To many, the idea of a new construction home is spellbinding. New construction homes offer endless opportunities for customization and the chance to really make your new place your own. In a brand new home you won’t ever need to worry about old, stained carpets or dated appliances, instead you are able to modularly select what fits best for your family’s unique taste.
However, while picking out brick colors and countertops may be foolproof, the buying process for new construction homes can be tricky to navigate without proper education.
Here are five of the most common mistakes individuals make when purchasing a new construction home.
Far too often, home buyers tend to fall in love with their new home first and their community second. This can be a risky way to approach your big purchase. It is easy for buyers to forget that new construction neighborhoods are often works in progress and more than often, these communities are present in areas of faster than average growth and opportunity.
This is why as a buyer it is crucial that you not only familiarize yourself with your potential home, but also research the future plans, layouts, and planned growth of both your new construction neighborhood and the surrounding area. Attend public forums in your potential city, look at business proposals and city plans online, and get to know the blueprint of your new construction community. After all, you may love your potential lot’s expansive countryside view now, but doing proper research before purchase may expose a plan to construct an apartment building in that space within the next five years.
By ensuring you are familiar with the neighborhood in which your new construction will be located, you will help ensure your community fits your family’s desires both today and in the future.
Purchasing a new home will likely be one of your family’s largest investments in a lifetime, so before moving forward it is important that you are focusing highly on quality, especially when it comes to the developer or builder in charge of constructing your home.
Even if you have fallen head over heels with a new construction community, never move forward with purchase until you have thoroughly researched the developer or builder. Look at their reviews and ratings online and see if there are any noticeable patterns – are there several complaints about delayed construction or premature issues in these homes? Are the developers ensuring homes are sold to qualified families or are they quick to sell to anybody who shows interest like investors who plan on turning their lots into tenant properties? If possible, reach out to your potential neighbors in the area and gauge their feelings on the buying and building process in the community.
As a buyer, you can mitigate your risk by setting your standards early. As you begin researching new home construction communities, be aware of ratings and reviews for each developer before falling in love with a home. Doing so can prevent costly heartaches and headaches.
While there are several similarities between buying a pre-owned home and a new construction home, there are just as many (if not more) conditions and considerations that must be covered when building a new construction. Because of this, unless you are an extremely experienced buyer, it is imperative to have proper representation and take precautionary measures throughout the purchasing process.
Ensure you hire a realtor before visiting locations to help walk you through the process. While the property’s sales office may feel similar to that of an apartment complex, avoid treating purchasing your new construction home in the same manner as you would to lease a unit – do not visit the office without representation present. A realtor will work to ensure that you are set up for success from the beginning, handling communications, disclosing the pros and cons of the property, and they may even be able to help negotiate down costs.
In addition to a realtor, when purchasing a new construction home it is also worthwhile to speak to a real estate lawyer before you sign a purchase contract. Without a seasoned eye, it is easy for developer protecting language, contingencies, and cancellation rights to slip through the cracks. Without proper negotiation or understanding of your liabilities as a buyer, you may set yourself up for failure in the unfortunate case of an issue or lawsuit.
It is easy to want the best of the best in your new home. In the case of new construction, you have the unique ability to customize your home, from choosing between wood or tile floors to deciding whether or not to upgrade to marble countertops. Upgrades like these can quickly add up for new home buyers. While at the time you may not think twice about dropping a few more grand on a built-in hot tub, this addition may negatively impact your resale value due to Texas’ notoriously hot seasons. Before moving forward with an upgrade, ask yourself if doing so is truly necessary and what the result of your actions may be. Stay aware of how or if your choices will affect the resale value of your home or if shelling out all that extra cash will even make a difference when it comes time to sell.
However, before you debate whether or not you would like to upgrade to heated tiles in your bathroom, make sure you review your contract carefully to ensure you will even have somewhere to hang your towel. New constructions often put certain items like towel rods, cabinet hardware, and fixtures on the buyer to purchase and builders may even charge a hefty premium to install these items for you. While these items may seem small, fully furnishing a home can add up quickly. Verify that you have extra funds allocated for these surprises and hidden costs before tackling larger upgrades and additions.
We know what you are thinking – if your home is brand new, why would you need a home inspection? After all, home inspections are meant for buyers to find issues like foundation issues and roof damage in older homes, right?
It is a common misconception that new construction homes don’t need to be properly inspected before the buyer moves in, however, newer homes can actually have just as many problems as an older home. Even with the most thoroughly thought out blueprints and plans, builders are human and can make mistakes or miss important steps. A home inspection may help notify you of things the builder has forgotten to do or improperly installed. Additionally, a great inspector can even point out potential problems that could take place down the road to help you prepare and establish a game plan.
In order to set yourself up for success, schedule your home inspection when your home is built and ready for move in, but before your final walk-thru with your builder. At The Home Inspectors, we are dedicated to providing you with peace of mind during your inspection process in your new construction home. Our inspectors are trained to understand each and every step of building a new construction home and how to locate even the smallest of issues. Additionally, our detailed reports are hand delivered to you on-site at your inspection in an organized binder that you can confidently have in-hand during your final walk-thru.
By taking the time to schedule an in-depth inspection before you finalize your contracts, you can guarantee you are protected and that you can take full advantage of your builder’s warranty and correct any unexpected or hidden deficiencies before heading to the closing table.
New construction homes offer a multitude of opportunity and the chance to truly personalize a space of your own from beginning to end. While the process of exploring new homes can be intimidating, following these steps can help you approach the buying process confidently without any hidden surprises or regrets.
Ready to schedule a home inspection? Contact us at any of our locations – DFW 972.235.0800, Austin 512.993.5100, San Antonio 210.990.0726 or schedule your inspection online!