Searching for a home can be a frustrating process. You might love the kitchen but hate the bathroom. The master bedroom might not have the walk-in closets you desire, or maybe you were hoping to install a home theater room, but none of the rooms in the houses you’re looking at have enough space.
If you find yourself running into these types of problems, it may make sense to purchase a newly constructed home, or one that you can help shape so that in the end, everything is just the way you like it. Your real estate agent can help you find your dream home if you let him or her know upfront that you’re willing to consider buying new.
While not all new construction provides buyers with the opportunity to help with the planning—it depends on the development, how far along things are and other factors—more often than not, the buyer does have a say. So that state-of-the-art kitchen or aforementioned theater room can become a reality. When purchasing new construction, buyers also get to have a say when it comes to the types of appliances that are installed, the materials used (tiles, fixtures and finishes) and even the paint colors.
In some cases, house hunters will first explore a model home to get a sense of what the new home will look like. But keep in mind that things in the spec house aren’t always carried over automatically. Model homes normally contain all the upgrades and bells and whistles, so it’s important to talk with the builder and your agent to understand exactly what your newly constructed home will and won’t contain. The last thing you want is to not have your dream house because you forgot to ask for it.
When buying a home of this kind, it’s vital that you get some sort of warranty, the same way you would when buying a new car. Since the home has never been lived in before, you have no way of knowing if the basement fills with water on rainy days or if things were built properly. Having a warranty (usually available for one year) will give you peace of mind when moving in.
And just like you would do when buying any home, an inspection is still an important part of buying a newly constructed house. Not only will an inspector be able to ensure that things are up to code, they’ll also check to see that no damage occurred during the build.
Newly constructed homes typically cost more than “used” homes, but there aren’t usually any problems with appraisals, and you can also take part in creating the home of your dreams.
By Keith Loria