If you’ve read Purchasing a New Construction: First Steps, you know the first—and most important—part of the process is choosing an experienced realtor to have on your side. It’s fine to go out with the family on weekends to preview new construction communities, but don’t sign anything (or give out your contact information) without first consulting your realtor. We would also recommend having your agent with you on the sites if at all possible. Your agent will understand the process and help you negotiate the terms of your contract. They’ll also act as a buffer between you and the new home salesperson.
Once you’ve found a realtor to represent you and you’ve chosen a community, what can you expect to do next?
Pick the perfect lot
Choosing the perfect lot and envisioning your dream home sitting in that spot is one of the most exciting parts of purchasing new construction. And picking the perfect lot means making sure you know what’s around that lot.
Check its physical location—what direction is it facing? What’s located in front of and behind it? If there’s a fence in the back of the lot, make sure you know what’s behind that fence. It sounds far-fetched, but we know of a community where families bought houses along an eight-foot fence and had a big surprise after the second floor of the homes were built. The new houses overlooked an unsightly junkyard you could clearly see from the upper floors. The moral? Always look over the fence.
Design your dream home
The design process can be complicated and deserves careful consideration, but it’s our favorite part of buying a new construction home.
The sales agent at each homesite will go over all your choices with you. Ask for a sheet or digital document that lists out the options with prices so you can sit down and digest the information.
A big part of this will involve designing the layout of your home. You may have the option to include extra rooms on the back or a butler’s pantry next to the kitchen. Be careful while adding features to keep up with your bottom line.
Inspect the home
Right before closing on your new home you’ll perform a final inspection with your realtor. It’s important to do several inspections along the way to ensure your home is being built the way you envisioned it. Often, dozens of homes are being built in a community at the same time, so something you requested may be overlooked—you want to be there to catch any mistakes.
The final walkthrough is the most crucial. Bring your notes with you and check every inch of the house to ensure everything is exactly how you designed it. New construction homes are great for so many reasons: everything is brand-new and covered under warranty for up to 10 years, you get to design it yourself, and the communities are full of modern amenities. But, just like with anything else in real estate, you need to make sure you’re covered and know where the risks are. Take the time to buy the home you really want, and you’ll be happy for years to come.