Purchasing a newly constructed home from a builder necessary involves a different process than buying previously-owned real estate, and it’s important than you understand some of the crucial distinctions of new home purchases before buying. If a brand-new home might be in your future, take some time to read over these tips before diving into the process.
1. Know Your Options
There are many great reasons to buy newly constructed properties. You might be looking for something pristine and undamaged by former tenants, a forward-thinking house, or a custom-built home that fits your unique specifications.
But there are also good reasons to buy pre-owned homes. Established properties tend to be closer to the heart of a neighborhood or city, and more accessible to transit and green spaces—plus they often carry a certain history or charm. There’s no right or wrong answer, but don’t jump into buying a brand-new home without having weighed your options.
2. Look to the Future
To begin with, you’ll likely be looking at a model home, furnished and adorned to resemble what your actual home might look like. In fact, construction on your prospective home may not have been completed yet. The home may also be part of a new development or community.
For those reasons, it’s particularly important to think in the future tense when buying a new home. Make sure you understand whether the features of the model home are standard, and how your home will differ from the model. Consider how the neighborhood might change down the line. Will you be able to build an addition or plant a garden? What other building is already planned for the area, and how will that affect your own home?
Of course, some aspects of the future are unknown, and your builder isn’t a psychic. A little bit of your own research will go a long way. But at the end of the day, purchasing a newly constructed home involves certain risks and question marks that don’t apply to pre-owned homes, and only you can decide if the advantages outweigh the benefits.
3. Hire Your Own People
Many buyers of newly constructed homes make the mistake of dealing directly with representatives of the builders or developers, whose vested interest is in selling the home at the highest possible price. Instead, hire your own real estate agent, and make sure that they’re present for all showings.
Even with a new home, you’ll also need to have your own home inspection completed by a professional. The builders should have determined that there aren’t any significant defects, but the cost of a thorough, professional inspection is worth it, either to discover unseen problems or simply for your own peace of mind. Finally, make sure you invest in a home warranty and insurance to cover any problems down the road.