When it comes to a home purchase, price and location are the main factors in deciding the kind of home you choose. The scorecard is pretty even after comparing pros and cons on whether to buy pre-owned or new construction: A more expensive initial costs or maintenance plus renovations costs; contemporary design or unique character; energy efficiency or a mature neighborhood with lots of trees. In the end, it comes down to taste and preference.
If you decide to go the new construction route, here are some tips:
As with any home purchase, choosing a location that fits your needs is one of the most important factors. If schools are important to you, determining which school will be assigned is best determined by checking with the local school directly. For brand new neighborhoods, developers could have new schools also included in the master plan which may be an issue if schools ratings or a strong history of academic excellence are something you want in determining which school your children should attend. Even though neighborhood developments are more common, you can still have a brand new home built on an individual lot and work with a custom builder.
If local shopping and entertainment are important to you, driving the area, looking on Google Earth and visiting the local social media pages are ways to see if it fits what you desire in your new neighborhood. Check in with the local chamber of commerce. They can provide additional community information about any upcoming developments as well.
Limited negotiating on purchase price is one of the downsides of buying new. The neighborhood developers can have a pretty set rate on the homes they are building. The best prices tend to be for those who are one of the first to purchase in a new development or one of the last as they complete build outs. There can be other discounts as well, don't be afraid to ask and sometimes by speaking to the builder directly.
You need to know what items you see in the models are standard and which are upgrades. The cost can escalate pretty quickly once you start adding upgrades. When factoring cost, also find out the tax rates for the area you are considering. All of these could impact your final decision when compiling total costs.
A neighborhood developer could have many companies to choose from and you can easily check the reputation of those companies. At the end of the day it boils down to the actual person who will be building your home. The builders have access to the same products and production is the same. The best way to see what kind of builder they are is to see the actual finished product. Go inside a home they have built and not a model home. A model home is an example that is designed to look good. What you are seeing is not reality.
Get on line or walk the neighborhood and talk with people who worked with that builder directly. They can tell you from experience what it was like to work with them before you decide to.
One final piece of advice, bring your own agent. If the builder has a real estate agent on site, the agent will be more than happy to help you. But, on-site agents work for the builders who hire them. Their best interests will be for the builder, not you. A local agent can provide lots of information about the surrounding area and it is good idea to have someone on your side through the building and escrow process, especially if things do not go as planned. The seller stills pays the real estate agent commissions, even for new construction.
Start your search for New Homes here.
Would you like more information about how to investigate a neighborhood before you buy? Check out this previous blog.