Anyone considering buying a new construction home has a lot on their plate, so taking time to strongly investigate top home builders may fall to the wayside. After all, they are brand new and mostly…they’re all the same, right? Actually, this is a very risky train of thought to get on board with, because not all builders—nor the homes they produce—are equal by a long shot.
Thoroughly Research New Home Builders
Prioritize researching local home builders with a solid reputation amid the industry and within the community. Look online for listings at the National Association of Home Builders for suggestions, and check in real estate advertisements for potential builders. Checking online ads and builders’ social media pages permits the chance to see styles, features, and selling prices in one place to streamline research and narrow down possibilities.
Builders with the potential to meet your needs should be further investigated with records from the BBB, local business review sites, and public records. If possible, drive by some of the builders’ homes locally to get an idea of the quality and aesthetic appeal their homes have to offer. Like a few you see? Schedule interviews and confirm references before committing to one.
Consider Hiring a Buying Agent
Using a builder’s agent isn’t necessarily a bad idea, but these sellers often have incentives to emphasize expediency in closing the deal above providing personalized service. Those serious about buying a new construction home should seriously consider hiring an outside agent for representation. Their commission is often paid by the builder or incorporated into the sales cost. A personal real estate professional will have the buyer’s best interests in mind, and their negotiations will likely reap you greater savings either way.
Is it Wise to Use the Home Builder’s Lender?
A similar situation to agents often exists concerning builders having their own preferred lenders. Home builders will often encourage you to utilize their lender’s services, but a wise new construction home buyer will look into alternate sources before making a decision. There may be places offering lower rates or better incentives. Shop around for a broker you can trust, and ask an agent about available private lender options.
Fully Understand the Details of the Builder’s Warranty
New home builders offer either implied warranties, express warranties or both. An implied warranty covers workmanship defects that may deem the home inhabitable or safe due to non-compliance with local standards and building codes. They tend to be somewhat vaguely worded, while an express warranty is more precisely worded and more thorough overall.
An express warranty clearly defines what issues the contractors are responsible for, the remedies they are to provide and the duration of the warranty. There will also be guidelines concerning dispute resolution should it be needed. That being said, either type of new home warranty will likely NOT cover:
- Appliances and systems covered by a manufacturer’s warranty.
- Damage due to neglect or failure to properly maintain the home.
- Issues sourced by normal wear and tear.
- Any damages caused by a natural disaster.
- Defects in systems, appliances or additions installed by any party other than the original builder.
Don’t Forget to Negotiate—Or Have Your Agent Do it For You
Yes, Tomball home buyers can negotiate with home builders, and the best way to get a fair deal is to let an experienced local real estate professional and their team help you through the process. This ensures that you get the amenities that are most important at prices that are reasonable, while having people looking out for your best interests.