Buying a new construction home is different than buying a pre-existing home. For one, you are buying from the builder not a previous owner. Here are some things to consider if you choose to buy new construction:
1. Find a good real estate agent who has experience in new construction and is not affiliated with the builder. Model homes in the development are often staffed by an agent who has a relationship with the builder. Find an independent agent who has your best interest at heart.
2. Research the builder. Ask your agent to assist you in finding out about the builder, his/her reputation, and other projects the builder has completed. Visit those developments, talk to owners, and research the builder online.
3. Research the neighborhood. Find out what is planned near the development in the coming years. A new highway, shopping mall or some other future development can greatly impact your home and the development.
4. Make sure you know what you are getting. The details of the model home are not always standard. Often they will include a handful of upgrades. When touring the model home, find out what is standard and what is an upgrade. If you are requesting any upgrades, make sure you know how much extra those upgrades will cost you. If the builder will not negotiate on price, ask for other concessions, such as asking the builder to pay closing costs or perform other upgrades at no cost.
5. Get everything in writing. If you are purchasing a home that is not yet complete, make sure you have in writing all details of the finished home, deadlines for completion, what happens if deadlines are not met or there are delays on either side.
6. Get the home inspected. Even though most municipalities require new homes to pass inspection, you would be wise to hire your own independent home inspector to inspect the quality of workmanship, and to be sure that all work has been done up to code and is functioning properly. Insert a provision in your contract that enables you to request the builder make any repairs or terminate the agreement without penalty if you are not satisfied with the results of your home inspection.
And last, but certainly not least, find out what is covered in any warranties. Many new homes come with a warranty from the builder. Find out exactly what is covered in the warranty and for how long. Be sure to also inquire about the procedure for implementing the warranty if any problems arise and you require the use of the warranty.