First-Time Home Buyer: Is New Construction Your Dream?

Mortgage and Lending with NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 IL Lic 031.0006220/WI
First-Time Home Buyer:
Is New Construction Your Dream? 


There's a common thread running through much of the current real estate and economic news.  That thread connects, weaves, and embroiders a message regarding a severe inventory shortage found in many U.S. housing markets.
I hear about the shortage of homes fairly often.  Many of my clients want to buy, but they're currently finding it extremely hard to find affordable well-maintained homes during their home searches.
The home inventory shortage is especially keen in the first-time homebuying and "step-up" markets.  That fact is something that's not going unnoticed by some U.S. homebuilders.
A recent article found in NewHome Source reported (via Bloomberg Business) that, "newly constructed starter homes are coming back in a big way" and major builders are building communities designed for Millennial first-time buyers". 
Yet another article, found in Professional Builder, states that  "... some home builders are responding to the challenge, and they’re succeeding."
And Tony Callahan, CEO and president of Callahan Consulting Group says, “There are just too many buyers (for starter homes) to ignore”.  Hopefully soon, even more builders will see the merit of concentrating on this underserved segment of the housing market.

It's important to point out:  Home buyers considering this type of home purchase need to understand that buying a new construction home is a "horse of a different color".  That meaning there are a few extra things they should know and do prior to signing on any Purchase Contract's dotted line.

So what are some of the ways that buying a new construction home is different from buying an existing home?

Below I provide some helpful information and timely tips that I believe will help new construction home buyers.  These tips are presented from my perspective as an Illinois - Wisconsin Mortgage Originator/Lender.  (Although many of the following tips pertain to other new construction housing markets as well, they're specifically aimed at the Chicagoland -Northern IL new construction housing market).

First, when considering the purchase of a new construction home:

       A.  Seek the advice and guidance of a Realtor/Agent  BEFORE entering into a Contract to Buy a new construction home
       B.  Consult with a Mortgage Lender PRIOR to listing your current home for sale. Learn and fully-understand ALL your financing capabilities and options
  • Expect Home Builders to REQUIRE a small deposit to hold a lot, until a Contract can be agreed upon
  • Be prepared to negotiate your best price first.  Then and only then, discuss home building options, credits, financing.  (Builders often try to intertwine these discussions
  • Home Builders typically REQUIRE a deposit/payment be paid PRIOR to the start of construction (typically 10% of the final negotiated Purchase Price)
  • If you are a buyer that currently owns a home ... and it has not sold yet, you will also have to consider the following prior to taking action:
     A.  How will you fund the deposit/down payment needed by the Home Builder?
     B.  If your home sells prior to your new construction completion, where will you live or stay until its completion and Closing Day?

       When negotiating your new construction home Sales Price with the Builder:  

A.  How are offers of home features/options (such as Central Air, Appliances, Upgraded Flooring, etc.) handled?  Will you have a choice on how you pay for them or will they simply be added to the final Sales Price of the home?  
 B.  If it's the latter, you must be aware that you will be paying interest on those added option costs over the life term of your loan.
     A.  First, determine the Township (in IL) that the property lies in 
     B.  Contact the Township Assessor to learn what your taxes are projected to be for the first year tax bill and subsequent tax bills (showing completed construction). 

      Regarding Financing Terms:

  • Know and understand that Financing Terms for new construction are different than for existing homes.  Here's why:
      A.  For existing homes: Contracts for Closings are  typically written for 30 to 60 day periods
      B.  For New Construction:  Timelines can be for 90 to 180 days, or even longer.
     C.  Interest Rate Locks:  Typical Locks run for 60 days, but some Lenders offer 90-day Locks.  A smaller number of Lenders will offer "Extended Rate Locks" to cover a buyer/borrower from "start to finish/Closing" of a new home.  (Note: An Extended Rate Lock can be somewhat concerning, especially in times of volatile or rising Interest Rates) 

       Buyer Representation:  
  • Protect Yourself.  Secure the services of a Buyer's Agent to assist you throughout your new construction home search, from beginning to end.  (A Buyer's Agent will represent YOUR interests during transactions with a Home Builder.  The Agent/Sales Representative within the model home represents the interest of the Builder
  • Hire a Real Estate Attorney to provide you legal guidance prior to signing a Contract, or at minimum, be sure there is an Attorney Review Period within the Contract 
  • Again, seek your Mortgage Lender's input and quote (for comparison with the Home Builder's mortgage lender's financing terms) Learn ALL the options available to you ... and the pros and cons of each.
New construction can be a viable option for purchase for some home buyers.  To fully understand if this type of home purchase is an option for you, you need to do some preliminary homework.

For buyers looking to buy in the New Lenox - Chicagoland/IL & WI region,please reach out with your questions.  I'll be happy to investigate and discuss all the options available to you and assist you in applying those options moving forward during your home financing and purchase.
Hoping to buy or Refinance a home in New Lenox or elsewhere in Chicagoland - IL - WI? 
Contact me!  I'll put my 40+ years of mortgage experience and expertise hard to work on your behalf.
I'm easily found at:
Gene Mundt
Mortgage Originator - NMLS #216987 - IL Lic. #031.0006220 - WI Licensed
American Portfolio Mortgage Corp.
NMLS #175656
Direct: 815.524.2280
Cell/Text: 708.921.6331
eFax: 815.524.2281
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Gene Mundt

 Mortgage Originator  -  NMLS #216987    

                                 IL Lic. #031.0006220  -  WI License #216987                                                                                                    

NMLS #175656


Gene Mundt, Mortgage Originator,  40+ years of #mortgage experience, will offer you exemplary mortgage service and advice when seeking:  #Conventional, #FHA, #VA, #Jumbo, #USDA, and Portfolio Loans in #Chicago and the greater Chicagoland region, including:  The #Lincoln-Way Area, #Will County, (#New Lenox, #Frankfort, #Mokena, #Manhattan, #Joliet, #Shorewood, #Crest Hill, #Plainfield, #Bolingbrook, #Romeoville, #Naperville, #Wilmington, #Peotone, etc.), #DuPage County, the City of Chicago, #Cook County, and elsewhere within IL and Wisconsin. 


Your Referrals & Testimonials are Always Greatly Appreciated! 




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Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much for sharing your advice.

I hope you are enjoying a most productive month.

Jan 24, 2018 11:08 AM #1
Shahar Hillel
Augusta Financial Inc. - Stevenson Ranch, CA
Mortgage Consultant, Loan Officer.


Great information here.

Good week.

Jan 24, 2018 11:29 AM #2
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

New homes are about a third of our market. The builders are hard at work.

Jan 24, 2018 06:22 PM #3
Golden1 Agents
San Mateo, CA

Thank you for sharing this. 


Jan 25, 2018 07:20 AM #4
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Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi

708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience
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