it is best to evaluate your situation and find out if a new home construction matches your lifestyle.
There are a few questions to ask yourself first:
- Are you willing to be further out of the city and sometimes a longer commute? More often, new home developments are outside the city limits.
- Are you okay with the cookie cutter look of a new subdivision?
- Does the idea of being the VERY first owner with everything untouched and unscathed thrill you?
- Do you mind having neighbors close by?
Step #2: Research Builders and Communities
Consider working with a real estate agent who knows the area well and has direct relationships with builders as they will know how to navigate the intricacies of buying a new construction home in a new subdivision really well.
Some of the tips to know about buying a new construction home include the following:
- Visit the construction site regularly – If the development is still under construction you may be living amongst contractor trucks, cranes, and jackhammers for a while.
- Request a tour of the model homes and check out the neighborhood, amenities, and quality of the homes.
- Ask your real estate agent or developer about potential HOA fees and policies you may have to be aware of.
- Ask what internet and cable companies will be servicing the new area and if their services will be readily available when you move in.
- Ask your agent about construction phases and expected completion times. With many new construction developments, unexpected situations with construction often come up so be prepared to be flexible and patient.
Tip #3: Know what is Included and What is Extra
When buying a new construction home ask your realtor or the builder for a feature sheet and define what is included with the home’s base price and what features are potential upgrades such as flooring, tiles, countertops, appliances, etc. For example a standard electric stove may be included but you have your eye on a high-end gourmet Viking range oven. Find out if that’s an option and if so how much extra?
Tip #4: Get an Inspection and Home Warranty
This is a very important thing to know when buying a new construction home. Just because it’s a brand new home doesn’t mean there aren’t potential details that may have been overlooked. If you are purchasing a new construction that is yet to be completed, try to visit the construction site as often as possible or during the different phases to ensure everything is going as planned and on schedule.
Builders and contractors are human, so mistakes can happen. There is nothing wrong with bringing to their attention any issues or problems you have with the construction. Be aware that some things may appear to be problems, but may just be incomplete construction. Bring any problems to your builder’s attention and they should advise you as to whether it is yet to be finished or something that needs to be fixed.
One of the newest developments in San Diego is Millenia. Visit their website to learn about new construction homes that will be available soon
If you are thinking about buying, selling, investing, or relocating, talk to Realty Executives Dillon Real Estate Experts to see how we can help you achieve your real estate goals.