Step 2 Don't do it on your own.
If you have a buyers agent to represent you, the agent can do a lot of your legwork before you even look at a model home. They can research the new home developments in your price range and consider the distance to your work, schools, local entertainment and places of worship.
Check on the HOA, deed restrictions, and find out when the Association will be released by the developer.
Check out the different lots being offered, the lot premiums and most importantly, the location of the individual lots, not just the dot on a map.
And now a cautionary tale. of a real buyer, in the Tampa Bay area.
I had a customer, (I sold his house for him), who thought he would be just fine buying his New Construction home on his own. He went through the entire process and closed without any problems. He and his family moved into their fabulous five bedroom home on a cul de sac and conservation lot. After a few days, they noticed a lingering, foul odor, after scouting around, they found, on the other side of the beautiful green belt behind their home, was a fully operational pig farm. I do not have to tell you, he was not happy. I know all about this, because, I sold this house too, at a small financial loss, but a very large emotional one.
It's always good to have an "disinterested" third party to act as a buffer between you and the builder, to point out things you have not even thought of.
Your agent will also review your contact with the builder and in some cases, refer you to an attorney, when the contract seems to be more than a simple "boiler plate", and needs to be reviewed by an experienced Real Estate specialist.
The best part of using a Buyers Agent for a new construction home is, the builder will pay your agent. Funds are put aside to pay for your representation, if you do not take advantage of this, the builder keeps it. No, they will not give it to you, or reduce the price.
You must hire your agent before you contact any new home builder, once you talk to them without an agent it is very hard to bring one on board.
Once again, Don't do it on your own.