Tips for Purchasing New Construction Homes

  1. Research Builders and Developments:

    • Investigate the reputation of the builder by checking reviews, visiting other developments they've completed, and speaking with homeowners in those communities.
    • Visit model homes and sales offices to get a sense of the quality and layout options.
  2. Understand the Community Plan:

    • Look into the overall master plan for the community. Understand the amenities that will be available, such as parks, pools, schools, and shopping centers.
    • Check the planned development schedule to ensure the amenities you want will be available when you move in.
  3. Get Everything in Writing:

    • Ensure that all promises made by the builder, including completion dates, upgrades, and warranties, are documented in the contract.
    • Review the contract carefully and consider having a real estate attorney look it over.
  4. Consider Upgrade Costs:

    • New construction homes often come with base models that do not include all the features shown in model homes. Upgrades can be costly, so make sure to get a list of included features and upgrade options with pricing.
    • Prioritize essential upgrades versus those that can be added later.
  5. Inspect the Home:

    • Even new homes can have issues. Hire an independent home inspector to review the property before closing to identify any potential problems.
    • Schedule inspections at various stages of construction if possible (foundation, framing, final walk-through).
  6. Know the Warranty:

    • Understand the builder’s warranty on the home. Most new homes come with a builder’s warranty that covers certain aspects of the construction for a period of time.
    • Get clarity on what is covered and for how long, and know the process for addressing any issues that arise.
  7. Check Financing Options:

    • Builders often have preferred lenders who may offer incentives, such as lower closing costs or interest rate reductions.
    • Compare these offers with other lenders to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
  8. Understand the Homeowners Association (HOA):

    • New communities often have HOAs that manage common areas and enforce community rules. Understand the fees, rules, and regulations associated with the HOA.
    • Review the HOA’s budget, bylaws, and covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs).
  9. Location Considerations:

    • Evaluate the location’s proximity to schools, work, and other daily needs. Understand future development plans in the area.
    • Check the commute times and traffic patterns.
  10. Negotiate:

    • Builders may be more flexible with terms rather than price reductions. Negotiate for upgrades, closing costs, or other incentives.
    • Consider the timing of your purchase; builders may offer better deals at the end of the fiscal quarter or year when they are trying to meet sales targets.