For many homeowners, the idea of purchasing a brand new house is a longterm dream. Many people believe that buying new construction means that you’ll be getting the very best of everything and you’ll get to design the home to your specifications. In truth, there are still some pitfalls you need to be aware of before you sign a new construction contract. Here are five things every home buyer should know ahead of time:
1. You Should Research the Builder
In a perfect world, you could trust that all builders were reputable. However, you can quickly search online and discover which builders have a negative reputation in your area. It is typically best to contact a knowledgeable realtor who deals with new construction often. They can point you toward the builders that deliver the best homes. Also be sure to research their online reviews such as Google, Yelp and Houzz as well as their social media accounts. See what their past and current customers say about them.
2. You’ll Want a Lawyer on Your Team
While your realtor is there to help you manage the actual purchase of the land and the home, they are not authorized to practice law. Unlike purchasing an existing home using standardized contracts, each builder will have their own purchase contract that covers their responsibilities to you. You will definitely want a lawyer to look over the fine print of this contract and alert you to any important pieces.
3. Make Sure You Understand the Floor Plan
If you are not familiar with reading floor plans, or you’re having trouble conceptualizing the space, make sure you ask for more information. Your floor plan should have detailed measurements of every room so you can use a tape measure to roughly draw out space on your own and see for yourself how it will feel. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask your builder before you sign off on the plan because it will be much harder to change things later.
4. Spend Your Budget Wisely
You may have dreamed of living in a house full of exotic materials and luxury fixtures, but the reality is that these things probably won’t hold their value long term. If you ever plan on selling the house, you would be wise to focus on getting the most square feet out of your money, rather than over-improving with premium finishes at every turn. The same is true of choosing the best location for your home instead of going with the cheapest lot available.
5. Even New Homes Have Issues
Buyers need to be aware that the builder is in the business to make a profit. They are not immune to using economical- friendly products inside homes if they think they can get away with it. In addition, many builders are known to install average appliances unless otherwise requested. As the new owner, you can’t know how long the appliances will hold up. In all fairness no one really can, but most builders provide at least a one year warranty on their installed appliances. Even if you don’t discover any major issues, you may still find a faulty switch here and there. It is best to make sure in advance that the home is covered by a warranty, and that your builder will be available to make repairs if necessary. Due your due diligence and stay in contact with your builder to ensure you make the most of your warranty.
These are just five important parts of purchasing new construction today. Buying new construction can be a complicated process so you need to be sure that you are asking plenty of questions, reading through every document, and getting your plans right before the foundation is poured. After that, it’s up to you to keep up with the builder and make sure things are done right.