Buying a new home can be one of the most exciting real estate experiences for homeowners. Besides the possibility of picking out colors and interior finishes, being the first to hang a picture, to cook in the kitchen, to move in furniture can all create memories which turn a new house into a home to treasure for years to come. However, there are several things which home buyers need to be aware when purchasing a new home.
First, when buying in a subdivision, typically the asking price is the price a buyer should expect to pay. The builder, unless he/she has excess inventory which is not moving, needs to keep the price where it is so that future homes he/she builds have good comparables. Sometimes a buyer can negotiate a refrigerator, A/C, fenced backyard, backyard landscaping to be included at the list price, but it is very difficult to get the builder to reduce the asking price. And the earnest money put down on the purchase is often made "nonrefundable" and released to the builder. This ensures the builder that the buyer will close on the home in the future and often is required for the builder to obtain financing from their lender to even build the home.
Second, some builders may allow changes to be made to the home, depending upon where it is in the construction process. This can customize the home specific to the buyer's ideas. However, buyers need to be aware that if such customization is permitted, payment for these "upgrades" is typically expected at the time of agreement. If the buyer does not close on the home for whatever reason, this payment is rarely refunded.
Third, excited buyers often want to visit "their" new home while it is under construction, talk with the contractors working on the home, and perhaps make unapproved changes with them. Buyers need to be aware that the home is still the property of the builder. Such visits, unless approved by the builder, can be considered trespassing. Unapproved changes could be considered vandalism. And talking with the contractors could slow down the construction of the home and throw off the schedule of the work in the entire subdivision. Maintaining a good relationship with the builder/seller is important, especially in the year following move in when the 1 year builder warranty is in place. Any issues which the buyer finds in his/her home should be covered under this warranty. Prompt attention to these should be a continuation of a good relationship developed while the home was under construction.
When people own their own lot, they can hire their own builder to build their custom home. In this case, typically all financing is through the owner. All the rules regarding visits, discussions with the construction workers building the home, and making changes are different. Having a complete contract and thorough understanding of these with the general contractor hired to build the home can create a smooth and fulfilling experience.
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This content last updated on September 20th, 2019 at 10:29pm PDT. Some properties which appear for sale on this website may subsequently have sold or may no longer be available.
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