Portsmouth NH Homes - Tips For New Construction Buyers

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Shoreline - NH and Maine NH and Maine Broker


Building A Home

Are you thinking about buying a new construction home in the Portsmouth NH Maine Seacoast areas?  We have some great choices available for you to pick from! 


This really is a terrific time to be in the market as there are choices, there are great lower interest rates, and you actually have the time to think and make the best decisions for you and your family.

 

If you are in the market to buy a new construction home or having a home built just for you, here are some tips to help make that experience a good one for you:

  • Find yourself an experienced agent to represent you and your best interests - so many decisions are part of the process in new construction that you really do need someone to help guide you with negotiations, choices, research, etc.  Your buyer agent will work FOR you, and will be with you to help with these very important decisions that come up throughout the process.

  • Work with the mortgage company the listing agent has worked out financing programs with - many times the programs that the builder and his listing agent talk about are better than if you looked elsewhere.  That lender(s) has put together loan packages based on that company doing all, or most of, the loans with that builder or in that development, and because of that, the rates offered may be lower, the closing costs may be lower, or any one of a number of other concessions they've worked out to be the lender of choice.  Another important factor in using that lender is that they are already familiar with the project and can oftentimes make the process smoother because of that.  This is not to say that another lender might not match or beat what that lender of choice has to offer, so you're always encouraged to keep your options open, however my experience has been that the lender the builder and/or listing agent have worked with offer very competitive financing packages.

  • Choose your lot carefully, if you're buying in a new development- f you get into a development early, you have more choices for sites for your new home.  Take into consideration how you live (lots of outside living, kids, pets, etc.) and you also want to keep in mind resale factors as well.  Even if you plan to spend the rest of your life in that house, you still want to keep resale appeal in the back of your mind.

  • Make your extras and upgrades choices very carefully - again, it's just as important here, and even more so, to keep resale in mind when deciding what extras and upgrades you want and are willing to pay for.  Your kitchens and baths will reward you very nicely with carefully made decisions in these rooms.  Your choice of flooring can make a big difference as well.

  • Work with the vendors the builder has already lined up, if at all possible - if your builder recommends certain vendors for flooring, lighting, appliances, etc., try to work with them if they have the products you want for your new home.  The reason the builder recommends them is because he knows of their reliability and they know each other's time line and when things need to be done and how each other works.  Many times, when a buyer goes to an outside vendor, problems arise with deliveries, time lines, etc. that could very well have been avoided had the buyer gone to the recommended vendors. 

  • Take time and care with your purchase agreement- with a knowledgeable and experienced agent representing you, you'll have all the i's dotted and the t's crossed.  You want everything spelled out in this contract, including the extras and upgrades and how/when those will be paid for or included in the purchase price.  Another part of your contract that you won't want to overlook is the inspection clause.  Most buyers, and even a lot of agents, think that because you're buying new construction that you don't need a home inspection.  A good builder should have no qualms about allowing you to have an inspection done.  A professional inspector will pick up on things that a walk-through won't show.  You're spending a lot of money, and likely are planning to be in your new home for a long time to come - make sure you're getting what you're paying for by having your inspections done.

Portsmouth NH Fishing Boats - Ann Cummings 9-2007


Portsmouth New Hampshire real estate
offers so many options in homes and condos.  If you're considering a move to this area, I'd welcome the opportunity to talk to you about your move and purchase of a new home here in the Seacoast areas of NH and southern Maine.



Related Articles of Interest for Buying Portsmouth NH Homes and Condos:



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  Ann Cummings, New Hampshire REALTOR
  Broker - NH and Maine
  RE/MAX Coast to Coast
  Portsmouth NH
  ann@anncummings.com
  888-349-5678 x 3839
  Servicing the Coastal Areas of NH & Southern Maine                    REALTOR



                                     Ann Cummings New Hampshire REALTOR

Posted by

Ann CummingsREALTOR, e-PRO, GRI, CBR

Ann Cummings and Jim Lee formed a team in July of 2010.
Each bring over 30 years of successful real estate experience to the table so with Ann and Jim you truly do get two Realtors for the price of one. We’re dedicated to delivering exceptional service to you our clients and customers; past, present, and future.

Jim LeeCRS, ABR, GRI, e-PRO

Comments (16)

Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate
Ann, I have found the builders lender, chocked with fees higher in my area. They offer an incentive of 15,00 but more than make it up if the builder owns the mortgage company, like Pulte.
Feb 22, 2008 11:25 AM
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans

Ann.... this is some great information and tips.... BUT... ;o)  I am going to disagree about making the suggestion to stick with the builders lender. I have competed against many and the end result is not always best for the consumer. I have even been placed in 2 contracts in the past as the builders lender.  I still made sure that my clients got a fair deal, but because the builder can make it look good on the paper, it usually kept the consumer from shopping.... and if they would have shopped, they ... 60% of the time, could have gotten a better deal, no matter what the builder offered.

What people need to realize is that nothing is giving away for free. And that many fo the builders have certain things built into the price. Telling people that they would give them this or that, if they used their lender or other services, is just a way to keep the client from shopping other lenders. Why do you think a builder wants to do this? Sure, to have control, but to also make it more profitable for themselves.

This is just my .02, but after lending for over 15 years, I have beaten many good faiths that the lenders were builder approved. So this is why I know this. And depending on the set up, these lenders or loan officers are not always your more experienced or better at their job. I have seen this also... more times then none, they are just order takers. Again, my opinion... but I have experience both sides of these transactions first hand.

 

jeff belonger

 

Feb 22, 2008 11:30 AM
Ann Cummings
RE/MAX Shoreline - NH and Maine - Portsmouth, NH
Portsmouth NH Real Estate Preferrable Agent

Hi Missy - I haven't found that at all in my area.  But we also don't have big builders like Pulte up here in my area.  For the most part, builders here have nothing to do with the lenders.  It's the listing agents who've worked to line up the financing and work out special pricing packages for buyers.  And they usually work very hard to get those kinds of deals - providing all kinds of paperwork, etc. - to the lenders to get attractive packages for potential buyers.  We typically see a variety of lowered fees on those packages, and other incentives as well, for using the lender(s) the listing agent has worked to get those financing packages from.

Real estate is local!
Ann

Feb 22, 2008 11:30 AM
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans

Missy... thank you... I was writing my long winded comment as you made my point....   people need to know that we all get the money from the same place. 8 out of 10 times, it just depends on how they make it look. Or... prolong the inevitable, but changing things at the end. Again, I have been on both sides of the fence...  I have competed against some lenders that were referred as the choice of the builder... and 80% of the time, not only did I beat their rates and or fees, but I had more knowledge about the programs....

jeff belonger
Feb 22, 2008 11:33 AM
Ann Cummings
RE/MAX Shoreline - NH and Maine - Portsmouth, NH
Portsmouth NH Real Estate Preferrable Agent

Hi Jeff - thankfully I work up here in my small areas of NH.  I have not encountered what you've described or what Missy has described.  It's not the builder up here who works with the lenders - they leave that up to their listing agents.  We work with new construction in my office, and it's the lenders we already know and have relationships with that put together the packages.  Because the lenders want to be the lender(s) of choice, they adjust the fees associated with these packages, and some other incentives as well.

My experience as a buyer's agent on a number of new construction homes has been the opposite of yours.  My buyers have usually gotten as good as or better packages with the lender already lined up for the new construction.

I certainly wouldn't have written that if that had not been my experience.  Real estate is very local, that's for sure!

Ann

Feb 22, 2008 11:35 AM
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans
Ann... just read your answer to Missy... okay, that makes sense.  But everyone needs to remember one thing.... people need to make money. A lot of times, the builder has the incentives built into his price already. You just need to be careful on what you agree to...  and have a lot of say in the house that they are building for you.  Again, just my .02.
Feb 22, 2008 11:36 AM
Ann Cummings
RE/MAX Shoreline - NH and Maine - Portsmouth, NH
Portsmouth NH Real Estate Preferrable Agent

Jeff - this post was written for homebuyers in my area, and my experience is just as I wrote in the post above.  And I do compare packages for the buyers I work with.  I would not have written what I did if my experience had been otherwise.  Perhaps in other areas, things tend to work differently, but I live and work in a fairly small area and we don't have the big national builders here.  The listing agents are typically the ones who work with the lenders to put these packages together, and the listing agents here are agents just like me.  Most of them are not strictly on-site agents - we have very few projects here large enough to warrant that.

I understand what you wrote, but my experience here in my area differs from what yours has been.  Please note I wrote about my own experiences for consumers in my area based on my years of experience right here in the Portsmouth NH real estate market.  Sure there may be instances where another lender might be able to match or beat the financing packages offered, and one would be prudent to have checked that out.  And I do just that, rest assured.

I can't speak to what goes on in places outside my area, nor would I attempt to do that. 

Ann

Feb 22, 2008 11:41 AM
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE
Saved these tips for sure!  We still have a few new homes coming up.
Feb 22, 2008 03:25 PM
Ann Cummings
RE/MAX Shoreline - NH and Maine - Portsmouth, NH
Portsmouth NH Real Estate Preferrable Agent

Hi Sally - glad you found them helpful.  They've certainly been things I share with my buyers who are looking at new construction, and I've learned all of these from first-hand experience.

Thanks for the comment, Sally!
Ann

Feb 22, 2008 10:54 PM
Neal Bloom
Brokered by eXp Realty LLC - Weston, FL
Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate

Ann,

The only problem dealing with developers or builders lender is they seem to have higher rates from my past experience and they also seem to always qualify the buyer even if the buyer is not the best candidate. I would rather go with my own lender and also give the buyer that choice. We have seen the builder add incentives but I wonder how many jack up the price and really do not give any real incentive..they just use it to use their in house people.

 Can I actually prove it? No...but when I was purchasing a property for investment the in house person said even though I had a credit score over 800 ...there were additional points and I don't need to pay those points. Every area is different so I can't say yours is the same and you probably haven't experienced it there but I'm in FL so you know what goes on here. A few years ago my client insisted on not closing and insisted she could not get the mortgage based on her credit and such...but the builder told her she did qualify and if she didn't close she would lose her deposit. Very interesting and I'm sure you are well aware of looking at all aspects to protect your clients.

 Thats just my opinion.

Feb 22, 2008 11:55 PM
Ann Cummings
RE/MAX Shoreline - NH and Maine - Portsmouth, NH
Portsmouth NH Real Estate Preferrable Agent

Neal - as I said several times above, both in the post and in my comments, I wrote this to consumers in my area, and not in any other place around the country.  I only sell real estate here in coastal NH and Southern Maine, and can only speak to my own areas, which is exactly what I wrote about. 

Up here, we don't have the kind of large developments you've got down in Florida.  I've seen plenty of those, and I can understand what you're saying.  But that is not at all what goes on my area.

If you re-read the point about the lender and the packages, and then read my comments, you'll clearly see exactly what I was writing to, and that I do, indeed, compare financing packages for my clients.  To do otherwise would be less than professional and not doing my job for my clients, wouldn't it?

Feb 23, 2008 12:39 AM
Neal Bloom
Brokered by eXp Realty LLC - Weston, FL
Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate

Ann,

I'm not doubting you at all..maybe I didn't word my response correctly..I was just talking about the experience here...I hope you don't think I was saying it isn't correct in your area...maybe I should have worded it differently. Sorry!

Feb 23, 2008 08:18 AM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Ann great advice, and now is the time to be looking.  Come Spring things will be busier and more Buyers competing for the same properties and  Lots.

Feb 23, 2008 02:18 PM
Ann Cummings
RE/MAX Shoreline - NH and Maine - Portsmouth, NH
Portsmouth NH Real Estate Preferrable Agent

Thanks Neal.

George - based on the acitivity popping all over up here, I think you're right about more buyers ending up in competing situations.  Thanks for reading and commenting.


Ann

Feb 23, 2008 11:29 PM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel
Good post. Many buyers are not aware that they can use a Buyer's agent when they buy new construction.
Feb 26, 2008 09:17 PM
Ann Cummings
RE/MAX Shoreline - NH and Maine - Portsmouth, NH
Portsmouth NH Real Estate Preferrable Agent

Thanks Gita - most think they have to only work with the on-site agent.

Ann

Feb 27, 2008 09:59 AM