10 Secrets Every New Home Buyer Should Know

Las Cruces Home Buyer

10 Secrets Every New Home buyer Should Know

Although most homes for sale are resales, one out of four new home buyers purchases a new home. Which is better? Existing or new? The right answer, of course, is up to you. Both resales and new homes offer advantages. 

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Existing homes are less expensive on average, generally closer in and enjoy established neighborhoods. New homes offer innovative use of space, modern energy efficiency, and choices of options and upgrades. What’s more, everything is new, even the neighbors.

The choice is yours. Most of our clients consider both new and resale homes before they decide. To help understand hoe new homes differ from resales, here are ten inside pointers you need to know before you visit your first model home.

10 Secrets Every New Home buyer Should Know

1. First See Your Agent.

Before you set foot in a model, know how much house you can afford.  If you own a home, you’ll first need to know the net proceed from it’s sale to figure out how much cash you’ll have available.  Not a guess-timate, but a sharp-pencil analysis, which includes every likely selling cost, is critical.  If you’re a first-time buyer you’ll need to pre-qualify your income to nail down how much home you can afford.

2. Put Experience On Your Side.

Remember, the sales agent in a model home represents the builder not you. If you don’t have a professional agent working on your side, you’re not represented. We make it our business to understand new home construction, warranties, financing and differences in price, quality, even lot
selection to help you get the best value.

3. Not All Builders Are Created Equal.

There are builders known for their craftsmanship, other for innovative use of space, below-market financing, or customer attention during construction and move-in. But not all builders are created equal. As both resale and new home specialists, we can help you find the best home for you.

4. Get The Whole Story.

Check out the reputation and financial strength of the builder. Be sure to get “spec sheets” on the home features covering everything from floor plans to energy efficiency ratings and from immediate-delivery inventory to lot availability.

5. Look Under The Hood. Learn about the community.

Discover its amenities. Find out from local land-use officials what else is planned or could be built in the area, especially where there’s vacant land. Read the rules for the homeowner’s association (or determine whether one will be set up) and investigate whether it has reserves set aside to build or replace major amenities like pools or community roads. Consider commuting routes and times.

6. Choose Your Options Carefully.

The higher the base price of the house, the more upgrades and options you can add without overpricing for the neighborhood. Make the most of builder incentives, typically free upgrades or credit off the sales price. Upgrading means selecting quality above “builder standards” for carpet, floor coverings, detailing, appliances, and kitchen fixtures. Options are items the builder installs while constructing the house. Options that add usable space like  a sunroom or electronic/computer room add most to the resale value. A fireplace, downstairs powder room or full bath and built-in storage are generally good values. Remember, some improvements can be added later, sometimes for less money, like a deck, finished basement or landscaping.

7. Negotiate With The Builder.

Many buyers don’t realize there may be room for negotiating price, upgrades or options. You have the most possible room if the builder has a completed unsold home. Unless it’s a “seller’s market” builders may offer discounts or special financing to help close a sale. For example, some “premium lots” are priced higher and sometimes saved for last. But typically, all the lots cost the builder the same. Ask about lot pricing.

8. Make Sure The Contract Works For You.

Be certain the agreement with the builder includes some safeguards for you, such as putting your deposit in escrow, itemizing your upgrades, allowing you access to the site to check on construction progress, and a 30-day advance notice of closing date. You can count on us to help you understand how new homes are built and the fine print of the builder and manufacturer warranties. 9. Financing Can Make Or Break You. Some builders, especially high-volume communities that place lots of loans, offer special financing packages. But using the builder’s financing is not your only choice. Mortgage lending is highly competitive. Everything should be shopped, from rates to points to lender fees and also appraisals, inspections, surveys, attorney and closing fees.

10. New Doesn’t Mean Perfect.

Homebuilders typically use modern materials that are durable, low maintenance, stronger, quieter, safer, even wired for the 21st century. But new doesn’t mean perfect. Consider hiring a home inspector. Use what you learn to create a builders “punchlist” to fix a major problem before closing or at least put aside money to fix them later. Remember, almost half of all new homebuyers use real estate agents to help them. Those who go it alone may not realize there’s no cost to the buyer and builders are happy to cooperate with agents. Please call to see how we can help you.

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