Janet Laughead's Blog
For the most part, it’s safe to say we all know to come prepared when buying an older home. But did you know that the buying process of a new construction home comes with its own quirks? The customization and relationship with the builder through the process makes for a unique experience when buying a new construction home.
Here’s what you need to know:
Some developments have site registration policies. This means that they require you to come with your agent for at least the first couple visits. Don’t be caught off guard. When planning your viewings be prepared to work with your agent's schedule as well as your own.
Instead of asking to lower the cost ask when negotiating ask the builder to pay closing costs or to include upgrades. You’ll have an easier time getting a yes to these requests as builders don’t like to lower costs and gain a reputation for doing so in the process.
New construction homes aren’t a final product when purchasing. Because of this, it’s critical to get details on paper to protect yourself during the buying process. Details to include are how the home will be finished, any and all timelines, and what will happen if, for whatever reason, the home is not finished in time. Get all of this in writing to create a binding contract.
Ask questions! When touring the model house be sure to ask what comes standard and what is an upgrade. Get costs of upgrades that catch your eye so that you can plan your budget. When planning this budget you will also want to leave wiggle room as this will be a quote and not final cost. Your agent can help you create a list of common features that are standard and/or upgradable as well as ballpark costs.
Budget Tip: When deciding on upgrades know which are easier to have done during construction. Prioritize those over those that can easily be done after. Think upgrades that include wiring or getting into walls and ceiling for whatever reason.
New construction homes often come with a warranty. It’s important to know what this covers and what it doesn’t. Understand your cancellation rights and hire a real estate lawyer to review contracts and any important documents.
Research the builder and if possible talk to other residents in the neighborhood. Ask them about their experience both during the buying process and living in the development afterward.
One thing that often catches home buyers off guard is when the builder requires you to get pre-approved by their lender even if you use your own lender. This is to safeguard themselves by ensuring you pass their lenders requirements for a safe investment. It’s also important to keep in mind that you may even get better rates and fees from the builder's lender.
Buying a home should be an unforgettable journey, one that enables you to purchase a high-quality house at a budget-friendly price. If you start planning for the homebuying journey today, you may be able to reduce the risk of encountering homebuying hurdles as you attempt to acquire a first-rate house.
Ultimately, there are many important decisions for homebuyers to make before they enter the real estate market, including:
1. Where Do I Want to Live?
As a homebuyer, you'll want to know where you want to go so you can map out your property buying journey.
Consider your current and future plans before you enter the housing market – you'll be glad you did. This will enable you to consider where you'll be in the next few months and years and plan accordingly.
For example, if you currently work in the city and intend to stay at your present job, you may want to search for a home that makes it easy to commute to work.
On the other hand, if you plan to start a family in the foreseeable future, you may want to consider purchasing a home near various top-notch parks and schools.
2. How Much Can I Spend on a House?
You know that you'd like to become a homeowner, but how much can you afford to pay for a residence? Meet with several banks and credit unions, and you can start budgeting for a home.
Banks and credit unions can help you get pre-approved for a mortgage. Then, with a mortgage in hand, you can enter the real estate market with a good idea about how much you can spend on a residence.
Many banks and credit unions are available, and they are happy to teach you about the ins and outs of numerous mortgage options. Plus, lenders will respond to your mortgage concerns and queries and help you make an informed mortgage decision.
3. Will I Need to Hire a Real Estate Agent?
If you're on the lookout for your dream home, why not hire an expert to guide you along the homebuying journey? With a real estate agent at your side, you can take the guesswork out of finding and purchasing your ideal residence.
A real estate agent will provide expert support at each stage of the homebuying journey. As such, he or she will help you set realistic expectations before you begin your search for your dream house.
Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will set up home showings, keep you informed about new properties as they become available and negotiate with home sellers on your behalf. This housing market professional will even offer expert real estate insights that you might struggle to obtain elsewhere.
When it comes to purchasing a house, there is no need to leave anything to chance. Fortunately, you can hire a real estate agent to help you along the homebuying journey and simplify the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.