There are some real advantages to buying a new construction home instead of buying an already lived-in home. You'll have input on the design of the home, which means that it will be customized in ways that you could never hope to achieve with an already-existing home. And being the first family to live in the home means that you're definitely not buying anyone else's problems. However, buying from a builder is a different matter than buying from a previous homeowner, and if you've never done it before, it can be easy to make mistakes. Here are a few of the things that you need to know to make the buying process go smoothly.
Be Open-Minded When Negotiating
A builder is less likely to drop their asking price than a homeowner is. It's easy to understand why. The homeowner most likely has moved or will be moving into a new home of their own, with their own new mortgage to pay for, and they need to recoup their investment in the house that they're selling in a timely manner. They lose money every day the house sits unsold, and it may be worth lowering their price to get the cash for the house more quickly.
A builder is in a different situation. Their job is to sell multiple houses, and if they give too much of a discount, the next buyer will want the same deal. Repeat that a few times, and the builder is losing more money on discounts than he would have by simply waiting for a better offer. However, they still need to sell the house. If you can't get the builder to drop the price, see if they'll cover the closing costs or toss in some free upgrades. This is often a more cost-efficient way for the builder to close the deal, and it will still save you money.
Don't Skip the Home Inspection
Don't make the mistake of thinking that just because your new construction home had to pass a building inspection, you don't need to pay to have an independent home inspection done. Home inspection professionals explain that building inspection standards are the minimum construction requirements allowed by law. But you want your home to meet more than just the minimum standards – it should meet the standards promised by the builder. A home inspection helps hold the builders to a high standard.
What's more, it's more convenient for you to have any problems fixed by the builders before you move in. You don't want to move the whole family in, put everything away, and then discover the roof is leaking the first time that it rains. Having it fixed will end up being a huge disruption that you will have to pay for, when the builders really should have taken care of it in the first place. It's best to find these problems and get them out of the way before you move in, for your own convenience.
You Still Need a Realty Service
Don't make the mistake of thinking that just because you're not dealing with homeowners, you don't need a real estate agent. You do. However, another common mistake is to assume that the agent working for the builder is just as good as having your own agent. It's not. You need someone who's looking out for your interests, not just the builder's.
Your real estate agent can help you negotiate effectively with the builder. They can also help you make some of the decisions about your new home that you may not be used to making if you've never bought a new construction home before. A real estate agent who's familiar with new construction homes can tell you which upgrades will help you the most when it's time to resell, for example.
If you've got your eye on a home in a new construction community, read more and contact a realty service before you visit. That way, you can have expert help from the start to the finish of the home-buying process.