There are definitely advantages to buying a new home. You get to move into a modern home that doesn't have anyone else's memories or preferences already embedded into it. You will get to make all the choices about various features and upgrades. However, there are also challenges to buying a newly built home in a newly developed community that you wouldn't face when buying a previously built home in an established community. Take a look at some mistakes that you should take care to avoid when buying a newly constructed home for the first time.
Skipping the Home Inspection
Many buyers assume that because the home is new, there's no need for a home inspection. But that's a mistake. Just because the home is new doesn't mean that there can't be problems with the materials, installation, or other factors. The problems may not be immediately obvious, but they may be there.
With a new home, it's possible that a problem that exists from the beginning won't become obvious until you've already been living there for a while. Getting an inspection early on, before you close the sale, could help you discover these problems while the builder's warranty is still in place. That way, you can have them fixed at no extra cost to yourself.
Choosing Upgrades Over Square Footage
Assuming that you don't have an unlimited budget, you're going to have to make some hard choices about your new home. Should you spring for an extra bedroom or granite countertops? A patio, or upgraded flooring?
It's harder and it costs more to add square footage to your home than it is to add cabinets, countertops, or hardwood floors. So, when you have to choose between an upgraded feature or extra square footage, it always makes sense to go with the extra square footage, unless you're positive that you won't need the space later. Other upgrades can be added over the years.
Not Researching the Plans for the Community
When you buy a new construction home, that often means buying into a community that is just beginning to be built. You need to know what the plans are for that community. If there are many more homes planned that haven't been built yet, you're probably going to be living with the sounds of construction for months, at least. That could affect your decision to buy, or at least give you something to negotiate with.
It's also important to know how solid the funding is for the building project. Funding has been known to fall through for planned communities. When that happens, another builder will likely pick up the project. But if they're a lower quality builder than the original builders, your home's value could be affected by the lower quality homes built around it. Check out the builder's track record with other communities, talk to the neighbors, and pay attention to the buzz around the area regarding the new community. If it seems shaky, you may want to pass.
Not Using a Real Estate Agent
Many people assume that they don't need a realtor when buying a new construction home because the on-site sales agent fills that function. But however knowledgeable and helpful the sales agent might be, they work for the builders, not for you. You still need a person with knowledge of real estate that's working to make sure that you're treated fairly during the buying process.
When you're the person buying the home, you don't have to worry about the real estate agent's fee. Their commission comes from the seller. That's the case whether you're buying a new build home or a previously lived-in home. There's no downside to you hiring a real estate agent, so you shouldn't hesitate to do so.
Buying a new construction home allows you to end up in the exact kind of home that you've always wanted. When you avoid the most common mistakes, you can ensure that your new home is a dream come true.