6 Things Buyers Must Know About Buying
New Homes in Carlsbad
Some Carlsbad home buyers are interested in new construction homes, and there are several options right now. Indeed, we have seen a fair amount of new homes being built in several communities over the last few years, with more to come, although large parcels of land for development are running short.
There's lots to know about how to buy a home in Carlsbad, and some pretty important things to know about new construction that may be news to you!
That nice smiling sales rep you meet in the model home represents the builder, NOT you. They get paid for selling the builder’s homes and they are there to serve the builder’s interests, and not yours. Oh, they are friendly and pleasant, and are reasonably knowledgeable about what the homes offer, and the community, but as far as issues that you should be concerned about – inspectional issues, contract terms and conditions, among others – they are working for the seller. Can you have your own representative? You bet, and you should. Do you know what questions to ask about disclosures? Do you know how any defects or repairs that might be needed will be handled? What are the warranties that come with the house? The list goes on, just as it does when buying a resale home.
There will be an Home Owner’s Association. You cannot buy a new construction home in Carlsbad and avoid having an HOA, unless you are buying a stand-alone custom-built home, which is very rare. That might be fine with you, but some buyers don’t want or like them, so be aware. It's important to review any HOA documents, as with any resale. You will also want to know how much the HOA fees are and what they cover. Be aware that the fees can sometimes change as the community becomes fully built – the good news is they MIGHT drop off a little.
That new home does NOT come with beautiful front yard and back yard landscaping. Sorry, but the model homes have gorgeous plantings and grass, hardscape, and perhaps outdoor kitchens, spas, and more, but your new home comes with dirt! And you are required to have it landscaped, typically within a year, sometimes less depending on community requirements, and that is more cash from your pocket. Plus you will need to provide a plan to the architectural committee for approval up front. Just sayin’.
There will be Mello Roos fees (a special type of property tax) on top of the property taxes. Some buyers don’t like the idea of paying these fees but in new communities you have no choice. Right now the combination of property taxes and Mello Roos fees is around 1.3% in Carlsbad. It’s an important question to ask, as in any resale, so you are prepared for the financial burden.
What you see is not exactly what you get. This is not to say the builder is misrepresenting things, but that gorgeous model home to die for will likely be very different from what your new home will look like inside. There are some things that are options that are included, and you may have choices (e.g., cabinets, flooring) but often the model is full of upgrades (flooring, finishes, amenities like a wine cooler) that are not included in the base price. Be careful what you fall in love with - is it the style and layout, or is it all the eye candy!! Yes, you can choose hardwood over carpet, tile over vinyl, but you will pay for it. You absolutely want to know what’s really included in the purchase and what’s extra. Don’t make any assumptions.
The builder may offer financial incentives for using their preferred lender. Sounds good, right? It may be a good situation, but you want to do your due diligence to understand what your own lender’s fees are, among other things, as compared to what the preferred lender offers, despite the incentives.
Does this mean buying a new home is not a good thing? Absolutely not. It’s just a matter of being a savvy and aware consumer, walking in to buy, hopefully with your Realtor, and being prepared to ask lots of questions and do your due diligence as you would with any home purchase. Who wants to leave money on the table or pay for things you didn’t know about?
And unlike a resale, you will not be negotiating the price!!
If I can answer any questions about the Carlsbad housing market, or assist you with a purchase of a new home, or a resale, let’s get together and plan a strategy. Give me a call at (760) 840-1360 and we find a time that works best for you!
And if a resale home is still of interest, or you are on the fence about a resale vs. a new construction home in Carlsbad, you can click on the photo to the right to see all the homes on the MLS, updated 24/7.