Ah, the smell of fresh-cut lumber. The notion that you, and only you, will be the first person to live in a house. For many, buying new construction is much more appealing than inheriting someone else’s taste in bathroom tile and paint colors, never mind aging plumbing or an old roof.
Buying a house always comes with some level of risk, and for many, the prospect of a shiny new home seems like a safer bet than a fixer-upper. But before you make a builder your new best friend, there are some things to consider.
Look at the Neighborhood
What are you looking for in a community? While you may fall in love with your dream kitchen, how will you fit in? If you are empty-nesters, for example, you may not relish the noise and excitement of young families. If you do have young children, you’ll want to make sure you are close to their activities, or you’ll find yourself constantly on the road for soccer practices and dance recitals.
If you’re comfortable doing so, knock on a few doors and ask how people like living there, and look at how the homes on the street appear to be holding up, especially those that are a few years old.
Consider Your Timeline
If preapproved for a mortgage, it’s important to know how soon you want to move in, especially when interest rates are in flux. Be ruthless in finding out about construction schedules, which in recent months have been thrown into turmoil from supply chain issues.
Ask Lots of Questions
When you meet with a builder or a builder’s rep, it’s important to check on everything long before getting started. You should get solid answers to queries such as:
- What other projects is the builder working on?
- Who will be my primary contact person in the builder’s office?
- How often will the builder’s rep walk through the construction?
- Can you provide references from other homeowners?
- What features are included, and which are upgrades?
Speaking of Upgrades…
Model homes are called models for a reason. The staging and the finishes are designed to blow you away. While it will be (very!) tempting to spring for expensive faucets and marble countertops, ask yourself how long you’ll be in the house and whether or not they add value for the cost. Also, consider if you can make upgrades yourself—for example, installing new faucets or fixtures later down the line.
Find Your Experts
Before moving forward, get a set of plans from the builder or the city and have them reviewed by an independent professional who can assess them for safety and quality. No matter how pretty the kitchen island, do not skip on a thorough home inspection that, at a minimum, checks the foundation, roof, wiring, and plumbing.
You may also want to ask your builder or the sales rep about throwing in a 1-year home warranty that covers potential major costs such as hot water heater ruptures, major home appliance failures, and faulty HVAC units.
Finally, an experienced real estate professional will have insight into builders’ reputations, school districts, pricing, and neighborhood quality. A good agent or broker will, in turn, ask you plenty of questions, so you go in to your new home purchase as informed as possible.
Whether your dream home is a new build or if it’s just new to you, we’re here to help you close with ease! Contact our team at Attorney’s Title Group in Little Rock to schedule your closing and experience the ATG Difference!