Living in the D.C. metro has plenty of perks, and having a variety of diverse neighborhoods and suburbs, beautiful amenities, and tons of options for entertainment and education are just the beginning. While there are undoubtedly plenty of beautiful homes in the District proper and surrounding counties, there are lots of reasons to build new.
- What’s your new home warranty package?
When you buy a new home, you should get a top-to-bottom warranty that covers every element of your home. However, different home builders will offer different lengths and specifications for that coverage. For example, some will offer a top-to-bottom warranty for a far shorter length than a structural warranty. You might also need to personally register things like your HVAC units and water heater with the individual manufacturers—but maybe not. Get to know the builder’s warranties—length, plus what’s specifically covered—before signing on the dotted line.
2. What’s your current start-to-finish average?
Especially with supply chain and employment challenges in recent years, build times have been less predictable than they were previously. You’d be hard-pressed to find a builder that will commit to a specific end date; more than likely, you’ll get a range. However, asking for their average build-time span based on the last six to 12 months should give you a better idea of what you’re most likely to experience.
3. Are there current incentives available?
Different builders offer different incentives, often based on excess inventory, neighborhoods they’re hoping to close out, or other factors. Not all will be the same, but finding the right incentive might prove the perfect tiebreaker if you’re torn between builders or neighborhoods.
4. What are the standard features (vs. optional upgrades)?
The answer to this may depend on a specific community, but builders typically have at least a somewhat generalized list. If you go to see a model home, it’s just that—the shiny, new model that showcases all the bells and whistles of just how beautiful a given home can be. That means the gorgeous shadowboxing, lighting package, or specific flooring may cost extra. Some upgrades are bound to make their way onto your list should you choose the builder, but knowing upfront what’s included can weigh heavily on final costs—and your final decision.
5. Do you have model homes available for walkthrough?
In recent years especially, more builders have gone to a virtual walkthrough scenario. While this does bring an added level of convenience, you really can’t substitute the real thing. Take the time to find in-person models from the builder that you can walk through. Look at not only the floorplan of the model but the craftsmanship and finishes; these are things you can’t experience the same way on a computer screen.
6. What’s the next step?
Sometimes the first step is to pick a lot, sometimes it’s to choose a floorplan, and sometimes, it’s simply to get on a waitlist. Find out what your next step is before you fully jump in to avoid surprises.