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10 Tips for Buying a Newly-Constructed Home

New framing house construction with no roof and two by fours exposed

With the housing supply getting tighter in Houston County, GA, new construction homes offer a great option for homebuyers in this hot market. In addition, buying a newly built home has other great benefits. There’s nothing quite like moving into a property where you’re the very first occupant, and everything is brand new and spic-and-span.

Buying new construction, however, has its own quirks and nuisances that you should know about to avoid costly mistakes.

We’ve listed 10 great tips that can help you have a great experience in buying a newly-built home:

  1. Know what kind of new construction home you want

    There are three main types of new construction homes for you to choose from: tract, spec, and custom homes. Tract homes typically have similar styles and floor plans as the other properties in a particular development. Buying this kind of home allows you to save because it is the most affordable option out of the three.

    Spec homes, on the other hand, are homes that are nearly complete when they’re put up for sale. The design and construction decisions are usually made by the builder. The advantage in this type of home is that you won’t have to wait long before you can move in.

    Custom homes are new construction properties that allow some customization, including of the floor plan, the type of materials used, certain finishes, and others.

  2. Figure out your budget

    A new construction home may include other costs in addition to the price of the property, such as landscaping, window treatments, and fences and gates. Before committing to buying a home, make sure you know what comes with the selling price and how much more you may need to add to bring the home up to your expectations.

  3. Do a thorough research on the builder

    Having a reputable builder makes a huge difference in the new construction home buying process. All too often, we’ve seen cases where builders leave some areas of a home or a development unfinished.
    A good builder will show excellent workmanship and make sure that deadlines are met.

    Do a quick online search for reviews about a potential builder and see what past buyers have to say about them. Filter through the happy and unhappy reviews and look for any trends. You can also ask your real estate agent if they have worked with or heard about a potential builder’s reputation and work ethic.

    Don’t forget to research your builder’s warranties as well. Warranties vary from builder to builder but they typically include a one-year coverage for labor and materials and a two-year coverage for electrical, heating, and plumbing systems.

  4. Search for the right neighborhood

    Learn as much as you can about the neighborhood. What is the traffic situation? How accessible is the area? What do the neighbors have to say about living here? Also, look into the development plans of the surrounding area. What will the neighborhood be like in the next five years? Will future buildings block your current view, or can you expect traffic build up in the next five years?

  5. Know what you’re getting

    When you check out new construction homes for sale, builders will usually tour you around their model home. This sample home gives you an idea on how the homes in the development will function, look, and feel. And since they are meant to appeal and sell the property to you, some builders may put a variety of upgrades in the model home. Be wary of these upgrades and ask if you’re getting the same features in your own property.

  6. Shop around for a lender

    Don’t settle on your builder’s preferred lender or the first lender that you find. Go mortgage shopping and compare loan packages, including the terms you can get. Typically, lenders will try to outdo each other in offering a loan package when they know you have several options to consider.

  7. Choose the right upgrades

    Buying a new construction home involves making quite a number of decisions—and home upgrades are one of them. Don’t get carried away by the upgrade options your builder offers you. It’s always best to go with those that can potentially increase the value of your home, such as additional cabinets, sturdy countertops, and plenty of storage space.

  8. Negotiate with the builder

    Creativity is essential when negotiating with builders. While they may not go below their listing or asking price (builders don’t want future buyers to expect the same discount on price), many builders offer other perks, instead, such as a free upgrade, adding more appliances, or paying the closing costs.

  9. Keep everything in writing

    Always remember that verbal conversations are not binding. During the new construction buying process, you and your builder will likely be negotiating and agreeing on details like when the home will be finished and the upgrades or features that will be included. All agreements must be in writing, whether it’s in an email, a letter, or a contract. If things turn sour for any reason, written communication are essential in settling disputes or getting compensation.

  10. Get a home inspection

    Avoid the mistake of forgoing a professional home inspection, thinking a new home won’t have any problem or issues. Have an inspector go over the property to ensure it’s compliant to building and safety codes. Related to this, make sure you’re clear on what the builder’s warranties cover and what they don’t.

Work with a Knowledgeable Real Estate Agent

Buying new construction homes in Warner Robins, GA and Houston County, GA is best done with knowledgeable and credible real estate agents like the Warner Robins Home Search team. Get in touch with our team today!