Tips for Buying New Construction
Tips for Buying New Construction Homes
Shopping for new construction homes online can be difficult. If you want to take the work out of finding new construction homes and neighborhoods then please feel free to call or write us anytime. We work with the builders to keep a list of all the completed construction. In other words, we’ll do all the work for you! Call us: 972-468-7900
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1. Research the builder.
Not all builders are created equal. Do your homework, and get to know the builders, their reputation and what they offer. To get an understanding of the builder and what they offer, visit other communities the builder has built in or look for online reviews.
2. Model Homes – What you see is what you get?
In this case, what you see is not what you get. A builders model home might not be a good representation of what comes standard with the home. Often the model home is a high-end version of the standard home. It’s the builder’s showcase home and a way for the builder to show off the upgrades it offers. The builder hopes a buyer will like the upgrades and add them to the purchase of the home.
3. Purchase the builder’s model home.
Purchasing the builder’s model home can be an excellent deal because it’s packed with all the upgrades. Typically when the community is almost complete, the builder will put the model home up for sale. These gently used model homes are typically a pretty good deal but be aware that appliances and other parts that arrived DOA can sometimes end up in the model home. In other words, make sure you have the home inspected by a licensed professional so you can ask for anything that’s broken to be repaired or replaced.
4. Builder list prices.
Surprise — builders don’t like to reduce their prices. If they do, it sets precedence for future home sales. Builders are more likely to pay for closing costs or offer design center incentives than to drop their prices. Builders are not like regular sellers. They are not emotionally attached to the property. They make decisions based on what is best for their bottom line.
The only time we usually see a builder discount a home is when it’s been on the market for 60 days or more from when the home was completed. These are the homes in which a buyer might be able to get a good deal.
Side note: Some new-home buyer’s think if they do not use an agent for their purchase, the builder will reduce the price of the home by the amount of the commission. For the most part, this cannot be further from the reality. Again, builders don’t want to reduce their prices because it sets the comparison price for future home sales in that neighborhood. Builders instead add the commissions paid to a buyer’s agent into the marketing budgets before they ever even build their first home in the community.
5. Home Inspection and Warranty.
Have a full inspection done on any home you decide to purchase. Builders are human and can make mistakes just like you or I trying to meet difficult deadlines or budgets. Different builders have different types of warranties. Some of the different types are listed here. They may offer some or all of these. A one-year warranty on workmanship, Two-year warranty on mechanical and electrical elements, five years on water leaks and 10 years on structure. Builders also try to wash their hands of anything that already comes with a manufactures warranty. Examples of this is windows, water heaters, dish washers, ovens or cooktops.
6. Why clients need an agent.
As a real estate agent who specializes in new construction, buyers ask me all the time if they can use a real estate agent when they are purchasing new construction. The answer is yes. In general, builders model homes are staffed by agents who work directly for and represent the builder. A buyer also needs to have a real estate agent who represents them and looks after their best interests.
Keep in mind most builders require the real estate agent to accompany and register the buyer on their first visit to the builder’s model home or community. Make sure you don’t just “stop by” the new-home community without your agent because you could lose the opportunity to have your own representation. If you do end up stopping by make sure you don’t fill out any registration cards or leave your name. Most of our alliance partners will let us email or call the registration in if you want to go visit the properties on your own. Just give us a call before you go and we’ll let them know your coming.
7. The best time to buy.
A lot of the national builders are publicly traded companies. They need to meet sales goals and answer to the shareholders of that company. For that reason, toward the end of a quarter, builders tend to be more aggressive with their incentives in order to meet these sales goals. The December holiday season is another great time to buy. Most of the country is out shopping and traveling to see family. Very few people shop for homes this time of the year. For that reason, ’tis the season to find some great incentives to purchase a new home.
8. Get everything in writing.
Getting everything in writing seems obvious. If something said is important to the buyer, get it in writing. The majority of larger builders have lengthy, attorney-written, purchase agreements that cover all the pertinent details of the new-home purchase. Ensure you read through and are familiar with the purchase agreement. Make sure the things that were promised by the builder are either written in the special provisions section of the contract or added to an extra addendum.
9. Know the builder’s lender.
Builder’s love it when a buyer uses their preferred lender. In most cases, they’ll even offer some type of incentives to ensure a buyer chooses their preferred lender and title company. Even so, a buyer should shop around to find the best loan for them. Depending on the incentives the builder is offering, using the builder’s lender might be an excellent option for the buyer so do your homework and weight all your options.
10. HOA’s, Easements and Deed Restrictions.
Each HOA has its own Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, Restrictions (aka: DCCR’s) and bylaws. Get a copy of these from the builder and review them in advance. HOAs can restrict even the smallest things. Also, ask for a copy of the survey to see if there are any easements running through the property that might burden you or keep you from installing a pool, etc.
Hargrove Realty Group is New Home Construction Certified and specializes in working with new home builders. We understand new builder contracts and how to represent the buyer. We can work with any new home builder and already have working relationships with all the alliance partners listed below.
American Legend Homes, Ashton Woods, Beazer, Bloomfield, Calatlantic, Craig Ranch Texas, Darling, David Weekly, Dunhill, Drees, DR Horton, First Texas Homes, Gehan, Grand Homes, Highland Homes, KB Homes, K. Hovnanian, Lennar, Mainvue, Megatel, Meritage, Paul Taylor homes, Plantation, Pulte, Rendition, Ryland Homes, Taylor Morrison, Toll Brothers and Windsor.
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