Some hidden things to look for when buying new construction or constructing a new home. They could be hidden costs, red flags or constructions issues. The following are some things to be aware of whether constructing from the ground up or custom issues.
#1. Never neglect the home inspection.
Just because this is a brand-new home doesn’t mean it can’t have major issues. The contractor or builder may have missed something, forgotten something, or installed something wrong. New homes are not immune to imperfections and faults. You should hire a professional home inspector who has experience with new homes. A home inspector can insure that everything is up to code and correct. Caveat, home inspectors are human, they can miss some things too!
#2. Understand the upgrades.
When builders are talking with you about custom upgrades, be aware of how they word things and what they cost. They may forget to tell you it’s an upgrade but will have no problem adding it to the bill. It’s crucial that you pay attention to details when buying new construction. Make sure that you understand all features that are included in the sales price. When you start adding upgrades the sales price will rise. This is imperative before finalizing a contract. Protect yourself and hire a real estate agent to represent you!
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#3. Understand the home warranty.
Most brand-new homes come with a builder warranty. While this may offer some peace of mind, you may be surprised what it doesn’t cover. The builder will cover defects in the home for the first year. After the first year the home warranty company assumes responsibility for any issues. When discussing warranties, you’ll hear the term implied and express warranties. Implied warranties will cover defects in workmanship that impact the home’s habitability and safety. These typically last about 10 years but some builders may offer an express warranty. This will be more specific on what’s covered and the cutoff times for varying parts of a new home. A buyer may be asked to waive their rights under an implied warranty if an express warranty is available. It’s important to make sure you understand the difference in the warranties. If you are unsure or can’t seem to wrap your head around the legal jargon, don’t hesitate to get the advice from a real estate attorney. It might be a little bit more upfront cost, but peace of mind is priceless.
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#4. Don’t forget that you can negotiate with the builder.
It’s important to have your own agent representing you when buying a new home. The on-site agent will usually be nice to you. Just REMEMBER, they represent the builder, not you! You are entitled and should hire your own real estate agent to represent you. Having your own agent means you have someone negotiating on your behalf, not for the builder. Surprisingly, you can negotiate price, lot lines, loan fees, and other items. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know.
#5. Understand what you are responsible for.
Construction and completion is the responsibility of the builder. The construction may not come with landscaped yards and that can be a huge chunk of your budget. Is there a home owner’s association? If so, make sure to read the bylaws and covenants before signing the contract. Home owner associations are powerful so make sure you understand what you are signing up for.
#6. Don’t forget about the appliances.
Depending on your contract your home may or may not come with appliances. Most of the time builders will install builder-grade appliances. You will need to pay more for upgraded appliances. You will pick out a lighting package during the contract stage. The builder already has the lighting package pre-selected. Again, you will have to pay more if you choose to upgrade your lighting.
There are plenty of new homes around McDonough and the Atlanta area to choose from. I would love to be your realtor and put my experience to work for you. I have no direct affiliation with any of these developments so I represent you. I will negotiate for you on your behalf with your terms, budget, and tastes. Call me today and let’s discuss how buying a new home could be in your future.