Our guest blogger today is Matt Lee
People look forward to buying a new construction home as an opportunity to avoid buying someone else’s problems. While it is true that contemporary homes are generally built to the highest quality, it doesn’t mean that buying a new construction home is an automatic slam dunk. Therefore, it is important to consider the following pieces of advice before advancing in the home building process.
Don’t Get Enamored by the Model Home
When shopping to have a home built, many people fall in love with the model home they tour and can’t wait to have one built just like it. However, it is important to remember that there is a lot of salesmanship that goes into making that model home look as attractive as possible.
First, even though you may be having the same type of home built, the model home is likely decked out with all of the upgrades to try and lure in buyers. Some common features of model homes will be hardwood floors, can lighting in the kitchen, and marble countertops in the kitchen and bathrooms, while the “base” home will come with vinyl floors, basic chandelier lighting in the kitchen, and laminate counters. The upgrade to the more attractive features will cause the quoted price of the build to spike significantly.
It also must be considered that the interior of model homes has been carefully decorated by professional designers. When browsing the model home, it can be easy to forget that the elegant dining room table and comfy leather sofa are not part of the deal.
Remember to Have the Home Inspected
People erroneously believe that having a new home built means that they are buying a home free of problems. While contractors are required to be properly licensed and build according to all state and local codes, it is still possible that a mistake may be made and a minor detail slips through the cracks.
One of the most significant hot-button issues with new construction homes is in the area of drainage–for both storm runoff in the driveway and with the pool deck drainage system. As the home has no history of withstanding runoff, it can be easy to assume that an issue does not exist when trouble is brewing on the horizon. Therefore, it is vital to have a new home thoroughly inspected by a third-party professional that has experience in looking ahead at these unforeseen issues.
Understand the Future of the Neighborhood
In most cases, buying a new construction home means buying into a vision. This is true not only for the house itself but for the neighborhood in which you will reside. In order to get a better understanding of your future enjoyment of the home and its potential resale value, ask important questions around the zoning for nearby commercial endeavors and the availability of quality schools. Many new neighborhoods are coming with perks such as community gyms and parks, so find out if HOA fees will rise as the neighborhood develops.
Negotiating for Upgrades is Easier than Negotiating for Price
While negotiating price is one of the hallmarks of purchasing a house for resale, it rarely works for new construction homes. In most cases, homes are being built due to a demand for more housing, meaning there are more buyers waiting than there are lots available, so builders can stick to a firm price figure and be confident that they will get it.
However, this does not mean that you have no negotiating power when having a home built. In fact, it is likely that you will be able to successfully negotiate an upgrade, as builders may be looking to get rid of some inventory if they haven’t sold as many upgrades as estimated in their other builds. Therefore, while you may not be able to get the price of the home off of the quoted figure, you may be able to get custom garage doors, improved kitchen appliances, or an upgraded bathroom vanity thrown in at little to no cost.
A Realtor is Still Really Important
Just like hiring a third-party inspector is important with new construction homes, so too is working with a realtor. Realtors have ample experience in dealing with new construction homes and will be able to ask all of the boring questions you may overlook, such as framing, foundation, below grade insulation, and plumbing.
New construction homes offer the possibility of a clean, pristine start in homeownership. However, this is no guarantee of 100% satisfaction. By considering the aforementioned points, those buying new construction homes can give themselves the greatest chance of successfully navigating the process. Give one of our experienced realtors at Eng Garcia Properties a call and see how we can help you find the new construction home of your dreams.
Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.