Be Cautious Buying New Construction
Buying a brand new house can still come with its own set of problems. There are many attractions to buying a brand new construction: new fixtures, new plumbing, beautiful landscaping, and the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re the sole owner of your real estate. This may seem enticing to most people, but there are quite a few reasons to be cautious when buying new construction.
New Construction Isn’t All That New
Since only 16% of recent home purchases are new construction, this means that most people opt to buy a home that has already been lived in at least once. This is about half of the rate a decade ago. Furthermore, 40% of new home buyers purchase to avoid maintenance. The median price for a new home is $277,200; the median price for a used home is $200,000.
New neighborhoods tend to work in phases. Maybe phase one is done and looks really good, so you want to buy in Phase Two while you can. But be sure to get all the details on the phase development before you commit! You don’t want to spend years in an incomplete community. Buying in an already-finished phase could be the best move for you, even if it means not getting new construction.
Speaking of construction and incomplete developments, it’s important to remember that in new areas you’ll have construction going on around you. There will be at least a few months where your house will be surrounded by construction workers, machinery noises, and dry dirt lots.
Don’t be tricked into buying a new house just because there’s a really nice model home. Model homes have a lot of tricks up their sleeves. Most of the bedrooms don’t actually have doors. Did you even notice? Taking the doors out of a model home makes it seem bigger. Plus, model homes are professionally staged. These are all things to make a home appeal to you but are not an accurate representation of how your home will actually look.
Clarify what’s included with the home. Just because there are state-of-the-art appliances in the model home does not mean they’ll be included when you move in.
Lastly, be sure to get the developer’s expected finish date in writing! The last thing you need is to be unable to move in when you thought you were scheduled.
Tips to Remember
Be sure to inspect the house before you move in. The idea of a final walkthrough is common for used houses but is often overlooked for newly constructed homes.
Do an occasional walk-through during construction, as well. If possible, check it out with a contractor or some other friend who knows a thing or two about solid craftsmanship. This will make sure there are no surprises years down the road due to shoddy building.
Most importantly, use your real estate agent to help you navigate the dangers of buying a newly constructed home. The right agent will help you find the perfect home, regardless of when it was built.
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About the author
The above real estate article “Be Cautious Buying New Construction” put together by our friends at HouseHunt.com.
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