Buying a home that has never been lived in before can be a dream come true for many buyers. However, everything isn't as easy as it may seem, as the process varies when buying a new construction home or custom-built home versus buying a resale property. Keep reading to learn about the pros and cons of buying new construction homes and a few tips for avoiding the potential barriers and drawbacks of the process.
The Advantages of Buying a New Construction Home
Customizing a model home or having a ground-up custom-built home has many benefits. The fact that no one has lived there before minimizes the chances of shoddy repairs, unpermitted work, unsightly patches on walls, and worn-out appliances. Another bonus is that buyers know what they'll pay consistently for mortgage payments. Check out these perks of new construction homes more in-depth.
Buyers Can Customize New Homes
A full custom-built home gives buyers almost complete control concerning everything installed in their home from floor to ceiling and the exteriors. Architects and contractors design these homes to meet the specifications the buyer wants from the start. This is where investors can be bold and create a home full of luxury or modern features to ease everyday life and enhance comfort.
However, semi-custom homes may only have certain features that can be altered due to builder restrictions or with the idea that buyers could back out. Their goal is to have fluidity in the neighborhood by building homes that are desirable to a wide audience should the sale fall through.
Typically, buyers have options to remove non-load-bearing walls to create a more open living space. They can have walls added to establish separate bedrooms or office space, or have kitchens expanded or upgraded with smart appliances or built-in shelving for storage. Other upgrades and customization options for a new home construction include:
- Light fixtures
- Door handles
- Wood, tile or carpet flooring
- Window upgrades & specialty treatments
- Interior or exterior doors
- Countertops, cabinet handles and pulls
The Home is Brand New
Most contracts for new homes include set standards that ensure quality and also come with a warranty to cover any premature system or appliance failures after moving in. While it's uncommon for reputable builders to make errors, it can happen. However, they are generally amenable to making changes and repairs should a problem arise.
A brand new home means that no one else has lived there, so the property looks and feels fresh. There will be no signs of failed repairs of costly systems or indications of deferred maintenance by previous owners. Some owners may have bypassed professionals for expensive repairs to save on costs, leaving behind undocumented or un-permitted work that poses a hazard.
Another benefit of a brand new abode is that it often comes with smart appliances and systems that add convenience and help curb utility costs compared to older models. One more perk is that some resale homes may have lead paint or asbestos, which are harmful to pets and people, but new homes are clean.
What to Know Before Buying Brand New
While the appeal of a new home is vast, there are a few things buyers need to be aware of before diving into the process. Here, we'll cover considerations when buying model homes, what to expect during the construction process, timeframes for the build, and negotiation tactics.
Model Homes Aren't the Advertised Homes
When touring a model home in a subdivision or master-planned community offering property, buyers should keep in mind that the homes they are seeing tend to have many of the available upgrades in place. Such upgrades are not included in the advertised base price for homes in the neighborhood and will cost extra when the contract is signed.
Be sure to talk with the sales agent during the tour about which features are standard, which are upgrades, and the cost difference between them. Those luxury floors, high-end appliances, window treatments, and high-end countertops or bath installations may be able to become part of the negotiations, as long as buyers walk in ready to strike a deal.
Negotiating New Construction is Different from Negotiating Resale Homes
The builders and agents that offer new construction homes in planned communities are very interested in keeping home values up. This makes them less likely to offer lower pricing on these homes, while those offering resale properties are often open to negotiation. Knowing this going in for the tour lets prospective buyers start eyeing upgrades and options that agents may be willing to include in the sale price, which appeases buyers while still keeping home and property values on par.
Building a New Home Takes Time
Building a home from the ground up, investing in one with several customized options, or making structural changes to a pre-fabricated floor plan model can take time. When discussing the timeline with the builder and contractor, ask them for an estimated completion date. This should include potential delays due to weather, material shortages, or any issues in obtaining construction permits—checking their transparency about the timeline and delays is one way to find a home builder.
While most new construction home builds can take months to finish, it's not unusual for complex builds or those in diverse climates or rural locations to take up to two years before being ready to move in. Also factor in additional time for such incidences, and have a plan for where to live until the home is built as well as a plan to sell a current residence, if applicable.
Buy New and Create a Dream Home
Having and decorating a new construction home allows buyers to realize their dreams with all the touches and finishes they've always wanted to wake up to each day. Going in prepared for the process will ease stress and help buyers get the home they truly desire with fewer hindrances and perhaps even at less expense.
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