Thinking about buying a new home? It is a slightly different purchase than residential resale where you need to consider the seller’s emotions and plans, so make sure you plan accordingly and take the right steps to optimize your new home buying experience. Here are just a few tips for you to consider.
Timing: To get the best deal on a new home, pay attention to timing. Builders are businesses and so they are more likely to offer a price reduction, or a “hidden discount” by paying for closing costs or home appliances and upgrades at no charge, in the following situations: (1) end of quarter/end of year closings; (2) homes that are already built or within weeks of completion; (3) first couple homes in a development to get sales started; and (4) last couple homes in a development — when they want to close out the site.
Contracts: Builders require their own contracts, so make sure you understand what is and what isn’t included in the price (appliances, landscaping, decorator options, etc.) as it is much easier to negotiate for items to be included before you enter into the agreement. Warranties can really vary, so know what is and isn’t included and during what time frames and whether it is transferrable to the next owner should you decide to sell during the warranty period.
Inspections: Yes, you should get an inspection on a new home since it is always easier to get repairs done before you close than after — no matter what warranty is offered by the builder. Remember, things can get done incorrectly or be missed with new construction. Here are some potential big-ticket red flags:
• Sticky doors: If the home is new, it shouldn’t have sticky doors and windows — this can be an indicator of more serious structural problems.
• Diagonal cracks: Anything more than a hairline crack should be checked out. Straight vertical cracks are more likely to be insignificant than diagonal ones.
• Puddles near the foundation: When it rains, do puddles form against the home’s foundation? This could be a sign of problematic landscape grading that could lead to flooding in your basement or crawl space.
It is also good to do an Internet search for reviews of the builder to see what, if any, recurring problems they have had in other neighborhoods they have built. Make sure your inspector looks for those potential defects on your home.
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