Questions to Ask When Buying New Construction

Buying a new home is exciting. Buying a brand new home can be even more so with the realization of being the first owner and possibly being able to choose your own layout and finishes. The prospect of owning new construction is definitely exciting, but it doesn’t come without its own set of questions. If you’re in the market for a new home, and considering new construction, make note of the questions below when you begin your property search.

fullsizeoutput_1ed0

 

WHAT ARE THE LONG TERM PLANS FOR THE COMMUNITY?

Unless you’re looking at custom homes on acreage, it’s likely new construction in your area will be located in a new development or in a master planned community. With this in mind, feel free to ask about the plans for the community. If it’s a large area, find out if any subdivisions are planned. If there are only a few houses built so far, it’s likely to mean lots of construction in the months to come – which means a lot of noise and construction traffic. Also ask about the builder – if they’re well known and respected, it’s unlikely they’ll lose funding and the community will likely continue on as planned.

WHAT ARE THE HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION’S RULES AND REGULATIONS?

Many new developments and master planned communities come with a set of rules and regulations set by a homeowners association. If you’ve never lived in a community with a HOA, it’s important to find out the rules before investing in it. The bylaws and the CC&Rs will let you know what is and isn’t allowed in the community (especially when it comes to the exterior of your home). You’ll also want to find out when the HOA fee begins – in some communities, it can start before the home is even finished.

DO YOU OFFER ANY BUYER OR FINANCIAL INCENTIVES?

If the community or development is still in the early stages, there might be incentives (like a buyer discount, builder upgrades or other financial incentives or freebies) for buyers. Sometimes these offers come with a catch – where something is expected from the buyer in return for the incentive – but it’s important to ask about any offers that may be available, especially if the community is still up and coming.

DO YOU PROVIDE WARRANTIES?

New homes often come with different warranties. Ask if a workmanship and structural warranty come with the home. A workmanship warranty (or builder’s warranty) is a warranty for newly constructed homes that offer limited coverage on workmanship and components of the home like windows, siding, roofs, doors, plumbing, electrical and HVAC. Traditionally a workmanship warranty will cover a one or two year period; another likely warranty is a structural warranty, which covers the structure of a home. If a warranty is provided, make sure you know exactly what is and isn’t covered and how much you’re responsible for in case of any issues.

CAN YOU CONNECT ME WITH SOME CURRENT HOMEOWNERS?

Just as you would check reviews before buying an item online or booking a service, the same can be said for a home builder. Just because the product that’s being offered is a shiny new home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your due diligence and check references before making a large investment. While it’s likely that the builder will provide glowing reviews, checking reference and review websites and even knocking on the doors of current homeowners will provide additional information and give you a wider understanding of the builder and its practices. Talking to current homeowners will provide information about the actual community.

New construction is exciting, but you want to make sure you have all pertinent information before you go through with a home purchase. Your real estate agent will be able to help navigate the waters of new construction. Reach out to your agent with any questions you may have about buying new construction in your area.

If I could tell you only one thing when it comes to buying new construction it would be HIRE YOUR OWN REALTOR!  The builders and their real estate agents are only looking out for themselves usually. 

fullsizeoutput_1ed1

My First Listing

I never thought I would be so nervous when it came to listing my brother-in-laws home.  Going into very confident, I soon realized that I was putting all this pressure on myself to be perfect because I didn’t want to mess anything up on my first listing.  This house was a charming ranch in Prairie Village, Kansas (a highly sought after area) and I assumed it would go quick.  The market is super crazy right now in Kansas City, homes are selling in the matter of hours and for over asking price.  Can you imagine trying to purchase your first home for $250,000 and having to offer $20,000 over asking price?  Crazy, but that is exactly what is happening now.  I’m hearing stories everyday about clients losing in bidding wars while still going over list price and its not only frustrating for them, us Realtors are frustrated too.

My brother-in-law and I decided we were going to get the place fixed up and he was going to move out in order to keep it “show ready”.  His family worked so hard to get everything cleaned and staged in order to show home buyers the potential in this home.  He had bought this home back in 2014 for a steal (it was a foreclosure).  For the past couple years he has been doing updates here and there in hopes to sell it when the time was right.  Apparently April 2018 was the right time.  Woo Hoo!

 

Above are some before and after pictures.  I had KC Media Team come over and take the listing photos of all the hard work he did.  Aren’t they great?  I loved how the photos turned out.  Remodeled kitchen, refinished hardwoods throughout living and bedrooms, and fresh paint everywhere make a huge difference.  Beautiful. (Kitchen remodel done by Residential Revival)

We listed it on a Friday and it was under contract by Monday evening.  All that hard work paid off.  Now we wait until closing…