Jun 27, 2018

Buying a new construction home? Five things to know now

House hunting for a new construction home? It’s a very different experience than buying a resale home. How do you know if it is the right move for you and your family? First, things first—do research. Weigh the pluses and minuses of buying new construction vs. buying resale then make a list. Second, determine and set a budget. Third, consider your lifestyle.

If you’re still weighing in on buying a new construction home, check out the comprehensive guide listed below to help you through the process.

How and where to look for new construction homes

There’s two primary ways to look for new construction homes. The first is to do a MLS search. The other is to visit a model home. To cut costs many builders set up shop in a model home of the development that they are building homes in. They also use their own employees to sell the homes. What this means is that the home you may be interested in may not appear in a MLS search. Consequently, it may take a little more work to find your dream home by having to drive and visit several locations. But, it is highly advisable to hire and work with a real estate agent. After all, it is their job to know what you are looking for and help you narrow your search,

However, on the flip side, there are builders that do both. They have a model home sales office and in list their new construction homes on the local MLS. Of course, this is a great advantage to buyers because it provides additional resources to identify areas where new construction homes are located. So, when looking for a new construction home, do both. Check out those builders you are interested in. And, check to see if the homes they are building have been listed. In Austin, go to Austin Home Search to locate areas that are building new construction homes. The site is run by the Austin Board of Realtors and is a great resource.

Sales, upgrade allowances, reduce pricing options

Though, they may not be frequent, builders do provide sales on their homes to entice buyers to act now. Seasonal home construction sales tend to happen in the winter months when sales activity is slow. But, builders also offer pricing incentives in the summer months too. New construction home price reductions can come in the form of a variety of different incentives. One such incentive is offering buyers a set dollar amount on upgrades. For example, a builder may give buyers an allowance to spend on upgrades such as high cabinets, glass cabinet insets, and high-end appliances. However, you’ll have to sign on the dotted line within a specific timeframe. Another incentive may include a price reduction for a specific dollar amount. Or, more likely, if you choose the builder’s preferred lender they may be willing to pay for your closing costs as an incentive for you to buy.

But, there are additional ways to negotiate the price of a new home. Has the home you are interested in purchasing been available for an extended period of time? Is it the end of the year? Does the builder have inventory? Remember, the only way you will find out if a builder is willing to negotiate is to ask.

Standard vs. available options—knowing the difference

One of the most important things to know when purchasing new construction is what options are standard and what options are available. Any option that is not a standard item in the price of a home is an upgrade. Ask the builder for a complete list of standard items in the home you are considering. They should also have a list of upgrades and floor plan options. What’s important here is to know the cost of all and any upgrades and options that you are considering. Also, standard items and options vary from builder to builder. So, make sure you understand what is included as a standard item in each home especially if you are considering more than one builder.

Getting everything in writing is essential

Though you may make a verbal agreement with the builder, it really has no validity unless it is in writing. And, more importantly, you have no legal recourse of action unless you do. This rule also follows suit through the construction phase process. Make sure if you make a change during the process to note it on the contract. Adding your initials makes it official. This holds both parties accountable. However, most large builders will have lengthy contracts that outline the entire construction process. It is very important to read the entire document. Make sure you don’t read it before going to sleep to that you grasp every detail.

New construction homes are usually built and sold in phases

If you are looking to purchase a home in a newly developed area chances are the builder has already received financing and has begun to sell homes. As a result, many homes in the development may be sold. How? They build model homes that new homebuyers can preview and walk through. In addition, builders will also have a plat map of home sites that buyers can utilize when choosing their preferred lot location. Consequently, prospective homebuyers can get a true sense of the interior feel of their home and its location in the community.

Not quite sold on the location of your new home in the community? You may have the opportunity to wait for a new phase to open up. Ask the builder if additional phases will be built and the potential timeframe. Just a word of caution though, this can depend heavily on the housing market. In a good market prices can go up. In a downturn phases may take longer to complete. The best advice is to purchase what’s available now.

Among the backdrop of the Texas Hill Country Travisso offers state-of-the-art floor plans from five award-winning premier builders. Homebuyers can choose from one and two-story floor plans ranging in size from 1,900 to over 5,000 square feet with prices starting in the 300s to over one million. And, there’s much more including resort style amenities, the #1 Clubhouse in the state, and an outdoor landscape perfect for hiking and biking. Visit us today and explore our new model homes and neighborhoods. For additional information call our Information Center at 512-243-8583. 

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