Five things to keep in mind when buying a brand new home
Brand new homes can be very appealing. They haven’t been lived in, you can customize features, and you avoid the improvement costs that can come with older homes. If the new home
is part of a planned community, it might even include amenities such as a park, swimming pool, and community center, or even a recreation center.
New homes do tend to cost a little more than similar pre-owned homes, but maintenance and utilities will be less expensive thanks to new, energy efficient systems, windows, and appliances. However, buying a new home is different from buying an existing older home. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Take advantage of the opportunity to customize. One of the best things about buying a new build is you can customize it. You can pick colors, appliances, and flooring. You can spec special kitchen cabinets, premium countertops, additional insulation, and other options, such as the latest technology that lets you automate many home functions. However, these costs mount up, but they may improve your quality of life or reduce your utility bills while increasing your resale value.
Stay flexible. Lots of things have to come together to put up a new home, and these days there can be delays waiting for some elements to be available. So, stay flexible with your timelines. Don't be surprised if the original closing date gets pushed out, and keep the goal in mind and you’ll soon own a new home.
Check your warranty. New builds come with a home warranty, which generally just covers the structure. Read it and ask questions if there is anything you don’t understand. If something is verbally communicated, ask for it in writing. Know how to make a claim, and check whether the warranty will still apply if the builder is no longer in business. Don’t skip the inspection. It is well worth the few hundred dollars you’ll pay. And speak up if something is discovered, and be meticulous during the walk-through.
Get the right type of mortgage. Developers typically finance their projects, so you can get a traditional mortgage when the home is complete and appraised. But if you hire a builder, you may need a construction loan that converts to a mortgage at closing.
Hire a buyer’s agent with experience representing new homebuyers. Some builders try to minimize your need for a buyer’s agent. This is understandable, since they pay the commission. Rather than working by yourself with a builder, you’ll want a buyer’s agent who will put your interests first.