Things a home buyer needs to know about new construction
Buyers in all markets and at all price points can find new construction homes for sale. While some buyers shy away from these homes, other prefer them because of their customizable features and lack of history. Keep the following five things in mind if you’re searching for a new home but on the fence about whether or not new construction is right for your family.
- New homes are often not in the MLS
New construction homes may not show up in your agent’s MLS search. While regular sellers list their homes with an agent, new construction homes or subdivisions often have a dedicated, on-site sales teams; other forms of advertisement such as online ads or billboards are used to attract potential buyers. If you are interested in new construction, work with your agent to ensure these homes are included in your search.
- Be aware of standard features versus upgrades
In new construction neighborhoods, the builder may construct two to three model homes to give buyers a sense of the different layouts, features, and finishes available. However, most models include upgrades that are not standard in a home’s “base price”. Make sure you understand upfront what is standard versus what will be an additional upgrade; bonus rooms, upgraded lighting, hardwood floors, and even landscaping are all examples of features that may not be included in a home’s base price.
- Think upgrades instead of discounts
Most sellers are willing to compromise when it comes to negotiating the price of an existing home. However, new construction sellers are less likely to offer monetary discounts; instead, they may offer upgrades to your home. Builders may offer packages such as upgraded appliances or increased square footage in order to entice buyers – without lowering the price of the home. This is often seen when a builder is selling the first few or the last few homes in a development.
- A home inspection is still necessary
When a house is brand new, many buyers falsely believe that they do not need to have a home inspection. However, an inspection is still a necessary part of the home buying process and will ensure everything in your new home is safe and up to code. A reputable builder should allow an independent inspection before closing, as well as agree to repair any issues that are found in the home.
- Consider future zoning and development
Check with both the builder and the city for what is planned for the area surrounding your new construction home; a beautiful view or a quiet street might be gone in five years depending on planned development in the area. Likewise, keep in mind many new construction neighborhoods have additional specials that can add to your annual expenses.