Don't go to the model homes without me (the very FIRST time!)
Thinking about Building new?
New Home Builds- 10 Things you NEED to know:
Your excited about buying a house and have decided to buy a brand-new construction home. It's exciting, but it's also completely different than purchasing resale. Here are a few things to know:
1) They are the uaually highest price per square foot of any other home. Guess what? You can't negotiate price (most of the time). But sometimes there are things you can negotiate.
2) You don't yet have an established HOA. The builder will turn it over to a management company of their choosing at build-out.
3) Model homes put $100-$400K PLUS in improvements to make you fall in love, but you're stuck with the basics unless you pay much more. The basics are fine? Sometimes it's an odd tile layout, carpet in the bathrooms, very few outlets, etc. Find out what the basics really are. What do you need to upgrade, and what can wait.
4) In most cases, you still have to install the backyard, pool, ceiling fans, extra light fixtures (like kitchen pendant lights), washer/dryer, refrigerator, and many other items once you move in, even after you have paid for other extra upgrades. What is your total budget?
5) You have a 1-year bumper to bumper home warranty, but some items have a longer warranty. Your builder rep should assist you with the initial items, but later in the year you will need a home inspector to get a list of items you may not be aware of to turn in for additional repair. Other items, like roof, termite treatment, windows and structure, may carry a much longer warranty. How are those handled?
6) Builders lenders often offer incentives for closing costs. Who and why?
7) Sometimes the builder will offer incentives during certain times of the year, or at a particular point during construction. Most of these incentives are going to be towards upgrades.
8) Build time can range from 4-9 months, depending on builder and location, time of year, weather, etc. Some builders have "spec" homes for quicker sale. Usually no design changes can be made - even if it's just at the framing stage. Move-in dates usually range from 30-90 days or so.
9) After you sign the contract and give them your earnest money, they give you a disclosure booklet. Very few people read them (it's important you do). You won't get it until after, so what are your rights to cancel? Did you know many times earnest money, which is much higher on a new build than resale, is non-refundable? What things are in that booket (Hint - everything!)
10) Did you know you have the right to conduct walk throughs during certain points of the process of your build? Do you know when, and what to look for?
The Builder salesperson represents the builder/seller, and you are going in without representation unless you bring your Realtor the very FIRST time you visit the model homes. Don't lose the opportunity to be represented (free to you!). The builder automatically has a budget to pay us, so you don't have to worry about that. Your Realtor's #1 job is to help you through the process. There are a lot of things to know and discover about building new, and I am here to help you.