Purchasing a new construction home is a sure way to find a house that meets all of your needs and expectations. That said, it also comes with a lot more decision making for you as the buyer. Unlike a standard new home purchase, when you typically buy a home as-is, new construction allows you to envision and design a home that’s exactly what you and your family want.
To make your vision a reality, it’s critical to know about common new construction mistakes and avoid them at all costs. That’s what we’re going to cover in this article.
What follows is a list of 6 unfortunate — but totally preventable — new construction mistakes that could derail your project, and tips for how to ensure you never make them.
- Choosing the right builder for your project is the first and most critical step in the new construction home buying process.
- New construction buyers should always hire their own real estate agent.
- It’s important to research your potential community and neighborhood to be sure it’s the right fit for you.
- Keeping a detailed timeline and budget (and updating it when it changes) keeps your home building project on track.
- Buyers should always think about what they’ll need in a home for both the immediate and long-term future.
6 New Construction Mistakes to Avoid
Choosing the wrong builder
Choosing the right builder is a critical decision that will set your entire home building project on either the right or wrong track. Take time to research potential builders in the area where you want to buy, then vet them appropriately. Check out the homes they build and be sure that they align with what you’re looking for in yours.
Read online reviews and check references to confirm they have a reliable track record. Ask real estate agents and homeowners in your area for firsthand insight about their reputation. Talk to the potential builders you’re considering to get a personal idea of whether they’re a good fit.
While you may want to jump right into the home building part of the process, being thorough about your builder selection is the right move to ensure a positive outcome and experience.
Not hiring a real estate agent
A common question from new construction buyers is whether or not to hire a real estate agent. The answer is straightforward: yes, you should. While a builder’s agent can technically take care of the entire purchase process, it’s a mistake to leave it one-sided.
The builder’s agent is of course an advocate for the builder, and their actions will always be in the builder’s best interests first and foremost. Hiring your own agent ensures that as the buyer you always have someone with your needs top-of-mind.
Your agent can also help you navigate complex paperwork, negotiate with the builder, and manage the other moving parts of the purchase process.
Choosing the wrong neighborhood
Your neighborhood is an extension of your home living experience. Buying a house without considering the surrounding neighborhood is a mistake that can leave you unhappy long-term. To avoid this mistake, research your neighborhood and ask yourself some key questions.
First, consider your immediate community: Does it align with your lifestyle? Offer the right floor plans? Feature the amenities you’re looking for? Since most new construction homes are part of formal communities, your builder should be able to provide answers to these questions.
Next, consider your extended area: How long will your commute be? Is your home in a good school district? Are you close to shopping, parks, restaurants, or other activities you care about?
In the end, even if you love a particular new construction home, you should keep looking if the location isn’t right for you.
Being too laid back about timeline and budget
There are many moving parts involved with buying a new construction home. To manage it all, you need a detailed budget and timeline in place to help you track progress. Your builder should work with you to develop both, but it’s your responsibility as the buyer to make sure you have them. Without a budget and timeline, your project is likely to fall off track without you noticing.
Of course, it’s important to remember that no new construction build goes exactly as initially planned. Maintaining a certain level of flexibility will reduce your stress throughout the building and buying processes. But even when things happen unexpectedly, having a budget and timeline in place (and adjusting it when needed) allows you to maintain a clear view of how your project is progressing.
It’s also a good idea to do some research and budgeting prior to hiring your builder so you have a general idea of what you can spend. Here are some tips to help:
Rushing through the process
Buying a home is exciting, so it can be tempting to try and move as fast as possible through the process. But doing so may lead to regret down the line, especially when you’re buying a new construction home. There’s a lot to think about as you work with your builder to create a home you love — from building site, budget, and floor plan to details around hardware and finishes.
You definitely want to take your time as you make these decisions. Stick with your timeline, but never allow yourself to be rushed. Slow down and enjoy it!
Not thinking about the future
Most home buyers plan to live in and love their new homes for years and decades to come. That means you shouldn’t think only about the immediate future. Long-term considerations such as amount of living space, accessibility features, school district, and proximity to quality healthcare services are important even if they aren’t a priority right now.
For example: A young engaged couple may not be sending children to school at the time of purchase, but if they fail to research their school district they may end up wanting to move in just a few years, after they start a family.
In another case, empty nesters in their 50s or 60s may not be worried about accessibility right away, but a home with too many stairs may be difficult for them to live in a decade or two later.
Whatever your current life stage and situation, consider your long-term future and what you’ll need in your home to enjoy it for as long as you want.
Looking to buy a new construction home in the Dayton area? Oberer Homes can help you find (or build!) a home you’re sure to love. Contact us today to learn more and get started!
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