While purchasing a home is undoubtedly an exciting experience, buying a brand new home can offer more freedom and possibilities. With a newly constructed home, everything is fresh, contemporary, and even more environmentally savvy. Although new homes and old homes may have a different age, there are more similarities than one would think between the homes and the buying process. Ultimately, even a new home can lead to a headache and a very empty wallet if the right precautions are not taken. Follow these steps to secure a prolific and profitable home:
Hire an Inspector
Older generations frequently comment that things aren’t built the same way they used to be built. This statement makes no exception for homes. Homes “back in the day” were built to last, while homes today are built to be the most profitable, using cheaper products, cheaper labor, and often times cut corners. With that being said, a common misconception about new homes is that they will be in perfect condition at the time of purchase. While new homes are inspected multiple times during the construction process, there very well may be some problem areas that were not reviewed. A home inspector looks into numerous points of the property, including but not limited to the structural integrity of the building, the quality of the roof, pipes and plumbing, insulation, electrical wiring, and even the quality of window moldings. Hiring a good inspector to look over these explicit details prior to purchasing the home could ultimately save you a great deal of time, money and stress. While the inspection is being conducted, feel free to walk with the inspector to discuss what they are looking for, as well as to address any potential concerns that you may have with the property. After the inspection is complete, the inspector can discuss any areas of concern, which can then be addressed to the contractor of the company.
Check the House Yourself, Too
While you may not have the same expertise as the home inspector, it is still very important for you to look over the house as well. With many new homes (particularly in a new neighborhood), sellers will offer to let homebuyers look at model homes instead of the actual home being sold. This can be misleading in two different ways: First, model homes may not have accurate floor plans, or may have different upgrades than the home that you would be purchasing; Second, a model product is created to be exemplary, whereas imperfections in your potential home may have been overlooked. If the sellers of the property try to show you a model of a home instead of the real thing, ask to see your potential property. If the house that you are considering is not completed, you can ask to see a model that would have the same floor plan to get a good initial idea. Ultimately you should still see the home you are interested in prior to going through with the purchase.
Whether the builder is an individual or a group, chances are their information and reviews are online. Take some time to research whether these reviews are positive or negative. If there are any red flags regarding the quality of craftsmanship on previous properties, it is very likely that the builder has used similar techniques with the property that you are considering. Your inspector can review any areas of concern during the inspection, which can later be discussed with the builder. After any discussion with the contractor or the builder of the property, promises of amendments to the property may have been made. If any amendments or other agreements were verbally made, request to have this in writing so that it is legally binding. If you decide to purchase the home, you can ask the contractor to provide you with warranties for any of the materials used in building your home. Even if the inspector has reviewed and determined that these products are secure, saving warranties can be beneficial later down the road.
Check the Neighborhood
When you go to look at the home, take some additional time to examine the neighborhood. Important factors to be mindful of are how the other properties look. If the surrounding homes are newly constructed, or in the process of being constructed, then look out for multiple empty or undeveloped plots. If these lots do not get homes built on them, the lots could potentially lower the value of your home. You should also consider the area surrounding the neighborhood: does it seem like a safe area with a promising future? If the area seems to be dwindling rather than growing, this too can decrease the property value of the home. Invite yourself to speak with neighbors residing in the neighborhood, who can provide helpful information on the positive and negative aspects of the neighborhood, as well as any problems that they have had with similarly constructed homes.
While there is much to consider and review during the home buying process, these steps can help you ultimately have the house of your dreams without any unpleasant surprises down the road. Good luck, and happy hunting!