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What should I consider when buying a newly built home?

Instead of purchasing an existing home with a history of previous ownership, you may decide to buy a new residence constructed from the ground up. While buying a brand new home is always exciting, it also carries some risks. You want to be certain that the new home you want to buy fits your expectations. Many people buy a newly constructed home in advance of the home’s actual construction. For this reason, you will want to make additional preparations so the new home does not disappoint you. We recommend that you do the following:

If you base your decision to purchase a new home upon an artist rendering or a sales office model, make sure that you attach the artist rendition of the new house, and specs, to the Agreement of Sale. The actual home may not look like what you see in the model or illustration. Make sure that the specs include minutia like the size and manufacturer of the appliances in the residence, the lighting inside the rooms, how the seller will equip a bedroom or bathroom closet, the number of fixtures each bathroom will have, the size of the kitchen, etc.;

Consider checking the background of the construction company that will build the new home. It is common for construction defects to occur even from the hand of a careful, professional contractor. You want to ask how the contractor will respond to those defects. A company that has a history of poor craftsmanship and resistance to fixing defects may produce a home with more problems than you bargain for; and

A real estate developer will usually start selling a new property about one to two years before the house is constructed. This long lead time may give you more time to save money for the down payment and to sell your existing home if you have one. However, even if the contractor satisfies you as a quality company, even professional, experienced contractors run into unexpected construction delays. If so, you might have to wait for a later date to move into your new home. Pay close attention what the Agreement of Sale provides for regarding an outside/deadline date for completion of the building and count that as your worst case scenario.

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