Buying new construction is always a popular move and why not? Builders offer open floor plans, include the latest and greatest appliances, landscape the property for you and have on hand personnel to assist you with selecting finishes. It seems so easy and a buyer can go straight to the model home site on their own....STOP FOR A MOMENT AND READ ON because you will end up purchasing more wisely and saving thousands of dollars up front, resulting in investing more effectively for your future.
1. Use a Realtor who has new home sales knowledge and experience and it costs you nothing
This is a win-win situation for you. The builder pays the realtor's commission and you have someone on your side looking out for you. Realtors also know why various areas where builders are expanding, are desirable as well as what attracts buyers to that specific builder. It could be the floor plans they are known for, added adornments, excellent customer service, or a list of other items. A realtor with many new home transactions under their belt will have established relationships with the home builders. Homebuilders are therefore on their "best behavior". They want to keep their good repuation in the Realtor community as agents can potentially bring them more buyers.
2. Making selections with the future in mind can yield more money when you sell
The choices you make now can benefit you when you are ready to resell your home, years later. When choosing the floor plan, type of flooring, paint color of rooms and the actual location of the house inside the community, please keep in mind selections can make the difference between your home selling quickly years down the road or merely sitting idle on the market. When you choose a body of water as your view, it usually adds a significant premium to the price and the same is true when you go to sell. Many buyers consider this to be very desirable for added privacy and tranquility.
You may think that you wish to buy the least expensive home in the community so you choose one with a two or four lane road behind your home. Please note that this choice will make it harder to sell later and these homes may not appreciate as quickly as those in a more desirable location.
When you choose the model of home, one thing buyers do not think about routinely is what are the most popular models that this builder is selling? The models that are most popular usually will hold their value and still be popular years later. A floor plan that does not flow well or has chopped up rooms, or an exposure which lends itself to a dark home can be harder to sell.
Understandably, homeowners want to express their individuality with paint color and /or wallpaper. However keeping walls a neutral color means that you only have to do paint touch ups with the spare paint you have saved and it appeals to the masses later on.
Choose a durable floor covering that is not trendy but one that will work with either traditional furnishings or those which are more of a sleek modern look. In certain areas of the country like here in Florida, hard floors are more appealing. They are easier to keep clean and in our more humid climate where mold can be an issue, this is important for health reasons. Carpeting on the other hand will hold odors.
3. Get a home inspection, choosing your own inspector
When buying new construction homes it is advisable to get your own inspector. Most new homes come with a warranty which covers everything.
The problem is the warranties are usually for a year and some problems do not surface until much later. A licensed inspector will go through his entire checklist very carefully. Builders are on tight timelines to deliver a finished product and can not examine everything carefully every step of the way that their subcontractors do.
4. Research City Plans
New communities are usually built where there are large plots of land, perhaps where there used to be farmland or wooded areas. It is so important to know what the city has planned regarding traffic patterns, zoning, parks and schools.
5. Use your own lender
The sales associates on site will tell you that you have to use their lender to obtain their incentives. It will sound like its carved in stone, but this is rarely the case. Always remember the builders job is to SELL homes. If you refuse to sign anything until they remove this stipulation, most of the time you will be successful.
I hope these ideas help you in purchasing your next new home, one you will enjoy as well as prosper from!
Beverly Mandell is a Broker Associate at Keller Williams Realty, Boynton Beach, FL. You can reach her at Beverly works with buyers, sellers, and also helps to mentor new agents in her office.