1. Get Your Own Agent – An agent that is knowledgeable about builders and the building process will get you up-to-speed on builders in your area and help you understand their pros and cons, set good expectations and timelines, and be there to negotiate for you.
2. Find a Lender & Get Approved – Builders often partner with lenders to provide buyer incentives. Understand what they are offering and how it can help you accomplish your purchasing goals. Shop around for other lenders as well so you can compare lender offerings.
3. Set A “Move Date” Goal – When building a new home, a buyer can move in right away or wait weeks or even months for their new homes to be completed. Setting a “Move Date” goal will help you, your agent, and your builders establish realistic timelines.
4. Research & Choose a Builder – Do some of your own research on builders. Do you want a custom built home? Do you want to work with a well-known established community builder? Not all builders are created equal and understanding what builders are most appealing to you, and who is not, will set both you and your agent up for success.
5. Research Communities, HOAs, Metro Districts – New homes in new communities often come with homeowners associations and/or metro district taxes. Understand what the HOA and metro district offers and their costs, as well as the pros and cons of the covenants to be part of the community.
6. Know Customization Options & Costs – Most builders do what they can to accommodate a buyer’s needs. Understand what and how to request customization options from your builder by working with your agent. Don’t be afraid to request what you want. It’s your home and negotiating your needs is something the builder already expects in the process.
7. Understand Your Warranty – This isn’t the warranty on your furnace, this is the warranty in which the builder promises to repair or replace certain elements of the home, if necessary, within a certain time.
8. Get A Home Inspection – Regardless of the builder, I always recommend my buyers to still move forward with an inspection. Any issues found in the inspection can be negotiated and fixed by the builder. Better to buy a $300 inspection and fix issues prior to closing than spending thousands down the road.
These are eight of many points to understand in the purchasing and new home process. Contact me today to start your process to purchasing a new home.