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Getting Ready to Build? Address New Construction Community Concerns  First!

Getting Ready to Build? Address New Construction Community Concerns First!

Since spring is finally in the air, that overall feeling of newness can be rather contagious! What does that mean for the real estate market? It means that all of that newness may inspire some of today’s home buyers to look at buying their next home in a new construction community. And, although every home-buying process has its quirks, building a home in a new development can be a whole new ballgame for buyers.

If you’ve found yourself considering a home in a new construction community this spring, there are some things you’ll want to look for:

A Trusted Agent and Lender

When you first step in to a new construction community, you’re likely to be greeted by a personable builder’s representative who staffs the model home and sells available lots in the plan. They’ve already got an established relationship with the plan’s builder, which can be a great thing for you both. You are able to build the home of your dreams and your builder’s plan, your new neighborhood, is on its way to completion.  

In this situation, you have the option of working directly with the builder’s representative as a dual agent or having another real estate agent represent you. If you decide to bring in your own agent, you may want to have them call to arrange your first appointment before you even step into a model home. Each builder and plan may have different requirements when it comes to working with their agents.

The same goes for a mortgage lender. Many new construction communities come with preferred lenders that may or may not be able to offer you the best deal on your future mortgage. Certainly, hear the builder’s lender out, but check around with other lenders to make sure you’re getting the best deal out there.

Creative Negotiations

Unlike buying an existing home, there may not be much negotiating on price when it comes to building a home in a new construction community. In fact, when you see that sign out front that says, “Home prices starting in the $______,” that price is merely a baseline. Once you add certain features and upgrades, even ones you may see in the builder’s model home, that baseline price is likely to climb. When it comes to settling on price, you may not have much wiggle room as many builders already have determined their costs for materials and labor. However, that doesn’t mean there is no room for negotiating at all. Builders may be inclined to cover certain closing costs or throw in an additional upgrade or two to sweeten the deal for you… but, you’ve got to ask!

Everything in Writing

As with so many things in real estate (and life in general), a promise is only as good as the paper it’s written on! Frankly, the truth is that the build process can be an aggravating one, but the end result may be so worth the trouble! For instance, builder timelines may run anywhere from a few months to a year. When you’re trying to coordinate the sale of your own home and a move, that kind of uncertainty can be a killer! When it comes to build time, upgrades or any other promise that sounds too good to be true, try to have your builder put everything in writing and make sure you clearly understand any fine print. It may provide you with a little peace of mind during your build process.

Warranties

Speaking of “everything in writing,” a home in a new construction community should come with a builder warranty. Since every appliance and system in your new home will also be new, all of those products should come with warranties as well. Any builder is likely to give you the warranty information at closing, but it may be wise to have your agent ask for all warranty information in advance, so that you are familiar with warranty processes.

Future Plans

When you select your lot in a new construction community, you may be impressed by the views you find. But, keep in mind, new construction communities are a work in progress, which means that those beautiful views could end up being covered by other homes, community centers or other builder plans. Ask your builder’s representative for a copy of the community’s finished plan, check with any homeowner’s association and review city plans to see what area developments have been approved for the future of your community.

Hard Hats

If should go without saying, but if you’re building a home in a new construction community, until the keys are handed over to you, the home is a work in progress. There may be restrictions on when you’re allowed to enter the home during construction. It may be necessary for your agent to schedule each and every walk-through with the builder’s representative. Of course, this is a safety issue, so following the rules here is a must.

When you are inside of your home during construction, you may want to take some photos. After all, it will be nice to know what’s behind those walls when you’re ready to hang up family photos or other décor. Finally, a tip for addressing your home’s work crews or foreman. Kindness can go a long way during construction. It is likely that your crew has been contracted out by your builder, but they may be inclined to provide a little extra TLC to your home if you just show them a little common courtesy when you drop by.

A Social Network

New construction communities mean new neighbors… and, in this instance, everyone is a new neighbor! Unlike some already-established communities, new construction communities usually offer an awesome opportunity to meet your new neighbors via social networking groups. These often private Facebook groups can be excellent resources for garnering current homeowners’ opinions as well. But, as with your own personal social sites, keep in mind that some people LOVE to share… and share… and share. Take everything you read online with a grain of salt; but, if you see a reoccurring opinion from a lot of users, it is probably about something worth investigating a little further.

When it comes down to it, building a home in a new construction community is much like buying a home in a pre-existing community. Research and preparation are the keys to making a smooth purchasing process. If you’d like some help navigating through the home-buying process in a new construction community near you, contact an experienced Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices The Preferred Realty agent who will be happy to represent your interests today.