Buying a newly built home provides some exciting options that may not be available to you when purchasing an existing home, such as the ability to choose the exact kitchen cabinets, flooring and even your favorite homesite and floor plan. But it also creates some additional challenges, including making sure your builder is reputable, that the community is just what you're looking for, and timing everything so that your home will be ready when you are.
1. Research the community. When you begin your search look closely at the subdivision and the location. Visit at different times of day, and talk to residents about what they do and don't like. It can't hurt to talk to neighbors about their experience with the builder. Make a visit to the community to find out not only about the quality of the homes that are being built, but also about how the condo or homeowners association operates, whether parents like the schools, and if you really can commute to work in a reasonable amount of time.
2. Use a real estate agent - especially one who will pay you part of their commission as an incentive to use them, like an agent from We Give Realty. Since the seller typically pays the commission, it costs a buyer nothing to be represented by a real estate agent, and most builders are happy to work with agents. Couple that with the huge financial advantage of receiving thousands of dollars at closing with a New Home Rebate such as We Give Realty's 2% Cash Back Rebate, and it's an easy decision to use them to represent you! Also, an agent who specializes in selling new homes, regularly deals with builders, and knows the local communities will be a great resource.
3. Check out the builder. Many home builders have been in the business for years and produce a quality product. However, a few do not. Check review sites, state licensing boards and the local court records to see whether the builder you're considering has run into any trouble, including lawsuits, complaints with licensing agencies and disciplinary actions by state and local agencies. This is also a good time to talk to previous customers.
4. If you can only afford to choose one over the other, go with square footage and location over upgrades. Think about how you want to spend your limited budget. You can never change your home's location, for example, but you can upgrade flooring later. Apply that logic to other choices as well. If you're choosing between a fourth bedroom and granite countertops, you probably should choose the extra bedroom, which is much more expensive to add later. If at all possible, we also recommend at least adding upgrades that are commonly found in the area to add value to your home.
5. Understand the floor plan completely before choosing it. Most floor plans include room sizes, and if you don't understand those, take a measuring tape to your current home. Some builders offer virtual reality technology that lets you see what's going to be built, but a better option is to visit a home with the floor plan you want, even if it's still under construction or in a different community. It's always a good idea to actually walk through the physical home if at all possible to best be able to understand the feel and flow of the home's space.
6. Take advantage of the builder's promotions and incentives. Builders don’t like to drop their prices because they are often reluctant to set a precedent for negotiating prices since future buyers in the development may expect similar discounts. Instead, they often offer special incentives such as money towards closing costs when using their preferred lender, or thousands of dollars that can be used towards design center upgrades. These incentives are offered at various times of the year and are for a limited time only, so be sure to take advantage of the savings while you can! And remember, the builder's promotions can be used on top of the 2% New Home Cash Back that you will receive for using We Give Realty!
7. Have a lawyer vet the contracts. Contracts for new construction are complex. As with all legal affairs, it makes sense to have an expert look them over before your sign. We can give you recommendations for real estate lawyers if desired.
8. Ask about warranties. Most builders offer warranties on materials and workmanship. Pulte and its companies Centex and Del Webb, for example, offer a one-year warranty on workmanship, a two-year warranty on mechanical and electrical elements, five years on water leaks and 10 years on structure. Make sure you understand what is and isn't covered and what process you need to follow to get something fixed.
9. Get multiple bids from lenders and closing agents. Your builder may have a preferred lender, and you may be offered discounts and other incentives to use them. They may or may not be your best choice. Get quotes from additional lenders and closing agents, and then decide which is the best option for you.
10. Get a home inspection. You may think you don't need to have a newly built home inspected. But getting an independent inspection before closing is always a good idea, and you want to be there so you can learn more about the home. You can have a home inspector do periodic inspections throughout the building process, or at least inspect the finished product before warranties expire giving you time to have everything covered by the warranty repaired at the builder's expense. We can give you recommendations for home inspectors if requested.
Call or Text We Give Realty at 904-580-GIVE to represent you in your new home purchase so you can GET PAID THOUSANDS to buy new!!WeGiveRealty.com
(We Give Realty, LLC is a Florida licensed real estate agency. 2% New Home Rebate is dependent on Builder paying at least a typical 3% commission and lender participation.)